Here are some of the talking points:
For the liberals: a renewed call to raise taxes on the very wealthy, a promise of more higher-education aid for the middle class, new federal initiatives in scientific research and energy technology, and a renewed focus on jobs, in the form of fresh spending for road and bridge repair and high-speed rail construction. There was a new push for immigration reform, a pledge to protect Social Security from efforts to privatize or slash benefits and a renewed vow to start withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan next summer.
For the conservatives: lower the corporate tax rate, reduce medical malpractice costs and let ROTC and military recruiters back on all college campuses.
Green projects & Innovation: He called for more spending on high-speed rail and high-speed Internet. And in a key concession, one sure to rile environmentalists, Obama called for spending on clean-energy technology - but for the first time included nuclear power, "clean" coal and natural gas.
- KTLA News
"With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with bio fuels, 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." Well said, Mr. President.Health care: The laugh of the night came when he referenced the disagreement between the parties over the health care bill - as if to say "disagreement" was an understatement. Personally, I think there is nothing funny about it and it is in fact very sad that our government can't just decide something and move on already. Obama promised medical malpractice reform and continuance of health care reform.
Education: "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." said, Obama. He spoke of his incentive Race to the Top that will be replacing Bush's No Child Left Behind policy. He urged students to become teachers to go to work for their country, wanting 100,000 new teachers in the next year.
Cutting Back: He mentioned that he plans on vetoing bills for pet projects or earmarks; Proposed deficit-cutting steps, including a five-year freeze in spending for some domestic programs.
"Governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties," he said. "We will move forward together, or not at all.""And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home."
"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."
"So yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn't discourage us. It should challenge us."
"The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation. "
"Now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in,"In a survey taken by the OC Register, 97% of the American people who watched tonight's speech, "liked him before and like him more now" 42% "Disliked him before and dislikes him less now", well, that's promising.
"America does big things and structure is strong.", Barack Obama. I think so too, Mr. President, I think so too. I believe in your vision. And I wish America the best in 2011.