United States

Obama gives State of the Union address


Last night President Obama gave his last State of the Union address before the presidential election in November. Most presidents preparing for a second term will turn to foreign affairs, but Preisdent Obama, last night spent much of his speech on domestic matters.

The key areas of his speech were:

• He wants to create a fair economy with more jobs in manufacturing, energy, training and technology
• he wants to see a growth in high tech manufacturing with high paid jobs
• and he wants hard work paid off and responsibility rewarded.

• He will bring manufacturing back to the United States by
• a change in the tax code to bring jobs back to the US
• no more tax deductions for companies that use overseas outsourcing
• companies that keep jobs in the US will be rewarded
• a new Trade Enforcement Unit will investigate unfair trading practices.

• He wants to see better and more streamlined training
• a new training programme will train 2 million Americans with skills that will lead to jobs
• streamline the many training programmes and make them available through one website
• students will remain in High School until they are 18
• an increase in tuition tax credit.

• He wants to help smaller businesses by
• tearing down regulation that stops entrepreneurs from getting finance to grow
• expand tax relief to small businesses

• He wants to make the US more energy efficient and less dependent on unsafe countries
• by developing natural gas resources
• end subsidies to oil companies
• pass clean energy credits
• allow development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes
• give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings and save $100 billion in a decade.

• He will sign an executive order to clear red tape that slows down construction projects
• plus a plan that allows home owners to save $3,000 a year on their mortgages through refinancing
• with no more bailouts for financial instiutions and a requirement for them to create a ‘living will’ explaining how they will pay bills if they fail
• a Financial Crimes Unit to crack down on large scale fraud
• and he is ordering the Attorney General to set up a unit to look at ‘abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages
• he wants a ‘Buffet Rule’ whereby if you earn more than $1 million a year or more then you shouldn’t pay less than 30% in taxes
• he also wants a bill to stop the “corrosive influence of money in politics”
• and to limit elected officials from owning stocks in industries they impact’.

President also touched on foreign affairs including sanctions on Iran.

Governor Mitch Daniels, responding on behalf of the Republicans described the speech as “No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others.”

The full text of the State of the union speech can be found under Links in the United States country page.

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