Obama's Job No. 1: Create Jobs, Strengthen the Economy

In his State of the Union address, Obama laid out his proposals for creating jobs.

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Regarding energy, Obama called for a new generation of "safe, clean nuclear power plants" in the United States, some carefully planned offshore oil and gas development, continued investment in biofuels and clean-coal technologies, and legislation to limit climate change.

He pledged to continue working to overhaul the healthcare system but didn't clarify how to break the logjam that has stalled compromise in Congress. He said he accepts a share of the blame for not explaining what an overhaul would do and for leaving many Americans confused and worried about the pending legislation. He said many Americans desperately need reform in order to gain adequate coverage, eliminate abusive practices by health insurers, and hold down healthcare costs. "I will not walk away from these Americans," he told an assembled joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives, "and neither should the people in this chamber."

He also supported a program to increase U.S. exports and open global markets to U.S. goods, and a plan to increase funding for education. And he called for ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding homosexuality in the armed forces in order to allow gay people to serve openly in the military.

He called on members of Congress to post all earmark requests on a single website before the legislators vote, to inform the voters of "how their money is being spent."

Toward the end of his address, he repeated his plan to end the Iraq war and called for a continued effort to fight terrorism. But clearly, strengthening the domestic economy is Obama's Job 1.

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