2 views of the State of the Union speech

Letters to the editor

‘Government not the only bad guy’

I thought President Obama’s speech was vastly improved over last year’s State of the Union, particularly in regard to education. Recognizing that schools need to be redesigned, that many students graduating high school should be career-ready, and that colleges should be held accountable for ever-increasing costs were steps in the right direction. These approaches are much more relevant than sending-everyone-to-college and lengthening-the-school-day approaches we have heard from his past speeches. Closing tax loopholes were also an important part of his speech.

Marco Rubio’s rebuttal was annoyingly partisan. Rand Paul seemed a little more mature and polished, but seemed to also misrepresent what I had just heard from the president. Contrary to what Paul said, I do not think the president took entitlements off the table. Despite what I think were some questionable comments on spending, poverty and the role of government, it is good for our democracy that people like Paul are speaking up on spending and fiscal issues. I just wish he would provide more detailed solutions and ideas, and recognize that greed at the top of the economic and business ladder can also drive poverty and economic and social dysfunction. “Big government” is not the only bad guy in town. MARY COLLIER, BEAVERCREEK

Discard ‘failed policies of socialism’

Listening to President Obama’s speech, it is clear he believes that innovation and job growth come from government and that government should be in control of more of the individual’s tax dollars.

It also sounds like Obama thinks government and government regulations, rules and programs are the main creators of wealth in America and, as a result, more tax dollars are needed to help government make America better.

Obama wants to spend more taxpayer money — which we do not have — on technology centers and other programs.

The fault in Obama’s logic is that the vast majority of goods and services Americans want or need come from the individual who takes a risk to succeed so they can profit. The government does not create profit; it only takes money from one and gives to another.

When the business environment is open for the individual to succeed and profit, the government can take in more revenue through taxes.

If taxation is so high and regulation so cumbersome that the individual does not take a risk so they can profit, neither will the government grow tax revenue.

Mr. President, be bold and courageous. Throw off the failed policies of socialism and large central planned government. History shows this has never worked. Cut government regulation and eliminate wasteful spending and programs. Reduce tax rates for all Americans. Trust the American citizen.

To do these great things will require a thick skin and a strong moral conviction, but history shows these concepts of smaller government lead to prosperity for all. You would be remembered as a great president if you take this action. MICHAEL KIRCHENS, BELLBROOK

Speak Up

I didn’t think President Obama could give a better speech than the one he delivered at his inaugural, but he did. If we each don’t make just 10 two-minute calls to our senator and representative this year, putting pressure on Congress to support sensible proposals suggested by this president, then we would be criminally negligent.

Re the State of the Union address: President Obama tells us we are going to do more of the same and expect a different result. Einstein defined that approach as insanity.

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