LIVE BLOG: President Obama's Address to Congress and Questions to Ask

* 10:12 EST PM *

Republican Leadership: The President of the United States has mastered rhetoric, storytelling, artificial confidence-building, and the ability to come off as someone with candor even though he has contradicted himself several times during his address. Will you be pro-freedom or Anti-Obama? Will you be in a reactionary position or a pro-action stance? Will you put message over policy or policy over message?

Republican Leadership: Will you offer ground-breaking ideas to President Obama before he offers his own?

Mr. President: Congratulations on your first address to Congress as President. If Republicans offer their ideas, will you seriously consider them, or will you continue to mask the lack of substantive bipartisanship with procedural bipartisanship (i.e. inviting them to White House Super Bowl parties)?


* 10:03 PM EST *

Mr. President: You say that you will end "direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them." Can you define "large" and "need" for the American people?

Mr. President: When it comes to making decisions on national security, do you believe in the sovereignty of the United States over international bodies that have no enforcement powers?


* 9:58 PM EST *

Mr. President: Exactly where in the tax code does it specify tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas?


* 9:52 PM EST *

Mr. President: I agree with you that education is important. Do you believe it's important to keep teachers accountable? Do you believe that bad teachers and administrators need to be fired?

Mr. President: Do you believe that college is appropriate for everybody?

Republican Leadership: Will you fight to protect the successful DC school voucher system?


* 9:45 PM EST *

Mr. President: Why is it up to government to determine the alternative energies that need to be used? Why is it up to government to determine the market cap on carbon?

Mr. President: When is an industry "too big too fail" or "too important to fail"? What makes the car industry more important than any other industry in America? Why should we reward an industry that is rooted in a bad business plan while plenty of small businesses in America have great business plans but are struggling because of the economic downturn?


* 9:39 PM EST *

Mr. President: You say that your budget will be a "blueprint for America's future." Why do you believe that our plan for America's future has to be completely quantitative?

Republican Leadership: Have you learned your lesson your time in the majority? Will you notice that the qualitative structure of government programs is more important than the amount of money you throw at these agencies?


* 9:32 PM EST *

Mr. President: You say you want to get rid of waste in government bureacracy. What is your definition of "waste"?

Mr. President: If economic recovery will be determined by regaining a proper flow of credit, why didn't you focus on lending in your first month as President instead of a spending bill of which less than a fifth will actually be spent this fiscal year?

Mr. President: Do you believe housing is so important that it deserves a further bailout of bad mortgages in the short term and a distortion in the tax code through the mortgage interest deduction in the long term?

Mr. President: Do you believe in the concept of moral hazard?


* 9:25 PM EST *

Mr. President: How can you talk about the wrongful actions of those who put short term gains over long term prosperty when the stimulus does exactly that? You say that the stimulus will create or save 3.5 million jobs. How exactly will you calculate a saved job?

Republican Leadership: If the tax "cut" provisions (which really are tax expenditures) in the stimulus were in a stand alone bill without the rest of the spending, would you have voted for that stand alone bill?


* 9:21 PM EST *

Mr. President: Who will rebuild? Who will recover? And who will emerge stronger than before? Will it be government? Or will it be our economy? Why do you feel that it's your job - the government's job - to pick who will rebuild and who will recover through your stimulus package?


* 8:56 PM EST *

Over three months have passed since the election, and a month since the inauguration. The new Congress and the new administration have successfully committed the single largest legislative generational theft in American history, otherwise known as the stimulus. Some Republican governors gave in. Congressional Republicans have taken a great stand against the stimulus, but have failed to come up with solid alternatives to promote economic growth.

Even worse, Republican leaders seem to have given up on trying to communicate complicated, but critical principles to proper governing: eliminating moral hazard, promoting long term economic growth vs. short term Keynesian countercyclical fiscal policy, reducing distortions and complexity in the tax code, targeting market failures instead of targeting the market. We are very close to conceding to Democrats that we should talk about how best to get government involved in everything, instead of talking about where government should or should not be involved at all.

I, for one, am very glad that Governor Bobby Jindal will be representing Republicans tonight in the response to President Obama's address to Congress. He has the best combination of both worlds: the ability to communicate simply with the average voter while also championing pragmatic intellectualism within public policy formulation. I just wish there was more opportunities for one-on-one debate within the political process between all branches and all levels of government.

Tonight, as I live blog the President's address to Congress, I will do so by using a favorite debate tactic of mine: asking questions. And I won't just pose questions to the President. I'll also be posing questions to the Republican leadership. So to those on both the left and the right who read this blog, feel free to answer any of these questions or come up with any relevant questions you might have.

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Skip it

It's Mardi Gras.  Forget the Speech.  Go Party.

Why is the stimulus a larger act of generational theft

Why is the stimulus a larger act of generational theft than the enormous budget deficits of Reagan and Bush?


did you do c-x, or Lesser Debate?  :-)

I was an LDer in high school,

I was an LDer in high school, parliamentary debater in college.

I've referenced this post - as more Obama promises

from Obama's "Just Words" speeches a collection of his promises and his actions.

8:56 "long term growth" Did


"long term growth"

Did not see that for 8 years. It was 8 years of borrowed money for tax cuts and the war. Free trade closed up factories in the MIdwest, the middle class lost jobs, and cities and states going broke.


"Who will rebuild"

Bush invested in cronyism, war, the rich, free trade and the loss of jobs, deficits and debt.

Obama will invest in people, the country, and the future.


"short term gains"

How about 8 years of neglect



1 trillion dollars spent on the wrong war, trickle down that did not trickle down, 8 years of nothing, just 8 years of waste putting us 8 years behind in infrastructure and science.



Bush did that with tax cuts, and his demeanor. It was his way or no way.


"alternative energies" 

40 years of no energy plan. Other countries have it. Of course there are people who have no idea what is going on. Such as corn ethanol and driving up prices of food, and the reduction of a gas tax in the summer by Hillary and McCain which solves no problems. We should be for everything that you can get a return on investment. From nuclear to oil drilling. Boone Pickens has a pretty good plan. We can become energy independent and also create jobs.

The car industry is important, either that or we just lose America. At what point do you stop giving up to every country in the world. At what point do you say it is the Japanese and the Chinese that should take over our industry. An energy program "batteries and alternative fuels" could have been with the cooperation with the government and industry just like other countries have. And if we don't own the facilities to tool up for a world war, then what? Will that new ownership be out enemy?

But if the car industry, the midwest, the cities and states, the families, the loss of wages, healthcare, and pensions are not important-then come up with a better answer instead of tax cuts and free trade. How are you going to replace the millions of jobs and the hundreds of small business that rely on employed people.

Why in the end do republicans abandon the middle class? 


I don't know all of Obama's policy on education. I know what the Hudson Institute talks about, and I believe we need mandatory vocational training at the high school level as the factories won't be there in the future.


I don't know what the tax code is for companies that ship jobs overseas. The original idea of tax cuts and benefits is to create jobs for Americans. That is the purpose of the tax code. We taxpayers are not in the business of creating jobs for other countries and at the same time destroying the work base of our country. If the tax break is the same, the companies should pay more in tax for jobs going overseas. After all, they avoid middle class wages, healthcare insurance, pensions, OSHA standards, and Social Security.


"national security" 

We have seen what the neo cons did in the White House with their arrogance. They wanted the Wolfowitz doctrine and abandon Afghanistan. And Afghanistan and Pakistan with Al Qaeda is a mess. We have seen the arrogance and the lies of the Bush administration, and not talking to people that were in the know. We have seen so much arrogance, that most nations turned away from Bush.



"Mission Accomplished" clueless

"I believe in a strong dollar" as the dollar went lower. Clueless

"We are winning the war on terror" for three years as the war got worse. Clueless

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" Clueless

"free trade" as factories close. Clueless

"America, has no problems" at the olympics. Clueless

Ignoring deficits and debt and a war on a lie.



What ideas?





Payday Loan Reform Act


The political leaders in the country are being active in the lawmaking policy. The Payday Loan Reform Act is now in in it step by step process and popular,  definitely with banks that will have market share on short-term credit and online cash advances.  However, the Payday Loan Reform Act, currently making its way through Congress, has some critics, some of which are respectable business authorities, who insist that it will leave consumers with alternatives that aren't exactly palatable.  Studies have indicated that at least 50% of payday loan users considered credit cards and other options first. This means that the same banks responsible for the financial collapse and recession stand to gain a monopoly through the Payday Loan Reform Act, which is not a reform most people would be for if they thought about it.