United States: Comment On The 2013 State Of The Union

By Chandrashekar (Chandra) Tamirisa, (On Twitter) @c_tamirisa

Flattr this

President Obama delivered his State of the Union address to the joint session of the United States Congress on February 12, 2013. He laid out his policy agenda for his second term in office which requires some critique while noting that he is open to building further on his reforms in his first term:

Entitlement Reforms: Health Care And Social Security

Fiscal cliff sets the leitmotif for building further on the Affordable Care Act. The president wants the wealthy to pay their fair share in healthcare for prescription drugs. We, however, see this as too small a step to make a significant dent in health care costs to government. We, therefore, urge the President and Congress to embrace our more innovative solution outlined in our paper below on entitlement reforms:



Barack Obama wants to close tax loopholes and comprehensively reform the tax code. It is high time the United States overhauled its tax code again after the Reagan reforms of 1986 as follows by shifting the tax code to a hybrid income-consumption tax-based system which will also serve the purpose of his pro-growth jobs agenda in manufacturing, energy and infrastructure:

Comprehensive Tax Reform

We, however, think structural monetary intervention would be an effective and leading complement in the fiscal-monetary mix to accomplish the president’s agenda.

Energy and Climate Change

On energy and climate change, the president is on the right track in contemplating moving ground transportation off oil. Freight and passenger electric rail, electric cars and Liquified Natural Gas freight trucks will completely move US ground transportation off oil. It would be better to consider a mix of natural gas combined cycle co-generation power plants; upgrading coal plants to FutureGen clean coal power; nuclear; large solar and small solar; the Pickens-General Electric Mid-West large wind corridor; and geothermal to round out the ‘All of the Above’ strategy on power production.


A voucher program tied to private school affordability score cards has been long overdue in reforming the nation’s Pre K- 12 system.


We have been asking in these pages for some time for comprehensive immigration reform whose center-piece is a national identifier. Once immigration is comprehensively reformed, over time border security will not be necessary, of course, predicated on the success of US-Mexico-Columbia joint efforts to combat gangs and drugs.

Immigration Reform

Domestic Violence

Violence Against Women Act must more broadly encompass domestic violence against both men and women.

Domestic Abuse And Violence Act (DAVA), http://ctamirisa.com/2012/07/31/domestic-abuse-and-violence-act-dava/

Paycheck Fairness And Minimum Wage

Tying minimum wage to cost of living is a welcome idea but we have advocated for a tax structure which, without dictating a minimum wage, caps the maximum wage at a reasonable multiple of the minimum wage in any corporation, for example, the total maximum compensation in any corporation cannot be allowed to exceed 100 times the total minimum compensation.

Foreign Policy And National Security

Transparency in counterterrorism, diplomatic gestures toward Iran and better cybersecurity are all welcome. Moving toward global zero or elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide together with Russia while preventing Iran obtain a nuclear weapon is encouraging and is a major shift in US sentiment on the nuclear posture.

On global development, poverty reduction and the goal of achieving AIDS-free generations are worthy of note.

Gun Violence

It is not sufficient to end weapons of mass destruction. In our view, it is also important to ratify the UN Small Arms Treaty.



About Chandrashekar (Chandra) Tamirisa

This entry was posted in Economics, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Health Care, Mexico and Central America, Migration, Monetary Policy, National Security and Defense, North America and Caribbean, Politics, Russia and Eastern Europe, Sociology, Terrorism, Transformations LLC, Turkey, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s