SOTU focuses on jobs, manufacturing in the U.S.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Jeremy Hobson: President Obama heads to Iowa and Arizona today to highlight American manufacturing after his State of the Union address last night. It was a speech that focused heavily on the economy.

Barack Obama: Tonight my message to business leaders is simple. Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.

Specifically, President Obama proposed more incentives for U.S. manufacturing, better training for workers and relief for struggling homeowners.

Our Washington Bureau Chief John Dimsdale has more.


John Dimsdale: The president proposed tax incentives for manufacturers that make products in the U.S. and higher taxes on companies that outsource jobs. He set a goal of using community colleges to train two million Americans with job skills needed by local businesses.

Scott Paul: We haven't seen this amount of attention given to manufacturing by any president at least for twenty five years.

Scott Paul is executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Paul: It gives me some hope we can translate the ideas in this speech into some practical policy solutions that will help to grow jobs.

Obama also proposed refinancing millions of mortgages for struggling homeowners … saving them an average of 3-thousand dollars a year.

University of Maryland finance professor Clifford Rossi says the idea is nowhere near enough to solve the housing problem.

Clifford Rossi: From an economic impact standpoint it's a drop in the bucket.

Today, the president embarks on a three day tour of parts of the country hard hit by joblessness and foreclosures.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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