Whenever a President gives the State of the Union address in front of Congress, even casual observers can figure out where the two sides stand on many of the issues facing the country. Those agreeing with the President applaud while standing up to show their approval or they don't clap and remain seated to show their disapproval of what is being said.
I appreciate the clarity of the reactions in the hall by the two parties during every State of the Union address. Our lawmakers are not debating, expounding or qualifying their stances on the issues, they are simply showing us the uneditorialized positions they have on the issues during the address by their reactions.
Wednesday's State of the Union address by President Obama was no exception and where each party stands on many of the issues was made crystal clear for the viewing audience.
Republicans are opposed to raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour even though 50 percent of Americans live at or below the poverty level.
The GOP is opposed to increasing the tax percentages paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to help pay down the deficit. The Republicans are against closing the numerous tax breaks and loopholes enjoyed by only the richest 1 percent of Americans, huge companies and corporations.
The folks on the right are opposed to seriously combating the threat of climate change even after the world has just experienced 12 of the hottest years ever recorded.
Republicans showed their opposition to allowing every American the opportunity to refinance their homes at today's lower mortgage interest rates (saving nearly every home owner in the country nearly $3,000 in annual savings).
The GOP is unwilling to finally pass the “Paycheck Fairness Act" which would require that all women be paid the same as their male co-workers for the same work performed at the same skill level.
While the law allows gay folks to serve in the armed forces, the right opposes benefits enjoyed by other military families to the families of gay service men and women.
Of course the Republican lawmakers are still opposed to the Affordable Healthcare Act, "ObamaCare," for 98 percent of Americans.
The Republicans object to working with individual states to ensure that every four-year-old child has access to affordable pre-schools so that they might have a jump on their education just like those children whose parents can afford private pre-schools for their kids.
The GOP is willing to cut Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, Social Security, education but not military spending.
In all fairness, the Republicans agreed with the President and the Democrats on having a vote on new gun laws. Both parties agreed to the need to fix America's crumbling infrastructure.
Page 2 of 2 - All sides agreed there is an immediate need for tax and immigration reform. It appeared that both parties are in favor of passing the "Violence Against Women Act” in an effort to stem domestic violence.
I believe that both sides are committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability. I say that both parties are too far apart on too many important issues. I also agree with the President when he said, "The nation's interests must come before any party's interests in order for this country to move forward."