Obama pushes for new economic growth

In his State of the Union address, the president calls for tax breaks for jobs created at home, a boost in the minimum wage and infrastructure spending. Markets are little changed.

By Charley Blaine Feb 12, 2013 11:57PM
Coins © Ingram Publishing/SuperStockPresident Barack Obama called on Congress Tuesday night to boost tax breaks for domestic job creation, increase the minimum wage to $9 an hour and approve new initiatives to help schools train students for jobs.

He also called on Congress to pass legislation that would head off across-the-board budget cuts starting on March 1. What's been called sequestration was negotiated in a 2011 budget bill. No one wanted sequestration to happen, but it looks increasingly like it will.

"These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness," he warned in the annual State of the Union address. "They'd devastate priorities like education, energy and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs."

The president offered even less support for the idea of making defense spending exempt from the cuts. "That idea is even worse," he said. "We can't ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful."

Coming after the sequestration fight will be a battle over a spending plan and then another over raising the nation's debt ceiling. If it can't be raised, the administration would have to shut down non-essential activities and spending. That could send the economy into recession.
The president called on both parties to work to pass a budget that emphasizes smart savings and investments, not reckless cuts.  "And let's do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors,"  he added.

"The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next," Obama said. "Let's agree, right here, right now, to keep the people's government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America."

While the president's speech focused on domestic economic issues, the question when he was finished -- and it's a big one -- is whether any of the proposals in his State of the Union address will be enacted, including an alternative to sequestration.

Most of the big proposals he has offered since the 2010 elections have been blocked by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

The speech appeared to have little effect on financial markets. Futures trading suggests small gains at the open for the major U.S. stock indexes on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) closed at 14,019, its highest level since Oct. 12, 2007.

The president's address lasted about an hour. Predictably, Democrats mostly cheered the president's proposals while Republicans clapped in a desultory way -- if at all.

The president argued for aggressive federal efforts to lift perhaps 15 million people out of poverty by raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour, from $7.25 an hour, by the end of 2015.

That will almost certainly generate opposition from many small businesses who responded to the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- by laying workers off or limiting hours to avoid paying for health insurance.

He also pushed for new investments in preschool programs as well as math and science education and community colleges to equip workers with new skills. He proposed to use revenues from oil and gas deposits on public lands to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology. Among its goals: "To shift our cars and trucks off oil for good."

He also called for comprehensive immigration reform.

At the same time, he announced that the United States would enter into negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union.

He promised "a new challenge to redesign America's high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy."

Under the proposal, the government would "reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math -- the skills today's employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future."
Feb 13, 2013 9:38AM

Same book. Same page, again, again, and again. Tax, borrow, and spend. No need to watch. You heard it all before. This guy excels at one thing---spending your money. Get what he can now and send your kids the bill later. There's no distinct correlation between what he says and what he does. He rambled on for years about the fair share and 2% kick----got what he could out of that. Now. it's guns, guns, guns. He'll just work the sh!t out of that until we give him something to shut him up.  16 trillion and counting with no end in sight. Talk about a bubble bursting----wait until this one goes.


Feb 13, 2013 9:28AM

Sounds like another "Shovel Ready" jobs fiasco to me.  Obama keeps talking about how everyone should pay taxes etc. but why is it that large corporations continue to not only avoid paying taxes but get a refund back all due to accounting methods so it's time to close the loopholes!


I agree that we need to rebuild the middle class but in order to do so we need to create good paying jobs with benefits which in the past came from manufacturing.  Now..many of these jobs have been outsourced to countries where the average worker makes around $150 per month so we will never see those jobs coming back to America.  The President keeps talking about closing the tax loopholes which give corporations incentives to outsource jobs but that hasn't happened so the jobs continue to move offshore.  Why doesn't the gov just subsidize the companies payroll to keep jobs in America to help offset the labor differential?  Personally, with a few exceptions it seems like the SOTUA was just another rehash of past speeches and unfullfilled promises.

Feb 13, 2013 10:50AM
I thought this was one of Obama's least inspiring speeches but Rubio's response was very good.
Feb 13, 2013 11:27AM

Did anyone catch the speech to the politbureau last evening.  The leader did a masterful job of presentling the party line.  The applause and appreciation seemed genuine.  I think all in attendance felt their postions would now be secure for at least another few years.  Our leader artfully presented a case why citizens should not even think of the need of second guessing him or his staff.  All the wonderful people were in attendance and I for one felt so secure and proud of these honest, talented, and dedicated employees we are so fortunate to have.  And one more thing before I finish.  If you buy this used car I am very confident it will run quite well for at least 100,000 miles.  Why I bet you will not even need to put gas or oil in it.  I am sure my staff will be so willing to help you if any unforseen issues should come up.... have a wonderful day.


Feb 13, 2013 11:00AM
I don't know about everyone else, but last night, I heard the same thing we did 4 years ago and we still have the same problems now as we did then. More government and government paid for interference will not fix our problems. Obama is going to continue to tax, borrow and spend and dig our hole deeper. It is an insult to the intelligence of the people in this country to keep going down the same road. I also find it troubling that Obama brought people to parade before Congress and the country who have had their lives shattered by gun violence to push his agenda on guns. As a number of victims families testified before Congress, guns are not the problem but the fact that they get into the hands of the mentally disturbed is. WE do need universal background checks but we cannot allow the second amendment rights to be trampled on in this country. If Obama gets by with it then the only people with guns will be the government and the crooks in this country and we will be left defenseless. I can tell you that in Texas, they will not get our guns. This president has trampled on our constitution more than any other president in history and his second term will be  no different. 
Feb 13, 2013 11:42AM

The democrats have the same strategy since the 60's. Spend , spend , and spend some more, give freebies to slackers and dumb azzes, and tax the responsible and successful.


 It used be " a chicken in every pot". Not its a safety net for every tragedy, accident, and dumb decision they make. Democrats have traded personal responsibilty for government dependency, but we pay for it.


Feb 13, 2013 11:30AM

The simple minds of the 51% who voted for him like the wonderful speeches from this man. They send him off to Hawaii for 17 days with hopes he enjoys every bit of it on our dime. They marvel at Michelle Obamas jacket when she met with the Queen of England.

But these people also do not look at the results of his speeches, inaction.

For the Democrats fight for the middle class! Then stop talking and prove it.

We are losing the the term of "Beacon of opportunity" to the rest of the world. Our dear leader is not wanting to restore greatness to the Country, only to perpetuate equality. If there is only equality to strive for, then how do people become better? Why would they become better?

Rubio has the ability to inspire EVERY AMERICAN to greatness just as Reagan did. He is no Reagan at this time, but we need Conservative approaches to reel in Government at this moment. Not Republican, not Tea Party, but Conservative. Rubio has to, and will grow. If you read some of his quotes, they are Reaganesgue.

God, give us the strength right now.

Feb 13, 2013 12:07PM
C'mon, Charley!  Did you really write this headline - "Obama pushes for new economic growth"???

Seriously, Obama has spent the last 4 years championing growth of government, while at the same time doing everything he can to sabotage the efforts of the only people who can actually create real, sustainable economic growth - the producers in the private sector.

Feb 13, 2013 1:08PM
If democrats think taxes are the answer to every problem we have, why dont they  tax the  bottom 50% that pay nothing?
Feb 13, 2013 5:52PM
Government SPENDING destroys economic growth.  Every dollar spent by government must be sucked out of the private economy first, thus slamming on the economic brakes.  It matters not if this is done by Taxing, Borrowing or Printing.  The result is the same.  The more government SPENDS the poorer the economy will be.

If the imbecile Obama wants to grow the economy, I suggest he end his war on the middle class and small business, slash taxes, and let those that EARN their money keep and spend it.

Socialism does not grow the pie...  After 4 years of failed economic policy, growing unemployment, a sinking dollar, you would figure out that Obamanomics doesn't work...

And the definition of doing more of the same and expecting a different result is what?   

'57 states' is lazy, arrogant, corrupt and stupid...  His speech last night proved that.  Devoid of ideas, more of the same nonsense...   
Feb 13, 2013 1:40PM
The federal gov spends $3.6 trillion per year, or about $10 billion per day.  With roughly 325 million people, this comes out to $30 per day in federal gov spending for every man, woman and child.   Did you get $30 worth of services from the fed gov today?  And if you think $30 per day per person for federal gov spending is about right, did you and your family of 4 pay your fair share today by sending the federal gov $120?

It's a spending problem, stupid!

Feb 13, 2013 2:12PM
SEE........YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT IT.....HOW CAN IT BE HIDDEN as you say ??..Bye,Bye.
Feb 13, 2013 2:03PM
BTW....When you pass out from taking all the Meds, we sent you; Don't fall on that little teabag and crush what little manhood you have left.....har,har,har LOL.
Feb 13, 2013 2:11PM

And we thank you, just keep paying that SS, for us; We really appreciate it...


This is starting to get real boring....It's been Real, well almost.?.....Ciao.

Feb 13, 2013 2:08PM

That's not EBONICS....You can't handle the EBONICS !! LOL.


That's just 'HOOD TALK from where you came,..yuk,yuk.

Feb 13, 2013 2:06PM
Doesn't seem to be ANYTHING hidden about Dear LEADER; You and your chosen poster boy the Donald, seem to know all about it..??
Feb 13, 2013 2:01PM

FAAAAACK YOU, DARKIE..My oh my, I thought those Meds only took 20 minutes to calm you down?


Hurry, hurry.....You had better take another handful, don't stroke yourself...yuk,yuk,yuk,LOL.

Feb 13, 2013 1:57PM

After 4+ years we are still blaming Obama for Bush's FIASCO, we don't hear much from Shrub do we??

I wonder, do YOU ever wonder WHY..???


As far as these and all "pork projects"...THEY HAVE went on for Decades....Old NEWS.

Doesn't matter whose Administration...I don't give anyone a "free ride" on those...


I don't like it when any Administration jeopardizes the Health of a Nation..NEVER HAVE OR WILL.

ABS, isn't about your NAP TIME...and YOUR LITTLE TEABAG,har,har,har.

Feb 13, 2013 1:32PM

Solyndra and a couple others is about all you've got...Probably had as much to do with State or District Politics as it did with this Administration ??


Just another "pork sandwich" that was given away by our Government....Because all of the Americans want to get off of the Big Oil Servitude. 


You can't have it both ways, and only blame "one person."

Seems that only a few years back..That Big oil was having a field day with us...But so soon we had OPEC banging on our door yelling help, and their butt buddies put us all in jeopardy; Started a couple un-funded, un-founded Wars...Got a lot of our kids killed...But OPEC wasn't giving any discounts.....Yeah SO SOON, that 49% want to forget...??

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