State of the Union

It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom

President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values—an America built to last.

We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do well while a growing number of Americans barely get by—or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

Stand with the President for an America that’s built to last

A fair shot, a fair share, and a fair set of rules

“Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same.”

• Our most immediate priority is passing the payroll tax cut without delay. We need to prevent a raise on the taxes of 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile.

• Homeowners shouldn’t have to wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get relief, so President Obama is sending Congress a plan to give every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low interest rates–without red tape, and without getting the runaround from big financial institutions.

• The Obama administration is establishing a Financial Crimes Unit to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people’s investments, and the administration will expand investigations into the abusive lending practices and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.

• Today, American consumers finally have a watchdog to look out for them with Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mortgage lenders, payday lenders, and credit card companies are no longer allowed to make risky bets with their consumers’ deposits.

Reviving the American manufacturing industry

“We have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it.”

• If you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies that decide to bring jobs home.

• No American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax—and every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here. 

• It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.

Investing in American Workers

“An economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country.”

• It’s time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work. The President called for a national commitment to train 2 million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job.

• Teachers matter: We need to give schools the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones.

• When students aren’t allowed to drop out, they do better. Every state should require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.

• Higher education should be affordable for every family in America. If colleges and universities can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding they get from taxpayers will go down.

• As part of comprehensive immigration reform, we need to give the hundreds of thousands of hardworking students who aren’t yet American citizens a chance to earn their citizenship, so they can invent new products and create new jobs here.

An economy fueled by energy sources grown and produced in America

“Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy.”

• We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and the Obama administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. 

• The easiest way to save money is to save energy. The President proposed to help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings—saving $100 billion over the next decade.

• The Department of Defense will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history—with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.

Ending subsidies for millionaires and billionaires

“Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else—like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.”

•  We don’t begrudge financial success in this country, but asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes is just common sense.

• When millionaires get tax breaks they don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit or somebody else has to make up the difference.

• Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.

• If you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up.

Reducing the influence of money on politics

President Obama outlined a number of measures to reduce the influence of money on politics and restore trust in America’s government.

• Ban lobbyists from fundraising in support of congressional candidates they have lobbied within the past two years

• Ban campaign bundlers from lobbying congressional officeholders for whom they have fundraised within the past two years

• Ban insider trading by members of Congress

• Limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries that have business before their committees, or from taking official action on a matter that could affect the value of their stocks and their own financial interests