With President Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, readers weigh in on the nation's priorities. Comments from Twitter:
The USA is in deep trouble! Fewer people working, more people on food stamps.
The address should acknowledge that the decision-making process within Congress must be streamlined.
Gun control, immigration and use of drones are topics I would like to hear. With so many innocent dying by guns (domestically) and drones (internationally), there needs to be control over their use.
Minimum wage must be increased. Infrastructure should be a priority. The government has to invest in its citizens.
The state of the union is strained and polarized, with damaged trust in an ever-expanding government and in our kids' future.
Letter to the editor:
USA TODAY's article on poverty as the backdrop for the president's speech was good, but it left out an important issue for the poor. Many at the poverty level are working full-time but for low wages ("Poll: United we stand on wealth gap").
The small-business person and Republicans resist raising the minimum wage. Some large corporations are hiring part-time workers so they don't have to give benefits.
Many wealthy fervently believe that the poor are lazy and don't want to work. This is a mantra for them in the face of the facts: The majority are working and want to work when they can find a job. It looks as if our form of capitalism relies on a poverty-level workforce. We have to find a way to make capitalism work a little better for everyone.
Bob Bowser; Flagstaff, Ariz.
Comments from Facebook are edited for clarity and grammar:
Potential small-business investors are sitting on their money, waiting for a stable economy — one in which people are working, and therefore have resources to purchase merchandise and services. A stable economy is not one with so many people out of work.
More jobs and less encouragement toward welfare would stabilize the economy. Understand this: The government does not create jobs; the people do.
— Paul Alvarez
If we want higher wages and more income equality, stop buying as many products from overseas and start making them in the United States. More jobs mean more government revenue, less trade deficit — a win all around.
— Terry Hay
The separation of powers is critical to the founding of our country. The more Obama acts alone, the less he represents this country and its people.
— Mike Grosz
The GOP refuses to work with Obama and complains about a lack of leadership. Who could lead under those conditions?
— James Jones
I would prefer Obama work with Congress on bipartisan bills rather than just blaming the opposition for lack of progress and using executive powers.
— Dick Samuels