Obama: U.S. Must Innovate to Meet Global Challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama stressed the need for America to innovate in order to compete with the rest of the world and spark job creation at home in his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, repeatedly urging Congress to cooperate to meet this challenge.

"At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else," Obama said. "It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It's whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world."
President Barack Obama's delivers his the State of the Union address in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011.

In the wide-ranging speech that moved to the audience to applause numerous times, Obama provided a number of specifics from a policy standpoint, saying he wants to freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years, simplify the individual tax code, devise a plan to restructure the federal government, and make permanent the tuition tax credit worth $10,000 for four years of college, among other goals.

The address comes at the halfway mark in Obama's presidency and follows the Republican party seizing control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections in November. While opinion polls about what kind of job the president is doing have improved of late with the stock market closing 2010 with smart gains and rallying to start the year, Obama is still under pressure to show progress and improvement on a number of fronts with the 2012 elections already starting to loom.

"Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again," he said. "But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer."

Calls for cooperation were sprinkled throughout the speech as Obama appealed to the members of the House and Senate to come together and get things done.

"New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans," he said. "We will move forward together, or not at all - for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics."

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