On Wednesday, President Obama spoke at the Center for American Progress, a liberal Washington D.C. thinktank, and outlined his commitment to closing the gaps of income, inequality, and opportunity in America.
The speech was long, about fifty minutes, and there was a lot covered. Obama spoke at length about the many issues facing our nation, from income disparity, falling wages, increased poverty, and lack of access to supports, to overarching corporate interests, lack of social progress, and gridlock in government.
While many people heard, read, or saw this speech and called it just another "reboot" for the administration, others like Paul Krugman see it as a major shift for Obama and his policies. I happen to agree with Krugman.
Obama has certainly had his share of struggles the last few years. But that doesn't take away from his accomplishments, nor does it detract from his plans for the future. Plans to bring jobs back to America in the form of infrastructure and scientific research, expanding social programs to help with further education and economic stability, streamlining the tax code and regulations to make business easier and more affordable, and continuing to try and create ladders of opportunity for people to reach into the middle and upper classes are all great goals.
As you might imagine, not everyone agrees on how to do this. I happen to agree with Obama's plan to focus on the consumer and the citizen rather than on the company and the CEO. Giving benefits to the wealthiest doesn't work, but giving benefits to the working classes does.
And before anyone says that Obama has done nothing but break the economy, take a look at the latest numbers, showing that unemployment has dropped to 7%, the lowest point in five years.
This speech may just be a reboot for the administration, but it is also a declaration of commitment to fundamental ideals of American society. It is a reaffirmation of our goals and aspirations as a nation, and a call to open the lines of dialogue and get back to work, so that we can fix our nation and make it better for the next generation.