January 2011- As the congress returned from winter recess, the President traveled to Capitol Hill on January 24, 2014 to make a joint address to the congress, discussing 2012 obligations of the executive and legislative branch to fulfill economic recovery aspirations of both parties. Amid the president’s reelection campaign, the president will be proposing multiple policies to the congress as he travels the country to gain political momentum for fall 2012.
The day before the president’s address, in the White House daily press briefing, news reporters recurrently questioned the President’s promises from the 2011 address that haven’t transpired. White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said that the President has ambitious plans throughout the remainder of his presidency and, “if you got through a year and you achieved everything on your list, you didn’t reach high enough.”
Upon assessing the union, the President’s mile venture to Capitol Hill served as his declaration to begin bicameral business without any “drama.” With the fragile economy, the President’s primary focus for his address was on job creation, education, and economic recovery. He attributed the economic decline to businesses moving offshore, technology replacing persons, and insufficient bank responsibility. Since President Obama took office, over 4 million jobs have been lost. He told the congress that the “state of our union is getting stronger,” such as the recent unemployment rate decrease to 8.5%.
The President implored the congress to move forward through manufacturing and avert auto manufacturing decrease previously seen in the Obama Administration. The president graciously said that General Motors, a 2008 bailout industry, regained momentum; rebuilt their way to the top. “The American auto industry is back.”
The President commended American manufacturers for creating jobs for Americans. He urged the congress to make legislation for easier job creation for businesses. He told legislatures that he would make incentives for businesses bringing jobs onshore such as tax reductions that would potentially stimulate businesses to hire more workers; such legislation would encourage businesses to hire returning troops. In order to secure safe trading with businesses, the President developed a legislative proposal that would prevent illegal trading, a diluted version of the famed SOPA and PIPA.
As the President discussed job creation, he addressed the necessary education businesses may require in employees. He will begin a program to educate and train people to develop skills in order to obtain higher paying jobs. He has already received endorsements from Siemens and various community colleges across the country.
In addition to the President’s initiative to increase education, the president wants to improve education in the classroom. He is proposing to the congress a federal mandate would require students to stay in high school until 12th grade or until age 18. His initiative to promote post-secondary education also calls for the congress to extend current legislation that decreases interest rates from student loans and federal dollars to assist students in tuition. Most potentially stimulating among the president’s education agenda, the mandatory reduction of tuition of public colleges in order to receive federal funding. “Higher education cannot be a luxury” said the president.
In the last part of the President’s speech, he told congress to responsibly cut federal investments that would not impede economic well-being for the country such as medical research and production. This includes investing in natural resources on our homeland rather than offshore resources such as American oil with a potential 100 year supply.
With an ended war against terrorism, obligated war dollars will be paid towards federal spending in infrastructure and the national debt. In substitution for oil as a primary source of energy, clean energy such as wind and solar was demanded in order to create more safe environments. The president plans to create a market for clean energy by offering tax incentives in order to create job growth.
Among business tax initiatives, the president’s new tax code proposal will protect those who make less than $250k a year from tax hikes; those who make over 1 million dollars a year will have a 30% minimum in taxes.