FACTS: The State of Our Union

NINETEEN Facts You Ought to Know Ahead of Tonight’s Speech

Tonight, President Obama will deliver his third State of the Union address. He will lay out a sweeping vision of what’s a stake for the middle class (more than ever) and two visions for the economy: an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few or an economy where the game continues to be rigged for the rich and the middle class falls further behind.

ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum rounds up 19 essential facts you should know before tonight’s speech:

• Since the last SOTU, the economy has created 1.9 million private sector jobs. [Source]

• The top 1 percent take home 24 percent of the nation’s income, up from about 9 percent in 1976. [Source]

• Private sector job creation under Obama in 2011 was larger than seven out of the eight years Bush was president. [Source]

• The top 1 percent of Americans own 40 percent of our country’s wealth while the bottom 80 percent owns only 7 percent. [Source]

• Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 2.5 million young adults gained health insurance. [Source]

• For every one job opening, there are four people looking for work. [Source]

• Last year, China spent 9 percent of its GDP on infrastructure. The U.S. spent 2.5 percent. [Source]

• 2.65 million seniors saved an average of $569 on prescriptions last year thanks to the Affordable Care Act. [Source]

• “In 2011, the United States killed Al Qaeda’s most effective propagandist, Anwar al-Awlaki; its operating chief, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman; and of course its founder, chief executive and spiritual leader, Osama bin Laden.” [Source]

• Union membership is at a 70-year low. [Source]

• Unemployment benefits have lifted 3.2 million people out of poverty. [Source]

• The United States used to have the world’s largest percentage of college graduates. We’re now #14. [Source]

• One quarter of all contributions to federal campaigns come from 0.01 percent of Americans. [Source]

• 47.8 percent of households that receive food stamps are working, because having a job is not enough to keep them out of poverty. [Source]

• In the last three years, 30 major corporations spent more on lobbying than they paid in taxes. [Source]

• 50 percent of U.S. workers make less than $26,364 per year. [Source]

• More than one in 70 homes faced foreclosure last year. [Source]

• Oil and gas jobs increased by 75,000 under President Obama. [Source]

• Since 1985, the federal tax rate for the 400 wealthiest Americans dropped from 29 percent to 18 percent. [Source]


BONUS CHART: The Cost of the Iraq War v. Libya

Evening Brief: Important Stories You May Have Missed

We don’t need more foreign oil and gas, say John Podesta and Tom Steyer.

Newt Gingrich was wrong when he said the White House canceled a joint U.S.-Israeli military exercise.

Younger Americans are less likely to be uninsured as a result of health care reform.

According to a new study, women are 14 times more likely to die during childbirth than during an abortion.

AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka has joined calls for an investigation into big banks.

Mitt Romney makes more in one day than the average American makes in a year, all while paying a lower rate than millions of middle class Americans.

Gingrich claims entrepreneurship is understood “by most of the Asians, partially by Latinos,” and to a “small degree” by African Americans.

What the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done for you already.

The Supreme Court lays a marker against police sticking GPS tracking devices on suspect’s cars.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Advocacy Team