Obama pledges to reignite economy

WASHINGTON– President Barack Obama has urged Congress to back government action to revive the sluggish US economy in his annual State of the Union speech.

WASHINGTON– President Barack Obama has urged Congress to back government action to revive the sluggish US economy in his annual State of the Union speech.

The Democratic president promised ‘smarter’ rather than bigger government for “the many and
not just the few”.

Speaking in the House of Representatives, Obama told his audience that his generation’s task was “to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth - a rising, thriving middle
class”.

“We have cleared away the rubble of crisis and we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is strong,” Obama said in an hour-long address.

Delivering growth and jobs will be the “North Star that guides our efforts”, he added.

But he insisted that nothing he planned would raise the deficit “by a single dime”.

Obama proposed reforms to reduce the cost of Medicare, a federal healthcare programme for pensioners, but argued “we can’t just cut our way to prosperity”.

In his speech, Obama went on to call for federal investment in infrastructure, clean energy and education.

He asked Congress to raise the minimum wage and called for legislation to ensure women are paid equally to men.

In the Republican response, Senator Marco Rubio urged Obama to drop his ‘obsession’ with raising taxes.

BBC

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