State of the Union 2024

March 8, 2024

The changing economic moment is clear—now policymakers must sustain it.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

The Roosevelt Guide to SOTU

President Biden began last night’s State of the Union with a quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “I address you at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union.”

Along with threats to democracy, economic policy featured heavily in last night’s remarks, indicating that a new economic order, driven by bold ideas, is emerging.

“This year, the government has an essential role to play in not only creating equitable markets for essential goods but also ensuring equitable access to the things we all need to thrive, like housing, care, and higher education,” said Suzanne Kahn, vice president of the think tank at Roosevelt.

The Roosevelt Institute has advanced the very ideas that are needed to keep pushing the economy forward:

Climate and Industrial Policy: Industrial policy received a shout out with President Biden’s mention of the CHIPS and Science Act and his action on climate. As the government grows more comfortable taking steps to shape markets, we explored in our Industrial Policy 2025 series overseas examples that show how the state can take an even more active role.

Worker Power: United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain was in attendance, a clear sign of the resurgent power of unions in the economy. Against the backdrop of a strong labor market, now is the time to further more pro-labor policies that can raise wages across sectors and empower workers in the face of technological change.  

Taxes: The president also discussed the urgent need to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Early this year, Roosevelt released two reports looking back at the past 50 years of corporate tax reforms and drawing the connection between corporate tax policy and well-being.

Recent economic progress is a promising start, but policymakers must do more to ensure the economy is working for everyone. They can seize this changing economic moment to rewrite the rules and build an unapologetically pro-worker, multiracial, and democratic economy. 


Direct File Opens to Eligible Taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service’s new tax filing program, Direct File, is now open to eligible taxpayers in 12 states. This program will allow thousands of Americans to file their tax returns for free directly through the IRS, eliminating the need for costly third parties. As Roosevelt’s Emily DiVito and Matt Hughes have previously noted, “When filing taxes costs Americans two billion hours and $30 billion each year, and makes routine interactions with government unnecessarily arduous, we know the system is broken.” Direct File is a first step to fixing that system. 


What We’re Talking About



What We’re Reading

We Should Know What Large Corporations Pay in State Taxes – feat. Roosevelt’s Niko Lusiani – Minnesota Reformer 

Biden Touts Student-Debt Relief—As He’s Working on a New Plan for More – Marketwatch 

Congress Poised to Kneecap Antitrust Division – American Prospect

JetBlue, Spirit End $3.8 Billion Merger Agreement after Losing Antitrust Suit – CNBC