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State of the Union excerpts: Obama on restoring public trust

In tonight's State of the Union address, President Obama will talk about new reforms to close end the "deficit of trust" when it comes to government. He plans to call for lobbyists to be required to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with the White House or Congress and for strict limits on the contributions lobbyists give to candidates for federal office. He also plans to call on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single website. Here's an advance excerpt:

We face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope - what they deserve - is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds and different stories and different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared. A job that pays the bill. A chance to get ahead. Most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.
You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of adversity. After one of the most difficult years in our history, they remain busy building cars and teaching kids; starting businesses and going back to school. They are coaching little league and helping their neighbors. As one woman wrote to me, "We are strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged."
It is because of this spirit - this great decency and great strength - that I have never been more hopeful about America's future than I am tonight. Despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We don't allow fear or division to break our spirit. In this new decade, it's time the American people get a government that matches their decency; that embodies their strength. And tonight, I'd like to talk about how together, we can deliver on that promise.
Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it's time for something new. Let's try common sense. Let's invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let's meet our responsibility to the people who sent us here.
To do that, we have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust - deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years. To close that credibility gap we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve.
That's what I came to Washington to do. That's why - for the first time in history - my Administration posts our White House visitors online. And that's why we've excluded lobbyists from policy-making jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions.
But we cannot stop there. It's time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my Administration or Congress. And it's time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office. Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests - including foreign companies - to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, and worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that's why I'm urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.
I'm also calling on Congress to continue down the path of earmark reform. You have trimmed some of this spending and embraced some meaningful change. But restoring the public trust demands more. For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online. Tonight, I'm calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single website before there's a vote so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.

By Rachel Weiner  |  January 27, 2010; 7:09 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , State of the Union  
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Comments

Obama, and some posters here, still can’t figure out why Republicans keep saying no to his vision of a socialist government take over of this country? There is no doubt that Obama and his supporters are naïve and misinformed. Why do I know this? Look at the facts, after 1 year, no one can tell me what Obama has accomplished that is beneficial now or has the promise to be beneficial in the future. I can name numerous wrong directions that the country is going, gays and women in the military on ships, bailouts with misdirected payoffs of wall street and big bankers, collapse of the auto industry and export to foreign countries, emphasis on useless “green” jobs that slow progress and increase production costs and government regulations rather than recognize truly innovative direction (Obama may be impressed last week by windmills in Cleveland, but wind power is not new or innovative), massive increase in the national debt, unwillingness of Obama to understand that there is honest even needed disagreement (such as the Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions-and such poor timing of his comments at the SOTU speachathon), lack of understanding of the true cause and cost of illegal immigration, unparallel divisiveness in the country due to Obama’s and their followers refusal to admit their shortcomings, global blunders and misconceptions by Obama that makes the US the laughing stock of the world and an easy target for terrorist attack, pushing diversity awareness to ridiculous levels, fostering racial hatred and dividing the country as never before. I have listened to the other side and read carefully. Liberals have no defense for these tragic developments, just mindless repetition of slogans and phrases with no meaning. No Obama, No you can’t overthrow the Constitutional of the United States.

Posted by: truthandlogiconly | January 28, 2010 4:26 AM | Report abuse

"In the 21st century, one of the best anti-poverty programs is a world-class education." -Pres. Obama 2010 SOTU
It was true when Booker T. Washington gave a speech at the Atlanta Cotton states expo. "...to education of head, hand, and heart,...- Booker T. Washington 1895

Posted by: jrbettis | January 27, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Excellent job as usual by our Commander-in-Chief. He challenged anyone with better ideas to step up with them for the American people. Only closed minded people will have an issue with his speech. He is trying to cut the crap thats been going on in Washington for the past 30 years and serve the people. If the Republicans are about the people that voted them in, they would roll their sleeves up in the morning and get started with all the issues facing us. Like he said, if they intend on using the 60 votes to cut off all of the Democrats ideas, then its a failure to serve the people. I got it, I just hope everyone else did.

Posted by: cornhudd | January 27, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah...

Posted by: DorothyfromColumbus | January 27, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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