State of unrest

First Posted: 1/28/2014

LIMA — President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday evening in Washington, D.C. Both nationally and among local residents, however, there are mixed opinions on what state this union is actually in.

According to the results of Gallup Daily tracking interviews released Monday, Obama’s approval rating was 42.2 percent in Ohio in 2013. Locally, that disapproval, along with disapproval of the government in general, was seen in some of the comments posted on The Lima News Facebook page. Readers were asked to comment on whether the country had improved in recent years.

“Nothing will ever get better,” Keith Hoel posted. “We let people like [President George W.] Bush and Obama in office and you see where that has got us.”

April Pellegrini was forthright and succinct in her response.

“NO!” she said.

Much of the public angst with the government centers around the economy, a popular topic in the State of the Union address. According to the Gallup “Mood of the Nation” poll conducted between Jan. 5 and 8, the economy was the top priority the public felt should be addressed by the government, with 89 percent of those polled ranking it extremely important. That same poll reported that 42 percent of Americans nationwide considered themselves worse off financially than a year ago, with 35 percent considering themselves better off and 22 percent considering their financial status unchanged.

A Facebook post from Jill Sandy Coston reflected this national concern with finances.

“Unfortuately, I feel that our paychecks seem to be getting smaller and smaller,” the post read. “Our salary has stayed the same, but between the taxes, levies and healthcare — our take home pay has diminished very quickly.”

On the other side of this issue, economic confidence and consumer spending is on the rise, according to Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index. This would suggest that a growing number of Americans are becoming more satisfied with the direction of the economy and are comfortable investing money in it.

One such opinion was voiced on The Lima News’ Facebook page by Terri Lynne Blosser Morris.

“How can anyone say [the nation] hasn’t improved?” the post read. “Nearly every economic indicator shows improvement.”

Morris continued to voice approval with other national developments.

“Our soldiers have come home from two wars,” the post continued. “We are beginning to change our health insurance issues. Civil rights for gay Americans are moving in the right direction. Those are a few of the improvements I can think of, off the top of my head.”

While some praise Obama’s initiatives during his presidency, one post on The Lima News Facebook page indicated concern with the president’s excessive use of unilateral action.

“Like many things, the luck of the draw has a lot to do with a president’s success,” Marc Gellart’s post read. “The president has not drawn well in many ways, but he has also exacerbated some of his issues with the help of his staff. But if he stands up [at the State of the Union address] and says he is going to over run Congress with executive orders, then if he thinks this year was not good, this could be really ugly.”

Despite the State of the Union on Tuesday, both local Facebook reaction and national Gallup polls reveal that state could be described as restless.

“I feel that the government is trying to have too much control on us as individuals, and I would prefer to make my own decisions regarding things such as healthcare,” Coston posted.

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