Obama: ‘The State of the Union is strong’

President Barack Obama said the United States is ready to “turn the page” on years of economic and foreign policy troubles and declared the nation is “strong.” “The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong,” he said. “At this moment?—?with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production?—?we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.” SEE ALSO: State of the Union: Promises made in 2014 – which got fulfilled? Obama noted the U.S. economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999, the unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis and more Americans are finishing college than ever before. He also said the U.S. has reduced its dependence on foreign oil, the nation’s deficits have been cut by two-thirds and millions of more Americans are now able to afford health care. “The verdict is clear,” Obama said. “Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.” But the president also said there are still many Americans who “still need our help.” He laid out a series of policies he’d like to see implemented in the last two years of his presidency to help those who are still struggling and to strengthen the middle class. The policies include one that would eliminate loopholes that currently allow the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Obama said the funds produced by the tax loophole closures—which would amount to $320 billion over a decade—would go toward paying for policies to help the middle class. Those policies include providing two free years of community college, extending sick leave to working families, lowering mortgage insurance premium rates and tripling the child care tax credit. “It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years, and for decades to come,” Obama said. “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?” SEE ALSO: Will Obama mention Cuba in State of the Union speech? The president also talked about U.S. efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and called on Congress to work on ending the five-decade-old embargo. On immigration, he said he still believes “it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.” Obama delivered his speech in front of a Congress controlled by Republicans, who will likely block his proposed economic policies. He said that despite the bickering and gridlock in Congress, he still believes Congress can come together and “do something different.” “If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand,” Obama said to members of Congress. “If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.” The president ended his speech by reminding Americans of his vision for the U.S. when he first made his national debut while giving the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Perhaps one of his most famous lines from that speech was: “There are no red states or blue states, just the United States.” Obama reiterated that message Tuesday night when he said: “I want [future generations] to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true, that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states, that we are the United States of America.” SEE ALSO: Dreamer to sit with First Lady at State of the UnionThe post Obama: ‘The State of the Union is strong’ appeared first on Voxxi.

President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address on January 20, 2015 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama said the United States is ready to “turn the page” on years of economic and foreign policy troubles and declared the nation is “strong.”

“The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong,” he said. “At this moment?—?with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production?—?we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”

SEE ALSO: State of the Union: Promises made in 2014 – which got fulfilled?

Obama noted the U.S. economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999, the unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis and more Americans are finishing college than ever before. He also said the U.S. has reduced its dependence on foreign oil, the nation’s deficits have been cut by two-thirds and millions of more Americans are now able to afford health care.

2015 State of the Union
Obama gave his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. Vice Presient Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio sat behind the president. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“The verdict is clear,” Obama said. “Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.”

But the president also said there are still many Americans who “still need our help.” He laid out a series of policies he’d like to see implemented in the last two years of his presidency to help those who are still struggling and to strengthen the middle class.

The policies include one that would eliminate loopholes that currently allow the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Obama said the funds produced by the tax loophole closures—which would amount to $320 billion over a decade—would go toward paying for policies to help the middle class. Those policies include providing two free years of community college, extending sick leave to working families, lowering mortgage insurance premium rates and tripling the child care tax credit.

“It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years, and for decades to come,” Obama said. “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”

SEE ALSO: Will Obama mention Cuba in State of the Union speech?

The president also talked about U.S. efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and called on Congress to work on ending the five-decade-old embargo. On immigration, he said he still believes “it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”

Obama delivered his speech in front of a Congress controlled by Republicans, who will likely block his proposed economic policies. He said that despite the bickering and gridlock in Congress, he still believes Congress can come together and “do something different.”

2015 State of the Union
First Lady Michelle Obama acknowledged applause before the president’s State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand,” Obama said to members of Congress. “If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.”

The president ended his speech by reminding Americans of his vision for the U.S. when he first made his national debut while giving the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Perhaps one of his most famous lines from that speech was: “There are no red states or blue states, just the United States.”

Obama reiterated that message Tuesday night when he said:

“I want [future generations] to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true, that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states, that we are the United States of America.”

SEE ALSO: Dreamer to sit with First Lady at State of the Union

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The post Obama: ‘The State of the Union is strong’ appeared first on Voxxi.