TONIGHT’S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH, ECONOMICS & POLITICS

President Obama delivers the State of the Union address tonight and the economy, of course, will be the topic du jour. Considering the venue, no one will be surprised to learn that a heavy dose of politics will be part of the mix. Here’s a sampling of the chatter on the intersection of the dismal science and Washington’s favorite sport as it relates to tonight’s show…
Obama State of the Union: spending, but restraint
AP/Jan 25
Eager to show some budget toughness, President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address to call for a five-year freeze on all discretionary government spending outside of national security, the White House said Tuesday.


Obama to Call for Nonsecurity Spending Freeze
Wall Street Journal/Jan 25
President Barack Obama will call for a five-year freeze on nonsecurity discretionary spending in his State of the Union address Tuesday night “as a down payment toward reducing the deficit,” a White House official said.
House endorses budget cuts before Obama’s speech
USA Today/Jan 25
Just hours before President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address, the GOP-led House easily endorsed cutting the federal budget to 2008 levels or less… The 256-165 vote was aimed at getting Democrats to go on record about federal spending, a key issue in the 2010 election that helped Republicans take the House majority.
GOP to hit Obama hard on economy
CNNMoney/Jan 25
Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s resident budget wonk, is expected to take the Obama administration to task Tuesday night for its handling of the economy and budget. Ryan, a 40-year-old Wisconsin native, will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. He will focus on unemployment, the debt and what the GOP terms a Washington spending binge that is hampering private sector growth, according to a senior Republican congressional source. “Ryan will make clear that in order to boost private-sector job creation we must cut spending,” the source said.
What to expect from Obama tonight on the economy
The Lookout/Jan 25
In what could be a difficult balancing act, Obama also will stress the need for deficit reduction — but he isn’t likely to offer many specifics. The White House has said that he won’t endorse a proposal by his commission on debt reduction to raise the retirement age or make other cuts to Social Security. A plan released last year by Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, who will give the Republican response to Obama’s speech, would make major cuts to Social Security.
Will Obama Call for Cutting the Corporate Rate in SOTU?
Tax Policy Foundation/Jan 25
In a recent preview of the State of the Union address emailed to supporters, President Obama said his number one focus “is going to be making sure that we are competitive, that we are growing, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future.” While these are sure to be popular themes with the American public, the question is what policies will he put forward to achieve those goals?
Goolsbee Says Obama to Focus on Economy in His Speech
Bloomberg/Jan 25
President Barack Obama would consider lowering corporate taxes as one of a variety of proposals intended to boost the economy, Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers, said today.
Reality Checks: 10 Economic Benchmarks for the State of the Union and GOP Response
Huffington Post/Jan 25
1. The federal government isn’t a runaway fiscal monster.
You’ll probably hear Rep. Ryan say that the United States government is relentlessly devouring everything in its past, consuming an ever-greater portion of our national prosperity. The president may even echo this notion, in a milder way. But it ain’t so.
Rape of the Union: Corporate Profits and Lost Jobs
Atlantic Wire/Jan 25
Looking ahead to tonight’s economically-themed State of the Union address from Barack Obama, one encounters conflicting numbers. In some significant ways, the US economy has appeared to recover, returning to non-recession levels in many measurements, and exhibiting growth as well. Corporate profits have soared, with major corporations and businesses posting their highest third quarter ever in fall of 2010 and increasing their share of the total economic output at the same time. Halliburton–can’t forget about them–just reported the doubling of their profits. What’s all this downer talk about a recession anyway? Yet for most of the country, the economy seems to be in more of a hobble than a gallop, with unemployment–one of the more palpable measurements of economic viability–still above 9 percent, more than double the roughly 4 percent joblessness in 2000.
The Economic State of the Nation Is Not Good
The Brookings Institution/Jan 24
The economic state of the nation is not good. The President will surely address this fact in his State of the Union address. Unfortunately he faces three big impediments which limit the actions he can take: political opposition, the budget, and the limited tools available to any President. He faces a dragon but lacks a sword.

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