Obama declares American dream under siege

All citizens deserve 'fair shot,' president says

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WASHINGTON — Declaring the American dream under siege, President Obama delivered a populist challenge Tues­­day to shrink the gap between rich and poor, promising to tax the wealthy more and help jobless Americans get work and hang onto their homes. He invited Republicans to join him but warned, “I intend to fight.”

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President Barack Obama greets retiring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., on Capitol Hill prior to delivering his State of the Union address.  PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Barack Obama greets retiring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., on Capitol Hill prior to delivering his State of the Union address.

In an emphatic State of the Union address, Obama said ensuring a “fair shot” for all Amer­i­cans is “the defining issue of our time.” He said the economy is finally recovering from recession and that he will fight any effort to return to policies that brought it low.

“We’ve come too far to turn back now,” he declared.

Obama pleaded for an active government that ensures economic fairness for everyone.

Among his proposals: a 30 percent minimum tax on millionaires; a minimum tax on companies that ship jobs overseas coupled with tax cuts for those that keep factory jobs at home; and a $200 billion, six-year plan to build roads, bridges and railways with money saved from bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

“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,” he said, “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.”

Lawmakers leapt to their feet when Obama said near the start of his speech that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden no longer threatens America.

At the core of Obama’s address was the improving but deeply wounded economy.

“The state of our union is getting stronger,” Obama said.

Implicit in his declaration that the American dream is “within our reach” was the recognition that, after three years of an Obama presidency, the country is not there yet.

He spoke of restoring basic goals: owning a home, earning enough to raise a family, putting a little money away for retirement.

“We can do this,” he said. “I know we can.”

He said Americans are convinced “Washington is broken” but that it isn’t too late to cooperate on important matters.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, offering the formal GOP response, called Obama’s policies “pro-poverty” and his tactics divisive.

“No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others,” Daniels said.

He said Obama hurt the economy with over-regulation of business, a refusal to allow domestic energy production and proposals to raise taxes on the rich that amount to dividing the country.

In a swipe at the nation’s growing income gap, Obama called for a new minimum tax rate of at least 30 percent on anyone making more than $1 million. Many millionaires – including one of Obama’s chief rivals, Repub­lican Mitt Romney – pay a rate less than that because they get most of their income from investments, which are taxed at a lower rate.

“Now, you can call this class warfare all you want,” he said. “But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Amer­icans would call that common sense.”

Obama calls this the “Buffett rule,” named for billionaire Warren Buffett, who has said it’s unfair that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does. That secretary, Debbie Bosanek, attended the address in first lady Michelle Obama’s box.

To ease the enduring housing crisis, Obama said he will send Con­gress a new plan that would help responsible homeowners who are current on their payments save $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage. The program would be paid for with a new bank fee he has proposed.

He proposed steps to crack down on fraud in the financial sector and mortgage industry, with a Financial Crimes Unit to monitor bankers and financial service professionals, and a separate unit of federal prosecutors and state attorneys general to expand investigations into abusive lending that led to the housing crisis.

On education, Obama pushed measures for college affordability, including taking federal aid from colleges that don’t keep net tuition down and provide good value, and he urged Congress to make permanent a tuition tax credit worth $10,000 over four years. He challenged state governments to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18, as 20 states already do.

Obama lauded the fact that the U.S. in 2009 became the world’s top producer of natural gas. He said his administration will prepare “common sense” new rules to ensure safe drilling of shale natural gas on public lands, drilling he said will create 600,000 new jobs by the end of the decade. He said he will also require disclosure of the chemicals used in “fracking” operations on public lands. Fracking is the use of water and chemicals under high pressure to extract oil from shale.

Obama went after an easy target in calling for reforms to keep members of Congress from engaging in insider trading and holding them to the same conflict-of-interest standards as those that apply to the executive branch.

At a time of tight federal budgets, Obama found a ready source of money to finance his ideas: He proposed to devote half of the money no longer being spent on the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan to “do some nation-building right here at home,” to help create more jobs and increase competitiveness. The other half, he said, would go to help pay down the national debt.

Obama also offered a defense of regulations that protect the American consumer – regulations often criticized by Republicans as job-killing obstacles.

“Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same,” Obama said. “It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts and no cop-outs. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.”

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Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 01/24/12 - 10:08 pm
0
0
Every time the president said

Every time the president said "fair" I took a shot.

I haven't been this toasty since my college days.

allhans
24865
Points
allhans 01/24/12 - 10:25 pm
0
0
I will steal a quote: "I

I will steal a quote:
"I expected any minute to see the Dodge ad pop-up saying "we're Ram tough".

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 01/24/12 - 10:37 pm
0
0
Stealing a line from Brad
Unpublished

Stealing a line from Brad Owens....Why is it so HOT and why are we in this handbasket?

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 01/24/12 - 11:18 pm
0
0
Wow, Just wow..............

Wow, Just wow..............

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 01/25/12 - 02:58 am
0
0
ABC is certainly not

ABC is certainly not considered a conservative news outlet but even they believe the President is a fabricator...

http://news.yahoo.com/state-union-fact-checking-president-022136336--abc...

avidreader
3558
Points
avidreader 01/25/12 - 05:36 am
0
0
"Obama declares, 'the

"Obama declares, 'the American Dream is under siege'". Is this supposed to be startling news. Of course our dream is under siege.

I always considered the dream to be a process: Get an education, find gainful employment, work hard, support your family, have some fun, and retire (and then have some more fun). The American Dream did not involve following like sheep, while the federal government robs your future. JFK said it best -- Ask not what your country can do for you, . . . and everyone knows how to finish this quote.

I want the feds to operate with a balanced checkbook and never allow reasonable debt to become unreasonable. Why is this so much to ask? Think Ford, not Ferrari. Mr. Obama is a tax-and-spend prez, and this is not going to change. His rhetoric is smooth and entertaining; however, it's just that -- Rhetoric.

Mr. Obama's SOTU address was a desparate ploy to win re-election. This nation does not need four more years of bitter in-fighting between an egotistical congress and a wanna-be king. Amen!

carcraft
28447
Points
carcraft 01/25/12 - 05:39 am
0
0
Of course the American dream

Of course the American dream is under siege and Obama has had over three years to lift that siege as he promised. $5 trillion dollars of debt and he has done nothing except expand the cost of running the Federal Government on the back of tax paying Americans so he can take more to expand the government more! What a failure and a loser..

nofanofobama
6993
Points
nofanofobama 01/25/12 - 06:26 am
0
0
this administration is an on

this administration is an on going nightmare...i keep praying i will wake up. it is so sad to see what govt has made of 42-45% of ouir fellow citizens..they have taken the dream away the american dream of freedom and hard work for the govt dream of dependancy and blind loyality...obumler is just the loudest cheerleader for this govt dream...absolute power and control of the tax paying citizens voted in by 50% plus one of grubby govt controlled stooges who will keep them in office for a larger piece of others wealth...this is the real state of the union and its is very sad to leave this to my kids..

peace4784
130
Points
peace4784 01/25/12 - 06:44 am
0
0
People are so gullible,
Unpublished

People are so gullible, especially American. The American dream has always been a nightmare. We are all responsible for the present economic and moral decay. Prices increase and the cost of surviving increases each year. It's all smoke and mirrors. The person at the bottom will be economically punished no matter what policy is enacted. The rich will simply pass on the cost in some way to the average American. Americans who are buried in debt, which is about 80%, will stay buried in debt. The advertisers and marketers will see to that. Crying babies are pacified, which is precisely what that speech was intended to do. The government no longer represent or work for the common people. They represent and work for the money people. The shot callers. The $10,000 a plate campaign supporters. Who ever has the gold rules. Just drink your beer, eat your chicken, watch your sports, watch your reality shows, and stay in formation with the herd. Check mate.

justthefacts
25023
Points
justthefacts 01/25/12 - 06:51 am
0
0
President Obama said this

President Obama said this last night....with a straight face even: "That government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more."

draksig
167
Points
draksig 01/25/12 - 06:52 am
0
0
Raise taxes on the rich,

Raise taxes on the rich, raise spending even more. Every move this president makes has sniffled job growth. Health care mandate (raise costs), increased regulation (raise costs), tax increases (raise costs), kill pipeline (lost opportunity), Pro union stance (stops growth in union states). When he does try to spur job growth, it is in the failing 'green' sector by propping up companies that have no chance of financial success.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 01/25/12 - 07:01 am
0
0
Great speach Mr. President,
Unpublished

Great speach Mr. President, things are starting to turn around.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 01/25/12 - 07:28 am
0
0
Talk about a wolf in sheep's

Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing. That's like Satan telling everyone to come on in, the water's fine in the lake of fire. Obama thinks we are all frogs in the pot of slowly boiling water. He's wating for the pot to come to a full boil. He is slicker than goose poop on a rain slick road.

seenitB4
97376
Points
seenitB4 01/25/12 - 07:41 am
0
0
I'm not impressed but he is

I'm not impressed but he is sewing up the hispanic vote.....he ain't crazy yaknow....

Amazing how they hug/kiss/smooch and act like they really LOVE each other....great acting!

onlysane1left
223
Points
onlysane1left 01/25/12 - 08:23 am
0
0
"I'm not impressed but he is

"I'm not impressed but he is sewing up the hispanic vote.....he ain't crazy yaknow...."

The "minority" vote is the group to win. That's smart on his part, because, minorities are usually the first ones to get laid off, they are less likely to get a refinance, usually end up with inferior healthcare options, and the ones who are looking at higher education as a means to move forward in society. Why not look to the native americans, blacks, hispanics, asians, and other immigrant groups? These people are usually the group who in service centered jobs that most likely need help from rising cost of living prices.

howcanweknow
2307
Points
howcanweknow 01/25/12 - 08:29 am
0
0
I like what I heard a very

I like what I heard a very intelligent and eloquent African-American preacher say: "It was not black folk that put Obama in office. It was all the stupid white folk that voted for him."

There is wisdom there.

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 01/25/12 - 08:28 am
0
0
JUSTTHEFACTS, don't you mean,
Unpublished

JUSTTHEFACTS, don't you mean, people who WON'T do anything for themselves? Mr. President, the dream of a lot of Americans has turned into a nightmare since you were sworn in. Could it have anything to do with millions still unemployed even though you've gotten every stimulus package you wanted, and a national debt that has increased by 4 TRILLION in the 3 years you've had your "change" implemented? Sorry liberals, those pesky facts just keep getting in the way, don't they?

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 01/25/12 - 08:34 am
0
0
I just think it was a great
Unpublished

I just think it was a great speach. 3 million jobs created, saved the auto industry, prevented a second great depression , killed Bin laden, come on people give the man some love. Look at what the Republicans are offering, Newt, Mit, Paul, and Santorum. Come on Man!

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 01/25/12 - 08:35 am
0
0
President Obama said this

President Obama said this last night....with a straight face even: "That government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more."

Really? Are you sure you weren't watching some comic's stand-up special? This routine must have been comedy gold!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/25/12 - 09:28 am
0
0
When our President was

When our President was talking about bringing jobs home and extending tax cuts to companies like Master Lock for creating jobs and manufacturing in the USA, he also explained that companies outsourcing overseas would be ineligible for those tax cuts. At that point the audience roared and applauded, standing up and CNN cameras panned to a Rep representative, a young man, who was scowling, by God !

You can pick apart every facet of Pres. Obama you want. Tear him down for being this and tax and spend and on and on and on. But the simple ideal that our country needs to retain American jobs over outsourcing them and the mention of manufacturing our own products over importing foreign ones is fundamental. To defy that is to demonstrate a desire to counter any and all efforts regardless of whether they are beneficial to you or anybody for that matter. It shows that the bi-partisan system is crippled and inherently inept.

It also demonstrates how ignorant some humans can be.

joseyj
70
Points
joseyj 01/25/12 - 09:26 am
0
0
The vast majority of Obama's

The vast majority of Obama's "spending" has been for Republicans' cakewalk wars and Republicans' tax cuts for zillionaires - MAJOR drivers of the deficit - PLUS the interest on ALL the Republicans' borrowing and spending sprees.

"Deficits don't matter." - VP Cheney

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/25/12 - 09:27 am
0
0
PS. to congress and

PS. to congress and distinguished ladies and gentlemen that were present at the SoTU address and specifically those grabbing an autograph as the president was shaking hands. C'mon, it just makes you come off a little starry-eyed and sophomorish rather than a professional. If you absolutely must, wait til our Chief is off-camera or catch him at a later time.

Batman
18
Points
Batman 01/25/12 - 09:29 am
0
0
"Obama declares American

"Obama declares American dream under siege". Really? Who's holding our citizens hostage? It's the flipping liberals like Obama. It's sickening to watch the Democrats complain about the system they created. Essentially everything that's broke in government is a democrat program. Democrats suffer from delusion and insanity. As Albert Einstein said.. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcome. Stop voting for liberals, and non-conservatives!

allhans
24865
Points
allhans 01/25/12 - 09:33 am
0
0
Obama says we should keep

Obama says we should keep foreign students here to work after graduation...he doesn't know that our (own) grads need jobs?

Conservative Man
5578
Points
Conservative Man 01/25/12 - 09:39 am
0
0
Didn't watch the

Didn't watch the speech...didn't need to. I knew what he'd say even before he said it. Three years and he still believes anti-capilatist policies will help a capitalist system...He's delusional. As are those who think he will be re-elected...

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 01/25/12 - 09:54 am
0
0
He has some die-hard fans.

He has some die-hard fans. They will vote for him no matter what. They believe in his policies.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 01/25/12 - 09:55 am
0
0
David P. I noticed during
Unpublished

David P. I noticed during the speach a certain groups sitting on their hands during everything you mentioned, Outsourcing, tax cuts for middle incomers, immigration reform, support for Veterans etc. As I watched the procedings I really wondered just ewhat the Republicans do want? And I came to the conclusion they wouldn't be happy with anything less than a white President. And get a load of that headline "American dream under siege", I don't recall him actually saying that as the focus of his presentation. BTW I also noted that there was no Tele-prompter so I guess there will be some very sore posters today without something as important as that to discuss.

follower
92
Points
follower 01/25/12 - 09:55 am
0
0
Rah Rah speech directed

Rah Rah speech directed towards those that value style over substance. In his defense, it's the same "do nothing" speeches given by RINO's.
Why in the world is Mitch Daniels not running?

nofanofobama
6993
Points
nofanofobama 01/25/12 - 09:58 am
0
0
if you tax capital gains at

if you tax capital gains at 30 percent you will drive all investment overseas..also in order to invest money you originially had to earn it.and in earning that investment money you paid normal taxes..investment money by definition has already been taxed..one major exception .the kennedys made their money boot legging booze during proabition..that money probably wasnt taxed..3 million job in 3 years doesnt even equal 100000 per month..it takes over 100000 new jobs per month just to satisfy the new workers that enter the work force..someone sited GM..normal bankruptcies laws would have accomplished the same thing but better...taxpayers would not have lost billions..bond holders would have been paid ..these were ordiniary people who held bonds for retirement...the list could go on ...but govt subsidized citizens want more just look at the posts here...

Bizkit
35518
Points
Bizkit 01/25/12 - 10:05 am
0
0
I was watching Charlie Rose

I was watching Charlie Rose interview the Prez and he questioned him about raising capital gains tax that would actually decrease the govt take and increase the deficit, and his retort was he would make the sacrifice because of the doctrine of "fairness". So half of Americans pay no taxes, the over 150K upto million pay 30-35%, and the roughly 350,000 millionaires (1%) in the country pay 15-20% tax with .4% paying no taxes. Seems like the extremes get the breaks. I'll have to look up "fair" in the dictionary because it must be like "gay" and has changed definitions.

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