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Where was Obama the progressive six years ago?

To the editor: Some laud President Obama for bravery in laying out a progressive agenda; I disagree with them. To me, his State of the Union address reinforced my notion that he acts like a con man. ("'State of the union is strong,' Obama declares in address," Jan. 20)

When he was elected in 2008, he brought in large majorities in both houses of Congress. He had two years to make all of the same proposals that he is making now when he had a pretty good chance of passing them. Now that he has lost both houses, he suddenly starts acting like a progressive with good intentions who is being blocked by the Republican Congress.

Politics is a cynical business, but I can't remember (and I am 87) when we ever had such a double-dealing man in the White House. George W. Bush was bad, but at least you knew where he stood on the issues.

Sanford Thier, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: Six years into Obama's presidency, the numbers don't lie: Our economy is booming and unemployment is down. While Obama doesn't deserve all the credit, as there are limits on what a president can do, largely his administration's policies are working.

Whether it is making college more accessible or providing tax cuts to the middle class, his proposals will be strategic investments that can benefit not just the middle class, but the broader society as a whole, and continue the momentum that we currently have.

Steven M. Clayton, Ocean, N.J.

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To the editor: The pronouncements in the State of the Union speech were optimistic and bold yet left many of us wondering whether Obama lives in this universe.

While he was touting the successes of his Middle East policy, the government of Yemen was teetering on the brink of collapse and the Islamic State invasion was merely miles from Baghdad.

His proposal on free tuition for two years of community college will only divert resources from what really needs be done for our education system. The facts that graduation rates from community colleges are truly abysmal and a two-year degree does not provide great employment prospects have apparently escaped Obama.

Even Obamacare is a timid attempt at universal healthcare. The money would be better spent on coverage for all instead of benefiting the insurers and Big Pharma.

In the final analysis, nothing will ever come of this speech.

John T. Chiu, Newport Beach

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