Americans must unleash creative spirit to protect jobs in shifting global economy: Obama

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has called on Americans to unleash their creative spirits, set aside their partisan differences and come together around a common goal of out-competing other nations in a rapidly shifting global economy.

Delivering his annual State of the Union address in the US Congress on Tuesday night, Obama outlined his “plan to win the future” - a blueprint for spending in key areas, like education, high-speed rail, clean-energy technology and high-speed Internet.

At the same time, according to the Washington Post, he proposed deficit-cutting measures, including a five-year freeze in spending on some domestic programs.

His message seemed intended to elevate his presidency above the bare-knuckled legislative gamesmanship that defined the first two years of his term.

With one eye toward his 2012 re-election campaign, Obama made the case that America had at long last emerged from economic darkness, and sought to reposition himself as the post-partisan, pragmatic leader who strode to victory in 2008.

The White House released the text of the speech prior to its delivery.

“At stake right now is not who wins the next election - after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world,” Obama said.

Obama did not address the hotly debated issue of gun control, nor did he lay out any specific plan for addressing the long-term costs of social security and medicare, the biggest fiscal challenges facing the government.

He also addressed the issue of immigration in general terms, and talked only briefly about the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama used his address to sketch out the philosophical framework that would govern the remaining two years of his first term in office, as well as his re-election campaign - and to draw a stark contrast between himself and Republicans, who are advocating deep and immediate cuts in federal spending.

He made the case for a leaner but still active government that can play a vital role in creating the conditions for Americans to succeed in an increasingly competitive economy. (ANI)

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