The State of the Union: More United Than Reported

Dean C. Garfield photo

As President Obama and Gov. Daniels so clearly articulated on Tuesday night, there is much work ahead to get America back on a path of strong economic prosperity. Still-too-high unemployment, the European debt crisis and potential conflict with Iran all present dire challenges. However, in spite of the ignominious and divisive debates that are commonplace during election cycles, it's clear that the country has a shared sense of the state of affairs and clear agreement on a vision for the future.

The United States remains a nation that consistently and selflessly tackles difficult challenges with an eye toward preserving its promise to the next generation. As a nation, we are eyes wide open on our challenges - - two-thirds of Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track, but by overwhelming margins, retain faith that the American Dream is achievable.

The nation is also united in having bigger ambitions for the country than either party seems willing to deliver. In recent years, both political parties have squandered the public's trust, thereby creating significant uncertainties about our leaders' ability to rise to the challenges of this generation. In a recent Zogby poll, 77 percent believe that within five years China will be the world's innovation leader. To many, China is symptomatic of larger global trends that threaten to erode the nation's leadership position.

To meet this challenge, we need an even more aggressive trade agenda that prevents other countries from unfairly keeping our products out of their markets. The free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama passed by Congress last fall and The Trans-Pacific Partnership currently under negotiation are a good start. But we also need to do more, including expanding the WTO's Information Technology Agreement, which would significantly bolster trade in tech products, one of our sweet spots.

Moreover, in spite of the economic uncertainties before us, there is also much consensus on other common sense solutions to move the country forward. We are united in our belief that comprehensive tax reform is necessary. Roughly six in 10 (59 percent) say that so much is wrong with the tax system that Congress should completely change it. We need to ditch our outdated tax code for one that encourages employment creation and an inflow of capital investment. Bringing back foreign-earned capital is essential, as part of an overall tax code that encourages forward-thinking research and development projects.

There is also broad consensus that that the nation's innovative capacity is a unique asset upon which we can build. As such, the administration, both parties, and both bodies of Congress acknowledge opening up valuable spectrum which will allow our nation to keep pace with this revolution, creating jobs, spurring innovation and stimulating development. There is compelling logic to move forward in this area right now.

Also important to our future is making sure we are developing and attracting the most talented people to our shores. Not too long ago we commonly referred to our nation as a melting pot that was a foundation of strength. We can return to that pride through making smart and targeted adjustments to our immigration policy.

President Obama in his State of the Union address asserted the need for more tourist visas. That is a worthy goal, but we need much more. It is clear that thousands of skilled positions in the tech sector are sadly not being filled due to a lack of qualified workers. By issuing new work visas for highly-skilled immigrants and cutting-edge entrepreneurs, we can ensure that China does not outpace us on the world economic stage.

In this election year, we will hear plenty on what divides us. True, there are real divisions and concerns about issues like income inequality and even how best to deal with online piracy, but we remain united on what matters most: We want to continue as the world's dominant economic and innovating power, maintaining the level of prosperity we have enjoyed for the past 30 years. Together we can attain these goals if we focus on solutions instead of launching salvos against each other for the sake of politics.

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  • Ibrahim Sat., September 7, 5:56 AM
    Why are people so hung up on this? Wouldn't it be betetr if people from legislators down to the every day person were more concerned about homelessness, poverty, lack of food and healthcare, child abuse ? This has been a season of innuendoes and lies. Raising fears is big time in politics right now; I am hoping the public can tell the difference between false comments and the truth. Keep blogging, please. [url=]rbuuuadneq[/url] [link=]aihcyxkpxdo[/link]
  • Jacque Fri., August 30, 12:30 PM
    Avi and I were talking about this exact topic this mnoirng. I was listening to a podcast of last night's Countown program, during which Keith Olbermann did a sarcastic piece about how, despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama is in fact a secret Muslim. He's Muslim? Avi asked me. No, he's just being sarcastic, I responded and then tried to explain to Avi how he might actually be a girl. Yes, he had a bris, he uses the boy's restroom at school, he's placed in the boys' cabins at camp and plays on boys sports teams. He's even having a bar mitzvah. But, you know, Avi's mom is a woman, and his two sisters are girls. In fact, there are even a woman and a girl living right next door to us! Despite all that, 41% of Republicans would apparently use this information to conclude that Avi must be a girl! Not there's anything wrong with it, of course.
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  • Cho Wed., August 28, 11:21 PM
    シャロン日共同議長シャロン日 2011 年 1 月 14 日に 共和党全国委員会の共同議長選出され 2013 年 1 月 25 日に再選します 2009-2011, 彼女は RNC 秘書として提供し 彼女は私達のパーティーにフロリダ州の草の根レベルで 20 年以上務めています シャロンと彼女の遅い夫のラリーは 組み込まれていくつかの企業 保険およびマーケティング業界で何百もの個人と家族のための仕事を作成します 彼女はその候補者 委員会と中小企業の力と自由市場システムを信じるグループのために働いて 政治の舞台で民間成功をしました シャロンは 1996 年以来のブロワード郡から状態 Committeewoman ブロワード郡の共和党委員の 1994 年以来のメンバーをされています 彼女としては フロリダ州の国立 Committeewoman RNC に 2004 年以来 今日その位置を保持し続けています 2000 年の選挙再集計中に シャロンが重要な役割を識別し 共和党の展開投票カウンター バランスの取れた 透明なレビューが発生確認しますブロワード郡の時 その努力次彼女は知事 Jeb ブッシュのフロリダ州の選挙改革委員会に任命されました 2006 年 シャロン サイト選定委員会の 8 人のメンバーの 1 つは彼女はまた大会の特別なイベントの議長として選ばれました 2008 年 RNC 大会の選出されました 彼女は 2008 年のための措置に関する委員会に任命された 彼女家フロリダ州での 2012 年大会の取得に尽力しました 彼女のコミュニティ サービスの他の地域の間では シャロン ブロワード郡住宅を彼女は会長として提供して フロリダ女性の地位委員会の委員を務めている機関に任命されました 彼女のサービス中に共和党にシャロンが多数成功した候補者を募集し 密接に少ない税金 以下の支出とより多くの自由の共和党のメッセージを広めるためには党の活動家やサポーターが働いた さらに彼女は私たちのパーティーに女性や少数民族の扉を開くには優先順位をしました シャロン テキサス州で生まれ インディアナ州に移動 彼女と彼女の夫に自分たちのビジネスを販売するとき フォート ローダーデールに定住します シャロン 2 人の息子と誇りの大きな源です 5 人の孫があります Sharon Day Co-Chairman Sharon Day was elected Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee on January 14, 2011, and relteceed on January 25, 2013. From 2009-2011, she served as RNC Secretary and she has served at the grassroots level of our Party in Florida for more than 20 years.Sharon, and her late husband Larry, built several businesses in the insurance and marketing industry, creating jobs for hundreds of individuals and families. She has used that private sector success in the political arena working for candidates, committees and groups that believe in the power of small businesses and the free market system.Sharon has been a member of the Broward County Republican Executive Committee since 1994 and State Committeewoman from Broward County since 1996. She served as Florida's National Committeewoman to the RNC since 2004, and continues to hold that position today.During the election recount of 2000, Sharon played an important role by identifying and deploying Republican ballot counters in Broward County to ensure a balanced and transparent review occurred. Following that effort, she was appointed to serve on the Committee for Election Reform for the State of Florida by Governor Jeb Bush.In 2006, Sharon was elected one of eight members on the Site Selection Committee for the 2008 RNC Convention, where she was also selected as Chairman of the Convention's Special Events. She was appointed to the Committee on Arrangements for 2008 and was instrumental in getting the 2012 Convention in her home state of Florida.Among other areas of her community service, Sharon was appointed to the Broward County Housing Authority on which she served as the Chairman and has served as a Commissioner on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.During her service to the Republican Party, Sharon has recruited numerous successful candidates and worked closely with party activists and supporters to spread the Republican message of fewer taxes, less spending and more freedom. In addition she has made opening the doors of our party to women and minorities a priority.Sharon was born in Texas, moved to Indiana, and then settled in Fort Lauderdale Florida when she and her husband sold their business. Sharon has two sons and five grandchildren who are a great source of pride.
  • Brenda Wed., August 28, 6:50 AM
    Taking the ovewriev, this post hits the spot
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