Adopting a more aggressive tone than past years, President Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address pushed for a populist economic policy seeking to rebuild America's dwindling middle class. Although Obama has been struggling in the poles recently, a steadily improving economy and reduced unemployment levels gave the president a firm platform to throw jabs at his Republican opponents.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a major part of the speech called for stricter taxes on millionaires – demanding the wealthiest Americans pay their "fair share." Obama outlined a proposal that would require anyone with an income more than $1 million to pay a minimum 30 percent tax rate.
Obama's economic plan also pushed for Congress to extend payroll tax cuts through the rest of 2012 in addition to further financial relief for small businesses and domestic manufacturers, the Wall Street Journal reports. However, the president opposed tax breaks for companies that outsourced American jobs to foreign countries – proposing a minimum tax on profits gained overseas.
Following up on a pledge he made early in his term as president, Obama vowed to have the Justice Department target major financial crimes and fraud.