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President Obama's Past SOTU Addresses & Spending
February 12, 2013
Of course, there is both widespread and wild speculation on what President Obama will say during tonight's State of the Union (SOTU) Address. I'm stumbling across so many predictions that you would think the speech is as important as the federal budget (which hasn't been released yet) or a solution to the pending debt ceiling debate (which has taken a backseat to the automatic across-the-board sequester cuts that have already been delayed in implementation). It is not bad to speculate but at some point, taxpayers will expect an agenda that allows Americans to get back to the business of business, instead of worrying about another government shutdown or one of the many financial near-catastrophes experienced in recent memory. How this happens is anyone's guess but by looking at the past, we can infer what the President might talk about tonight.
First things first, NTU Foundation has analyzed SOTU Addresses going back to the Clinton Administration (check out some of them here). Director of Research Demian Brady uses the same methodology as NTUF's BillTally project to determine how much the President proposes to change the federal budget (both in new spending and savings). BillTally is strictly a study on spending (or outlays) and does not account for revenue or regulatory costs. Normally, BillTally is the only comprehensive analysis of every introduced piece of legislation in both chambers of Congress (somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 bills sponsored and cosponsored over two years). You can search for your Representative and Senators' individual BillTally reports here. Now, back to SOTU...
President Obama has given four SOTU Addresses in the past and, as seen below, he has called for both spending increases and decreases (so much so that in 2012, NTUF found that if the speech's provisions were enacted, taxpayers might have seen spending decreases). What is outlined below is something of an historical baseline for taxpayers and policy experts alike to compare with tonight's Address.
Over the past four years, some recurring themes and policies have come up during President Obama's OSTU speeches:
NTUF will be following the Presidents SOTU Address this evening to let taxpayers know how the policies he proposes might affect the federal budget going forward. Join us on Twitter and follow the coverage offered by the National Taxpayers Union.
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