Jobs: Tax on firms that send jobs overseas, breaks for those that don't; vet job corps
Immigration: Beefed-up border protection; path to citizenship for undocumented students
Energy: More offshore drilling, gas exploration; greater push for clean technologies
Government: Ban on "insider trading" in Congress, streamlining of bureaucracy
Here are key initiatives from President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night:
• Implementation of a minimum tax for multinational companies, which would fund additional tax breaks for companies that create jobs in or move them to the United States. Even bigger breaks for high-tech companies, and financing help for manufacturers locating in economically hard-hit areas.
• The creation of a China task force to monitor trade violations. Aggressive inspections to intercept “counterfeit or unsafe goods” from foreign countries.
• Support for partnerships between companies and community colleges to train workers for new careers, all coordinated through a single government program.
• Rewards for effective schools, coupled with encouragement to follow their own curricula and methods. State laws that require students to stay in school until graduation or age 18. Extend college tuition tax credit and double the number of work-study jobs over the next five years.
• Beefed-up border protection, combined with a law to create a path for undocumented immigrant students to become legal U.S. citizens.
• Tax relief for small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. Regulation reform for small businesses.
• Opening of offshore gas and oil fields to exploration and production. Support for domestic natural gas production, with regulations on chemicals used in the extraction process. Passage of clean energy tax credits and an end to subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. Development of enough clean energy on public land to power 3 million homes. Help for manufacturers to reduce energy waste in factories.
• Reduction of red tape that delays or halts infrastructure construction projects, funded by money no longer being spent on wars.
• Support for a mortgage refinancing program for all “responsible” homeowners, funded by “a small fee” on large financial institutions.
• Establishment of a financial crimes unit of investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect investors, and a second unit to investigate abusive lending practices and institutional gambling on risky mortgages.
• Implementation of cost-saving reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
• Reform of the tax code that includes the so-called Buffett rule, a minimum 30% tax rate for individuals whose income exceeds $1 million. No tax increases for anyone earning less than $250,000.
• A ban on “insider training” by members of Congress, and limits on elected officials’ investments in companies they regulate. Lobby reform. Simple majority vote within 90 days on judicial and public service nominations.
• A request for authority to streamline the federal executive branch.
• Continuing international pressure on Iran to scrap its nuclear weapons program.
• Maintainance of a strong military while cutting the budget by nearly $500 billion. Legislation to protect against cyber-terrorism.
• Passage of tax credits for companies that hire veterans. Creation of a Veterans Jobs Corps to help cities hire former military personnel.