"Even before this recession hit, the savings rate was essentially zero, while borrowing had risen and credit card debt had increased," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "More broadly, tens of millions of families have been, for a variety of reasons, unable to put away enough money for a secure retirement. ... We cannot continue on this course."
Most of the following changes will take effect immediately because of rule changes made by the Treasury Department.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/04/sotu.wisconsin.coop/art.farm.jpg caption="Farmers like Bob Topel have relied on co-ops for years to buy feed, seed, fuel and fertilizer."]Editor's note: On CNN's "State of the Union," host and Chief National Correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country.
WATERLOO, Wisconsin (CNN) - On a dairy farm that Bob Topel likes to describe as "25 miles from anywhere," the term co-op is old hat.
"Co-ops have been around for well over 100 years in agriculture," Topel said while milking, feeding and other chores on his 660-acre farm.
"Here on our farm we buy everything - from seed, fuel, fertilizer, feed - everything we buy is pretty much through a cooperative." He sells his milk through a local cooperative, too.
And, for the past 10 months, Topel and his wife also get their health care through a cooperative, one he holds out as a model as Congress and the White House debate health care reform and specifically whether a robust, government-run health care option is necessary to provide competition with private insurers.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/04/mears.election.laws.1/art.hillary.clinton.gi.jpg.jpg caption="The campaign finance case before the court stems from a film critical of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Money and politics are often equated as the fuel and engine of American democracy, but thanks to the Supreme Court, century-old government speed bumps on the campaign speech superhighway may soon be a thing of the past.
Those are the monumental stakes when the justices return early from its summer recess Wednesday to re-hear a case which could radically alter the election calculus for corporations, unions, advocacy groups, and individuals seeking a voice in the crowded national political debate.
The court will hold a rare special session, which also marks the debut of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. At issue is whether prior rulings limiting corporate spending on federal elections should be overturned. The justices could decide to erase the subtle but important distinction between corporate donors - which are subject to regulation - and individual donors, who largely are not.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two sources familiar with the "Gang of Six" bipartisan talks say Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, could distribute a proposal to the other five negotiators as early as this afternoon.
In a conference call Friday, Baucus made clear to the other senators he wants to move forward very soon with a health care bill.
Democratic sources say Baucus is well aware that with the president's Wednesday speech looming, and the White House already looking at other avenues to pass a health care bill, time is virtually up for this group, which had been negotiating intensely all summer.