States who work to support higher education will receive backup funding at the federal level, Obama said.
He also took time to reiterate points from his Jan. 24 State of the Union address, including his appeals to Congress to give incentives to businesses who choose to remain in the U.S. rather than outsource jobs overseas.
Rebuilding the American manufacturing industry is key to rebuilding the economy, he said, as is the need for realization that not all the jobs that have gone overseas are likely to return.
Another route to improving the economy, he said, is through pursuing green energy such as wind and solar power and biofuels.
“Congress needs to stop giving taxpayer dollars to an oil industry that’s never been more profitable, and double down on a clean energy future that’s never been more promising,” Obama said.
Michigan, and Detroit in particular, he said, could play a part in the drive toward clean energy by creating more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.
In discussing the national deficit and tax rates, Obama advocated following the Buffett Rule – those who make more than $1 million per year should have to pay at least 30 percent in taxes, while those who make less than $250,000 a year would not face increased taxes.
“This is part of the idea of shared responsibility,” he said. “I know a lot of folks have been running around calling this class warfare. I think asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes is just common sense.”
People in this country don’t begrudge wealth, Obama said, but rather, they need to understand that it’s important for everyone to do their share in creating a stronger America.
“Here in America, we don’t give up,” he said in closing. “We make sure everybody has a chance to get ahead. And if we work in common purpose with common resolve, we can build an economy that gives everybody a fair shot.”
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