Obama: Everyone deserves a "fair shot"

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Pete Souza (Executive Office of the President of the United States)

Updated: 7:33 p.m. ET

In his third State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, President Obama will outline an "economic blueprint" for the United States that emphasizes the need to give all Americans a "fair shot," reiterating his longstanding message that "Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that does the same."

According to excerpts of the speech released by the White House, Mr. Obama will pledge his commitment to working with Republicans and Democrats alike to "build on" economic momentum - but, he promised, "I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place."

"No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits," Mr. Obama will say. "Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last - an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values."

Invoking the image of an ideal future America - one that leads others in education and technology, and "where we're in control of our own energy" - Mr. Obama will emphasize his belief in building a nation in which "everyone plays by the same set of rules."

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"....The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive," he will say. "No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."

"What's at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values," the remarks continue. "We have to reclaim them."

Mr. Obama's blueprint will focus on creating jobs in high-tech manufacturing and energy, and will draw a sharp contrast between the president and his Republican rivals for the presidency, all of whom oppose raising taxes for top-earning Americans. 

He is also expected to revive his call for the so-called "Buffett rule," which implement a tax overhaul requiring that capital gains and dividends be taxed at the same rate as income earned from work. (According to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, most Americans agree with the concept of the "Buffett rule."

The Buffett rule was named for the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who in an op-ed last year decried the fact that he paid a lower tax rate than some middle-income earners in his office, such as his secretary. To underscore this point on Tuesday, Warren Buffett's secretary, Debbie Bosanek, will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama at tonight's speech.

The president is expected to outline why he believes his plan will not only lead to sustainable economic growth, but will also more fairly serve average Americans who are struggling to support themselves.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011.
Pete Souza, Executive Office of the President of the United States

"Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last - an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values," the remarks say. "Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that does the same. It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody." 

Earlier today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed he paid a 14.5 percent tax rate on his $42 million in earnings -- most of which came from profits, dividends or interest from investments -- in the past two years. 

Romney, like several Republicans, has already delivered a preemptive rebuttal of the president's remarks, decrying the speech as "partisan planks for his re-election campaign."

"It's shameful for a President to use the State of the Union to divide our nation. And someone ought to tell him: In order for the economy to truly 'work for everyone,' everyone needs to be working," Romney told reporters on Tuesday. "If I were speaking to Congress tonight, I'd note that it's now been one thousand days since the Senate last passed a budget. That's irresponsible. It's unacceptable. And, as President, I will cut spending, cap spending, and finally balance the budget."

In an interview with "The CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley, House Speaker John Boehner accused Mr. Obama of having "checked out" of the political process and instead "spent the last four months doing nothing but campaigning."

"He hasn't been engaged with the process," Boehner said. "And if the president wants to work together, it takes two to tango."

"Well, you know, the big problem is this: The president's policies have failed. And I'm afraid, based on everything that I'm hearing about tonight's speech, that he's gonna offer more of the same: higher taxes, more spending, more regulation. These policies have not only not helped the economy-- I'd argue they've made it worse," he said.


See below for the excerpts of Mr. Obama's State of the Union Address, as prepared for delivery:

"Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we're in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren't so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded. "

...

"....The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What's at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them."

...

"As long as I'm President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.

No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits. Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last - an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values."

...

"Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same. It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody."

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