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Posted on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

2 different reactions to the State of the Union: What's your take on the president's speech?

By Ryan J. Stanton

Washtenaw County's two representatives in the U.S. House had different reactions to Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, released a short statement after the president's speech, expressing some disappointment in what he heard.


President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President John Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, smiles as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013.

AP Photo

"It's disappointing the president has yet to produce a budget but then still calls for even more stimulus spending and higher taxes," Walberg said.

"We need to build a healthy economy to help hardworking taxpayers by making government live within its means and pursuing tax reform to encourage small business job creation and bring jobs back to America."

U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, released a much longer statement, saying Obama spoke to core principles that will help build the middle class and grow the economy.

"As we prepare to address once again the fiscal cliff, we must be wise in cutting spending, but must also invest in the areas that will keep us on pace with the rest of the world," Dingell said.

"I believe that those who have the most among us must pay their fair share. Tax reform that is fair and balanced will reduce the burdens on our working folks and help provide revenue to cut our deficit and fund government programs that work."

What did you think? Which parts of the president's speech did you or didn't you agree with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Take our poll, too.

And just in case you missed it, here's the speech.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

It may be a sluggish economy but I've never made more money in my life with the markets way up and business doing good. Don't do anything!


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

Lots of Righties got up early today.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

Many of us were saying spending is to high when Pres Bush spent $4.9 trillion more than we had. According to , President Obama spent , $5,814,646,595,637.10 more than he had in 4 years. One act does not justify the other. Each pearson in this country owes about $53,000 in federal debt. When will anyone attempt to stop the overspending. The real budget issue is baseline budgeting. Under baseline budgeting federal spending goes up every year based on projected growth in population and inflation. Currently that rate of growth is about 7% a year. Since few people understand baseline budgeting, maybe could do a story on baseline budgeting.

Ed Caldwell

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

I have yet to find a liberal who acutally believes any of this rehotoric is working, has worked, or is making any difference. Oh right I forgot it's the GOP's fault, 8 years of the GOP's fault except for that time when the house was lead by Pelosi-remember that? Someone please, explain to me the difference he is making and leave out your worship of him in the process.

Superior Twp voter

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

"Worship" is certainly the right description. "God-like" reverberation to follow as the Bamster speaks.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

I think Rep Walberg needs to take econ 101. Demand creates jobs, not tax cuts. If tax cuts created jobs we would have unemployment in the 3-4% range, federal taxes being at their lowest in 50-60 years. President Bush and the GOP controlled congress passed multiple tax cuts, when Mr Bush left office unemployment was 7.8%.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

If I do not have any money, I cannot spend it to create demand.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

So amusing to read the comments from The Haters. It was not long ago many of these people were telling me to support our president while he fought a war. Back then, when the GOP president was borrowing $4,901,104,747,205.59 we were told "Reagan proved deficits don't matter". We were also told that we were either for the president or with the terrorists. Zip forward a few we have a guy that either "lacks leadership" or is a Tyrant. How can he be both? We have calls for secession, calls for violent uprising because he dared pass mandated health a CHRISTIAN NATION!! How dare he!? We need to rise up and throw off the yoke of this Tyrant, because Obama agrees with Reagan on gun control! (but, lets name a building after Reagan, shall we? He was the Great One) We also have more and more people calling for Austerity, how is that working over in Europe?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Tim Walberg is the dictionary definition of a big disappointment. No wait, he's more like a definition of "failure on a monumental scale".

Hesh Breakstone

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Well said SMAIVE! Walberg is so very far to the right and out for himself, only... that his congressional record over the past two year will indicate that he has produced nothing, absolutely nothing. This congress is constipated.... and representatives such as Walberg who are hell bent on obstruction only are clearly the reason why... Who knew that tea causes constipation....

Top Cat

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

$5 trillion in new debt, the worst economic recovery since the Depression and all he calls for is more of the same.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

Where were you when the GOP president spent 5,000,000,000,000 from 2000-2008? Where were you when the unemployment rate went from 4.6% to 7.8% from 2000-2008? Where were you when gas went up to $4.29/gal in 2008? Cheering on the GOP and voting for their president? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, the worst recession since the Depression might be followed by a slow recovery? Of do you think a president should snap his fingers and make everything alright for you? If he did that, would you support him or call him a Tyrant?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

My post about Ted Nugent's infamous statement of: "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year." I was just looking for an update on which way he's leaning (dead or jail), and my comment got pulled. A question about someone who ATTENDED the SOTU and had made an incredibly stupid statement. So which of your guidelines did this supposedy violate?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

I'd like to see an answer to Brad's comment - here, not just tucked away on another wall. I think many of us have been left wondering about certain deletions.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Let's see President Obama said that the Affordable Health Care Act would bring down the cost of health care, funny my provider added $63 per family member to my bill this year to cover a mandate from the federal government from the act. The note on the bottom of my bill said there were going to be 4 more increases this year and next as the federal government added more fees to keep my health care. So, excuse me if I don't trust the government when they tell me something is fully funded or not going to cost more. From toilet seats to hammers, to health care to social security - government estimates and promises all seem to be made of smoke and mirrors.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

Since 1990 , when have your health insurance premiums gone down?

music to my ear

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

the raise the mim wage was a good idea ,however it is going to hurt businesses, and may seek employers to hire more illegal immigrants just to stay afloat,they will work for 7.40 an hour in a minute. and honestly I am not a hater of these people, but I already know of some employers who are already doing this.and of course as we are writing ,stores are already marking up .


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Obama spoke about controlling expenses, nothing on making reducing the national debt any further a prioity or passing a bill to require a balenced budget. Guess that would take real leadership and guts. Talk is very cheap.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

Which GOP president got a balanced budget amendment passed? Has one made it out of the House yet?

In doubt

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Pretty words that are totally empty. He doesn't have a clue what to do to help this country, only a clue about his socialist agenda. He is right on target with that. God help us all.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

fascism (f?sh`?z?m), totalitarian philosophy of government that glorifies the state and nation and assigns to the state control over every aspect of national life. Characteristics of Fascist PhilosophyFascism, especially in its early stages, is obliged to be antitheoretical and frankly opportunistic in order to appeal to many diverse groups. Nevertheless, a few key concepts are basic to it. First and most important is the glorification of the state and the total subordination of the individual to it. The state is defined as an organic whole into which individuals must be absorbed for their own and the state's benefit. This "total state" is absolute in its methods and unlimited by law in its control and direction of its citizens. A second ruling concept of fascism is embodied in the theory of social Darwinism. The doctrine of survival of the fittest and the necessity of struggle for life is applied by fascists to the life of a nation-state. Peaceful, complacent nations are seen as doomed to fall before more dynamic ones, making struggle and aggressive militarism a leading characteristic of the fascist state. Imperialism is the logical outcome of this dogma. Another element of fascism is its elitism. Salvation from rule by the mob and the destruction of the existing social order can be effected only by an authoritarian leader who embodies the highest ideals of the nation. This concept of the leader as hero or superman, borrowed in part from the romanticism of Friedrich Nietzsche Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm , 1844–1900, German philosopher, b. Röcken, Prussia.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

Clownfish you are correct, he is not a typical sociaist. However since WW II it is politically incorrect to use the correct label. Pres Obama is not a capitalist since he does not beleive in a free economy, and in one of his books described private enterprise as the enemy. He seems to believe in governmnet by regulation vs. passing laws in congress, EPA regulation after congress did not pass cap & trade, higher CAFE standards by mandate, executive orders instead of legislation. He believes in rewarding his friends and destroying his enemies. There is a term for this behavior, but using it is politically incorrect.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

Which industries have been nationalized under Obama? Industrial production quotas? Which agricultural land has been turned over to the Proletariat? Do you know what Socialism really is or are you just copying what you hear from a media source? Definition of SOCIALISM 1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

What I would like to see is an amendment that says if the Country does "NOT" have a balanced budget the President, the Cabinet, House Members or Senator's in Washington DC, would "NOT" get a "pay check!" Maybe than these people would not make it a career of working for "themselves."

In doubt

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

Judy, I wish I could vote for your post a billion times!


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Any update on whether Ted Nugent is going to jail or going to be dead? Only 57 more days left, Ted.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Gitmo closed yet?

sandy schopbach

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

I find it disappointing that all the Republican reactions focus on the budget. It's as if they were told beforehand to do that. Given "catch phrases" to use. It's the same practice Alec uses to "reform" state laws. The things President Obama talked about could have been said by President Eisenhower... and Lord knows they were neither of the same generation, the same color or the same political party. One thing that rang particularly true with me, given that I've spent half my life in France, is the warning the President gave of America no longer being a world leader unless some investment is put back into the country. Into education. Into infrastructure. Into research and development. We were once the first in atomic energy (sadly); we created the internet! Now we're falling behind. France, for instance, has high-speed internet via fiber optics, and a healthcare system that covers everyone yet affords a choice of doctor and reasonable costs and state-of-the-art technology. This is the country I know the most about, but it isn't the only example. Germany, which has far less sunshine than almost all of the U.S. (sorry, Fox News, you got it wrong), is a leader in solar energy. Holland has wind power. Both these countries have had to free themselves of the oil cartel, not having resources of their own. America is inventive. America was a leader. If we aren't careful, we will become citizens of a second-class country. And it would be relatively easy to avoid that, if we could only work together. Is that too much to ask?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Sandy, you say it so well, because you have seen it. So many Americans have no idea because they have neither seen how the rest of the world works nor thoughtfully read about it. Instead they listen to slanted news and tv which are designed either to entertain or to push a particular economic view.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

The GOP needs to put the nation first by working with the president and keeping GOP partisan goals second. The GOP talking points are so transparent and tiresome (the president needs to lead, he just wants to throw taxes at everything, etc.) that they have no effectiveness with thoughtful people. Mitch McConnell and his group failed to meet their objective of making Obama a one term president, and the majority of voters endorsed Obama's plans for his second term. And speaking of failure to lead, where is the Republican plan for the budget, or for dealing with other issues, including Syria or Iran? The fact is that we have a leader who has plans, he was rehired for four years by the nation, and Republicans need to work with him to get things done.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

" You can fool all of the sheeple some of the time, some of the sheeple all of the time , but ( hopefully ) you can't fool all of the sheeple all of the time " lord knows they try though......


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

The most important thing he said was "they deserve a vote". Yes all legislation brought to the floor of the House or Senate should get a vote up or down. No one should be able to use "procedural rules" to block a vote on anything. Let those elected go on the record as to whether they approve of disapprove of a bill. Was it not "procedural rules" that were used to stop people from exercising the right to vote? I would like a little more for my $174,000 a year + benefits that I help pay to each member of Congress


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

Amen! And bills as a rule shouldn't have 'amendments' and 'earmarks' and 'perks' in the fine print.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:40 a.m.

When do we get a definition from liberals for "fair share?" Will it be enough when you get 50% of what they earn? 75%? 90%? Wat exactly does "fair share" mean? For those mathematically-challenged out there, taxes work on a percentage system. That means it grows proportionately with income. When people make more money, they pay more taxes. They already pay more, even though Obama wants you to believe his lie that they pay less. That's how percentages work.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

This is for aabikes: I think there's a flaw in your formulation--who defines 'when your needs are met'? Whom would you allow to tell you when your needs are met? Of course we can all agree that the definition of 'needs that must be met' would probably cover food, shelter, and clothing...but what food? What shelter? What clothing? Does anyone need more than a change of clothes, a place with four walls, a roof , and basic utilities, and 2000-2500 calories' worth of simple food a day? As soon as you accept the premise that the concept of 'needs' is not subject to strict definition, you undercut claims such as the one you began your post with, it seems to me. But maybe you live like Mahatma Gandhi and therefore have some room to talk. I don't, and I don't actually want to, though I don't like wretched excess either.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

So what you're saying is removing yachts from rich people (check that - the evil rich people) isn't enough. You must remove more from them. I think I see where the real greed is now.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Here....another assignment. "utility" Once your needs are met, your resource loses value to you. A "fair" tax is not fair because it removes bread from the tables of the poor but only yachts from the harbors of the rich. Yeah, that's fair. The importance of one dollar is not the same across incomes.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Judy and Barry, thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one around here with his or (her) head on straight.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Yeah, you should look up how the tax rates work. Key word: Marginal.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

Flat tax would be "Fair" for "Everyone'!

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

Thanks Loopy for that comment - twice, even - but I don't use Twitter.

Barry Soetoro

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:56 a.m.

Exactly U.S. These liberals don't get it and probably never will. Its very entertaining to watch a Liberal turn to a Conservative when they start making real money and see the real taxes they pay. Isn't it a joy to carry six degenerate lazy Americans on your back with three Illegal's on their backs all over your back? This is Obama's America!


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:37 a.m.

Unusual Suspect gets all the talking points from Sarah Palin's Twitter feed.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:06 a.m.

It's more complicated than that. First, you don't seem to understand the concept of marginal tax rates. Second, you don't seem to understand that FICA taxes max out. Third, you don't acknowledge anywhere that there are tax loopholes that don't hit everyone evenly. But let me simplify things for you. When Warren Buffet pays a lower rate of taxes than his secretary, it isn't fair.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:36 a.m.

I'll provide the translation from libspeak. "But must also invest in the areas that will keep us on pace with the rest of the world" Translation: increase taxes. "I believe that those who have the most among us must pay their fair share." Translation: increase taxes on those evil, hard-working, successful people. "Tax reform that is fair and balanced" Translation: increase taxes. "Provide revenue" Translation: increase taxes. "Fund government programs that work." Translation: increase taxes.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

@Peregrine - You say, "Now when you have all these things that cost money and you don't bring enough money in, you have a choice -- raise revenues or push the costs onto our children and future generations." Sorry false dichotomy there. We have other choices too. Namely: 1) stimulate the economy in order to retain and attract business. More business means more incomes which means a larger tax base. 2) decrease spending. Both of these things seem to be anathema to the left. Instead they demonize success and profit and try to blame all our fiscal problems the evil 1%. "And now you see why a balanced approach involves increasing revenue. And yes, that means increasing taxes on some." What has been balanced about what the democrats have done lately? What meaningful cuts have they made? Obama has been running trillion dollar deficits 4 years in a row. And his solution is to tax the rich. Here's a news flash. Taxing the rich is a red herring. Read this: Even if Obama got all the tax increases he ever asked for on the rich it would pay for a grand total of 8 days of gov't spending. Or to look at it another way, the AFTER TAX income of all the millionaires and billionaires in the US is about $709 billion ( So even if you just flat out taxed everything the evil 1% made you'd still be $400 billiion short of covering Obama's deficits. The current democrats are completely insincere on this point. Let's be honest about what a balanced approach means. First, it means serious spending cuts. Second it means increasing taxes on everybody across the board. No more cartoonish scapegoating business for all our problems. The top 1% already pays around 37% of all income taxes. How much do they have to pay before they are paying their fair share according to liberals?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Good Thing the Messiah Ron Reagan never did any of that!! Oh, oops, he did! And he spoke from a ...teleprompter, and refused to call a bombing terrorism. He must surely have been a Marxist.

In doubt

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

I would rather see our tax dollars fund OUR military than our enemies, which is what he is doing. Since the election he is sending fighter jets to Egypt, promised China 6 billion for their green energy program, and 147 million to Hamas. Who promises 6 billion when their they are broke themselves? Oh......maybe the Hollywood buddies will send it to them......?

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

"That's very one-dimensional thinking." Yes, it is. That was my point.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 9:50 a.m.

Well said. By others reactions, they must have sipped the Kool Aide.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:35 a.m.

Sounds like you've been following Sarah Palin's tweets.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:25 a.m.

That's very one-dimensional thinking. Let's broaden things a bit. The best military in the world -- it costs money. Infrastructure that supports commerce and many other useful pursuits -- it costs money. A safety net for Americans when they get older -- it costs money. First responders -- they cost money. Scientific research -- it costs money. Wars in Iraq and Afganistan -- money is just one of the sacrifices our nation made for them; see: . Now when you have all these things that cost money and you don't bring enough money in, you have a choice -- raise revenues or push the costs onto our children and future generations. Now look at this graph:,_US_high-income.png . It comes from this Wikipedia article: . And now you see why a balanced approach involves increasing revenue. And yes, that means increasing taxes on some.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:17 a.m.

Tim blames the budget problem on Obama while the Republican majority in the House who originate all money bills won't compromise on anything and hindered even the most obvious of bills, the funding for Sandy relief. By the way Tim, demand in the economy creates jobs, not tax cuts for the rich. Your party needs to get the Farm Bill out of committee, the Jobs bill out of committee, and another no brainer, the Violence Against Women bill.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

clownfish the sandy bill would have passed without a hitch had it not been for all the fat added in that would have done nothing to help the sandy victims.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

Carole, the president cannot just send money, the congress has to pass a bill to allow the spending. If Obama did otherwise the howls of outrage would be non-stop.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

In my opinion, Obama has done nothing to help this country period. There is no leadership, and the house and senate need to get with it as well. RE: Sandy, the most obvious thing I saw in that bill was the add ons that had nothing to do with helping all of those individuals who needed a great deal of help and had to wait an extremely long time to get assistance. And, this was after the President promised aid immediately to them before the storm hit.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 9:49 a.m.

Obama, as the leader owns this problem. He needs to quit blaming others for his lack of leadership. Go figure!

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:14 a.m.

As we inevitably get into a discussion about the federal budget here, keep in mind the president prefaced much of what he said Tuesday night with this: "Tonight, I'll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat — nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth." He also said this: "Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion — mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances." Of course, feel free to agree or disagree with what he's saying and please do debate the merits of what he's proposing.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

All politicians lie though.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

"...Both parties have worked together..." I call BS right there. Our two parties are a nightmare, with my bias of course being against the Republicans who have publicly made it their goal to make Obama's 4, now 8 years, a failure. What a bunch of mean-spirited folks, to take 8 years of everyone's lives and make it their goal that nothing change, nothing get better. There's so much that's wrong with our society (I know there's a ton that's good too, and I'm glad I live here as opposed to, oh you know, Somalia or Iraq or Afghanistan).


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:22 a.m.

I wish I had the confidence in the President's honesty to debate. I just don't believe him. I do, however, appreciate your summary and questions.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:02 a.m.

God Bless the President - but produce a budget; produce a plan to pay for things; show discipline.