President Barack Obama delivered a powerful State of the Union address to Congress last Tuesday night that laid out his vision for a second term on several major issues from unemployment and gun control to immigration reform, climate change and voting rights.
The president’s address built on themes from his inauguration speech last month.
It was important that the president’s speech highlighted the economy. Polls continue to show the economy is the top concern of most Americans.
From 1979 to 2007, the wealthiest 1 percent of the population saw their after-tax income grow by 275 percent, according to a 2011 study by the Congressional Budget Office. During the same period, the 60 percent of the population considered middle-income saw their after-tax income grow just shy of 40 percent.
With unemployment still near 8 percent, the president and Congress must give top priority to job creation and income inequality.
“We gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded,” Obama said. “Our economy is adding jobs—but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs—but for more than a decade wages and incomes have barely budged.”