State of the Union coming Tuesday

In address, Obama to focus on economic opportunity
Associated Press
Jan 26, 2014

Struggling to generate second-term momentum, President Barack Obama will use Tuesday's State of the Union address to announce new executive actions on job training and retirement security, while prodding a divided Congress to work harder on expanding economic mobility for middle class Americans.

Obama's broad themes — described by the White House as opportunity, action, and optimism — may find some support among Republicans, who also have picked up the inequality mantle in recent months. But as Congress barrels toward the midterm elections, there's little indication the president will win over the GOP with his legislative policy prescriptions, including a renewed push to increase the minimum wage and expand access to early childhood education.

With its grand traditions and huge prime-time television audience, the State of the Union offers Obama an opportunity to start fresh after a year where his legislative agenda stalled, his signature health care law floundered and his approval rating tumbled. The president has cast 2014 as a "year of action" but has yet to show the public how he'll ensure that's more than just an empty promise.

Previewing the president's remarks, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "He'll certainly aim high. Presidents ought to aim high."

Obama has been tinkering with the speech in his typical fashion, writing out notes long-hand on yellow legal pads and scribbling edits on drafts typed out by his speechwriting team. The White House has heavily promoted the address on social media sites like Instagram, posting photos of Obama working in the Oval Office with lead speechwriter Cody Keenan. Aides are also working on an interactive version of the speech that will run online and feature charts and statistics about the president's proposals as he's speaking.

While each of Obama's speeches to Congress has centered on the economy, the challenges have changed as the nation has moved away from the deep recession. Corporate profits and the financial markets have reached record highs, but many Americans are grappling with long-term unemployment and stagnant salaries.

Obama has struggled to gain traction on Capitol Hill for many of the economic initiatives he supports, including reinstating unemployment insurance for more than one million Americans who have been out of work for a long period of time. With that in mind, White House officials say the president's speech will include announcements on policies he will undertake on his own. While officials would not detail the specific initiatives, they did say they would center on job training and boosting retirement security.

"When American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said in an email to supporters Saturday.

The president is also expected to announce steps to address long-term unemployment, including a plan to generate commitments from the private sector to hire people who have been out of work for extended periods of time. Obama is expected to hold an event at the White House next week focused on that effort.

But broader initiatives will still need congressional approval, including increasing the minimum wage and expanding early childhood education programs. Both initiatives stalled after Obama first announced them in last year's State of the Union address, but aides say they see glimmers of hope for progress this year, particularly on minimum wage. Obama has previously backed raising the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

"These economic issues are breaking out," said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with close ties to the White House. "People are very focused on more support for workers in this tight economy."

Obama is also expected to renew his call for Congress to overhaul the nation's patchwork immigration laws. The effort gained momentum last year when the Senate passed a landmark bill, but the legislation stalled in the Republican-led House. While passage of a comprehensive immigration law would mark a significant achievement for the president, he's expected to be largely restrained in his public efforts in order to give GOP lawmakers room to maneuver on an issue that had proven to be politically challenging for the party.

The president will also tout the so-called Obamacare health law, which has rebounded somewhat after a disastrous launch in October. The administration announced Friday that about 3 million people have enrolled in federal- and state-run health insurances exchanges, though the percentage of young, healthy people signing up will likely need to increase by the March 31 deadline in order to keep costs down.

In keeping with tradition, Obama will travel the country to promote his agenda in the days after the State of the Union address, with stops planned in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

Republicans have their own ideas for what they'd like to see Obama outline Tuesday. Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said the GOP wish list includes "expanding trade, approving the Keystone pipeline and promoting education and skills training for those still struggling in this economy."

The traditional State of the Union response from the president's opposing party will be delivered this year by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House. The move appears to be in part an effort by Republicans to ratchet up their appeals to women, who have sided with Democrats in large numbers in recent presidential elections.

While Obama is currently balancing several high-profile foreign policy matters, international issues are expected to get only a brief mention in Tuesday's speech. The president is expected to note that the long war in Afghanistan will formally end later this year, though he's not expected to announce any decisions on whether to keep some American troops there after 2014.

Obama will also tout progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran, which are scheduled to resume in February, and may press Congress to hold off on a new package of economic sanctions while the talks are in progress. The president has cast the negotiations as the best chance for peacefully revolving the international community's nuclear dispute with Iran, but even he has said the odds of reaching a comprehensive agreement are only 50-50.

Comments

Contango

Re: "job training and retirement security,"

The first trillion dollar stimulus spending program was 'in essence' a payoff and slush fund for his public employee union supporters.

As the Comedian-in-Chief so jokingly said (cue laugh track):

"Sh..shovel-ready was not as...ah...shovel-ready as we expected,"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O...

And now this former community organizer by exec. order will 'decree' more money?

44846GWP

If I recall Winnie, you don't watch the State of the Union Speech. So don't comment on what you don't know.

Contango

Re: "don't watch"

It's called a "transcript" Zippy. :)

The Big Dog's back

The 1st one worked. Now we need to do the 2nd without Repubs.

Darwin's choice

You're incredibly stupid.

JudgeMeNot

I will agree with you statement Darwin. 0-bamabots still find time to post while filling up on the kool-aid!

PTBarnumWouldBeProud

Just curious as to whether or not the SOTU will be aired with a laugh track. It is going to be hilarious......sad, but hilarious.

Obamagalomania

With the forecast low of minus 5 coming for Tuesday night, people should welcome a bunch of hot air.

Ben Crazy

buckle up here comes more BS & Lies from Obama!

grumpy

Now why would you say such a thing? Is it because 95% of the promises from the last SOTU speech never came about? Because 90% of the promises were never even heard of after the speech? Or because we have video proof that he either lies (about keeping your plan, about keeping you doc, and more) or has no clue what is going on with his "signature legislation? You have to be more specific when speaking of more lies and BS from obama, you can't just speak in general terms about those things coming from him. Being able to make great speeches is made easier when they are fiction, you can say anything to make the audience cheer, the tough parts are making the promises come true. We have seen how well he does with the follow through the last 5 years. We have seen the degradation of the Nobel Prize that is now given for promises that never are fulfilled. Sad state of affairs.

Contango

@ grumpy:

FYI:

http://www.businessinsider.com/w...

Took change off the equity "table" in early '13 AND '14.

Now, dollar cost averaging into fixed (VBTLX).

Starting to put the cash back to work.

Remember: Annual $1T in fed debt interest payments are potentially projected for 2020.

grumpy

I was reading on DailyKos yesterday... I know, I know, it is mainly for entertainment. But since it is reported that POTUS will be expounding on financial inequity it was funny to see the wingnuts think that repubes think that rich people work harder than poor people do. The wingnuts think it makes a difference where and who were their parents were, that it was harder to get ahead when starting from a poor household. They thought that was the only reason. They seem to think the amount of money others make restrict their earnings. They seem to think there is a finite amount of money. The fed printing $80 billion per month for years seems not to register in their minds.

The biggest reasons I have seen is rich live within their means, save and invest intelligently. If you don't save you can't get ahead. If you borrow and spend every dime you can you can't get ahead. If you live well within your means, save, and intelligently invest you will get ahead and become better off. No matter where you start out from. It works unless you have something really bad happen to you. But the odds are much better if you live within your means, save, invest, and not borrow unless you have no choice.

The biggest reasons the rich lose their money is they either live beyond their means, or their investments fail.

Contango

Re: "The biggest reasons I have seen is rich live within their means, save and invest intelligently."

Amen brother grumpy!

The millionaire next door: Lives in a middle class neighborhood and drives a late model vehicle.

As is said: Those that 'flaunt' it, generally ain't got it, but are up to their eyeballs in debt.

I told my Gen X daughter last night: I've made money under EVERY recent president. It ain't the politics, it's the mindset.

samiam

Grumpy, that is one of the best posts I have seen on this website in a long time. And so true! Young adults move out of mom/dad's home and think they have to have everything right away that mom/dad have worked years to achieve. You don't NEED the lastest cell phone, the 60" flat screen tv, the ipad, the tattoo, the expensive new car every 3 years, a new wardrobe every season, the fancy manicures, the huge house. Invest that money into yourself and your education. That is something no one can ever take away from you. Then start socking away for your future, whether in savings or steady investments.

The Big Dog's back

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
― John F. Kennedy, Kennedy's Inaugural address of 1961.

Contango

Re: "John F. Kennedy,"

So how many low income housing units can be found on the Hyannis Port Kennedy Compound?

The Big Dog's back

Deflect, deflect, deflect.

Darwin's choice

from NBC news:

" Silly democrats, you promised us in 2008 that Obama was going to change things. You promised us in 2012 that Obama was now finally going to change things this time and he really meant it because he would no longer have to campaign for reelection. Given the erosion of our privacy, the bailouts, the support for corrupt regimes and the continuation of illegal wars, the acceleration of crackdowns on whistleblowers, the drones, the provocations towards countries like Russia and China, the healthcare betrayal, are you really dumb enough to think this man is going to enact an agenda for the 99% if he starts acting alone? Get real.

The man is a neocon in disguise, and the neocons were trotskyites who believed the wealth of the middle classes should be used to industrialize the third world. So while Obama is not a pure communist, he is certainly operating on a philosophy that has its roots in communism's worship of the industrial complex. If you had any problems with Bush and now you defend Obama, you deserve to be ridiculed and never be taken seriously, they are two puppets working for the same masters."

This has to be about you and coasterfan!!!!!

The Big Dog's back

With or without you. We will move forward.

The Big Dog's back

“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all ... The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands - the ownership and control of their livelihoods - are set at naught, we can have neither men's rights nor women's rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
― Helen Keller, Rebel Lives: Helen Keller

The Big Dog's back

“History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.”
― Jeffrey D. Sachs

Contango

Better choose yourself a different cheerleader dog breath:

" The stimulus packages that began in 2009 --which have consisted mainly of temporary tax cuts and transfer payments -- have significantly raised the public debt while doing very little to solve the nation's long-term employment and growth problems."

- Jeffery Sachs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/je...

The Big Dog's back

pooh, You mean tax cuts don't work? You've finally seen the light. Walk towards the light.

Contango

Read it AGAIN dog breath:

Note the word: "temporary."

So why did your Messiah push for payroll tax cuts for two yrs?

The Big Dog's back

Deflect, deflect, deflect. Always answering questions with questions.

mikesee

Who are the greedy? Those who work for what they have and want to keep it or those who dont work and want someone else's money?

The Big Dog's back

“Rich men have dreams. Poor men die to make them come true.”
― Glen Cook, Water Sleeps

Contango

So which "poor" man are you employed by dog breath?

The Big Dog's back

Sorry, Folks, Rich People Actually Don't 'Create The Jobs'

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r...

Contango

Again: So which "poor" man are you employed by dog breath?

Blodget: A disgraced former Wall Streeter.

You sure do know how to pick out the rich people to make your point about poverty don't you? lol

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