There have been only seven presidential speeches about economic and business issues before a joint session of Congress since the Great Depression ended.
None of those speeches ever had any measurable effect on the economy, despite offering ambitious proposals.
Harry S. Truman gave three such speeches between 1946 and 1952. Then Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter tried it during the 1970s.
The last big joint-session economic speech prior to President Barack Obama’s jobs package tonight was by Ronald Reagan in 1981.