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2010 Obama State of the Union Address


2010 Obama State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama (Photo:Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images)

President Obama's 2010 State of the Union address was the first since assuming the presidency. (Read A Summary of Obama's 2012 State of the Union here.) As fitting for the first address since the end of the greatest recession since the Great Depression, it focused on the economy. Here is a summary of the economic elements.

Financial Reform

Obama called on Congress to pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. (It did on July 21, 2010.) It included the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. It regulated non-bank financial companies and the most complicated derivatives. It increased the Federal Reserve's authority to regulate the economy and prevent companies from becoming "too big to fail."

Small Business Aid

Obama promised additional economic stimulus for small businesses. This included $33 billion in tax credits for small businesses that add new workers or give raises beyond a cost-of-living increase. It raised the limit on SBA loan guarantees from $2 million to $5 million. It took $30 billion from the TARP program for 8,000 community banks (assets under $10 billion), which do half of all small business lending. Finally, $700,000 was added by eliminating capital gains taxes for investors in small businesses.

Help Homeowners

The President promised to step up programs to encourage re-financing so that homeowners can move into more affordable and sustainable mortgages. Not much changed. He also promised to allow bankruptcy proceedings to renegotiate all debts. This didn't happen. Find out how the 2005 bankruptcy bill helped cause the recession.

Budget Discipline

The President has announced the three year, non-security discretionary spending freeze, and a bipartisan Fiscal Commission. (Read the Fiscal Commission recommendations here.)

Increase Exports

As promised, Obama launched a National Export Initiative to help small businesses. Free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia have not yet been approved by Congress.

Tax Breaks to Keep Jobs at Home

The President called for an end for tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs. He did included a permanent extension of the Research and Experimentation tax credit in the FY 2012 budget.

Jobs Bill

Obama called for a jobs bill, which was passed by the Senate in February 2010. This was essentially the same as the small business stimulus package.

Focus on Terrorism

The President focused on rooting out terrorism. In 2011, a special ops team eliminated the head of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden.

Compare the 2010 SOTU to Other SOTUs

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