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General: How you have been affected in this economy and what you want to hear from President Obama during his State of the Union address?

Comments: 192

Although President Obama helped the lower middle class with tax cuts, he compromised with funding cuts on health care for public schools. That hurt me as a St. Louis Public School Nurse. It hurts the poor children that rarely see Dr.s. I paid more out of pocket the last few years than ever for necessary equipment like printers and ink cartridges for health reports being sent home to the parents and for supplies. A sick child doesn't learn well. A dead child can't learn.

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Jane Humphreys
MNEA
St. Louis, MO

I am part of the upper middle class and I am tired of paying close to 35% in taxes from my hard earned "working" dollars, while very wealthy people receive money from their investments (not blood sweat and tears work)that they pay only 15% on!!! When will we have "fair" taxation in this country??? Just imagine what could happen to the deficit if the wealthy paid their "fair share." Nana of five, 68, and still teaching.

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Shirley Oltman
BLEA
Strongsville, OH

The elderly, disabled, poor, and middle class(99%) are NOT the people that caused this recession, but we are the first made to pay by having anything and everything taken away from us! It is past time for the rich(1%) to be brought to justice and made to pay restitution to the 99%, and start paying their fair share NO EXCEPTIONS! Subsidies should only be for startups and small companies to get them up and going, NOT for companies already making billions, that is NONSENSE! We should go after all these offshore investments too! Do any politicians have any common sense of fairness????

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Nancy Wrensch
Jefferson, WI

Here's what I'd like to hear Pres. Obama say: "My fellow Americans: The past year has caused me to do some soul searching. It's been difficult for me to reach certain conclusions, but... It's clear that capitalism has ceased to be a useful system. It has become a brake of the development of humanity's potential, and so therefore my Administration will be phasing it out. And, because with this realization comes many implications, I affirm that the US respects the right of self-determination of all the world's peoples, and therefore we are closing our military bases abroad, starting tomorrow. Our troops will come home to rebuild America."

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Brian Wiles
San Francisco, CA

I work more for less money. My husband works more for less. I have 3 kids, 5, 7, and 12 in public school and who play sports. I have mortgage and some debt. I pay my taxes, vote, maintain a caring home and obey the laws of my country. I have bailed out banks and large corporations who continue to get bonuses for those at the top. I took a pay cut and had my bargaining rights attacked. I pay for my family's health insurance. Yet, I cannot get a loan to make repairs to my home and I cannot afford to sell it and move. Something must improve for the workers of America. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is not what America is about

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Andrea Bennett
Local 250
Temperance, MI

I am a teacher at Central Falls High School, Central Falls RI. You and your Education Secretary said it was okay to fire me despite the fact you never visited Central Falls or observed my classroom. Why should I vote for a person that makes snap decisions based on second hand information?

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Robert Scappini
Central Falls
Central Falls, RI

I think it is unfair that I worked and paid into Social Security for 14 years and because I teach school in Texas I will not be able to draw one penny of Social Security when I retire. The government just took my money! Also when my husband dies I will not be able to draw any social security from him. That is WRONG! This is definitely going to affect me in retirement. The economy is bad enough and then the government has taken away all chances for me of drawing the money in retirement I deserve. What can be done about that?

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Susan Baccus
Bonham, TX

Funding for education needs to be increased and that increase must have results that can be seen in classrooms across our country. I'm demanding that all budgets of all school districts that recieve federal tax dollars must show how tax money is being spent to improve the education of children.All school budgets must be put online so all taxpayers can clearly, completely and responsibly see how school districts are working to improve teaching and learning. More teachers must be hired if we are to have a longer school day or a longer school year. Students need to see that they are supported by us all and teachers need to see this too. We can.

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ken budz
chicago teachers union
chicago, IL

My main concerns are aid to schools, jobs, preventing foreclosures and the shrinking of the middle class. We need to regulate Wall Street, raise taxes on the rich who have made all of their obscene amounts of money on the backs of the middle class and the working class in order to force them to give back, since they only know how to take.

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Joanne Baker
Johnson City Central Schools
Johnson City, NY

How can the educational system mandate parents to be responsible and active members in their child's education. Improve grades, attendance, improve behaviors, etc. Teachers can not continue being the escape goats. Parents need to be involved, attentive to academic needs, aware of assistance, programs, etc. that are offered at the district level. If student's don't comply bill the parents. You'll see how fast they will get involved. This is what they do in Hong Kong. Or take away social services.

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Yvonne Perez
New York State Teacher
Port Jefferson Station, NY

While money for public schools has been drying up, the expansion of Charter schools has increased due in large part to the RTTT program. Across the country, public school employees have been getting laid off in record numbers. Additionally, the stress of daily teaching and the pressure on all public school staff is now greater than it was under the NCLB program from the Bush administration. Why should any public school teacher or employee cast a vote for you to be re-elected? In your response, stating that a vote for the opposition would make things worse, is not an adequate or fair rationalization!

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David Wisniewski
Philly
Pennsauken, NJ

This is not about jobs! To say jobs are the issue is to say breathing cures death. Joblessness is a symptom of corruption of the free market, bad fiscal policy, lack of effective govermental oversight, and lack of international standards. Government must do their job and regulate as all expects.

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Joe Battista
pef
poughquag, NY

Continue to speak out against the war on the middle class: Republicans are proposing a tax system identical to that used in France in 1789: no estate taxes, and no taxes on unearned income -- all the taxes to be placed on the working people. If American workers are paid like 3rd world workers, the only possible outcome is that 99% of our country will sink to a 3rd world standard of living. We should compete with Germany and Japan, not Mexico and Zimbabwe ...

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steven turiano
webster teachers association
Caledonia, NY

I am an educator and small business owner with five children in schools ranging from elementary to college during the most challenging economic times ever. My challenges currently are simply trying to qualify for student loans for my boys in college. Currently my second son who has been on the Dean's List with a Computer Engineering major at Northeastern University cannot get a loan. He helps pay his own tuition and his account is on financial hold for little over $7,000. Having exhausted our resources for his brothers, it breaks my heart to see his future hang in the balance pending a bank's decision.

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Susan Campbell
PSC
Brooklyn, NY

THERE NEED TO BE JOBS AND HOUSING FOR VETERANS ELIMINATE HOMELESS FOR THEM. TAKE A POSITION ON COUNTRIES THAT CONTINUE OF ABUSE BY THE MILITARY ON BABIES, CHILDREN AND ADULTS. pUT SANCTIONS ON THESE COUNTRIES. TAKE A MORE FORWARD ON AFRICA'S POVERTY

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Theresa Murphy
UFT
Yonkers, NY

I would like to hear the president say: "After four years of hard work on education issues Arne Duncan is leaving the administration to spend more time with his family. He will be replaced by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond.

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Gary Ravani
CA Fed of Teachers
Petaluma, CA

Mr. President, as a teacher in a rural school in New York State, I believe that our budget shortfalls are more a result of misdirected funds than economic downturns. Withdrawing our troops from Iraq is a great start. Can you pledge to cut defense spending further by withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan, discontinuing spending on new aircraft carriers and the like, and using that money to bolster education in the United States? Respectfully, Sean L. Nevins

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Sean Nevins
Wilson Teachers' Association
Wilson, NY

I have been most affected by the cuts in education. I teach both science and math; and see every day how our nation is slipping farther and farther behind other countries because educating our youth is neither respected or important to policy makers. Politicians change policies without proper knowledge of the subject. Please address this issue.

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Victoria Gonder
Dallas
Dallas, TX

After 9 years, I am leaving teaching. Principals have used the budget cuts against teachers. Their bullying has gone from bad to worse. "Do exactly what I say, or you'll be included in the next round of layoffs," is the message. Pettiness abounds. All creativity has been eradicated from the classroom. Teachers who dare to be different are targeted for harrassment - to drive them to resignation; to thoroughly kill their spirit - the joy for learning that once drove their desire to teach. I graduated magna cum laude; I am a published author; I am a favorite teacher among students. Indeed, I shall miss my students, but that is all.

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TROY SHERROD
ALLIANCE-AFT (DALLAS)
DALLAS, TX

An explanation of the Canadian oil pipeline - not because I don't agree but because I want others to understand the hesitation. How the rest of us can get 15% tax rates like Romney? I feel that I am being unfairly burdened so that rich people can keep a larger share of their money than middle class folks like me. How we can get the businesses that contribute to campaign funds to disclose their contributions so we can choose how to spend our money.

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Edwina Zagami
Chapel Hill, NC

I want to know how President Obama plans to work on the deficit. I am concerned that too much debt will cause the country to become like Greece and my children and grand-children will be stuck with the debt.

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Margarita Aguirre
San Juan , TX

For too long America has built pipelines to deliver oil, now we need to build the pipelines that will deliver our children to education and their futures! The surest route to prosperity is investing in our children. And, there is no better investment we can make in our children than providing them with a strong college education. President Obama needs to commit to making our higher education system the strongest and most inclusive in the world. To start, that means providing education loans and grants, investing in research, and building of infrastructure.

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Phillip Ortiz
UUP
Queensbury, NY

The AFT general statement is excellent. To it I add affordable health care for all and not the privatization of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; that President Obama will end the war in Afghanistan. It's time The Carlyle Group, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, etc. concentrate their profit making investments on life saving manufactures. Ask us to push Congress for laws that protect workers' pensions. Give our troops their GI bill for education and health. Forgive student loan debt. Tout the necessity of public education, libraries, housing, transportation, spaces, and a productive civil service

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Patricia Hollingsworth
1521
Los Angeles, CA

I am a retired High School English Teacher, an environmentalist, and a Christian volunteer in city homeless shelters. I would like President Obama to address the issues of climate change and the need to develop green energy..especially Solar. One failed experience with Solyndra does not a green energy campaign make. First Solar is a company that has its act together. We must begin developing these technologies immediately to stop climate change. The adverse weather we have experienced this past year is only a taste of what is to come if we don't begin to wean ourselves from the huge oil lobby and the industry it supports.Fund green energy

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Anne F. Kriz
Farmington, NY

I want President Obama to decrease the jobless rate and to Tax the rich just like everyone else that has a business.

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Karla Franco
El Paso, TX

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