President Obama is vowing to make 2014 a ‘breakthrough year’ for the United States. The president revealed his plans to cut through bureaucratic red tape and strengthen the middle class during his yearly State of the Union address on Jan. 28.
President Barack Obama‘s 2014 State of the Union address was powerful yet practical, with the president trying to get the public back on his side after a rocky year, and promising to turn 2014 into his “year of action” — even if it means bypassing Congress to make as many executive decisions as possible.
President Obama’s State Of The Union Address — Obama Calls For ‘Year Of Action’
As evidenced by the government shutdown in October, the stark division of opinion in Congress has prevented President Obama from getting much of anything done — but he’s prepared to enact some stronger executive action in 2014.
“America does not stand still and neither will I,” President Obama vowed during his speech. “Wherever I can take steps without legislation, I will.”
And he’s already taken one big step. Before his speech on Jan. 28, he announced an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers.
“Today the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here. And Tom Harkin and George Miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10,” he said. “It’s easy to remember: 10.10. This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It does not involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise.”
President Obama — We Need To Help Americans ‘Get Ahead’
President Obama was quick to highlight some major improvements the U.S. has seen lately — including the “lowest unemployment rate in over five years” and a “rebounding housing market.” But he bemoaned the fact that even in the midst of recovery, “too many americans are working more than ever just to get by; let alone get ahead.”
This time, however, Obama chose to focus not just on economic inequality, but on creating more opportunities for all Americans.
“What I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all — the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead,” he said.
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— Tierney McAfee