Weekly Address: President Obama's Plan for a Strong Middle Class

by: JanF

Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:53:06 AM EST



From the White House - Weekly Address
In this week's address, President Obama calls for quick action on the proposals he made during the State of the Union to grow our economy and create jobs, including making America a magnet for manufacturing, strengthening our education system through high-quality preschool for every child, and raising the minimum wage.

JanF :: Weekly Address: President Obama's Plan for a Strong Middle Class
Transcript

After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three.  What we need to do now is simple.  We need to accelerate that trend.  We need to launch manufacturing hubs across the country that will transform hard-hit regions into global centers of high-tech jobs and manufacturing.  We need to make our tax code more competitive, ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and rewarding companies that create jobs here at home.  And we need to invest in the research and technology that will allow us to harness more of our own energy and put more people back to work repairing our crumbling roads and bridges.

No one in America should work full-time and raise their children in poverty.  So let's raise the minimum wage so that it's a wage you can live on.  And it's time to harness the talents and ingenuity of hardworking immigrants by finally passing comprehensive immigration reform - securing our borders, establishing a responsible path to earned citizenship, and attracting the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs.

In the coming weeks and months, our work won't be easy, and we won't agree on everything.  But America only moves forward when we do so together - when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.  That's the American story.  And that is how we will write the next great chapter - together.

Thanks and have a great weekend.

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Eugene Robinson had an excellent editorial yesterday. (2.00 / 11)
Obama, winning the argument
In his bid to be remembered as a transformational leader, President Obama is following the playbook of an ideological opposite, Margaret Thatcher. First you win the argument, she used to say, then you win the vote.

Obama is gradually winning the argument about what government can and should do. His State of the Union address was an announcement of that fact - and a warning to conservatives that, to remain relevant, they will have to move beyond the premise that government is always the problem and never the solution. [...]

Ronald Reagan's conservative ideas had been corrupted by his followers into a kind of anti-government nihilism. Reagan wanted to shrink government; today's Republican Party wants to destroy it.

That is an important point. The Republican party's new standard bearer, Marco Rubio, and their ideological leader, Paul Ryan both benefited from government programs that helped them go to school and helped their families survive and thrive.

Government programs, like those President Obama has in his plan, will give others a chance at the American dream.



Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


The Conservative swing is what lost me. (2.00 / 8)
I do live more on the left than right by American terms (in Canada I am pretty conservative by locally relative terms). But, partly due to my iterative experience in Canada, I am not a fan of government over reaching.

Government is definitively needed, and it similarly needs to have definitive limitations. Near the core of my love of America are the fine points of where the line is drawn - the dynamic tension between the two general inclinations.

The Bush years made it clear that it was time to go left. It seems obvious that after a period we should go right again to keep our balance. But "Right" these days has gone so far off the deep end it is just ridiculous.

Mets has laid out the cycle better than I can, but in short the actions of the political right at this time are nothing more than tantrums. I know it will end (as all tantrums do) and that someday there will be a GOP that isn't fundamentally mad. In between, however, we have to put up with folks who act like Bizarro Mao...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
i was caught off guard by the call to (2.00 / 9)
raise the minimum wage, it's certainly needed if not long overdue for working folks. whether it will ever come up for a vote in Obama's term is another matter but raising the issue, having Republicans respond is a good strategy. get them on the record again and again opposing it as they ineveitably will.

it will pay dividends later.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


I was taken aback also, dear occupant. (2.00 / 8)
The weekly address talks about a strong middle class but that was a moment when the president actually talked about poverty.

Charles Blow in the NY Times wrote an editorial about it:

Is this the real Barack Obama? I hope so. I like this one. [...]

He proposed an increase in the federal minimum wage - from $7.25 an hour to $9 - and to "tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on."

And in what I thought was commendable for a president who has taken some knocks - including from me - for not focusing enough on the poor, he said:

"Tonight, let's also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it is virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them."

Emphasis mine. That was a big huge deal.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Mr. Blow has fast become one of my favorite columnists. (2.00 / 8)
'And in what I thought was commendable for a president who has taken some knocks - including from me - for not focusing enough on the poor'

i agree with him on this although i understand somewhat why Obama was reluctant to talk about the poor among us, which is a shame really. their plight has worsened since 2007, it's time someone represented them and gave them a voice. they voted too.

this is old skool America, the America you and i grew up in,

'America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.'

absolutely pitch perfect.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
Even if he can't get it right away, staking the claim that it is the right thing to do (2.00 / 7)
will help push the window and make it more likely to happen sometime.

[ Parent ]
My son and his friends..... (2.00 / 8)
....watched the SOTU speech, and excitedly, yet wistfully said, "we want to live in that America", adding "can you imagine how great this country could be?" I loved seeing their excitement.....and their absolute disdain for the Cruz, Ryan, Rubio contingent the R's are trotting out.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

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