Full Obama State Of The Union Address

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Here is the text of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address as prepared for delivery at 9 p.m. ET.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the
112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we
mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this
Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend –
Gabby Giffords.

It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences
over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have
fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a
robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all
the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded
us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part
of something greater – something more consequential than party or
political preference.

We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country
where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still
bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common
creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different
than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to
be fulfilled.

That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of
cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this
moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight,
but whether we can work together tomorrow.

I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent
us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that
governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws
will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move
forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger
than party, and bigger than politics.

At stake right now is not who wins the next election – after all, we
just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take
root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and
industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the
leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light
to the world.

We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most
of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate
profits are up. The economy is growing again.

But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We
measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find
and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small
business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving
enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to
our children.

That’s the project the American people want us to work on. Together.

We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’
paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the
full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken
by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more
than one million private sector jobs created last year.

But we have more work to do. The steps we’ve taken over the last two
years may have broken the back of this recession – but to win the
future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the

Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when
finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business
downtown. You didn’t always need a degree, and your competition was
pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are
you’d have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and
the occasional promotion. Maybe you’d even have the pride of seeing your
kids work at the same company.

That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful.
I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the
vacant storefronts of once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the
frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their
jobs disappear – proud men and women who feel like the rules have been
changed in the middle of the game.

They’re right. The rules have changed. In a single generation,
revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do
business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same
work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire
workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an internet

Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some
changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they
started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater
emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new
technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world’s largest
private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.

So yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But
this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember – for all
the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers
predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous
economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No
country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to
inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world’s best colleges
and universities, where more students come to study than any other place
on Earth.

What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an
idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own
destiny. That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked
everything to come here. It’s why our students don’t just memorize
equations, but answer questions like “What do you think of that idea?
What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you
grow up?”

The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand
still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an
achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about
standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and
struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

Now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and
industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and
out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place
on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit,
and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s
how we’ll win the future. And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get

The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.

None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will
be, or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t
know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic
revolution. What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is
spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We are the nation
that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of
Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America,
innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.

Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because
it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research,
throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists
and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the
seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like
computer chips and GPS.

Just think of all the good jobs – from manufacturing to retail – that have come from those breakthroughs.

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the
launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them
to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. But
after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass
the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new
industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that
we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen
since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a
budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in
biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy
technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect
our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.

Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and
Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company. After
September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the
Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit
them hard.

Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being
used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the
country. In Robert’s words, “We reinvented ourselves.”

That’s what Americans have done for over two hundred years:
reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen
Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just
handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s
scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds
in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy,
we’ll fund the Apollo Projects of our time.

At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way
to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of
our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can
break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country
to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m
asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we
currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but
they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing
yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy
jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re
selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal:
by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy
sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean
coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I
urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.

Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to
America’s success. But if we want to win the future – if we want
innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas – then we also
have to win the race to educate our kids.

Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs
will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet,
as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school.
The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other
nations. America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people
with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us – as
citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what’s necessary to give
every child a chance to succeed.

That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes
and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in
a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework
gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of
the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the
science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard
work and discipline.

Our schools share this responsibility. When a child walks into a
classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high
performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test. That’s why
instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we
launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all fifty states, we
said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher
quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”

Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools
in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education
each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for
teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by
Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the
country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year
as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and
focused on what’s best for our kids.

You see, we know what’s possible for our children when reform isn’t
just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals;
school boards and communities.

Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was
rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two
rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma.
Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the
first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it
possible wiped away tears when a student said “Thank you, Mrs. Waters,
for showing… that we are smart and we can make it.”

Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a
child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the
classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as “nation builders.” Here
in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children
with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop
making excuses for bad ones. And over the next ten years, with so many
Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000
new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and

In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating
their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our
nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child –
become a teacher. Your country needs you.

Of course, the education race doesn’t end with a high school diploma.
To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American.
That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to
banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of
students. And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make
permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of

Because people need to be able to train for new jobs and careers in
today’s fast-changing economy, we are also revitalizing America’s
community colleges. Last month, I saw the promise of these schools at
Forsyth Tech in North Carolina. Many of the students there used to work
in the surrounding factories that have since left town. One mother of
two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry
since she was 18 years old. And she told me she’s earning her degree in
biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs
are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their
dreams too. As Kathy said, “I hope it tells them to never give up.”

If we take these steps – if we raise expectations for every child,
and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day
they’re born until the last job they take – we will reach the goal I set
two years ago: by the end of the decade, America will once again have
the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of
thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American
citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing
to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and
pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of
deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and
universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them
back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the
issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans
and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the
millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I
know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let’s
agree to make that effort. And let’s stop expelling talented,
responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new
businesses, and further enrich this nation.

The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To
attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable
ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to
high-speed internet.

Our infrastructure used to be the best – but our lead has slipped.
South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do.
Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in their roads and railways
than we do. China is building faster trains and newer airports.
Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure,
they gave us a “D.”

We have to do better. America is the nation that built the
transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, and
constructed the interstate highway system. The jobs created by these
projects didn’t just come from laying down tracks or pavement. They came
from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station or the new

Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st
century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the
hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble
these efforts.

We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and
bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private
investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to
high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it
takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying –
without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest
are already underway.

Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to
deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all
Americans. This isn’t just about a faster internet and fewer dropped
calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age.
It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small
business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world.
It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning
building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a
digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats
with her doctor.

All these investments – in innovation, education, and infrastructure –
will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. But
to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that
stand in the way of their success.

Over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to
benefit particular companies and industries. Those with accountants or
lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all
the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the
world. It makes no sense, and it has to change.

So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the
system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the
savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years –
without adding to our deficit.

To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of
doubling our exports by 2014 – because the more we export, the more jobs
we create at home. Already, our exports are up. Recently, we signed
agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs
in the United States. And last month, we finalized a trade agreement
with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs. This
agreement has unprecedented support from business and labor; Democrats
and Republicans, and I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible.

Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade
agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with
American workers, and promote American jobs. That’s what we did with
Korea, and that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with
Panama and Colombia, and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade

To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of
government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary
burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to
create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people.
That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century. It’s
why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is
safe to breathe. It’s why we have speed limits and child labor laws.
It’s why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden
fees and penalties by credit card companies, and new rules to prevent
another financial crisis. And it’s why we passed reform that finally
prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients.

Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the
new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be
improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making
care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can
start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed
an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.

What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance
companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing
condition. I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient
from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to
tell Jim Houser, a small business owner from Oregon, that he has to go
back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this
law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving
uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage. So
instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what
needs fixing and move forward.

Now, the final step – a critical step – in winning the future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.

We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a
decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was
necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s

But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront
the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not
sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means.
They deserve a government that does the same.

So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual
domestic spending for the next five years. This would reduce the deficit
by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring
discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight
Eisenhower was president.

This freeze will require painful cuts. Already, we have frozen the
salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I’ve
proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action
programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of
billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our
military can do without.

I recognize that some in this Chamber have already proposed deeper
cuts, and I’m willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do
without. But let’s make sure that we’re not doing it on the backs of
our most vulnerable citizens. And let’s make sure what we’re cutting is
really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in
innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by
removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but
it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.

Now, most of the cuts and savings I’ve proposed only address annual
domestic spending, which represents a little more than 12% of our
budget. To make further progress, we have to stop pretending that
cutting this kind of spending alone will be enough. It won’t.

The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this
crystal clear. I don’t agree with all their proposals, but they made
important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle
our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in
domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending
through tax breaks and loopholes.

This means further reducing health care costs, including programs
like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to
our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising
costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that
repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars
to our deficit. Still, I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down
costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical
malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.

To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution
to strengthen Social Security for future generations. And we must do it
without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or
people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future
generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement
income to the whims of the stock market.

And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a
permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.
Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from
our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.

It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.

In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to
simplify the individual tax code. This will be a tough job, but members
of both parties have expressed interest in doing this, and I am prepared
to join them.

So now is the time to act. Now is the time for both sides and both
houses of Congress – Democrats and Republicans – to forge a principled
compromise that gets the job done. If we make the hard choices now to
rein in our deficits, we can make the investments we need to win the

Let me take this one step further. We shouldn’t just give our people a
government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government
that’s more competent and efficient. We cannot win the future with a
government of the past.

We live and do business in the information age, but the last major
reorganization of the government happened in the age of black and white
TV. There are twelve different agencies that deal with exports. There
are at least five different entities that deal with housing policy. Then
there’s my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of
salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles
them in when they’re in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more
complicated once they’re smoked.

Now, we have made great strides over the last two years in using
technology and getting rid of waste. Veterans can now download their
electronic medical records with a click of the mouse. We’re selling
acres of federal office space that hasn’t been used in years, and we
will cut through red tape to get rid of more. But we need to think
bigger. In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal
to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way
that best serves the goal of a more competitive America. I will submit
that proposal to Congress for a vote – and we will push to get it

In the coming year, we will also work to rebuild people’s faith in
the institution of government. Because you deserve to know exactly how
and where your tax dollars are being spent, you will be able to go to a
website and get that information for the very first time in history.
Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with
lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done:
put that information online. And because the American people deserve to
know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet
projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to
my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.

A 21st century government that’s open and competent. A government
that lives within its means. An economy that’s driven by new skills and
ideas. Our success in this new and changing world will require reform,
responsibility, and innovation. It will also require us to approach that
world with a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs.

Just as jobs and businesses can now race across borders, so can new
threats and new challenges. No single wall separates East and West; no
one rival superpower is aligned against us.

And so we must defeat determined enemies wherever they are, and build
coalitions that cut across lines of region and race and religion.
America’s moral example must always shine for all who yearn for freedom,
justice, and dignity. And because we have begun this work, tonight we
can say that American leadership has been renewed and America’s standing
has been restored.

Look to Iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have
left with their heads held high; where American combat patrols have
ended; violence has come down; and a new government has been formed.
This year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi
people, while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of Iraq.
America’s commitment has been kept; the Iraq War is coming to an end.

Of course, as we speak, al Qaeda and their affiliates continue to
plan attacks against us. Thanks to our intelligence and law enforcement
professionals, we are disrupting plots and securing our cities and
skies. And as extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our
borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with
respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that American
Muslims are a part of our American family.

We have also taken the fight to al Qaeda and their allies abroad. In
Afghanistan, our troops have taken Taliban strongholds and trained
Afghan Security Forces. Our purpose is clear – by preventing the
Taliban from reestablishing a stranglehold over the Afghan people, we
will deny al Qaeda the safe-haven that served as a launching pad for

Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under
the control of the insurgency. There will be tough fighting ahead, and
the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance. But we are
strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an
enduring partnership with them. This year, we will work with nearly 50
countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we
will begin to bring our troops home.

In Pakistan, al Qaeda’s leadership is under more pressure than at any
point since 2001. Their leaders and operatives are being removed from
the battlefield. Their safe-havens are shrinking. And we have sent a
message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of
the globe: we will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat

American leadership can also be seen in the effort to secure the
worst weapons of war. Because Republicans and Democrats approved the New
START Treaty, far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed.
Because we rallied the world, nuclear materials are being locked down
on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its
obligations, the Iranian government now faces tougher and tighter
sanctions than ever before. And on the Korean peninsula, we stand with
our ally South Korea, and insist that North Korea keeps its commitment
to abandon nuclear weapons.

This is just a part of how we are shaping a world that favors peace
and prosperity. With our European allies, we revitalized NATO, and
increased our cooperation on everything from counter-terrorism to
missile defense. We have reset our relationship with Russia,
strengthened Asian alliances, and built new partnerships with nations
like India. This March, I will travel to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador
to forge new alliances for progress in the Americas. Around the globe,
we are standing with those who take responsibility – helping farmers
grow more food; supporting doctors who care for the sick; and combating
the corruption that can rot a society and rob people of opportunity.

Recent events have shown us that what sets us apart must not just be
our power – it must be the purpose behind it. In South Sudan – with our
assistance – the people were finally able to vote for independence
after years of war. Thousands lined up before dawn. People danced in the
streets. One man who lost four of his brothers at war summed up the
scene around him: “This was a battlefield for most of my life. Now we
want to be free.”

We saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the
people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator. And tonight,
let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of
Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people.

We must never forget that the things we’ve struggled for, and fought
for, live in the hearts of people everywhere. And we must always
remember that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this
struggle are the men and women who serve our country.

Tonight, let us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation
is united in support of our troops and their families. Let us serve
them as well as they have served us – by giving them the equipment they
need; by providing them with the care and benefits they have earned; and
by enlisting our veterans in the great task of building our own nation.

Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black,
white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu,
Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting
this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they
love because of who they love. And with that change, I call on all of
our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and
the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past.
It is time to move forward as one nation.

We should have no illusions about the work ahead of us. Reforming our
schools; changing the way we use energy; reducing our deficit – none of
this is easy. All of it will take time. And it will be harder because
we will argue about everything. The cost. The details. The letter of
every law.

Of course, some countries don’t have this problem. If the central
government wants a railroad, they get a railroad – no matter how many
homes are bulldozed. If they don’t want a bad story in the newspaper, it
doesn’t get written.

And yet, as contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy
can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would trade
places with any other nation on Earth.

We may have differences in policy, but we all believe in the rights
enshrined in our Constitution. We may have different opinions, but we
believe in the same promise that says this is a place where you can make
it if you try. We may have different backgrounds, but we believe in the
same dream that says this is a country where anything’s possible. No
matter who you are. No matter where you come from.

That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is
why a working class kid from Scranton can stand behind me. That dream
is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s
Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest
nation on Earth.

That dream – that American Dream – is what drove the Allen Brothers
to reinvent their roofing company for a new era. It’s what drove those
students at Forsyth Tech to learn a new skill and work towards the
future. And that dream is the story of a small business owner named
Brandon Fisher.

Brandon started a company in Berlin, Pennsylvania that specializes in
a new kind of drilling technology. One day last summer, he saw the news
that halfway across the world, 33 men were trapped in a Chilean mine,
and no one knew how to save them.

But Brandon thought his company could help. And so he designed a
rescue that would come to be known as Plan B. His employees worked
around the clock to manufacture the necessary drilling equipment. And
Brandon left for Chile.

Along with others, he began drilling a 2,000 foot hole into the
ground, working three or four days at a time with no sleep. Thirty-seven
days later, Plan B succeeded, and the miners were rescued. But because
he didn’t want all of the attention, Brandon wasn’t there when the
miners emerged. He had already gone home, back to work on his next

Later, one of his employees said of the rescue, “We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but we do big things.”

We do big things.

From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of
ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.

We are a nation that says, “I might not have a lot of money, but I
have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family
of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might
not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I
need to try. I’m not sure how we’ll reach that better place beyond the
horizon, but I know we’ll get there. I know we will.”

We do big things.

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And
tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that
our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our
union is strong.

Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.

viw the WSJ

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Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture


WaterWings's picture

I just wanted to see if the Prostitute-in-Chief was going to mention gun laws and common sense in the same sentence.

That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

I guess we're still exceptional.

nmewn's picture

I saw it too...I couldn't go on.

The constitutional law professor speaketh of what he knows not.

New_Meat's picture

jobs, jobs, civility, freeze, jobs, deficit reduction, civility, transparency, gun control, jobs, civility, hic, bipartisanship, civility, jobs, civility, ... er ... hic, jobs, hic, civilllitee, hic

Who talked me into thish dam game?


nmewn's picture

Yeah, I was going to attempt a drunk blog post on it...I gagged on democracy...threw up on his trading bodies for pandering points in Tucson...then it was all over except the clean up.

New_Meat's picture

I'm forcing myself to watch real-time.

Just did the "superbowl" line, I'm with the Packers-'White House on three'.


WaterWings's picture

Barry left out one thing:

"Americans must drink more Kool-aid."

WaterWings's picture

"Republicans tell you that a little almond flavor in your Kool-aid is something to be afraid of. I wanna know what they're talking about."


El Hosel's picture

  Nice Tyler..... ZH is first in the news that matters, even when the said news really doesn't matter!


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

For crying out loud, Obama's speech is even longer than Cognitive Dissonance's last article. At least CD had some pretty pictures to look at. :>)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

He checked.

CD - 3,942 words and pretty pictures.

Obama - 6,823 words and 535 blood suckers, 9 Supreme's, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and various other hanger-on's.

CD demands an apology from those who said he writes long. :>)

Hulk's picture

We are all, very, very sorry...

Hephasteus's picture

I'm a hell of alot sorrier than Hulk. He's just not being sincere. Make him cry. LOL

andybev01's picture

I'd rather see boehner cry than Pelosi signaling her alien overlords with her creepy blinking morse code.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You're just saying that. CD can tell. :>)

Salinger's picture

I think I caught a glimpse of Project Mahem in the gallery

New_Meat's picture

Trying to match up to Fidel's standard.

pods's picture

I see that CD is enjoying Third Person Tuesday.  Pods likes Third Person Tuesday too.

"Jimmy really likes Elaine."


Pants McPants's picture

Read you article earlier today, CD.  Enjoyed it - thanks for sharing it.  As a (relative) newbie to the site I unfortunately missed the brilliance of the contributors you mentioned/mourn....but I am pleased to know you will continue to contribute. 

The trolls will get bored - keep up the good work.

frankoo's picture

  If  you watched, you got to see, that the first lady has good "Back".

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

CD would rather engage in religious self mutilation rituals. Less pain involved.

Convolved Man's picture


As an American, I am especially proud that after the next shuttle flight NASA will no longer have an operational man rated launch vehicle, and will not even be able to launch a chimpanzee into orbit -- something they accomplished almost 50 years ago.

seabiscuit's picture

@CD  I read ALL of your postings and enjoy all of them, but sadly, you are not as popular.

I suggest that you add a heaping helping of a festering pile to your words, emply half truths, and a pinch of empty promises.

Yes you can!-


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

CD agrees.

Lowest common denominator.....bitchez. And plenty of naked women. :>)

bankonzhongguo's picture

I want to supportive and interested, but this guy and his wrecking crew have no positive impact upon the realities of my world, my country, my economy, or my community.

The opposite of love is not hate - its apathy.

I just don't care what that character says. 

He's lied too much too often.

It would be a sign of mental illness to put any more trust into this administration, or congress for that matter.

Good luck to everyone.

bob_dabolina's picture

I stopped at "Mr. Speaker"

I know the rest of it is probably just regurgitated bullshit.

topcallingtroll's picture

You didnt miss anything. I want my ten minutes back.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. (POMO/monetization) Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.

...followed by...

But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children (NO POMO/no monetization).

What contradiction?


We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.  Allow me to once again remind everyone that subsidies subsidize the consumers, not the producers.  

That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. Either he is high, or has not read any of Tyler's articles on POMO commissions.


A government that lives within its means.  And a unicorn in every manger!   Good night.

NOTW777's picture

gee, how long will he milk the tucson shooting

another campaign/memorial service

KnightsofNee's picture

lol! The state of our union is strong. And what is the combined national debt, both funded and unfunded liabilities? What a douche!

NOTW777's picture

he could just tell the truth:

we're broke, ben is running a ponzi scheme, big banks and unions are doing great and we have no leadership

FLUSA.com's picture

Obama just awoke from a cold sweat....realizing he REALLY IS the President of the US and not simply playing some SimCity/Farmvile game.....

Ivanovich's picture

Kudos to ZH.  Thank you for saving me the time in listening to that chump on television.  Now I can spend my time doing something productive. 



WestVillageIdiot's picture

" Now I can spend my time doing something productive. "

Like spanking the monkey.  At least you get a little exercise.  Listening to this empty suit provides no benefit to the listener.  In fact it does harm.  Your blod pressure will go up.  Your hatred of humanity will rise.  And the realization that we are truly fucked will probably keep you from getting a good night's rest. 

djsmps's picture

I'm 58. That may be the worst State of the Union address I've heard. I don't think I listened to any of Bush's speeches, though.


It says nothing. We're screwed.

topcallingtroll's picture

Boring predictable platitudes. I cant believe i read that.....now seriously....what is paris hilton up to?

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I couldn't read it.  I just couldn't.  I spent ten minutes pulling rogue hairs out of my testicles.  It was much more rewarding. 

topcallingtroll's picture

Hmmm.....maybe i will give it a try.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

You want to pull rogue hairs out of my testicles?  That is sick.

topcallingtroll's picture

Well...you made it sound kinda interesting. Same.time next year?

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I'll be the one wearing the leather mask. 

seabiscuit's picture

That is a requisite part of the enhanced TSA pat down.

Alex De Large's picture

and that's why I come to ZH