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President Obama: State of the Union Address

Speaker: Barack Obama
Published January 20, 2015

The State of the Union is a speech given annually by the president to Congress, in which the president outlines the current condition of the United States and national priorities for the coming year, based on the U.S. Constitution, Article Two, Section Three. President Obama has delivered his State of the Union Address speeches on January 27, 2010, January 25, 2011, January 24, 2012, February 12, 2013, January 28, 2014, and January 20, 2015. The 2015 State of the Union focused on "middle class economics," which included additional tax cuts for children, providing paid sick leave, job skills training and two years of free community college for responsible students, and increasing the number of high-wage jobs.

Excerpt from Middle Class Economics for the 21st Century - Helping Working Families Get Ahead, an initiative announced at the 2015 State of the Union:

Making the Paychecks of Working Families Go Further

  • Eliminating the trust fund loophole and using the savings to responsibly pay for measures to help middle class families get ahead
  • Cutting taxes with a $3,000 credit per young child to make child care more available and affordable, while creating a new second earner tax credit for working families
  • Partnering with states to adopt paid leave and ensure every American can earn paid sick days so they can take time to care for themselves and their family
  • Increasing the minimum wage, so some of the hardest working Americans get a raise
  • Making a home more affordable for responsible middle class families by cutting mortgage premiums

Preparing Hardworking Americans to Earn Higher Wages

  • Making two years of community college free for responsible students, so every American has access to at least two more years of high-quality schooling
  • Reducing the burden of student loan debt and expanding a middle class tax cut for college so hardworking students aren’t priced out of an education
  • Partnering with businesses to create more on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities so workers can learn the skills they need for better, higher-paying jobs and earn wages while they are training
  • Expanding opportunities for working Americans to make career transitions into fast-growing, higher-paying fields where employers have good-paying jobs to fill 

Keeping Good, High-Paying Jobs in America

  • Fixing our broken business tax code, repairing crumbling roads and bridges, and modernizing our infrastructure so businesses create good jobs here at home
  • Promoting American jobs and American workers by signing new trade deals so the United States, not China, sets the fair wage, safe workplace, and clean environment rules of trade
  • Jumpstarting medical innovation to deliver the right treatment to the right patient
  • Promoting American leadership in clean energy technologies, as well as continuing to invest in advanced manufacturing to ensure America’s manufacturing sector continues to lead the world for years to come
  •  Passing comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens the American workforce
  • Ensuring entrepreneurs and small business owners have the tools they need to grow their businesses and create jobs

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