The President began his State of the Union speech with a salute to our military. He recently welcomed home the final troops coming home from Iraq. He said this generation of heroes has made the United states safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years there are no Americans fighting in Iraq, Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat and the leadership in Al Queda has been decimated. The military continually exceeds expectations and accomplishes its mission and the President challenged all Americans to emulate the military and asked us to imagine what the country would be like if we did. The President then quickly turned to the issue that is dominating the country and will probably decide the Presidential election of 2012: jobs and the economy.
An Economy that Lasts
The President wants to build an economy to last based on the return of American manufacturing and energy independence. The World War Il generation knew they were part of something bigger than themselves, and we should emulate them by making rebuilding America a cause that is greater than ourselves. He wants to restore the American Dream and give everyone a chance to succeed.
When he took office, the United States was losing jobs and lost millions of jobs in the year before he took office. He stabilized the situation and reversed the trend. Today America is developing jobs. In the last 22 months American business has established more than 3 million new jobs. Last year more jobs were developed than in the last five years, and many of those jobs are in manufacturing itself.
The Auto Industry
When he took office the American auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Today General Motors is once again the world’s largest automobile company in the world. Chrysler is growing fast and Ford is investing billions into the economy. The American auto industry is back and this miracle can happen elsewhere.
Establishing Jobs in America
The CEO of Master Lock told the President that it now makes more sense to bring American jobs back home than to leave them overseas or invest in jobs in foreign countries. The President wants every business leader to ask themselves, “What can you do to bring jobs back to the United States?” The country will fully support these efforts to establish American jobs. He wants to end tax cuts for companies that send jobs abroad, and do the exact opposite; grant tax cuts to companies that establish jobs right here in the United States. President Obama wants to double the tax break for companies that manufacture high technology items.
The President wants to make it easier to sell abroad. We are increasing our exports and soon American products will be even more prevalent abroad. He supports far trade and has initiated trade claims against China at twice the rate as the Bush Administration. He wants to establish a Trade Enforcement Agency to prevent foreign countries from gaining unfair trade advantages.
Training the Work Force
In many instances employers cannot find the right employees, and this is especially true in science and technology. The President wants a national commitment to train two million Americans in a program that will lead directly to a job. He wants the community colleges to become community job centers, and wants to turn the unemployment system into a re-employment system that puts people back to work. President Obama wants to double the number of work study jobs in the next five years. Colleges and universities must do their part by holding down the cost of a college education. Schools that increase their tuition will receive less Federal Aid.
An economy that lasts needs to be energy independent. The President emphasized his commitment to clean energy but acknowledged that every source of energy we have must make a substantial contribution.
Of course, the President called for fairer taxes and said the rich should pay more taxes. It is just common sense for the rich to pay more taxes so we can reduce the size of the Federal Deficit.
Source: President Obama’s State of the Union Speech January 24, 2012.