President Barack Obama has delivered his 2015 State of the Union speech to Congress, outlining what his administration is calling “middle-class economics.” Read the full text of the speech, and explore some of the issues raised by middle-class economics—and President Obama’s final term in office. (Medium)
Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key debate resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.
Research and debate one or two of the key issues addressed in the 2015 State of the Union speech. Each question links to a pro/con-style argument.
- Do you think community college should be free?
- Do you think a college education is worth the time and money, and will help prepare students for jobs in a global economy?
- Do you think parents should have leave from work to care for sick children?
- Do you think the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare”, is good for the U.S.? Key questions:
Taxes and Economics
- Do you think the U.S. should raise the minimum wage?
- Do you think the rich should pay higher taxes? (This is a great read.)
- Do you think lowering the corporate income tax rate creates jobs?
- Do you think the U.S. should do more to support labor unions?
- Do you think the U.S. should pursue trade deals to increase exports and protect American workers?
- Do you think American companies should be penalized for investing in offshore operations?
Energy and the Environment
- Do you think the U.S. should authorize the Keystone XL pipeline to import tar sand oil from Canada?
- Do you think human activity is a leading cause of climate change?
- Do you think the government should us subsidize businesses pursuing alternative or “green” energy?
- Do you think gay marriage should be legal?
- Do you think the police should consider race when “profiling” a potential suspect?
- Do you think police officers should wear body cameras?
- Do you think the U.S. should work to close the “wage gap” between men and women?
- Do you think the U.S. should increase funding for major infrastructure projects, such as expanded access to the Internet or high-speed rail?
- Do you think the U.S. should us support Iraq in fight against ISIS? If so, how?
- Do you think the U.S. should impose sanctions on Iran?
For more political issues, read through last year’s leading pro-con arguments suggested by the 2014 State of the Union address.
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