2012 Obama State of the Union Address:
For 2012, he presented an "economic blueprint" to reduce income inequality. Obama's blueprint is the opposite of trickle-down economics, which basically says what's good for business is good for the economy.
The Economic Blueprint:
The blueprint included these steps to develop energy:
- Create 60,000 jobs a year by developing natural gas.
- Reduce tax credits for oil exploration and give tax credits for alternative energy development.
- Allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes and direct the Navy to purchase enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.
In the area of free trade, Obama mentioned that he increased exports by signing free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama in 2011. He will set up a Trade Investigation Unit to enforce trade agreements. However, this was in opposition to his 2008 trade platform, which opposed these agreements. While a candidate, he promised to renegotiate NAFTA -- but has never fulfilled that promise.
- Train two million of the structurally unemployed.
- Make college more affordable by extending the tuition tax credit and doubling the number of work/study jobs.
- Address the housing crisis by giving mortgage holders $3,000 a year with a refinancing program, funded by a small fee on the big banks.
- Retain regulations, like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, that legislates oversight of derivatives, preventing another financial crisis.
- Ban insider trading among Congressmen.
Obama's Blueprint Won't Move Forward Without Congress:
- The payroll tax cut and extended unemployment benefits will expire in February.
- The American Jobs Act has languished since it was introduced in September.
- Automatic spending cuts, part of the debt ceiling crisis resolution this past July, will kick in.
- The extension of the Bush tax cuts expires at the end of 2012.
- The American Jobs Act will create 5 million jobs.
- The Jobs Act includes extending the payroll tax cut, which creates more than 2 million jobs alone.
- Extending unemployment benefits creates more than 1 million jobs, because the unemployed are more likely to spend every penny they get on essentials.
- Better education is needed to make Americans more competitive. This will reduce unemployment, income inequality and the need to outsource jobs.
- A program to help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages would help reduce the foreclosure pipeline that is slowing recovery of the housing market.
- Eliminating tax cuts to the wealthy won't hurt the economy, as families in high tax brackets are more likely to save than spend. The revenue saved will reduce the budget deficit and debt.