President Obama on Tuesday spoke to the nation in his State of the Union address and the President’s agenda for 2012 was to “focus on the mission at hand” which the President clearly stated was to create an economy that’s “built to last.”
In his speech Obama called the “defining issue of our time” the hope of keeping the “American dream” alive.
Obama said of the economic debate:
“No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
To create a new American economy that’s “built to last” the President said financial systems and government must play by the rules, giving everyone a fair shot to work hard and achieve the American dream.
“What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them,” he said.
Obama also took a stab at the very banking system he helped save (along with President Bush) when he noted that the “house of card” fell in 2008 after banks gave loans to people “who couldn’t afford or understand them.” He then said banks were going to make money either way because federal regulators looked the other way and did nothing to stop bad behavior.
Responding to the uneven playing field led by bankers and other higher level executives Obama noted:
“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
Obama acknowledged that in order for our economy to get better workers need better training, tax reform must be at the forefront of our efforts and manufacturing must once again be a focus on American soil.
President Obama even borrowed from GOP candidate Rick Santorum’s playbook in calling for American companies to move back to the U.S. through incentivize based programs. In his call to company’s the President said:
“Ask yourselves what you can do to bring back jobs to your country and your country will do everything it can to help you succeed.”
While the President underscored the assassination of Osama bin Laden he did talk about the redistribution of the “peace dividend.” Obama said he would like to take $200 billion from that fund as he ends American’s participation in Afghanistan and Iraq and distribute those funds over the next 6 years in an effort to fix American’s failing infrastructure of roads, bridges, rail lines and other areas critical to the countries future successes.
What was your reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union address?