Re "'America does not stand still,'" Jan. 29
Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine had by far the best response to the State of the Union speech. In 2006, he said, "I think people question whether the State of the Union — and the response — has outlived its usefulness."
There is an old saying: "Don't tell me what you are going to do; do it and then tell me." All these politicians should get to work solving the nation's problems instead of sticking their faces in front of the cameras and grandstanding. They perpetuate political gridlock.
Everybody is so tired of that.
I propose that we omit all official responses after the president addresses Americans. This practice is regrettable; it divides rather than unites us.
When I was a child growing up during World War II, my family listened with great interest to FDR's "fireside chats." My parents were Republicans and disagreed with many of the president's policies, but they would never have even considered speaking against him on a national radio program. There was great respect for the office of president.
But today that respect is being diluted. The country is divided. There is very little, if any, respect for the office, all because of the ill-conceived policy of granting "both sides" a chance to be heard on all occasions.
I rarely listen to these silly rebuttal speeches. But for the less educated, those rebuttals serve to destroy respect for the presidency.
President Obama talked about creating pathways to the middle class. The quickest way to move millions of people up the economic ladder is to pay women 100% for each dollar earned by men for the same work. The 77% they earn today is both unfair and un-American.
The best way to accomplish this goal is to require every female lawmaker to take a pay cut of nearly $40,000 a year. Why should they get a full $174,000 salary like their male colleagues, when everyday working women fail to make the same pay as the men in the office or on the assembly line?
The sooner the elected women of both parties feel the full force of this economic discrimination, the sooner Congress will act on equal pay for equal work. The positive impact of women being paid fairly would be immediately felt.