9:32 AM PT: President Obama is getting an introduction now from Dean Singleton, AP Chairman.
9:36 AM PT: President Obama takes the podium ... and offers a light-hearted "Etch-A-Sketch moment" reference.
9:37 AM PT: The speech begins by firmly rooting the context in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and economic collapse, and the events and decisions that led up to that. Republicans hate this kind of stuff—they hate thinking about what caused our problems. Why do they hate it? Because all too often, they can find the answer by looking in the mirror.
9:39 AM PT: The fundamental question, President Obama says, is whether America is best off when everybody has a fair shot, when broad-based prosperity is built form the middle-class out, or whether our model for economic growth should be trickle down.
9:42 AM PT: President Obama embraces the free market as an engine for progress, but—citing Lincoln—says that does not mean government does not have a role. The role: doing together that which we cannot do alone. Government is not the sole engine of economic growth—but it is an important part of the whole. Things like Social Security and Medicare aren't just poverty fighting programs, though they are that, he says, but they also facilitate the labor mobility that makes our economy so dynamic.
9:45 AM PT: One of the key messages in this speech: Democrats and progressives are better at American capitalism. It's not just thought we have a heart and have compassion, though we do. It's also that our ideas build more wealth.
9:45 AM PT: "And yet for much of the last century, we keep having the same argument from the same folks who keep on peddling some version of trickle-down economics."
9:46 AM PT: "We're told that if corporations are allowed to maximize their profits by any means necessary, the benefits will automatically trickle down."
9:47 AM PT: The problem with this approach, Obama says, is that it doesn't work. We've tried it. And it failed. The wealthy got two massive tax cuts under Bush, he says. "But prosperity sure didn't trickle down. Instead, during the last decade, we saw the slowest job growth in a half-century." And, he ads, family income went down, even as the economy grew.
9:50 AM PT: "Our entire financial system was nearly destroyed. So we've tried this theory out. And you'd think that with the results of this experiment of trickledown economics, after the results became painfully clear, that the proponents of this theory would show some humility." You'd think they's change some of their ideas: open themselves up to ending the Bush tax cuts, or being willing to entertain to add new regulations. "Instead of moderating themselves even slightly...[House Republicans]...passed a plan so right wing it made the original Contract with America look like The New Deal."
9:51 AM PT: "One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, said that he hoped [it] would be introduced on day one of his presidency. ... He even called it 'marvelous' (laughs) which isn't a word you hear often with respect to budgets. (Laughs and laughter.) It's not even a word you hear all that often generally. (More laughter.)"
9:53 AM PT: Obama runs through a litany of the programs that would be cut thanks to the Romney-Ryan budget—and we aren't even into the part about how it cuts taxes on the wealthy in order to pay for these cuts.
9:56 AM PT: Obama 'presponds' to Republicans who will say he's making assumptions about what they would cut. "I am not exaggerating," he says. It's just basic math. Maybe they'd change some of the cuts slightly, but the math says the cuts must be massive.