“Both parties seem focused on passing some type of tax reform this year, and in order to do that Republicans will likely have to concede on at least some of the president’s wishes,” ValueWalk said.

President Obama’s budget proposes to assist middle-income families and “help America’s hard-working families get ahead in a time of relentless economic and technological change,” the White House claims. The right’s instantaneous flogging of Obama’s budget proves one thing: “They’re more interested in helping special interests than middle class families,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

White House Puts $100 Million Into Tech Worker Training And Hiring

March 10th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

President Obama has announced a $100 million federal government grant program to improve training and hiring of high-tech workers, which is great news for individuals interested in the field. Tech employees can earn much more than the average American worker; according to the White House,  high-tech jobs pay 50 percent more than average private-sector American jobs.

According to Obama, the U.S. sorely needs tech workers in order to keep up with the rest of the world. “If we’re not producing enough tech workers, over time that’s going to threaten our leadership in global innovation,” he said.

White House Launches “Let Girls Learn” Global Education Initiative

March 5th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Education is the single-most important civil rights issue we face today. #BlackHistoryMonth #ReachHigher

A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

A new program just announced by President Obama will help get tens of millions of young girls in school globally. And First Lady Michelle Obama its hitting the road to promote it. First she’ll travel to Japan and Cambodia later this month.

Obama is pursuing his “Let Girls Learn” initiative because more than 60 million girls are being denied schooling for a variety of reasons.

“We’re making it clear to any country that’s our partner or wants to be our partner that they need to get serious about increasing the number of girls in school,” Obama said.

And according to Mrs. Obama, her office and the Peace Corps will work jointly to highlight community-based solutions.

The Peace Corps’s  “Let Girls Learn” program will begin in Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo, and Uganda, reports The Huffington Post.

Mrs. Obama will travel alone to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, from March 18-20 and Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia from March 21-22.

Mrs. Obama said she wants the initiative to inspire girls in the United States.

“I want our young people to be awed by these girls, but more importantly I want them to be inspired and motivated by these girls,” she said.

President Obama Focuses On Economic Growth, The Middle Class During SOTU

January 21st, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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President Obama, who some had expected might deliver a State of the Union address befitting a lame duck, instead touted economic growth and pressed for more policies to help the middle class. Obama used the annual podium to talk about low gas prices (below $2 per gallon), job creation, more Americans getting healthcare, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drawing to a close and high graduation rates. He also talked about the future, a discussion that started a couple of weeks ago when he proposed free community college for those who can maintain the GPA, enhancements to cybersecurity, paid and sick leave for workers, more access to broadband internet and more tax breaks for the middle class. ICYMI, here’s the transcript of his speech. Overall, the theme was one of “middle class economics.”

He challenged the Congress to discuss policies with solutions and compromise in mind. And he hit on some controversial topics, from further opening relations with Cuba to tackling climate change.

But the topic of helping the middle class is where he spent a good chunk of time as opposed to benefits for poor Americans, which Republicans tend to frame as “entitlements” that the country can’t afford.

Still, in order to help the middle class, Obama suggested higher taxes for the rich, which Republicans have a problem with as well. And now they have big wins in the midterm elections to fall back on, saying the people have spoken and it’s their policies that they’ve selected.

“He has ignored the will of the people, instead choosing to offer up the same tired and failed policy proposals we’ve seen unsuccessfully implemented for the past six years,” The Wall Street Journal quotes Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

For the President, helping the middle class means enacting laws and benefits that help women, such as help paying for child care and equal pay. He also talked about raising the minimum wage and the struggle to live on $15,000 per year.

The Daily Beast framed the proposals as a “dare”; that the American people will be looking for a piece of the prosperity that seems to be going almost exclusively to the one percent. And now that the economy is doing better people will start to feel like these are investments we can make. With an approval rating on the rise, the President can afford to apply some pressure.

So even faced with a majority Republican Congress, President Obama gave a confident SOTU. And then there was this epic shade.

OMG… for days. And then VP Joe Biden on backup with the mean mug remix. Also, this.

The environment. Unemployment. ISIL. Which moment has you talking this morning?