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According to excerpts released by the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver an ambitious speech when he addresses the nation at 9 p.m. ET today (Tuesday) in the annual State of the Union. His plans for 2012 will focus on job creation, rebuilding the middle class, U.S. government spending, and tax reform.
State of the Union 2012:
U.S. job creation: Americans will look to the president to shed light on how and when the U.S. economy will see employment growth.
President Obama's last jobs plan introduced in September was promptly shot down by Congress. He could outline yet another billion-dollar stimulus plan for job creation – and pressure lawmakers for their support.
The president will likely repeat aspects of his last plan and call for support for tax breaks that could fuel job growth. He's also expected to outline ways to increase U.S. manufacturing to bring back jobs that have been outsourced overseas.
The following excerpt was released by the White House:
"[W]e will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits. Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values."
Income inequality: President Obama is expected to appeal to the U.S. middle class by promising to reward hard-working Americans. He'll focus on ending the Wall Street abuses that contribute to middle-class suffering – an issue fueled by the recent Occupy Wall Street movement.
In recent speeches he's been focusing on fairness – giving everyone "a fair shot" and their "fair share." Look for that to be a theme of tonight's address.
The following was in the White House-released excerpts:
"Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that does the same. 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."
Government spending: With Congress increasing the debt ceiling last year and the super committee failing to agree on a debt-reduction plan, Americans want to know if the bloated U.S. budget will ever get fixed.
There are $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled for 2013. President Obama has warned Congress not to try to find ways around those cuts, but could put pressure on them to come up with alternatives before they go into place.
Americans also will be listening for clues in President Obama's speech about increased spending this year. The president has been criticized for adding to the budget deficit with new government programs.
Tax reform: President Obama supports tax reform that sees America's wealthiest paying more than the rest of the country. Democratic sources said he will support establishment of the "Buffett Rule," setting a minimum tax rate for people earning more than $1 million.
He also will have to address the Bush tax cuts expiring to the end of February. If he presses Congress for another extension, he'll have to give Americans an idea of where to make up the resulting gap in the budget.
Money Morning will run an analysis of the 2012 State of the Union tomorrow (Wednesday).
News and Related Story Links:
- Money Morning:
The Verdict Is In: End Congressional Perks
- CNN Politics:
Obama will challenge Congress in ambitious State of the Union
State of the Union: 4 things to look for
Why Obama will go after Wall Street
- USA Today:
Excerpts: Obama plans to attack income inequality