The shadow of crisis has passed, said Obama

US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address focused on America’s economy that, he said, “is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.” Affirming 2014 has been a “breakthrough year,” Obama stressed the “unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.” – Over the past five years, US businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs, more than every other advanced economy combined – More globally, the situation is very positive with more American kids who are graduating than ever before, more of (the Americans) are insured than ever before – 10 million Americans got covered last year – America is as free from the grip of foreign oil as it has been in almost 30 years, Obama summed up.

Yet, “will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?,” Obama asked before talking a bit about his project of an updated tax code which he hopes will be a major contribution for the 2016 presidential campaign for the Democrats. “Let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college,” Obama said whereas 0.1% of the richest households – those who earn more than $2 million per year – will likely bear 80% of the fiscal effort.

The Republicans replied by publishing Obama’s “real State of the Union” and rejected most of the President’s satisfaction on the economy. Among 8 points, here are the 2 most forceful: first, about unemployment, the GOP wrote the labor force participation (62.7%) is at its lowest level since 1978 when Democrat Jimmy Carter was President; second, more insurance coverage meant a $4,154 increase in average cost of family health care premiums under Obama. As a result, the Republicans concluded, 53% of Americans want the GOP Congress to set the direction for America, not Obama.