President Barack Obama delivered his third and final State of the Union address before voters head to the polls in November. Unlike last year’s State of the Union in which he focused on securing the nation’s place in the global economy, this address prompted the need to mention the nation’s continuing disparity within itself:
“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.”
Stressing an America built to last — “an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values” — the president called upon each American to share in the responsibility of creating such and offering “no bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts”. He commented, in the vein of Abraham Lincoln, that “government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves”.
A strong advocate of the middle class, Pres. Obama proposed the Buffett rule to tax reform: “If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes” while adding “if you make under $250,000 a year, your taxes shouldn’t go up”. He also called out financial institutions calling for a Financial Crimes Unit and special unit of prosecutors to investigate abusive lending, saying he would “oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place”.
While some of the things the president wants to accomplish may be done by executive order, many require Congressional action, which prompted the notion that “what’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.”
With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow. But I can do a whole lot more with your help. Because when we act together, there is nothing the United States of America can’t achieve.
The 2012 State of the Union Address
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