WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama will call for more investments to boost the middle class in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, telling the nation--and Republicans in Congress he is seeking to woo-- he wants "smarter," not bigger government "that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth."
Obama will devote most of the speech to domestic proposals to bolster the economy while touching on immigration reform and measures to control gun violence. Obama will underscore his economic priorities during a Friday event in Chicago.
In excerpts provided by the White House Obama is expected to say:
"It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth - a rising, thriving middle class.
"It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country - the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.
"It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours."
"A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs - that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?"
"Tonight, I'll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat - nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth."