STATE OF THE UNION by President Barack Obama
"A great education isn’t all we need in this new economy. We also need benefits and protections that provide a basic measure of security. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package for 30 years are sitting in this chamber. That’s why Social Security and Medicare are more important than ever. We shouldn’t weaken them; we should strengthen them."
"Say a hardworking American loses his job -- we shouldn’t just make sure that he can get unemployment insurance; we should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that’s ready to hire him. If that new job doesn’t pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills. And even if he’s going from job to job, he should still be able to save for retirement and take his savings with him. That’s the way we make the new economy work better for everybody."
"After years now of record corporate profits, working families won’t get more opportunity or bigger paychecks just by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at everybody else’s expense. Middle-class families are not going to feel more secure because we allowed attacks on collective bargaining to go unanswered."
"Food Stamp recipients did not cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did."
"Immigrants aren’t the principal reason wages haven’t gone up; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns."
"It’s sure not the average family watching tonight that avoids paying taxes through offshore accounts."
"In this new economy, workers and start-ups and small businesses need more of a voice, not less. The rules should work for them. I plan to lift up the many businesses who’ve figured out that doing right by their workers or their customers or their communities ends up being good for their shareholders"
"Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there. We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight. And 12 years later, we were walking on the moon."
"All the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. And when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead -- they call us."
"In today’s world, we’re threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states."
"Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages -- pose an enormous danger to civilians; they have to be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. We don’t need to build them up to show that we’re serious, and we sure don't need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is somehow representative of one of the world’s largest religions. We just need to call them what they are -- killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed."
"If this Congress is serious about winning this war, and wants to send a message to our troops and the world, authorize the use of military force against ISIL. Take a vote."
"If you doubt America’s commitment -- or mine -- to see that justice is done, just ask Osama bin Laden."
"We can’t try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis, even if it's done with the best of intentions. That’s not leadership; that’s a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately will weaken us. It’s the lesson of Vietnam; it's the lesson of Iraq -- and we should have learned it by now."
"The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity, and our openness, and the way we respect every faith."
"When politicians insult Muslims, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. It betrays who we are as a country"
"Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise, or when even basic facts are contested, or when we listen only to those who agree with us. Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get all the attention. And most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter; that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some special interest."
"We've got to make it easier to vote, not harder."
"The America I know and love (is) Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Undaunted by challenge. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."