Washington: Describing America as the strongest and most durable economy, President Barack Obama Wednesday rejected as "political hot air" the assessment by many that the world's largest economy is on decline.
"The talk of America's economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth," Obama said in his eighth and final State of the Union Address to the Congress.
Obama claimed that though "a lot of Americans feel anxious", the current state of the American economy is not in decline.
"We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin," he said.
"Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead ? they call us," Obama said.
Referring to the record number of new jobs created under his administration, Obama said the US right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world.
"We're in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history," he said.
"Anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction. What is true - and the reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious - is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit and haven't let up," Obama said.
For the past seven years, he said the goal of his administration has been a growing economy that works better for everybody.
"We've made progress. But we need to make more. And despite all the political arguments we've had these past few years, there are some areas where Americans broadly agree," he argued.
In his speech, Obama tried to reignite the great American spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship to meet the challenges being faced by the country - from climate change to terrorism and economy.
"How do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges?" Obama said.
"Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn't deny Sputnik was up there. We didn't argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space programme almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon," Obama reminded his countrymen and members of the Congress.