Wednesday, 26 January 2011

State of the Union

It was Obama's State of the Union address yesterday. With Gabrielle Giffords' seat empty, there was a real mood of bipartisanship if only among some of the Congressmen and women who, contrary to convention, chose to sit together. Many commentators have seen it as a speech that defiantly argues for the positive role of government - see below's quotation, Mark Mardell and Channel 4 - but there is much else to consider - see BBC's key excerpts.
"I recognize that some in this chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and I'm willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. But let's make sure that we're not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. And let's make sure what we're cutting is really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you'll feel the impact."
And for those thinking of becoming a teacher, "To every young person listening tonight who's contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child - become a teacher. Your country needs you."

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