I respect President Obama’s desire to get something accomplished during the remainder of his term in office. His proposals for bolstering America’s middle class by increasing access to junior colleges, improving work skills training and guaranteeing sick and maternity leave will resonate with many. But we must ask how these newly proposed initiatives and entitlements will be paid for? The stroke of his pen goes only so far.

With both Houses of Congress controlled by Republicans, does the President genuinely expect GOP lawmakers to ignore their bedrock principles? If he’s serious about getting things done then he needs to end the platitudes and seek innovative, collaborative ways to bridge the political divide in Washington.