Jan 26, 2011
The President inspires with his second of eight SOU speeches
President Barack Obama laid out a clear path for continued recovery that will require sacrifice and inspired confidence in his second of eight State of the Union addresses Tuesday night.
“We are poised for progress,” he said to a standing ovation. “Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.”
But he said that was not enough, and that the times are long gone that, especially here in Michigan, you just showed up at the auto plant and got a middle class jobs. The recovery will be tough for some people, and the recovery will take sacrifice, just like previous generations had to.
“Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today,” he said. “Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year. And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.”
The President said future success will take education and innovation as we compete with the world, and that we must encourage American innovation.
“None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from,” he said. “Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution.”
The President said we must act with urgency, like the space race that put the first American on the moon, and we must do that by investing in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology that is tied to national security, protects the planet and creates countless new jobs.
“We’re not just handing out money,” he said. “We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.”
The President said to ensure our continued climb out of the recession, we have to reduce the national debt with things like the health care insurance reform that if repealed will add $230 billion in the first decade to the deficit. But the President stuck to his long-running theme of bipartisanship, and he said he is willing to work with Republicans to make the law better.
“Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law,” he said. “So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you.”
Perhaps his biggest and boldest proposal was to freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years that would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and that move will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President.
“This freeze will require painful cuts,” he said. “Already, we’ve frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I’ve proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without.”