Want to reignite growth of middle class Obama
months after his election victory President Barack Obama focused again on
his middle class political base saying it's "our generation's task" to
reignite the engine of America's growth - a thriving middle class.
is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's
economic growth - a rising, thriving middle class," he said Tuesday night
setting the agenda as for his second term in his State of the Union speech
to the Congress.
"It is our unfinished task to restore the basic
bargain that built this country -- the idea that if you work hard and meet
your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from,
what you look like, or who you love," Obama said.
role of government in making lives better, the president stressed that he
does not plan to increase the deficit and that he is not for "bigger
government" but "smarter government."
"It is our unfinished task
to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not
just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual
initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this
great nation of ours," Obama said.
Taking up themes from his
re-election campaign last year, Obama put an emphasis on economic growth
and job creation, adding that "nothing I'm proposing tonight should
increase our deficit by a single dime."
"It's not a bigger
government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and
invests in broad-based growth," he said.
Giving his fourth State
of the Union address to a joint session of the Congress presided over by
Vice President Joes Biden and Speaker John Boehner, Obama also continued
his push for Congress to act on politically volatile issues such as
immigration reform and gun violence.
In a major foreign policy
announcement, Obama said that this time next year, another 34,000 US
troops will have returned home from Afghanistan. The move will reduce by
more than half the current force level of 66,000 troops in Afghanistan.
the end of 2014, the planned official end of the combat mission, the White
House is considering a range of troop levels for Afghanistan, from as many
as 15,000 down to zero.
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