President’s Obama’s first official State of the Union Address is scheduled for this Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST. This morning, he and Vice President Biden held a meeting with the Middle Class Task Force. During that meeting, several themes were previewed which will likely make their way into Wednesday evening’s speech. Among them:
- Require companies that do not offer retirement plans to enroll their employees in direct-deposit retirement accounts unless the workers opt out.
- Increase the “Savers Credit,” a tax credit for retirement savings, for families making up to $85,000.
- Change some of the rules for 401(k) employer-sponsored retirement savings accounts to make them more transparent.
- Increase the child tax credit rate to 35 percent of qualifying expenses from the current 20 percent for families making under $85,000 a year. Families making up to $115,000 would be eligible for some increase in the tax credit.
- Increase child care funding by $1.6 billion in 2011 to serve an additional 235,000 children.
- Boost government spending by $102.5 million for programs aimed at helping families who provide home care for an aging relative.
- Ease the burden for student loans by limiting a borrower’s payments to 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance.
Noticeably missing was any mention of health care reform. (Not quite true, actually. The President did mention “health care that’ll be there when you get sick.”)
A transcript of both the Vice President’s and the President’s remarks follows the break.