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Economic issues top Obama's State of the Union address

01-26-2012 08:53 BJT

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama mounted his stanch stand on reviving the U.S. economy in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, proposing to build an economy to last as he geared up for his re-election campaign.


"We will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits," Obama said. He began his blueprint for an economy built to last with American manufacturing. He said Americans have to seize the huge opportunity to bring manufacturing back. He outlined a set of tax credits for companies that choose to hire and stay in America.

"It's time to stop rewarding business that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America," Obama said. "If you are an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you are a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers," he said.

In addition to tax cuts for manufacturing companies, Obama said other measures would be taken to make it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world. He said Americans are on the track to meet the goal of doubling U.S. exports ahead of schedule.

Obama also proposed to establish a Financial Crimes Unit to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people's investments. He said he would ask the Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.

"This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans," Obama showed his firm stance against reckless risk-taking.

"A return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help us protect our people and our economy," he stressed.

Obama promised to tax the wealthy more to build an fair economy and help jobless Americans get work. He also urged the Congress to aid troubled homeowners and said he prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security.


Obama also pushed for educational reform, calling on states to require all students to stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18 and increase student aid at a time of soaring college cost.

"To prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and education has to start earlier," he said.

"When students aren't allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma," he said. "So tonight, I call on every state to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen."

The president also called for doubling work-study jobs and taking steps to hold down college costs for middle-class families. Schools should be given resources to keep good teachers on the job and reward the best ones, he added.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill,
Washington D.C., the United States, Jan. 24, 2012. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

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