The theme of Obama's 2013 State of the Union address was the economy. But, what does Obama mean by "the economy?" He means an entity detached from, and superior to, individual producers and traders. He means it in a collectivist sense. He means, the state.
But, "the economy" is an abstract term that denotes individual human beings thinking and acting. Lose sight of the individual, and you get statism. And statism--state supremacy over the individual--is what we got from Obama. Obama's agenda presupposes that the state owns the nation's wealth, and the only issue is how to redistribute it. His agenda presupposes that the individual is subordinate to the economy, and the only issue is how to control and regulate them.
But, the individual is the economy. Every dime of federal spending comes from the individuals who earned it. A true progressive agenda would focus on protecting the rights of individuals to produce and trade, spend and invest their own money, in pursuit of their own goals, well-being, and happiness. It means, for starters, reduced, flatter, fairer tax rates; drastic cuts in regulations and controls; massive reductions in spending, especially corporate welfare; privatizing entitlements into individual accounts; getting the federal government out of education; and breaking the government school monopoly through universal school choice. This, as I said, is for starters. Do that, and a great economy will follow.
Obama's old, tired, failed, worn-out economics was no surprise. Statism is not progressive. It is an age-old scourge that keeps returning, like a vampire. Obama's agenda is regressive. It is the evil that American principles of individual rights and limited, rights-protecting government once almost completely swept away, and hopefully, will again--and for good.