(Obama delivered his last State of the Union speech of his Presidency tonight. It was what we all expected. I offer, just for fun, what my first State of the Union speech would resemble - just to keep the fire going in my belly.)
My fellow Americans, Tonight I stand before you to fulfill a promise made 223 years ago, that once a year We the People of this Great Nation will stand together in truth and continued open dialogue to discuss the State of our Union. As your elected leader, as your President, it is my burden to report the failings of our government. You elected me, and I stand fully accountable for the shortcomings of these chambers and the hardships they have put upon you, my brothers and sisters of these United States. However, as your President, it is also with great enthusiasm that I get to share with you the triumphs which, together, we have and will soon achieve. Ladies and Gentlemen, because we share this dialogue, because we are free to do so, because we continue to choose the rule of law set forth in our Constitution, because we so deeply burn with the passion for true liberty, because we come together time and again as a great people to protect our Republic, because in the face of adversity we refuse to give up, we refuse to surrender, I declare before you today that the state of our Union is strong!
However strong this union, it saddens me to report that your elected leaders, those in whom you have given the full faith and credit of our nation, continue to perpetuate the erosion of our liberties. There are some amongst us today who would see a great change in our nation; a great divergence from the solid foundation given to us upon principle. There are some amongst us who would have us believe that this is not a government by the people or for the people, rather a government over the people. I am here to tell you tonight that they are wrong. There are some amongst us who would have us believe that the providence which shaped this great nation was somehow misguided in the protection of the people from their government. I am here to tell you tonight that they are wrong. There are some amongst us tonight who would have you believe that some are more equal than others, more deserving, above the rule of consent. I am here to tell you tonight that they are wrong. Those who would tell you that the erosion of our liberties, that the unjust corruption at all levels of this nation are sufferable for the sake of security or perceived prosperity are the real threat to the strength of this union. It is they who continue to drive the divide in this nation. It is under their watchful eye that our Republic will cease to exist.
That is why I am here, as your President, to outline a renewed contract with the American People. This is not a new idea; rather it is a return to the ideals that allowed this nation to grow from shoreline to shoreline. It is a return to the ideals that put this nation in front of all other nations in this world with ingenuity and innovation. It is my belief that this nation can return to the best version of herself only when the people are free from an overbearing government. Free to try; Free to succeed; and as this government so often forgets, free to fail. No longer will we steal from the coffers to pick winners when industry giants are failing. No longer will we blindly endorse failed strategies in the economic sector. No longer will we commit ourselves to conflicts which cause us to further depend on foreign nations for our continued way of life. We are better than that. We are more resolute than that.
We will build, in America, an infrastructure for the next generation. Our investment will be one in the homeland, strengthening and modernizing our roads, dams, bridges, and borders. We will invest in our military, and re-build the American based bases closed during our foreign expansion, ending our foreign subsidies and bringing the military home. We build the infrastructure necessary to ensure energy independence through free market competition and milestone awards for certain sustainable technologies. We will invest our dollars in America’s future, right here at home.
Our economy is in shambles. There is no easy way to put it. This is not an issue that can be put off any more, and cutting pennies on the dollar is not the fix we need. This is a serious problem, now. Not a problem to be left to another administration or another generation. We will create a system of tax fairness, eliminating loopholes allowing the wealthiest to pay lower percentages than our hard working middle class, and demanding that our lowest class take the pride in paying their fair share in our society. We will strengthen the middle class by creating an environment of equality in responsibility. I will propose a tax plan that phases out the personal income tax over the course of my two terms, followed by a constitutional repeal of the 16th Amendment, with taxation to be directly levied onto the states, apportioned according to population. It will be up to the states to collect taxes from the people. The Federal Government will no longer be in the business of directly taxing the people. Fixing the tax system is only half the battle. To correct the problem, the Federal Government must stop spending! That is why I am using the authorities of the Presidency to eliminate wasteful departments and transition the responsibilities of these departments back to the states. The 10th amendment made this very clear, and I intend to return this nation to the Constitutional Republic that it was intended to be!
The American people deserve better than what the government has become. As a citizen of this nation, I demand more from my government. I demand that they do more by doing less. I demand that my government level the playing field, end the crony corporatism, dismantle the monetary stranglehold that devalues our currency, and put an end to the corruption at the highest levels. We need to ensure a just rule of law that punishes those who prey on our investors and consumers. We need to ensure a just rule of law that protects the investment marketplace, protects the savings of our families, and encourages savings and investment in our future by We the People. I demand, and so should you, that our government close these criminal loopholes and enforce the laws that protect the investments of not just the middle class but of all Americans! I demand a return of the American brand, a return of Main Street. This can only be done by strengthening and enforcing our laws and protecting our investing class!
We are at a crossroads in this great experiment. We have allowed our government to grow beyond their constitutional limits. We have allowed the government to erode our individual liberties. We have given up personal responsibility in favor of government safety nets. It did not happen overnight, and it cannot be fixed overnight. There is a lot that needs to be done in order to right so many wrongs that have left our nation on the brink. Look around the dinner table tonight and ask yourself, ask your family, what kind of America do you want to live in tomorrow? What do you want the state of this union to be for your children and grandchildren? I challenge you, America, to support this alignment; to put the government on notice; to return America to the people. We are the generation of innovation, of ingenuity. We have the courage to fix this, we have the means to fix this. And I’m putting my government on notice too, letting you all know that We the People have the resolve to fix these wrongs and ensure a strong union for another two hundred years!
God Bless you, and May God continue to bless these United States!