- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama will call on Congress to “reverse the tides” of income inequality.

“After four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better,” Mr. Obama will say, according to excerpts of his speech. “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 aren’t working at all,” the president will say.

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The president will warn lawmakers that he intends to take executive action to move ahead with his agenda if Congress won’t cooperate.

“In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together. Let’s make this a year of action,” he will say. “That’s 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.”

Mr. Obama is to say that the nation still has work to do to overcome the effects of the recession.

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“Our job is to reverse these tides,” he will say. ” It won’t happen right away, and we won’t 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 I’m 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, that’s what I’m going to do.”

He said of this work: “The defining project of our generation is to restore that promise.”