Political Buzz September 8, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Speech to Joint Session of Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan with Payroll Tax Cuts — Obama Sarcastically Challenges Congress to Pass American Jobs Act — Michele Bachmann Responds

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy, Chuck Kennedy, 9/8/11

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA ADDRESS UNVEILS $450 BILLION JOBS LAN WITH PAYROLL TAX CUTS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS

President Obama to unveil nearly $450 billion jobs program: In a speech tonight before Congress, President Obama will propose a nearly $450 billion program of tax cuts and new government spending aimed at energizing the country’s stalling economic recovery, the Associated Press reported.
Congressional officials and others outside the White House say the plan would increase and extend a payroll tax cut for workers and employers, AP reported. The initiative, which faces a tough fight in Congress, comes amid mounting concerns that the U.S. economy is slipping back into recession and as Obama’s approval rating has tumbled to new lows, barely more than a year before he faces re-election.

“The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours. The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy, whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.” — President Barack Obama

“Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.” — President Barack Obama

“The only thing we can do restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own.” — President Barack Obama

“These are real choices we have to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close.” — President Barack Obama

“I know some of you have sworn oaths never to raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live. Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.” — President Barack Obama

“There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans.” — — President Barack Obama

“Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers. But we can help. We can make a difference. There are steps we can take right now to improve people’s lives.” — President Barack Obama

“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration. We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well. It’s my hope that we can work together to end the uncertainty facing families and small businesses, and create a better environment for long-term economic growth and private-sector job creation.” — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement

“This package of common-sense, bipartisan proposals will present a litmus test to Republicans. I hope they will show the American people that they are more interested in reating jobs than defeating President Obama.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement

“This wasn’t at the behest of Congress. This is the president who called 535 members back to hear what I believe was nothing more than a political speech….
This is a speech that we got, and the Congressional Budget Office has said it is impossible for them to score a speech. So we don’t know the details, but I’m clearly disappointed by what I heard tonight.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

Full Text September 8, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Address to Joint Session of Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan (Speech Transcript), 9-8-11

Full Text September 8, 2011: Rep. & Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann’s Response to President Barack Obama’s Joint Address to Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan (Speech Transcript), 9-8-11

Live Blog: President Obama’s Address on Job Creation to a Joint Session of Congress ABC News, 9-8-11

    • Factbox: Key elements of Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan: President Barack Obama proposed a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending measures on Thursday aimed at spurring growth and hiring. Here are some of the key elements of his American Jobs Act, which he announced to a rare joint session of Congress:

      EMPLOYEE PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
      EMPLOYER PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
      HOUSING
      EXTENDING 100 PERCENT COMPANY EXPENSING INTO 2012
      $85 BLN IN AID FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
      ROAD, RAIL AND AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING
      INFRASTRUCTURE BANK
      EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, BRIDGE TO WORK

      …. – Reuter, 9-8-11

    • Will Obama’s jobs plan work? Politico Arena, 9-8-11
    • Obama Challenges Congress on Job Plan: Mixing politically moderate proposals with a punchy tone, President Obama challenged lawmakers on Thursday to “pass this jobs bill” — a blunt call on Congress to enact his $447 billion package of tax cuts and new government spending designed to revive a stalling economy as well as his own political standing.
      Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Obama ticked off a list of measures that he emphasized had been supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the past. To keep the proposals from adding to the swelling federal deficit, Mr. Obama also said he would set his sights on a more ambitious target for long-term reduction of the deficit.
      “You should pass this jobs plan right away,” the president declared over and over in his 32- minute speech that eschewed Mr. Obama’s trademark oratory in favor of a plainspoken appeal for action — and a few sarcastic political jabs…. – NYT, 9-8-11
    • In jobs speech, Obama urges passage of $447 billion package: In a last-gasp attempt to jolt the economy and his reelection prospects, President Barack Obama on Thursday put forward a $447 billion jobs package, challenging Congress to shut down the “political circus” and pass his bill as soon as possible.
      After three weeks of buildup, Obama delivered the speech amid high stakes, potentially one of his last major opportunities to wrest the economic debate back from Republicans and reenergize the economy after months of sputtering growth. But expectations that the entirety of his plan would prove palatable to the Republican-controlled House remained low.
      Obama disregarded that political reality and called on Congress to approve his American Jobs Act “right away,” a phrase he repeated eight times in the 34-minute speech. Speaking with an urgent, clipped tone, he pit lawmakers against their constituents, saying Americans couldn’t wait while Washington played games…. – Politico, 9-8-11
    • Jobs speech response: Michele Bachmann says Obama ‘politically paralyzed’: Rep. Michele Bachmann accused President Barack Obama of being “politically paralyzed” and urged lawmakers not to pass the jobs proposal she charged was nothing more than a campaign tactic…. – Politico, 9-8-11
    • Analysis: Among the jobs Obama hopes to save is his own: Among the jobs President Obama hopes to save with Thursday night’s proposals to a Joint Session of Congress is his own. There are no guarantees that the $447 billion American Jobs Act will be enacted, or that it would significantly reduce unemployment if it were. But the package of payroll tax relief, extended jobless benefits, and funding to repair schools, fix roads and keep teachers working at the minimum gives Obama a plan to extol — and to batter a “do nothing” Congress with if it fails to act. He exhorted Congress to “pass this jobs bill” or “pass it right away” 16 separate times. And he said the word “jobs” 37 times in 34 minutes…. – USA Today, 9-8-11
    • Obama’s Bid to Spur Growth President Asks Congress for $447 Billion In Cuts, Spending; Tepid GOP Response: Only part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act is likely to pass Congress in the end, with the final tab closer to $150 billion than the $447 billion the president has proposed, WSJ’s David Wessel tells Simon Constable. Photo: Getty Images.
      President Barack Obama called on Congress Thursday to pass a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts to boost economic growth, in what might be the White House’s last chance to revive its political fortunes before the 2012 campaign kicks into high gear.
      The president’s plan, unveiled in a speech to a joint session of Congress, is an attempt to wrest the initiative in Washington’s protracted debate about fiscal policy. Both parties emerged from the debt-ceiling fight this summer with their approval ratings heading south as the economy stalled with the unemployment rate stuck above 9%.
      In one sense, the jobs plan is in part a political strategy designed to give Mr. Obama room to campaign against Congress if lawmakers don’t act. White House officials say they don’t expect Congress to pass much of the proposal, which they say was constructed from policies that have previously won bipartisan support—a point Republicans dispute…. – WSJ, 9-8-11
    • Small Business Is Focus of Tax Cuts: President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan seeks to coax wary employers to invest and hire more by slicing their share of payroll taxes next year. But while the payroll-tax cuts figure to appeal to Republican lawmakers…. – WSJ, 9-8-11
    • Obama Prods Congress to Pass $450B Jobs Package ‘Right Away’: President Obama urged Congress to pass a new jobs bill, which includes plans to expand a payroll tax cut, in an address to Congress. “This plan is the right thing to do right now,” the president said…. – PBS Newshour, 9-8-11
    • Obama to Congress: Americans want action now on jobs: President Obama urged Congress to end the “political circus” and act to help a nation still facing economic hardship, outlining a $447-billion legislative package that includes tax cuts for working families and small businesses and spending to rebuild infrastructure.
      The president, in a Thursday evening address to lawmakers in a special joint session, argued that there “is nothing controversial” about his plan – though the price tag was larger than expected, and, perhaps, more than Republicans in Congress will seriously consider.
      Obama acknowledged the political prism through which his speech was being viewed. His approval rating is at or near the low point of his presidency, and the Republican campaign to unseat him is in full swing…. – LAT, 9-8-11
    • Obama Urges Congress to Pass $450 Billion Jobs Plan ‘Right Away’: Seeking to boost a slumping economy along with his hopes for re-election, President Obama on Thursday night implored Congress to pass a $450 billion jobs plan that he says will give an array of tax cuts to small businesses that hire while reforming the corporate tax code and investing in infrastructure projects.
      In a highly-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress, Obama repeatedly called on lawmakers to pass his plan “right away,” saying “there should be nothing controversial” about the American Jobs Act. Obama said all the proposals are paid for with spending cuts although he won’t detail them until next week.
      The biggest element in Obama’s plan calls for increasing and extending a payroll tax cut for workers that goes to Social Security, while providing the tax cut to employers, too. For workers, the tax that has been cut from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for this year would fall to 3.1 percent under Obama’s plan — a $175 billion cost. The tax will go back up to 6.2 percent without congressional action by the end of the year.
      Senior administration officials wouldn’t say how many job the plan would create but noted that it could have an immediate impact. The idea is to have an effect “within the year,” one official said…. – Fox News, 9-8-11
    • Obama unveils $447B jobs plan: Urging Congress to “stop the political circus,” President Obama on Thursday night called for immediate action on a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts designed to jump-start the stalling economy.
      In the face of the worst recovery from a recession in the nation’s history, a stubborn unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent and zero job growth in the month of August, the pressure is on the president to take action. The challenges remain daunting, however, as Republicans in Congress are taking a combative stance against the president’s policies, with 14 months to go before the 2012 elections.
      Dubbed the “American Jobs Act,” the plan Mr. Obama is sending to Congress is larger than many expected. More than half of the plan is tax cuts for working Americans and small businesses. It also includes spending initiatives in areas like infrastructure. While a package that costs hundreds of billions may be hard to swallow for a Congress that’s been more focused this year on deficit reduction, the president is signaling to Republicans that they’re also responsible for the poor economy…. – CBS News, 9-8-11
    • Bachmann Says Obama Jobs Plan Nothing New: Republican congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has called President Obama’s address just another political speech, with no new proposals…. – Voice of America, 9-8-11
    • For Obama, a ‘Moment’ Speech at a Time of Great Obstacles to Change: Thursday’s address on job creation, coming as the prospect of a double-dip recession looms, seemed to be a chance for President Obama to galvanize the nation and persuade his adversaries…. – NYT, 9-8-11
    • Obama the aggressive: President Barack Obama delivers a speech to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Watching are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)President Obama delivered a forceful call to action in a speech on jobs tonight to Congress, repeatedly employing rhetoric that sounded like the early stages of his 2012 campaign stump speech.
      Many of the proposals in Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan had been previewed before he stepped in front of a joint session of Congress around 7 pm eastern time. But his aggressive tone was something new — and unexpected…. – WaPo, 9-8-11
    • Don’t be shocked if Obama plan increases U.S. debt: “Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything,” says President Obama. Perhaps it won’t shock you if this turns out to be wrong.
      The job of paying or not paying for things will almost certainly be left up to the joint panel known as the supercommittee, which faces a Nov. 23 deadline. But Obama kept saying to Congress, you should pass this stimulus now. And there is a decent chance that the Republican-flavored components of the Obama plan will be passed by the full Congress in the next few weeks.
      Extend and expand the payroll tax cut. Give tax credits to companies that hire the unemployed. Throw in some public infrastructure spending and you could get a $300 billion or $400 billion stimulus passed by Congress and signed in to law by mid October. Then you tell the supercommitee: OK, go pay for it with future program cuts and tax increases…. – Baltimore Sun, 9-8-11
    • Social Media Gears Up for Obama Address: While the Republican Party will not deliver a formal response to President Obama’s job speech on Thursday, some members of Congress and Republican presidential candidates will be turning to Twitter to get their message across. … – NYT, 9-8-11
    • Obama Offers $447B Stimulus Plan to Spur Jobs: President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass a jobs plan that would inject $447 billion into the economy through infrastructure spending, subsidies to local governments to stem teacher layoffs and cutting in half the payroll taxes paid by workers and small-business owners.
      The package is heavily geared toward tax cuts, which account for more than half the dollar value of the stimulus, and administration officials said they believe that will have the greatest appeal to Republican members of Congress…. – Bloomberg, 9-8-11
    • Ron Paul boycotts President Obama’s speech: Texas congressman Ron Paul said Thursday that he will not attend President Obama’s address before a Joint Session of Congress.
      Mr. Paul’s campaign spokesman Gary Howard confirmed Wednesday that the Texas congressman “doesn’t plan on going” to the address, adding that Mr. Paul will remain on the campaign trail, where he is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination…. – The State Column, 9-8-11
    • Sen. David Vitter will sit out President Barack Obama’s speech: He is one of five members, all Republicans, who are planning to skip the president’s address to a Joint Session of Congress…. – NOLA, 9-8-11
    • Who’s Sitting With the First Lady: A sushi chef, a third-grade teacher facing a layoff and an Iraq war veteran are among the two dozen guests who will be seated with Michelle Obama on Thursday night when President Obama lays out his jobs plan before a joint session of Congress.
      Several small-business executives, as well as members of the president’s jobs council, and the mayors of Cincinnati and Los Angeles will also sit in Mrs. Obama’s box…. – NYT, 9-8-11
    • Obama appeals to Congress to pass American Jobs Act: President Obama on Thursday night will appeal to Congress to “stop the political circus” and help him get the economy moving again with a package of spending and tax cut initiatives expected to cost $447 billion…. – CBS News, 9-8-11
    • Obama to Lay Out $450 Billion Jobs Plan in Prime-Time Speech: Seeking to boost a slumping economy along with his hopes for re-election, President Obama is unveiling his $450 billion jobs plan Thursday night in a highly-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress. The American Jobs Act contains a blend of … – Fox News, 9-8-11
    • Obama Jobs Plan: $447 Billion, More Than Half In Tax Cuts, To Be Paid For By Super Committee: Hoping to stem the tide of poor economic news and boost his falling poll numbers, President Barack Obama will propose a $447 billion jobs plan to Congress on Thursday evening. Titled the American Jobs Act…. – Huff Post, 9-8-11
    • Obama to push Congress to end ‘circus,’ act now on economy: President Barack Obama waves during a Labor Day event Monday at General Motors headquarters in Detroit. WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will ask lawmakers to “stop the political circus” and approve his plan to help the economy by cutting payroll tax…. – MSNBC, 9-8-11
    • Obama Jobs Plan Unlikely to Create Many: New numbers from the Labor Department today showed that new jobless claims are again inching back upward, last week by 2000. Last week’s unemployment report showed net job growth to be stuck at zero…. – U.S. News & World Report, 9-8-11

“We want specifics. We want to hear that he understands the impact, the heavy wet blanket that regulations are on our job creators. We need to make it easier and cheaper for the private sector to create jobs and it seems what comes out of the White House makes it harder and more expensive to create private sector jobs.” — Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming

“No one blames the president for the economy he inherited, but he should take responsibility for his policies making it worse. Republicans are ready to work with the president and to make it easier and cheaper to create private sector jobs. We’ve suggested a number of ways to do that: lower tax rates with fewer loopholes, fewer regulations.” — Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee

“It’s a $112 billion cost and it’s also something that, in my view, is a very short term sort of sugar high, maybe get a very little economy pop in the near term but we ought to be focused on long term policies that will promote economic growth.” — Senator John Thune, R-South Dakota

“Well it depends on whether it’s conglomerated with a whole bunch of other things we can’t support. Most of us are for tax cuts and that would amount to a tax cut.” — Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Obama presented a jobs plan to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night in the Capitol.

American Jobs Act: Get the Facts

Source: WH, 9-8-11
Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (313MB) | mp3 (30MB)
This evening, the President addressed a joint session of Congress and presented the American Jobs Act, a comprehensive plan to put America back to work. It was created from a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans, and it acknowledges that if we are going to restore America’s middle class, we need to rebuild the economy the American way, based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street.

Viewers who tuned in to watch it live-streamed from whitehouse.gov/live got an enhanced experience, one that included real time graphic elements that explained the research and the facts that helped inform some of aspects of the American Jobs Act. And now you can watch it that way, too.

The American Jobs Act

Source: WH, 9-8-11
Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (314MB) | mp3 (30MB)

To create more jobs now, the President is sending Congress the American Jobs Act – a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans that Congress must pass right away. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.  Here’s how:

  • First, it provides a tax cut for small businesses, not big corporations, to help them hire and expand now, and provides an additional tax cut to any business that hires or increases wages.
  • Second, it puts more people back to work, including up to 280,000 teachers laid off by state-budget cuts, first responders and veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and construction workers repairing crumbling bridges, roads and more than 35,000 public schools, with projects chosen by need and impact, not earmarks and politics.   And, it expands job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults through a new Pathways Back to Work Fund that supports summer and year round jobs for youth; innovative new job training programs to connect low-income workers to jobs quickly; and successful programs to encourage employers to bring on disadvantaged workers.
  • Third, it helps out-of-work Americans by extending unemployment benefits to help them support their families while looking for work and reforming the system with training programs that build real skills, connect to real jobs and help the long-term unemployed.    It bans employers from discriminating against the unemployed when hiring, and provides a new tax credit to employers hiring workers who have been out of a job for over 6 months.
  • Fourth, it puts more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of every worker’s paycheck, saving families an average of $1,500 a year’ and taking executive action to remove the barriers that exist in the current federal refinancing program (HARP) to help more Americans refinance their mortgages at historically low rates, save money and stay in their homes.
  • Last, the plan won’t add a dime to the deficit and is fully paid for through a balanced deficit reduction plan that includes closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.

As the President said, “The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours. The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy. The question is — the question is whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.”

Later, he said, “Now, the American Jobs Act answers the urgent need to create jobs right away.  But we can’t stop there.  As I’ve argued since I ran for this office, we have to look beyond the immediate crisis and start building an economy that lasts into the future — an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer security.  We now live in a world where technology has made it possible for companies to take their business anywhere.  If we want them to start here and stay here and hire here, we have to be able to out-build and out-educate and out-innovate every other country on Earth.”

The President concluded the speech by saying, “Regardless of the arguments we’ve had in the past, regardless of the arguments we will have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now.  You should pass it.  And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.  And I ask — I ask every American who agrees to lift your voice:  Tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now.  Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option.  Remind us that if we act as one nation and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge.

President Kennedy once said, ‘Our problems are man-made –- therefore they can be solved by man.  And man can be as big as he wants.’

These are difficult years for our country.  But we are Americans.  We are tougher than the times we live in, and we are bigger than our politics have been.  So let’s meet the moment.  Let’s get to work, and let’s show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth. ”

For more information on the American Jobs Act, click here.

Full Text September 8, 2011: Rep. & Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann’s Response to President Barack Obama’s Joint Address to Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan (Speech Transcript)

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Michele Bachmann delivers a speech. | AP Photo

Rep. Bachmann’s Response to President Obama’s Speech to a Joint Session of Congress

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-6) hosted a press conference and responded tonight to President Obama’s Jobs Speech. Below are her remarks as delivered:

Unfortunately, it seems, every time the President speaks, his policies have cost the American people jobs and future prosperity.

Tonight the President under the veil of one of the most sacred deliberative forums, a joint session of Congress, delivered another political speech where he doubled down on more of the same policies that are killing the economy.

Mr. President, what among your proposals was new? What here hasn’t already been tried and failed before?

While the President’s speech comes on the heels of a trillion dollars of failed stimulus, bailouts, and temporary gimmicks aimed at creating jobs, the President continued to cling to the idea that government is the solution to creating jobs.

My conservative colleagues and I have been fighting over the last two and half years for pro growth policies.

I stand here tonight to say to the President, not only should Congress not pass your plan, I say, “stop; your last plan hasn’t worked, it’s hurting the American economy.” Instead of temporary fixes, do what has proved to work in the past, permanent pro growth policies that are driven by the free market.”

Today, unemployment is 9.1 percent. Job creation has literally been zeroed out with the worst jobs report in 66 years this last month. Since the President’s failed trillion dollar stimulus we have lost over 2.5 million jobs while adding 416,000 government jobs. One in six Americans is now on food stamps, and the average time unemployed Americans are out of work is greater than 40 weeks. Housing values have fallen 19% from 2008 to the first quarter of this year.  GDP growth was an anemic .4% in the first quarter and at 1% in the last and the dollar has lost 12 percent of its value.

These are not good times for the American people. Our patience for speeches, gimmicks and excuses has run out.

The only remedies the President knows are temporary, government directed fixes.  And even if the President’s plan passes, we already know it will fail. In practice, we haven’t paid for his last trillion dollar jobs program and now his latest plan would have us embrace potentially over $400 billion in new government spending!

Spending taxpayer dollars on extending unemployment benefits has proved to add only 25 cents to GDP for every dollar we spend. Even the President’s new economic advisor agrees that extending unemployment benefits discourages future employment.

Spending taxpayer dollars on extending the payroll tax holiday will reduce over 111 billion dollars to the Social Security trust fund this year and continuation of this policy will put social security checks to seniors at even greater risk.

Spending taxpayer dollars on more infrastructure projects failed to create lasting jobs in the last stimulus.

And, looming on the horizon is the full scale implementation of Obamacare that, according the Congressional Budget Office, will kill 800,000 jobs and steal over 500 billion from Medicare.

Candidate Obama promised to wipe out deficits and the debt.  Instead the President has increased the debt by over 6 trillion dollars, and what do we have to show for it? Permanent increases in the size of government, spending and debt, with a greater dependency on government.

Four years ago President Bush’s deficit was around 160 billion dollars; today, President Obama’s is nearly ten times that amount.

The President and Vice-President’s plan to spend us to prosperity has failed. And worse, they have stolen from a generation of Americans yet unborn, the consequences of which mean a near certainty of reduced choices and a dramatically downsized lifestyle for future generations from what we enjoy today.

Generational theft is a moral and ethical issue, and I care deeply about both the present generation and generations to come.

The President is politically paralyzed and philosophically incapable of doing what needs to be done.

I do agree, the President should take immediate action. But it is the nine following steps that will put us on a path to economic growth and put Americans back to work;

1)   Repatriate American business dollars earned from overseas,
2)   Massively cut spending and the size of government,
3)   Repeal Obamacare, which is the government takeover of America’s healthcare system,
4)   Cut taxes, including corporate taxes,
5)   Repeal Dodd-Frank,
6)   Repeal job killing regulations,
7)   Increase exports by finalizing free trade agreements,
8)   Spur new investment in America, inspire innovation,
9)   Provide job creating energy solutions, including decreased regulations on developing new energy supplies from our abundant domestic energy resources.

The way forward needs to be based on permanent solutions grounded in the private sector. That is how we will once again restore economic prosperity to our country.

God Bless the United States of America.

Full Text September 8, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Address to Joint Session of Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan (Speech Transcript)

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Doug Mills/The New York TimesPresident Obama ticked off measures that he said would jolt the economy.

IN FOCUS:

President Obama to unveil nearly $450 billion jobs program: In a speech tonight before Congress, President Obama will propose a nearly $450 billion program of tax cuts and new government spending aimed at energizing the country’s stalling economic recovery, the Associated Press reported.
Congressional officials and others outside the White House say the plan would increase and extend a payroll tax cut for workers and employers, AP reported. The initiative, which faces a tough fight in Congress, comes amid mounting concerns that the U.S. economy is slipping back into recession and as Obama’s approval rating has tumbled to new lows, barely more than a year before he faces re-election.

Watch Live: The President’s Jobs Address Enhanced with Charts and Stats

Watch the President’s address to Congress at WhiteHouse.gov/live to see charts, graphs, and quick stats highlighting key points in the speech

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama’s Speech to Congress on Jobs

 The following is the prepared text of President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress about jobs and the economy, as provided by the White House.

MR. OBAMA: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and fellow Americans:

Tonight we meet at an urgent time for our country.  We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse.

This past week, reporters have been asking “What will this speech mean for the President?  What will it mean for Congress?  How will it affect their polls, and the next election?”

But the millions of Americans who are watching right now:  they don’t care about politics.  They have real life concerns.  Many have spent months looking for work.  Others are doing their best just to scrape by – giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; postponing retirement to send a kid to college.

These men and women grew up with faith in an America where hard work and responsibility paid off.   They believed in a country where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share – where if you stepped up, did your job, and were loyal to your company, that loyalty would be rewarded with a decent salary and good benefits; maybe a raise once in awhile.  If you did the right thing, you could make it in America.

But for decades now, Americans have watched that compact erode.  They have seen the deck too often stacked against them.  And they know that Washington hasn’t always put their interests first.

The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities.  The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours.  The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy; whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.

Those of us here tonight can’t solve all of our nation’s woes.  Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers.  But we can help.  We can make a difference.   There are steps we can take right now to improve people’s lives.

I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away.  It’s called the American Jobs Act.  There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation.  Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans – including many who sit here tonight.  And everything in this bill will be paid for.  Everything.

The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple:  to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.  It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed.  It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business.  It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services.  You should pass this jobs plan right away.

Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin.  And you know that while corporate profits have come roaring back, smaller companies haven’t.  So for everyone who speaks so passionately about making life easier for “job creators,” this plan is for you.

Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or raise workers’ wages.  Pass this jobs bill, and all small business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year.  If you have 50 employees making an average salary, that’s an $80,000 tax cut.  And all businesses will be able to continue writing off the investments they make in 2012.

It’s not just Democrats who have supported this kind of proposal.  Fifty House Republicans have proposed the same payroll tax cut that’s in this plan.  You should pass it right away.

Pass this jobs bill, and we can put people to work rebuilding America.  Everyone here knows that we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over this country.  Our highways are clogged with traffic.  Our skies are the most congested in the world.

This is inexcusable.  Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower.  And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads?  At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America?

There are private construction companies all across America just waiting to get to work.  There’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky that’s on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.  A public transit project in Houston that will help clear up one of the worst areas of traffic in the country.  And there are schools throughout this country that desperately need renovating.  How can we expect our kids to do their best in places that are literally falling apart?  This is America.  Every child deserves a great school – and we can give it to them, if we act now.

The American Jobs Act will repair and modernize at least 35,000 schools.  It will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows; installing science labs and high-speed internet in classrooms all across this country.  It will rehabilitate homes and businesses in communities hit hardest by foreclosures.  It will jumpstart thousands of transportation projects across the country.  And to make sure the money is properly spent and for good purposes, we’re building on reforms we’ve already put in place.  No more earmarks.  No more boondoggles.  No more bridges to nowhere.  We’re cutting the red tape that prevents some of these projects from getting started as quickly as possible.  And we’ll set up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans based on two criteria:  how badly a construction project is needed and how much good it would do for the economy.

This idea came from a bill written by a Texas Republican and a Massachusetts Democrat.  The idea for a big boost in construction is supported by America’s largest business organization and America’s largest labor organization.  It’s the kind of proposal that’s been supported in the past by Democrats and Republicans alike.  You should pass it right away.

Pass this jobs bill, and thousands of teachers in every state will go back to work.  These are the men and women charged with preparing our children for a world where the competition has never been tougher.  But while they’re adding teachers in places like South Korea, we’re laying them off in droves.  It’s unfair to our kids.  It undermines their future and ours.  And it has to stop.  Pass this jobs bill, and put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong.

Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get extra tax credits if they hire America’s veterans.  We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, and risk their lives to fight for our country.  The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home.

Pass this bill, and hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young people will have the hope and dignity of a summer job next year.  And their parents, low-income Americans who desperately want to work, will have more ladders out of poverty.

Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job.  We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work.  This jobs plan builds on a program in Georgia that several Republican leaders have highlighted, where people who collect unemployment insurance participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a permanent job.  The plan also extends unemployment insurance for another year.  If the millions of unemployed Americans stopped getting this insurance, and stopped using that money for basic necessities, it would be a devastating blow to this economy.  Democrats and Republicans in this Chamber have supported unemployment insurance plenty of times in the past.  At this time of prolonged hardship, you should pass it again – right away.

Pass this jobs bill, and the typical working family will get a fifteen hundred dollar tax cut next year.  Fifteen hundred dollars that would have been taken out of your paycheck will go right into your pocket.  This expands on the tax cut that Democrats and Republicans already passed for this year.  If we allow that tax cut to expire – if we refuse to act – middle-class families will get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time.  We cannot let that happen.  I know some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live.  Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.

This is the American Jobs Act.  It will lead to new jobs for construction workers, teachers, veterans, first responders, young people and the long-term unemployed.  It will provide tax credits to companies that hire new workers, tax relief for small business owners, and tax cuts for the middle-class. And here’s the other thing I want the American people to know:  the American Jobs Act will not add to the deficit.  It will be paid for.  And here’s how:

The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next ten years.  It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas.  Tonight, I’m asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act.  And a week from Monday, I’ll be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan – a plan that will not only cover the cost of this jobs bill, but stabilize our debt in the long run.

This approach is basically the one I’ve been advocating for months.  In addition to the trillion dollars of spending cuts I’ve already signed into law, it’s a balanced plan that would reduce the deficit by making additional spending cuts; by making modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid; and by reforming our tax code in a way that asks the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.  What’s more, the spending cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small business and middle-class families get back on their feet right away.

Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns.  But here’s the truth.  Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement.  And millions more will do so in the future.  They pay for this benefit during their working years.  They earn it.  But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program.  And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it.  We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.

I’m also well aware that there are many Republicans who don’t believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it.  But here is what every American knows.  While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets.  Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary – an outrage he has asked us to fix.  We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake, and everybody pays their fair share.  And I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that, if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order.

I’ll also offer ideas to reform a corporate tax code that stands as a monument to special interest influence in Washington.  By eliminating pages of loopholes and deductions, we can lower one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.  Our tax code shouldn’t give an advantage to companies that can afford the best-connected lobbyists.  It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs here in America.

So we can reduce this deficit, pay down our debt, and pay for this jobs plan in the process.  But in order to do this, we have to decide what our priorities are.  We have to ask ourselves, “What’s the best way to grow the economy and create jobs?”

Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies?  Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers?  Because we can’t afford to do both.  Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires?  Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs?  Right now, we can’t afford to do both.

This isn’t political grandstanding.  This isn’t class warfare.  This is simple math.  These are real choices that we have to make.  And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose.  It’s not even close.  And it’s time for us to do what’s right for our future.

The American Jobs Act answers the urgent need to create jobs right away.  But we can’t stop there.  As I’ve argued since I ran for this office, we have to look beyond the immediate crisis and start building an economy that lasts into the future – an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer security.  We now live in a world where technology has made it possible for companies to take their business anywhere.  If we want them to start here and stay here and hire here, we have to be able to out-build, out-educate, and out-innovate every other country on Earth.

This task, of making America more competitive for the long haul, is a job for all of us.  For government and for private companies.  For states and for local communities – and for every American citizen.  All of us will have to up our game.  All of us will have to change the way we do business.

My administration can and will take some steps to improve our competitiveness on our own.  For example, if you’re a small business owner who has a contract with the federal government, we’re going to make sure you get paid a lot faster than you do now.  We’re also planning to cut away the red tape that prevents too many rapidly-growing start-up companies from raising capital and going public.  And to help responsible homeowners, we’re going to work with Federal housing agencies to help more people refinance their mortgages at interest rates that are now near 4% — a step that can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket, and give a lift to an economy still burdened by the drop in housing prices.

Other steps will require Congressional action.  Today you passed reform that will speed up the outdated patent process, so that entrepreneurs can turn a new idea into a new business as quickly as possible. That’s the kind of action we need.  Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea – while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition.  If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers.  I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words: “Made in America.”

And on all of our efforts to strengthen competitiveness, we need to look for ways to work side-by-side with America’s businesses.  That’s why I’ve brought together a Jobs Council of leaders from different industries who are developing a wide range of new ideas to help companies grow and create jobs.

Already, we’ve mobilized business leaders to train 10,000 American engineers a year, by providing company internships and training.  Other businesses are covering tuition for workers who learn new skills at community colleges.  And we’re going to make sure the next generation of manufacturing takes root not in China or Europe, but right here, in the United States of America.  If we provide the right incentives and support – and if we make sure our trading partners play by the rules – we can be the ones to build everything from fuel-efficient cars to advanced biofuels to semiconductors that are sold all over the world.  That’s how America can be number one again.  That’s how America will be number one again.

Now, I realize that some of you have a different theory on how to grow the economy.  Some of you sincerely believe that the only solution to our economic challenges is to simply cut most government spending and eliminate most government regulations.

Well, I agree that we can’t afford wasteful spending, and I will continue to work with Congress to get rid of it.  And I agree that there are some rules and regulations that put an unnecessary burden on businesses at a time when they can least afford it.  That’s why I ordered a review of all government regulations.  So far, we’ve identified over 500 reforms, which will save billions of dollars over the next few years.  We should have no more regulation than the health, safety, and security of the American people require.  Every rule should meet that common sense test.

But what we can’t do – what I won’t do – is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.  I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety.  I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients.  I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy.  We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards.  America should be in a race to the top.  And I believe that’s a race we can win.

In fact, this larger notion that the only thing we can do to restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own – that’s not who we are.  That’s not the story of America.

Yes, we are rugged individualists.  Yes, we are strong and self-reliant.  And it has been the drive and initiative of our workers and entrepreneurs that has made this economy the engine and envy of the world.

But there has always been another thread running throughout our history – a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.

We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union.  But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future – a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges.  And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.

Ask yourselves – where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways and our bridges; our dams and our airports?  What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges?  Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the GI Bill.  Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?

How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip?  What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?  How many Americans would have suffered as a result?

No single individual built America on their own.  We built it together.  We have been, and always will be, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all; a nation with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another.   Members of Congress, it is time for us to meet our responsibilities.

Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.  Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight will be paid for.  And every proposal is designed to meet the urgent needs of our people and our communities.

I know there’s been a lot of skepticism about whether the politics of the moment will allow us to pass this jobs plan – or any jobs plan.  Already, we’re seeing the same old press releases and tweets flying back and forth.  Already, the media has proclaimed that it’s impossible to bridge our differences.  And maybe some of you have decided that those differences are so great that we can only resolve them at the ballot box.

But know this:  the next election is fourteen months away.  And the people who sent us here – the people who hired us to work for them – they don’t have the luxury of waiting fourteen months.  Some of them are living week to week; paycheck to paycheck; even day to day.  They need help, and they need it now.

I don’t pretend that this plan will solve all our problems.  It shouldn’t be, nor will it be, the last plan of action we propose.  What’s guided us from the start of this crisis hasn’t been the search for a silver bullet.  It’s been a commitment to stay at it – to be persistent – to keep trying every new idea that works, and listen to every good proposal, no matter which party comes up with it.

Regardless of the arguments we’ve had in the past, regardless of the arguments we’ll have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now.  You should pass it.  And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.  I also ask every American who agrees to lift your voice and tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now.  Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option.  Remind us that if we act as one nation, and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge.

President Kennedy once said, “Our problems are man-made – therefore they can be solved by man.  And man can be as big as he wants.”

These are difficult years for our country.  But we are Americans.  We are tougher than the times that we live in, and we are bigger than our politics have been.  So let’s meet the moment.  Let’s get to work, and show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth.  Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Watch Live: The President’s Jobs Address Enhanced with Charts and Stats

Source: WH, 9-8-11

Tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT, President Obama will lay out his plan for creating American jobs and growing our economy in a speech before a special joint session of Congress. During the President’s address, WhiteHouse.gov will offer an easy way for you to visualize the key components of the President’s plan while watching the speech. Just like during the State of the Union, you can watch an enhanced live stream with charts, graphs, and quick stats at WhiteHouse.gov/live.

Watch the Enhanced Live Stream

Be sure to stay tuned immediately following the President’s speech, for a live panel where policy experts from the White House will answer your questions. Submit your questions now and the panel will address as many questions as they can after the speech:

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