President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech Tuesday said he wanted more private investment in infrastructure and technology, lower corporate taxes, and the removal of tax cuts for the wealthy.
He said Social Security should be strengthened, “without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.” He gave no specifics about how to do so.
Mr. Obama said lobbyists have “rigged the tax code” hitting businesses with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world and said Congress should simplify the tax system, eliminate loopholes and use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate.
Mr. Obama also said the country cannot afford the current tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.
“Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break,” he said.
“It's not about punishing their success. It's about promoting America's success.”
Mr. Obama promised to send Congress a budget that invests in biomedical research, information technology, green energy technology and infrastructure.
Infrastructure investments he detailed were high-speed rail accessible for 80% of Americans within 25 years; bridge and road construction; and high-speed wireless coverage for 98% of the country.
“All these investments – in innovation, education, and infrastructure – will make America a better place to do business and create jobs,” Mr. Obama said.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. who delivered the Republican response, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who delivered the Tea Party response, both called for lowering taxes and reducing government spending and regulation, but did not specifically address Mr. Obama's call for infrastructure and technology investment.