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President Talks Jobs, Recovery, and Deficits

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Global Competitiveness at Center of State of the Union [Wall Street Journal] "President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday to ask the nation to meet the challenges of a global economy, framing what he called a competitiveness agenda that includes traditional Democratic proposals like increased education spending, alongside gestures to Republicans seeking deep budget cuts. Mr. Obama said the nation needs to address its rising budget deficit but couldn't afford to back away from new spending on programs that he said would allow the U.S. to compete with rising powers like China and India—an approach Republicans were quick to reject as unaffordable. Mr. Obama also laid out areas of potential cooperation between the parties, such as a call to rewrite the corporate tax code."

President Talks Jobs, Recovery, and Deficits [NY Times] "President Obama challenged Americans on Tuesday night to unleash their creative spirit, set aside their partisan differences and come together around a common goal of outcompeting other nations in a rapidly shifting global economy. In a State of the Union address to a newly divided Congress, Mr. Obama outlined what he called a plan to “win the future” — a blueprint for spending in critical areas like education, high-speed rail, clean-energy technology and high-speed Internet to help the United States weather the unsettling impact of globalization and the challenge from emerging powers like China and India. 'The rules have changed,' he said. But at the same time he proposed budget-cutting measures, including a five-year freeze in spending on some domestic programs that he said would reduce the deficit by $400 billion over 10 years."

Obama's Address 'Business Focused', Says Steve Schwarzman [CNBC] "President Obama's State of the Union address was 'business focused' and is part of a welcome move to the center, a major private equity player and sometime critic of the president told CNBC Wednesday. 'I think that is clearly happening,' Stephen Schwarzman, founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group said in a live interview with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo at Davos. 'It is clearly really central to an economic recovery. Previously there was sufficient antagonism and uncertainty,' he said."

Business Leaders Obama Skeptics—Especially in Energy Sector [Financial Times] "Business responses to President Obama’s State of the Union address reflected praise for his rhetorical commitment to “winning the future” and his support for innovation, education and infrastructure, while raising concerns about the details of his policy proposals. The sharpest division was in the energy industry, where supporters of renewables welcomed the president’s new target to derive 80 percent of America’s power from 'clean' sources by 2035, while the American Petroleum Institute warned that the reiterated plan to cut tax breaks for oil and gas companies would 'stifle' jobs and investment."

"European Markets Rise After Obama’s Speech" [NY Times] "European markets rose Wednesday on President Obama’s vow to create jobs and spur growth, and on the easing in tensions over Europe’s debt crisis. Investors found reasons to be optimistic in Mr. Obama’s annual State of the Union speech, particularly his proposal to cut corporate taxes and increase spending for education, innovation and infrastructure."