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Beyond the Whining, What Did the President Propose?

The President, not too surprisingly, said a lot last night in the State of the Union – and by that, I mean he used a lot of words. But what did the President actually propose?

In short – it was the same thing we’ve been hearing from him since his campaign – the government creates jobs, the government needs to control healthcare, and the government needs to spend a lot on education. But it was notable in its inconsistency – proposing a (partial, and small) spending freeze while proposing massive government “investment” in numerous programs – and its disconnect from the free markets.

Here is a quick summary:

Raise Taxes:

• “I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks.”
• “finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas”
• “But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers, and those making over $250,000 a year.”


Tax Cuts With Strings – Targeted, Not broad-based cuts:

• “new small business tax credit”
• “eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment”
• “provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment”
• “give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy efficient”
• “give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs in the United States of America”
• “That’s why we’re nearly doubling the child care tax credit”
• “expanding the tax credit for those who start a nest egg”
• “give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants”
• “we will extend our middle-class tax cuts”


Regulation

• “We can’t allow financial institutions to take risks that threaten the whole economy”
• “Require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my Administration or Congress.”
• “And it’s time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office.”
• “urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong [the Supreme Court ruling]”
• “We are going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws – so that women get equal pay for an equal day’s work.”

Spending – General:

• “We need to encourage American innovation” (through “investment”)
• “launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security”
• “we will step up re-financing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages.”
• “jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight.”

Spending Freeze and Reform

• “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will.”
• “calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single website before there’s a vote”


Spending – Education

• “When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all fifty states”
• “urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges”
• “And let’s tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required:
o “to pay only ten percent of their income on student loans,
o “and all of their debt will be forgiven after twenty years – and forgiven after ten years if they choose a career in public service.”

Healthcare (Spending, Regulation and Taxes)

• “And it is precisely to relieve the burden on middle-class families that we still need health insurance reform.”

National Security

• We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August.
• “We will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity. But make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home.”
• “To reduce our stockpiles and launchers, while ensuring our deterrent, the United States and Russia are completing negotiations on the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly two decades.”
• “That is why North Korea now faces increased isolation, and stronger sanctions – sanctions that are being vigorously enforced.”
• “And as Iran’s leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: they, too, will face growing consequences.”
• “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”

Immigration

• “And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system – to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nations.”

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