THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 28, 2014
Excerpts of the Presidents State of the Union Address
As Prepared for Delivery In the coming months, lets see where else we can make progress together. Lets make this a year of action. Thats what most Americans want for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. And what I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead. Lets face it: that belief has suffered some serious blows. Over more than three decades, even before the Great Recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition had eliminated a lot of good, middle-class jobs, and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on. Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by let alone get ahead. And too many still arent working at all. Our job is to reverse these tides. It wont happen right away, and we wont agree on everything. But what I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require Congressional action, and Im eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, thats what Im going to do. Opportunity is who we are. And the defining project of our generation is to restore that promise.
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