If anyone missed it or the GOP responses, here's a link to it on C-SPAN: http://www.c-span.org/Events/Preside...s/10737419121/
Some of the main points of the SOU was that Obama said we need to invest/spend more in education and renewable energy. Obama also proposed that the tax code be reformed. That could basically mean reducing income and corporate tax rates and eliminating the massive system of deductions in the tax code, simplifying the system, but threatening the deductions for many people and special interest groups.
Obama also proposed to freeze the federal government's budget for 5 years. Does this contradict his pledge to spend/invest more on education and renewable energy? Is there enough seriousness on both sides of the aisle to reform the tax code, simplify it, lower some rates, leave others alone and take away deductions?
What about Paul Ryan's GOP response? Ryan painted a gloomy picture of the US government's finances, but he doesn't mention that in his plan, he would drastically cut taxes on wealthier Americans, thereby gutting the funding for Medicare and Medicaid, and that he favors privatizing Social Security (aka putting Social Security into the stock market). Was it honest for him to omit that? Would the Republican Presidential nominee and Congressional Republicans dare run on Paul Ryan's economic plans in the 2012 election?
Ryan's plan drastically reduces taxes:
- Simplifies tax rates to 10 percent on income up to $100,000 for joint filers, and $50,000 for single filers; and 25 percent on taxable income above these amounts. Also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four).
- Eliminates the alternative minimum tax [AMT].
- Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax.
- Replaces the corporate income tax – currently the second highest in the industrialized world – with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent. This new rate is roughly half that of the rest of the industrialized world.