Full Text November 21, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Remarks on Congressional Supercommittee Deficit Deal Failure

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama on the Supercommittee’s Failure to Reach a Compromise

Source: WH, 11-21-11
20111121 POTUS Podium

President Barack Obama delivers a statement in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Nov. 21, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This afternoon, the group of lawmakers tasked with cutting an additional $1 trillion from the deficit announced that their effort had failed.

President Obama addressed that situation from the White House Briefing Room just before 6:00 PM ET.

While some members of Congress are talking about undoing the automatic spending cuts that will take effect in 2013 if lawmakers can’t reach a compromise, the President said that kind of backpeddling is unacceptable:

I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.

There is still plenty of time for Congress to act, and there are a range of issues that demand their immediate attention.

That starts with the payroll tax cut. Without a vote from Congress, taxes for nearly every American will go up on January 1st.

“I’m not about to let that happen,” President Obama said.

Learn more. Read all about the Budget Control Act of 2011 that led to the creation of the supercommittee.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama statement on supercommittee failure

We Can’t Wait

President Obama talks about the supercommittee’s failure to reach a compromise from the White House Briefing Room — and discusses the need for immediate action to prevent a tax hike on the middle class.

President Obama talks about the supercommittee's failure
President Barack Obama delivers a statement, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 11/21/11

Good afternoon. As you all know, last summer I signed a law that will cut nearly $1 trillion of spending over the next 10 years. Part of that law also required Congress to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion by the end of this year.

In September, I sent them a detailed plan that would have gone above and beyond that goal. It’s a plan that would reduce the deficit by an additional $3 trillion, by cutting spending, slowing the growth of Medicare and Medicaid, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.

In addition to my plan, there were a number of other bipartisan plans for them to consider from both Democrats and Republicans, all of which promoted a balanced approach. This kind of balanced approach to reducing our deficit — an approach where everybody gives a little bit, and everyone does their fair share — is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans — Democrats, independents, and Republicans. It’s supported by experts and economists from all across the political spectrum. And to their credit, many Democrats in Congress were willing to put politics aside and commit to reasonable adjustments that would have reduced the cost of Medicare, as long as they were part of a balanced approach.

But despite the broad agreement that exists for such an approach, there’s still too many Republicans in Congress who have refused to listen to the voices of reason and compromise that are coming from outside of Washington. They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research. Even if it means deep cuts in Medicare.

So at this point, at least, they simply will not budge from that negotiating position. And so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit.

Now, we are not in the same situation that we were — that we were in in August. There is no imminent threat to us defaulting on the debt that we owe. There are already $1 trillion worth of spending cuts that are locked in. And part of the law that I signed this summer stated that if Congress could not reach an agreement on the deficit, there would be another $1.2 trillion of automatic cuts in 2013 — divided equally between domestic spending and defense spending.

One way or another, we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s going to happen, one way or another. We’ve got $1 trillion locked in, and either Congress comes up with $1.2 trillion, which so far they’ve failed to do, or the sequester kicks in and these automatic spending cuts will occur that bring in an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.

Now, the question right now is whether we can reduce the deficit in a way that helps the economy grow, that operates with a scalpel, not with a hatchet, and if not, whether Congress is willing to stick to the painful deal that we made in August for the automatic cuts. Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts.

My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.

We need to keep the pressure up to compromise — not turn off the pressure. The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. That’s exactly what they need to do. That’s the job they promised to do. And they’ve still got a year to figure it out.

Although Congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with an agreement in the days ahead. They can still come together around a balanced plan. I believe Democrats are prepared to do so. My expectation is, is that there will be some Republicans who are still interested in preventing the automatic cuts from taking place. And, as I have from the beginning, I stand ready and willing to work with anybody that’s ready to engage in that effort to create a balanced plan for deficit reduction.

Now, in the meantime, we’ve got a lot of work left to do this year. Before Congress leaves next month, we have to work together to cut taxes for workers and small business owners all across America. If we don’t act, taxes will go up for every single American, starting next year. And I’m not about to let that happen. Middle-class Americans can’t afford to lose $1,000 next year because Congress won’t act. And I can only hope that members of Congress who’ve been fighting so hard to protect tax breaks for the wealthy will fight just as hard to protect tax breaks for small business owners and middle-class families.

We still need to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges. We still need to put our teachers back in the classroom educating our kids.

So when everybody gets back from Thanksgiving, it’s time to get some work done for the American people. All around the country, Americans are working hard to live within their means and meet their responsibilities. And I know they expect Washington to do the same.

Thanks.

Full Text November 21, 2011: John Boehner in USA Today: ‘I did everything possible’ on Congressional Supercommittee Deficit Deal Failure

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

John Boehner: ‘I did everything possible’

Source: USA Today, 11-21-11

By Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images

By John Boehner

Republicans are focused on the American people’s No. 1 priority: jobs. And everyone knows that we can’t get our economy moving again and create jobs without dealing with Washington’s out-of-control spending. That’s why I did everything possible to support the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

Sadly, the so-called supercommittee was unable to reach agreement because President Obama and Washington Democrats insisted on dramatic tax hikes on American job creators, which would make our economy worse.

Throughout the process, Republicans made a series of serious, good-faith offers that included tax reforms that would lead to new revenue and more economic growth. The GOP proposals would get rid of special-interest tax breaks and loopholes and replace the current tax code with a system that would lower tax rates for every single American and help create jobs.

Not everyone in our party was happy we offered this tax reform, but Republicans put forth good-faith offers that would address Democrats’ demands for more revenue.

Democrats, unfortunately, refused to offer anything they didn’t previously support — insisting on a trillion dollar tax hike on job creators and nearly a trillion dollars in new “stimulus” spending.

I am not going to give up on the country, and neither will my Republican colleagues. We will continue to try to find common ground with Democrats to address what President Obama called the single biggest contributor to our deficits — health care costs, including Medicare and Medicaid — without job-killing tax hikes.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is speaker of the House.

Political Buzz November 21, 2011: Congressional Supercommittee Announces Failure to Reach Deficit Reduction Deal Prior to Wednesday Deadline

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. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

IN FOCUS: CONGRESSIONAL SUPERCOMMITTEE FAILS ON DEFICIT REDUCTION DEAL

“Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.” — Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling and Democratic Senator Patty Murray said in a joint statement.

“They simply will not budge from that negotiating position and so far that refusal has been the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce the deficit.” — President Obama said at the White House.

“This process did not end in the desired outcome, but it did bring our enormous fiscal challenges into greater focus. I am confident the work done by this committee will play a role in the solution we must eventually find as a nation. I commend both of the panel’s leaders, Jeb Hensarling and Patty Murray, for the dignified and statesmanlike manner in which the committee carried out its difficult negotiations.” — Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a statement

“I am disappointed that Republicans never found the courage to ignore Tea Party extremists and millionaire lobbyists like Grover Norquist, and listen instead to the overwhelming majority of Americans – including the vast majority of Republicans – who want a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
For the good of our country, Democrats were prepared to strike a grand bargain that would make painful cuts while asking millionaires to pay their fair share, and we put our willingness on paper. But Republicans never came close to meeting us halfway.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement

Congressional supercommittee fails to reach agreement on deficit reduction: The congressional supercommittee has failed to reach an agreement over how to cut $1.2 trillion from the U.S. budget deficit, the group said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
The co-chairs of the supercommittee, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling, said in a joint statement, “Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.”
Under the law that created the bipartisan 12-member panel, the failure means that the government will face an across-the-board $1.2 trillion cut to defense and non-defense spending in 2013…. – WaPo, 11-21-11

Obama vows to veto efforts to gut automatic spending cuts: President Obama said Monday that he would veto any attempt by Congress to eliminate the automatic spending cuts triggered by the failure of the deficit supercommittee.
The law creating the supercommittee said that if it failed to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion, across-the-board cuts to defense and domestic spending totaling that amount would occur in 2013. Some members of Congress have already said they would look for ways to soften the impact of the automatic cuts…. – WaPo, 11-21-11

 

  • Obama statement on supercommittee failure: President Barack Obama’s statement at the White House on Monday after the congressional supercommittee failed to produce a deficit-cutting plan: Good afternoon. As you all know, last summer I signed a law that will cut nearly $1 trillion of spending … – WaPo, 11-21-11
  • Panel Fails to Reach Deal on Plan for Deficit Reduction: President Obama spoke on Monday after a joint congressional committee failed to reach a deal on deficit reduction on Monday.
    President Obama promised to veto any legislation that seeks to avoid the automatic cuts that negotiators agreed would go into effect if a deal is not reached by 2013…. – NYT, 11-21-11
  • The Deficit Deal That Wasn’t: Hopes Are Dashed: Not only could Democrats and Republicans not agree on a deficit deal, they could not even agree after it failed about what had gone wrong…. – NYT, 11-21-11
  • Lawmakers abandon deficit-cutting effort: Lawmakers abandoned their high-profile effort to rein in the country’s ballooning debt on Monday in a sign that Washington likely will not be able to resolve a dispute over taxes and spending until 2013.
    The admission of defeat by Republicans and Democrats on a 12-member congressional “super committee” is likely to cement perceptions among voters and investors that politicians are too divided to tackle trillion-dollar budget deficits and a national debt that now is roughly equal to the U.S. economy…. – Reuters, 11-21-11
  • Super Committee Says It’s Unable to Agree on Debt Reduction Deal: After months of bipartisan debt-reduction talks, the Super Committee said Monday that it will be unable to agree on terms to save $1.2 trillion over 10 years by tonight’s midnight deadline…. – Fox News, 11-21-11
  • Obama says Republicans to blame for ‘super committee’s’ failure: President Obama placed blame for the failure of the “super committee” squarely on Republicans, saying their refusal to consider raising taxes as part of a “balanced approach” to deficit … – LAT, 11-21-11
  • Supercommittee fails to find compromise on deficit: The bipartisan leadership of a special congressional committee — assigned the task of slashing more than $1 trillion dollars from the US deficit — announced Monday that the panel had failed, unable to bridge bitter ideological … – USA Today, 11-21-11
  • Five reasons why the congressional supercommittee failed: Congress’ goal when it created this panel was not to resolve a fiscal mess. It was merely to buy time so it could avoid painfully tough choices…. – CS Monitor, 11-21-11
  • Enough blame to spread around: The official statement marking the death of the supercommittee came from its co-chairs, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who jointly said “we were deeply disappointed” in the failure of the panel’s 12 members to reach a deficit-cutting deal…. – Politico, 11-21-11
  • Obama Vows to Veto Attempts to Undo Automatic Spending Cuts: After the Congressional supercommittee failed to reach a deal to cut the budget, President Obama tonight vowed to veto any attempts to undo $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that would take effect in 2013. “Already some in Congress are trying to … – ABC News, 11-21-11
  • Obama Threatens to Veto Changes to Cuts: President Barack Obama said Monday he will veto any effort to get rid of automatic spending cuts that would begin to take effect in 2013 if Congress can’t find other ways of trimming government deficits. … – Time, AP, 11-21-11
  • The failure of the supercommittee bodes poorly for future negotiations: WHAT NEXT, NOW that the congressional supercommittee has failed? Depressingly, the answer is: not much, at least in the short term. Absent some intervening, cataclysmic event, the debt-reduction can has been kicked once again — this time. … – WaPo, 11-21-11
  • Obama pledges to veto effort to undo automatic spending cuts: President Obama is promising to veto any effort to undo the automatic spending cuts that are set to take effect now that the congressional supercommittee has announced its failure to strike a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years…. – CBS News, 11-21-11
  • Super committee about to fail: Is it Obama’s fault?: Mitt Romney says it is. The GOP presidential candidate has used the super committee’s apparent failure as an opportunity to go after the incumbent…. – CS Monitor, 11-21-11
  • No Deficit Deal: US at Risk for Downgrade, Stock Correction: The Super Committee’s failure to come to an agreement on significant deficit reduction—and the possibility it may undo the automatic $1.2 trillion in budget cuts—is risking another US debt downgrade, a 10 percent drop in stocks and a decline in the US … – CNBC, 11-21-11
  • Super Committee Failure Won’t Hit US Rating: The Congressional super committee’s failure to reach a deal on cutting the US deficit will not lead to an immediate downgrade by credit ratings agencies…. – TheStreet.com, 11-21-11
  • Gingrich: Super committee failure ‘good for America': Newt Gingrich declared that the congressional “Super Committee’s collapse” would be “good for America…. – MSNBC, 11-21-11
  • Debt ‘super committee': the Grinch that stole the Christmas stock rally: The apparent inability of the ‘super committee’ to reach a deal, along with European economic woes, is causing angst on Wall Street…. – CS Monitor, 11-21-11
  • Super Committee’s Defeat May Mean More Cuts: Congress’ super committee admitted defeat Monday in its quest to conquer a government debt that stands at a staggering $15 trillion, unable to overcome deep and enduring political divisions over taxes and spending…. – WCVB-TV, 11-21-11

Political Buzz September 21, 2011: House Defeats Stopgap Spending Bill 230-195 — 4 Dozen Republicans Join Democrats Defecting from Leadership — Government Shutdown Possible

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:

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner addresses reporters during a press conference. | Jay Westcott/POLITICO

THE HEADLINES: HOUSE DEFEATS STOPGAP SPENDING 230-195 — FOUR DOZEN REPUBLICANS JOIN DEMOCRATS DEFECTING FROM LEADERSHIP

News Alert: House rejects resolution to fund government after Sept. 30: The House rejected a resolution Wednesday to fund the government through Nov. 18, as GOP leaders were unable to overcome opposition from Democrats who wanted more disaster relief and conservatives who wanted to cut more deeply. President Obama must sign a continuing resolution by Sept. 30 or risk a government shutdown.

House kills stopgap spending bill: The House has rejected a measure providing $3.7 billion for disaster relief as part of a bill to keep the government running through mid-November. The surprise 230-195 defeat for GOP leaders came at the hands of Democrats and tea party Republicans.
Democrats were opposed because the measure contains cuts to a government loan program to help car companies build fuel efficient vehicles.
For their part, many GOP conservatives feel the underlying bill permits spending at too high a rate. — AP, 9-21-11

  • Republican Defections Defeat Bill Containing Disaster Relief Aid: The U.S. House, in a surprise setback to Republican leaders, defeated a spending bill providing $3.65 billion in aid to victims of recent natural disasters and needed to prevent a government shutdown.
    Republicans unhappy with the measure’s overall cost joined Democrats opposed to a proposed cut in an auto industry-loan program to derail the measure yesterday, 230-195. Opposing the legislation were 48 Republicans and 182 Democrats; backing it were 189 Republicans and six Democrats.
    The defeat raises the prospect of a government shutdown because the bill would fund the government until Nov. 18. The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and Congress is in recess next week…. – BusinessWeek, 9-21-11
  • US House unexpectedly defeats spending bill: A bill that would fund the US government past Sept. 30 unexpectedly failed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday as dozens of Republicans broke with party leaders to push for deeper spending cuts…. – Reuters, 9-21-11
  • House Rebukes G.O.P. Leaders Over Spending: House Republicans suffered a surprising setback when the House rejected their version of a stopgap spending bill, leaving unclear how Congress will keep the government open and aid natural disaster victims…. – NYT, 9-21-11
  • House rejects temporary funding measure, raising shutdown risk: The threat of a government shutdown intensified as the GOP-led House failed to muster a majority to approve legislation to fund the government after Republicans insisted that federal disaster aid be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere…. – LAT, 9-21-11
  • House conservatives revolt on spending bill: A stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded past Sept. 30 collapsed in the House late Wednesday in a return of the same brinkmanship politics that so soured voters on Congress in the debt fight over the summer.
    Republicans lost 48 of their own members on the 230-195 vote, even as Democrats took advantage of the GOP’s vulnerability by pulling back their support in protest of spending cuts affecting the auto industry…. – Politico, 9-21-11
  • Vote on House spending bill reveals John Boehner’s lack of control: House Republicans tried a fresh strategy Wednesday night: Go it alone on a spending bill. The result was an embarrassing setback.
    Wednesday night’s rank-and-file rebuke of GOP leadership — with 48 Republicans bolting on a temporary spending bill — underscored the fact that the House Republican majority is still struggling to find unity on major spending bills. It also showed they still need Democratic votes to help them govern.
    The pressure from an angry Speaker John Boehner didn’t work — he even threatened to strip committee assignments. Four dozen Republicans —mostly conservatives — wanted more cuts, and they just said no, creating an uncomfortable scene on the House floor as the funding bill failed on a 195-230 vote. Democrats showed a rare moment of unity in overwhelmingly opposing the continuing resolution, which would keep the government funded through Nov. 18.
    Now, to prevent a government shutdown, Republicans will have to rewrite the bill and figure out how to get the votes…. – Politico, 9-21-11
  • House Democratic leaders urge members to vote ‘no’ on stopgap funding bill: A partisan dispute over disaster relief funds escalated Wednesday as Democratic leaders in the House urged rank-and-file members to oppose a resolution to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30…. – WaPo, 9-21-11
  • House GOP regroups after loss on spending bill: House GOP leaders are regrouping after a surprise loss on a measure to provide $3.7 billion for disaster relief and prevent a government shutdown at the end of next week.
    Wednesday’s 230-195 defeat came at the hands of Democrats and tea party Republicans.
    Now the question confronting GOP leaders including Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is whether to push the legislation to the left or the right in hopes of passing it through the House and reaching agreement with the Democratic Senate before disaster aid runs out for victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters early next week…. – AP, 9-21-11
  • More Budget Dysfunction: Conservative House Republicans delivered a stinging rebuke to Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, as four dozen GOP lawmakers joined with almost every Democrat to defeat a six-week stop gap budget bill that also included extra disaster relief money for FEMA.
    Those four dozen Republicans wanted deeper budget cuts in this temporary budget, while the over 200 Democrats wanted less in budget cuts and more money for FEMA…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9-21-11
  • Republican Defections Defeat Bill With Disaster Relief Aid: The US House defeated a spending bill that included $3.65 billion in aid to victims of recent natural disasters and would keep the government operating past this month…. – San Francisco Chronicle, 9-22-11
  • GOP House leaders rebuked on spending: The surprise defeat in the House Wednesday of a special funding measure to keep the federal government functioning past Sept. 30 was a sharp rebuke of the GOP leadership that controls the chamber and a testament to the fragility of the majority itself.
    The rejection of the measure resurrected the specter of a government shutdown at the end of the month and suggested that the heated confrontations that dominated Washington in the spring and early summer are likely to return this fall.
    While it is widely expected that the parties will eventually reach a compromise to avoid a shutdown, Wednesday’s 230-to-195 vote showed what can happen when the GOP majority operates with no more than minimal Democratic support.
    The failure of the bill was the result of a new solidarity among Democrats on funding issues and old divisions among Republicans on spending reductions…. – WaPo, 9-22-11

 

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES: FROM THE HOUSE FLOOR DEBATE — 9-21-11

Page: H6304
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up…
H. Res. 405
Mr. WOODALL. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
GENERAL LEAVE
Mr. WOODALL. I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative…
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 405 provides for a closed rule for…
Page: H6305
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I thank my colleague for yielding me the customary 30 minutes,…
Page: H6306
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to yield 5 minutes to a gentleman who has…
Mr. DREIER. I thank my friend for yielding and congratulate him on his stellar…
Page: H6307
Mr. WOODALL. I yield the gentleman an additional 5 minutes.
Mr. DREIER. I thank my friend for yielding.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from…
Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, today the Republican majority has made a…
Mr. WOODALL. I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman…
Mr. LEVIN. We’ve heard a lot of rhetoric the first 10 minutes, or whatever, on…
Mr. WOODALL. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. LEVIN. I yield to the gentleman from Georgia.
Mr. WOODALL. I appreciate the gentleman yielding.
Mr. LEVIN. You’ve been misinformed. There are millions and millions of dollars…
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to speak to…
Page: H6308
Mr. LEVIN. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WOODALL. I would be happy to yield to my friend.
Mr. LEVIN. There is nothing in that decision, nothing in that action that paid…
Mr. WOODALL. Reclaiming my time from my friend, you’re absolutely right that…
Mr. LEVIN. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WOODALL. I would be happy to yield to my friend.
Mr. LEVIN. So now you’re saying we’re paying for it by taking away jobs from…
Mr. WOODALL. Reclaiming my time, as I’m not the chairman of the committee, I…
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I want to yield myself 10 seconds to say that I…
Mr. PASCRELL. Look, we’re all Americans. We’re not Democrats, Republicans.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I yield the gentleman another 10 seconds.
Mr. PASCRELL. This coalition is going to stay strong because America is more…
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, to correct what may be a misunderstanding about the…
Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New York, a …
Page: H6309
Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule and more broadly to…
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. HINCHEY. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WOODALL. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
Mr. HINCHEY. Thank you very much. I deeply appreciate it.
Mr. WOODALL. Reclaiming my time.
Mr. WOODALL. I thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Let me just reiterate.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I’m going to give myself another second here just to say I keep…
Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, America has had an economic disaster and a natural…
Mr. WOODALL. I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Vermont…
Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentlelady for yielding. [Page:…
Page: H6310
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds just to say that we have…
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from North…
Mr. WATT. Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the President signed the patent reform…
Mr. WOODALL. I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman…
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, this bill is brought to us by people who know the…
Page: H6311
Mr. WOODALL. I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr….
Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, there is a not-so-thin line between being frugal and…
Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. ELLISON. No, I will not yield, and I won’t cede any of my time, so you…
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I am proud that we have been able to have a…
Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Thank you for yielding.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan…
Mr. PETERS. Mr. Speaker, I come from the Greater Detroit area, which has been…
Mr. WOODALL. I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson…
Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, it would seem that we would come to the…
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I yield the gentlewoman 1 additional minute.
Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Rather than declaring disasters what they are,…
Mr. WOODALL. I yield 1 minute to the chairman of the committee, the gentleman…
Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. I thank the gentleman for yielding again. I’ll be very…
Page: H6312
Mr. WOODALL. I say to my friend to from New York, I have no more speakers and…
Ms. SLAUGHTER. I thank the gentleman.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I want to urge my colleagues to vote “no,” defeat…
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
An Amendment to H. Res. 405 Offered by Mrs. Slaughter of New York
The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means
Page: H6313
Mr. WOODALL. I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous…
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
Mrs. MYRICK changed her vote from “nay” to “yea.”
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
Page: H6314
Mr. ROKITA changed his vote from “nay” to “yea.”

Full Text September 19, 2011: President Barack Obama Unveils $4 Trillion Economic Growth & Deficit Reduction Plan — $3 Trillion Deficit Cuts in Over 10 Years — $1.5 Trillion in New Taxes

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama announces his Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction

President Barack Obama delivers a statement announcing his Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sept. 19, 2011.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction

Source: WH, 9-19-11

President Obama’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction — Full Text — PDF

The health of our economy depends on what we do right now to create the conditions where businesses can hire and middle-class families can feel a basic measure of economic security. In the long run, our prosperity also depends on our ability to pay down the massive debt the federal government has accumulated over the past decade. Today, the President sent to the Joint Committee his plan to jumpstart economic growth and job creation now – and to lay the foundation for it to continue for years to come.

The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction lives up to a simple idea: as a Nation, we can live within our means while still making the investments we need to prosper – from a jobs bill that is needed right now to long-term investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure. It follows a balanced approach: asking everyone to do their part, so no one has to bear all the burden.  And it says that everyone – including millionaires and billionaires – has to pay their fair share.

Overall, it pays for the American Jobs Act and produces net savings of more than $3 trillion over the next decade, on top of the roughly $1 trillion in spending cuts that the President already signed into law in the Budget Control Act – for a total savings of more than $4 trillion over the next decade. This would bring the country to a place, by 2017, where current spending is no longer adding to our debt, debt is falling as a share of the economy, and deficits are at a sustainable level.

Now, let me review some of its main components.

First, the plan includes the American Jobs Act – a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans that will put people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. It’s imperative that we pass this bill now both to get the economy moving again and creating jobs at the pace we need it, and to help with deficit reduction since a growing economy is a vital part to reducing our deficits and debt.

Second, the plan lays out a way to live within our means so that we can invest in the things that will power economic growth for decades to come: education, innovation, clean energy, and infrastructure. To do this, it follows a balanced approach to deficit reduction by drawing from across the Budget for savings and by asking everyone to pay their fair share.

Specifically, the President is proposing approximately $580 billion in cuts and reforms to a wide range of mandatory programs from cuts to agricultural subsidies that are no longer necessary to reform of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and modest changes to federal civilian worker retirement and health benefits for military retirees.

In health care programs, the President is recommending a series of reforms that builds on the historic savings and reforms in the Affordable Care Act to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid so that these vital programs are robust and healthy to serve Americans for years to come.

These proposals will save $248 billion in Medicare and $72 billion in Medicaid and other health programs over 10 years, and extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by three years. This is accomplished in a way that does not shift risks unfairly onto the individuals they serve; slash benefits; or undermine the fundamental compact they represent to our Nation’s seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families. Any savings that affect beneficiaries do not begin until 2017 and do not affect middle-income and current beneficiaries. Other health and Medicaid savings amount to $72 billion, and because of the structural nature of these reforms to both programs, health savings grow to over $1 trillion in the second decade. Moreover, as he said today, the President will veto any bill that takes one dime from the Medicare benefits seniors rely on without asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.

The President’s plan reflects the Administration’s current policy of drawing down our troop presence in Afghanistan and the transition from a military to a civilian-led mission in Iraq for a savings of $1 trillion.

Finally, the President calls on the Committee to undertake comprehensive tax reform and lays out five key principles. Reform should: 1) lower tax rates; 2) cut wasteful loopholes and tax breaks; 3) reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion; 4) boost job creation and growth; and 5) comport with the “Buffett Rule” that people making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.

To advance this debate, the President is offering a detailed set of specific tax loophole closers and measures to broaden the tax base that, together with the expiration of the high-income tax cuts, would be more than sufficient to hit the $1.5 trillion target for additional revenue. These measures include cutting tax preferences for high-income households, eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies, closing the carried interest loophole for investment fund managers, and eliminating benefits for those who own corporate jets.

We have little doubt that some of these proposals will not be popular with many of those who benefit from these affected programs and currently enjoy special tax breaks. These are tough choices that we had to make — and some of these changes we are only putting forward to address our fiscal situation. But we are all in this together, and all of us must contribute to getting our economy moving again and on a firm fiscal footing.

If we don’t take a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes asking the wealthiest 2 percent of families and big corporations to pay their fair share, then everyone else must shoulder the load. That could mean drastic cuts to things like education, research and development, infrastructure, and food safety; and could mean severe cuts to Medicare that would burden seniors with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.

Second, if we do nothing, our economy will not get the jolt it needs now and it will be weighed down by our debt or years to come. If we don’t take these steps now, it will only get harder.

I’ve been working on these issues for three decades, and I can tell you that making these changes in this plan will require some tough choices. Everyone will have a cut or a new policy that they do not like – or wish that they could avoid. But remember: the challenge we face is one that we all face – together – as Americans. We are in this together, and the only way that we can have a balanced approach is that we all do our part.

So read the plan, and join the debate about how we can jumpstart our economy, reduce our deficit, and win the future.

President Obama: Washington Has to Live within its Means

Source: WH, 9-19-11

President Obama today unveiled a plan for economic growth and deficit reduction that details how to pay for the American Jobs Act while also paying down our debt over time. The plan, which is being sent to the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, offers a balanced approach to further reduce our nation’s deficit and get our fiscal house in order, based on the values of shared responsibility and shared sacrifice.

The President’s plan lays out a blueprint that will enable Washington to live within its means, something Americans across the country have been doing for years. And the balanced approach means that no one group has to bear the burden alone. It means that everyone – including millionaires and billionaires – has to pay their fair share.

The plan, which will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion, includes many of the proposals the President has previously discussed — closing tax loopholes for oil companies and hedge fund managers and asking the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share. It also includes difficult spending cuts and making adjustments to strengthen programs like Medicare and Medicaid for future generations. As part of the plan, the President is also calling on Congress to undertake comprehensive tax reform to simplify the system, make it more fair and efficient, and lay a stronger foundation for economic growth:

It comes down to this: We have to prioritize. Both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount — by $4 trillion. So what choices are we going to make to reach that goal? Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or we’re going to have to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare. We can’t afford to do both.

Either we gut education and medical research, or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that the most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get. We can’t afford to do both.

This is not class warfare. It’s math. The money is going to have to come from someplace. And if we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit and we are trying to reach that same target of $4 trillion, then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more: We’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor. We’ve got to scale back on the investments that have always helped our economy grow. We’ve got to settle for second-rate roads and second-rate bridges and second-rate airports, and schools that are crumbling.

That’s unacceptable to me. That’s unacceptable to the American people. And it will not happen on my watch. I will not support — I will not support — any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.

According to Jack Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, taking the steps outlined in this plan would bring the country to a place, by 2017, where current spending is no longer adding to our debt, debt is falling as a share of the economy, and deficits are at a sustainable level.

You can read the entire proposal that was submitted to the Joint Committee or read an overview in this fact sheet

 

Full Text September 19, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden Speech on Economy, American Jobs Act Introduces Deficit Reduction Plan, Including Tax Increases (Transcript)

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Obama discussed his deficit plan at the White House on Monday.

Remarks by the President on Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction

Source: WH, 9-19-11

Rose Garden

10:56 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  Please have a seat.

A week ago today, I sent Congress the American Jobs Act.  It’s a plan that will lead to new jobs for teachers, for construction workers, for veterans, and for the unemployed.  It will cut taxes for every small business owner and virtually every working man and woman in America.  And the proposals in this jobs bill are the kinds that have been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.  So there shouldn’t be any reason for Congress to drag its feet.  They should pass it right away.  I’m ready to sign a bill.  I’ve got the pens all ready.

Now, as I said before, Congress should pass this bill knowing that every proposal is fully paid for.  The American Jobs Act will not add to our nation’s debt.  And today, I’m releasing a plan that details how to pay for the jobs bill while also paying down our debt over time.

And this is important, because the health of our economy depends in part on what we do right now to create the conditions where businesses can hire and middle-class families can feel a basic measure of economic security.  But in the long run, our prosperity also depends on our ability to pay down the massive debt we’ve accumulated over the past decade in a way that allows us to meet our responsibilities to each other and to the future.

During this past decade, profligate spending in Washington, tax cuts for multi-millionaires and billionaires, the cost of two wars, and the recession turned a record surplus into a yawning deficit, and that left us with a big pile of IOUs.  If we don’t act, that burden will ultimately fall on our children’s shoulders.  If we don’t act, the growing debt will eventually crowd out everything else, preventing us from investing in things like education, or sustaining programs like Medicare.

So Washington has to live within its means.  The government has to do what families across this country have been doing for years.  We have to cut what we can’t afford to pay for what really matters.  We need to invest in what will promote hiring and economic growth now while still providing the confidence that will come with a plan that reduces our deficits over the long-term.

These principles were at the heart of the deficit framework that I put forward in April.  It was an approach to shrink the deficit as a share of the economy, but not to do so so abruptly with spending cuts that would hamper growth or prevent us from helping small businesses and middle-class families get back on their feet.

It was an approach that said we need to go through the budget line-by-line looking for waste, without shortchanging education and basic scientific research and road construction, because those things are essential to our future.  And it was an approach that said we shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the middle class; that for us to solve this problem, everybody, including the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, have to pay their fair share.

Now, during the debt ceiling debate, I had hoped to negotiate a compromise with the Speaker of the House that fulfilled these principles and achieved the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that leaders in both parties have agreed we need — a grand bargain that would have strengthened our economy, instead of weakened it.  Unfortunately, the Speaker walked away from a balanced package.  What we agreed to instead wasn’t all that grand.  But it was a start — roughly $1 trillion in cuts to domestic spending and defense spending.

Everyone knows we have to do more, and a special joint committee of Congress is assigned to find more deficit reduction. So, today, I’m laying out a set of specific proposals to finish what we started this summer — proposals that live up to the principles I’ve talked about from the beginning.  It’s a plan that reduces our debt by more than $4 trillion, and achieves these savings in a way that is fair — by asking everybody to do their part so that no one has to bear too much of the burden on their own.

All told, this plan cuts $2 in spending for every dollar in new revenues.  In addition to the $1 trillion in spending that we’ve already cut from the budget, our plan makes additional spending cuts that need to happen if we’re to solve this problem. We reform agricultural subsidies — subsidies that a lot of times pay large farms for crops that they don’t grow.  We make modest adjustments to federal retirement programs.  We reduce by tens of billions of dollars the tax money that goes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  We also ask the largest financial firms — companies saved by tax dollars during the financial crisis — to repay the American people for every dime that we spent.  And we save an additional $1 trillion as we end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These savings are not only counted as part of our plan, but as part of the budget plan that nearly every Republican on the House voted for.

Finally, this plan includes structural reforms to reduce the cost of health care in programs like Medicare and Medicaid.  Keep in mind we’ve already included a number of reforms in the health care law, which will go a long way towards controlling these costs.  But we’re going to have to do a little more.  This plan reduces wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments while changing some incentives that often lead to excessive health care costs.  It makes prescriptions more affordable through faster approval of generic drugs.  We’ll work with governors to make Medicaid more efficient and more accountable.  And we’ll change the way we pay for health care.  Instead of just paying for procedures, providers will be paid more when they improve results — and such steps will save money and improve care.

These changes are phased in slowly to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid over time.  Because while we do need to reduce health care costs, I’m not going to allow that to be an excuse for turning Medicare into a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry.  And I’m not going to stand for balancing the budget by denying or reducing health care for poor children or those with disabilities.  So we will reform Medicare and Medicaid, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment that this country has kept for generations.

And by the way, that includes our commitment to Social Security.  I’ve said before, Social Security is not the primary cause of our deficits, but it does face long-term challenges as our country grows older.  And both parties are going to need to work together on a separate track to strengthen Social Security for our children and our grandchildren.

So this is how we can reduce spending:  by scouring the budget for every dime of waste and inefficiency, by reforming government spending, and by making modest adjustments to Medicare and Medicaid.  But all these reductions in spending, by themselves, will not solve our fiscal problems.  We can’t just cut our way out of this hole.  It’s going to take a balanced approach.  If we’re going to make spending cuts — many of which we wouldn’t make if we weren’t facing such large budget deficits — then it’s only right that we ask everyone to pay their fair share.

You know, last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner gave a speech about the economy.  And to his credit, he made the point that we can’t afford the kind of politics that says it’s “my way or the highway.”  I was encouraged by that.  Here’s the problem: In that same speech, he also came out against any plan to cut the deficit that includes any additional revenues whatsoever.  He said — I’m quoting him — there is “only one option.”  And that option and only option relies entirely on cuts.  That means slashing education, surrendering the research necessary to keep America’s technological edge in the 21st century, and allowing our critical public assets like highways and bridges and airports to get worse.  It would cripple our competiveness and our ability to win the jobs of the future.  And it would also mean asking sacrifice of seniors and the middle class and the poor, while asking nothing of the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.

So the Speaker says we can’t have it “my way or the highway,” and then basically says, my way — or the highway.  (Laughter.)  That’s not smart.  It’s not right.  If we’re going to meet our responsibilities, we have to do it together.

Now, I’m proposing real, serious cuts in spending.  When you include the $1 trillion in cuts I’ve already signed into law, these would be among the biggest cuts in spending in our history. But they’ve got to be part of a larger plan that’s balanced –- a plan that asks the most fortunate among us to pay their fair share, just like everybody else.

And that’s why this plan eliminates tax loopholes that primarily go to the wealthiest taxpayers and biggest corporations –- tax breaks that small businesses and middle-class families don’t get.  And if tax reform doesn’t get done, this plan asks the wealthiest Americans to go back to paying the same rates that they paid during the 1990s, before the Bush tax cuts.

I promise it’s not because anybody looks forward to the prospects of raising taxes or paying more taxes.  I don’t.  In fact, I’ve cut taxes for the middle class and for small businesses, and through the American Jobs Act, we’d cut taxes again to promote hiring and put more money into the pockets of people.  But we can’t afford these special lower rates for the wealthy -– rates, by the way, that were meant to be temporary.  Back when these first — these tax cuts, back in 2001, 2003, were being talked about, they were talked about temporary measures.  We can’t afford them when we’re running these big deficits.

Now, I am also ready to work with Democrats and Republicans to reform our entire tax code, to get rid of the decades of accumulated loopholes, special interest carve-outs, and other tax expenditures that stack the deck against small business owners and ordinary families who can’t afford Washington lobbyists or fancy accountants.  Our tax code is more than 10,000 pages long. If you stack up all the volumes, they’re almost five feet tall.  That means that how much you pay often depends less on what you make and more on how well you can game the system, and that’s especially true of the corporate tax code.

We’ve got one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, but it’s riddled with exceptions and special interest loopholes.  So some companies get out paying a lot of taxes, while the rest of them end up having to foot the bill.  And this makes our entire economy less competitive and our country a less desirable place to do business.

That has to change.  Our tax code shouldn’t give an advantage to companies with the best-connected lobbyists.  It should give an advantage to companies that invest in the United States of America and create jobs in the United States of America.  And we can lower the corporate rate if we get rid of all these special deals.

So I am ready, I am eager, to work with Democrats and Republicans to reform the tax code to make it simpler, make it fairer, and make America more competitive.  But any reform plan will have to raise revenue to help close our deficit.  That has to be part of the formula.  And any reform should follow another simple principle:  Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires.  That’s pretty straightforward.  It’s hard to argue against that.  Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett.  There is no justification for it.

It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million.  Anybody who says we can’t change the tax code to correct that, anyone who has signed some pledge to protect every single tax loophole so long as they live, they should be called out.  They should have to defend that unfairness — explain why somebody who’s making  $50 million a year in the financial markets should be paying 15 percent on their taxes, when a teacher making $50,000 a year is paying more than that — paying a higher rate.  They ought to have to answer for it.  And if they’re pledged to keep that kind of unfairness in place, they should remember, the last time I checked the only pledge that really matters is the pledge we take to uphold the Constitution.

Now, we’re already hearing the usual defenders of these kinds of loopholes saying this is just “class warfare.”  I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare.  I think it’s just the right the thing to do.  I believe the American middle class, who’ve been pressured relentlessly for decades, believe it’s time that they were fought for as hard as the lobbyists and some lawmakers have fought to protect special treatment for billionaires and big corporations.

Nobody wants to punish success in America.  What’s great about this country is our belief that anyone can make it and everybody should be able to try -– the idea that any one of us can open a business or have an idea and make us millionaires or billionaires.  This is the land of opportunity.  That’s great.  All I’m saying is that those who have done well, including me, should pay our fair share in taxes to contribute to the nation that made our success possible.  We shouldn’t get a better deal than ordinary families get.  And I think most wealthy Americans would agree if they knew this would help us grow the economy and deal with the debt that threatens our future.

It comes down to this:  We have to prioritize.  Both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount — by $4 trillion.  So what choices are we going to make to reach that goal?  Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or we’re going to have to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare.  We can’t afford to do both.

Either we gut education and medical research, or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that the most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get.  We can’t afford to do both.

This is not class warfare.  It’s math.  (Laughter.)  The money is going to have to come from someplace.  And if we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit and we are trying to reach that same target of $4 trillion, then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more:  We’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor.  We’ve got to scale back on the investments that have always helped our economy grow.  We’ve got to settle for second-rate roads and second-rate bridges and second-rate airports, and schools that are crumbling.

That’s unacceptable to me.  That’s unacceptable to the American people.  And it will not happen on my watch.  I will not support — I will not support — any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans.  And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share.  We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.

None of the changes I’m proposing are easy or politically convenient.  It’s always more popular to promise the moon and leave the bill for after the next election or the election after that.  That’s been true since our founding.  George Washington grappled with this problem.  He said, “Towards the payment of debts, there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; [and] no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.”  He understood that dealing with the debt is — these are his words — “always a choice of difficulties.”  But he also knew that public servants weren’t elected to do what was easy; they weren’t elected to do what was politically advantageous.  It’s our responsibility to put country before party.  It’s our responsibility to do what’s right for the future.

And that’s what this debate is about.  It’s not about numbers on a ledger; it’s not about figures on a spreadsheet.  It’s about the economic future of this country, and it’s about whether we will do what it takes to create jobs and growth and opportunity while facing up to the legacy of debt that threatens everything we’ve built over generations.

And it’s also about fairness.  It’s about whether we are, in fact, in this together, and we’re looking out for one another.  We know what’s right.  It’s time to do what’s right.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

END
11:16 A.M. EDT

Full Text September 17, 2011: Weekly Republican Address: Rep. Peter Roskam on Addressing Excessive Regulations to Promote Job Creation (Transcript)

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Weekly Republican Address: Rep. Peter Roskam on Addressing Excessive Regulations to Promote Job Creation

Source: Speaker.gov, 9-17-11

Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) talks about how excessive federal regulations are hurting job creation in America, and discusses the House’s efforts to address the problem.  “In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor has scheduled several bills for a vote this fall aimed at cutting red tape and addressing the excessive, Washington-imposed regulations that hamper job creation,” Roskam says.  One such bill passed the House on Thursday.  Last week, Roskam recruited job creators hurt by Washington overregulation to attend the president’s address to Congress as guests of Speaker Boehner.  Rep. Roskam is in his third term as Congressman for the Sixth District of Illinois and is the Chief Deputy Whip.  Audio of the address is available here.  Video will be available here for viewing and here for downloading once the embargo is lifted tomorrow at 6:00 a.m.

Hello, I’m Peter Roskam.  I serve as the House Republicans’ Chief Deputy Whip, and I have the honor of representing the people of Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District.

 

Like you, I’m frustrated with America’s jobs crisis: more than 650,000 people are out of work in Illinois, President Obama’s home state.
Small business owners are fighting every day to create and innovate, but continue to face government barriers to job creation.  Among them: our unsustainable debt, the constant threat of higher taxes, and excessive regulations.

Today I’d like to talk to you about excessive federal regulations, how they hurt jobs and household budgets, and what we can do about it.

 

Let me start with this: appropriate and responsible regulations help protect our health and safety.  But things have changed quickly – and for the worse.  Washington has become a red tape factory, with more than 4,000 rules in the pipeline – hundreds of which would cost our economy more than $100 million each annually. The disappointing reality is that what may be a faceless regulation to most can have a profound impact on local economies and families like yours.

Just one rule has Chicago White Metal Casting, a manufacturer in my district employing 240, fighting to survive in an already tough economy.  Already facing a stream of regulations, they’ll soon face new regulations from unelected bureaucrats implementing a back-door national energy tax – after it failed in Congress.  Chicago White Metal Casting already has one employee who spends half his time dealing with existing federal audits, certification requirements, and complex paperwork.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the case of Boeing, one of the world’s leading manufacturers.  This Chicago-based company invested more than $1 billion in a new plant in South Carolina that would generate thousands of good-paying jobs … only to be sued by the government and told that the plant can’t open.   Who in the government sued them?  No one that’s elected, I’ll tell you that.  No, Boeing is being sued by the National Labor Relations Board, which is charged with looking out for labor unions.

 

I’d also like to share with you the story of Gibson Guitars, a company that makes world-class guitars.  Well a few weeks ago, Gibson was raided by 26 armed federal agents. No charges have been filed and regulators have not explained to the company what they may have done wrong or how to rectify the situation. Well I’d like to know how job creators can be expected to prosper with the threat of a federal raid hanging over them?

 

Stories like these are cropping up coast-to-coast.  One Illinois farmer stood up at a town hall meeting last month and pleaded with the president.  He said, ‘please don’t challenge us with more rules and regulations from Washington.’

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

That farmer was one of several job creators who attended [the] president’s speech to the Congress as guests of House Speaker John Boehner.

Republicans are listening to America’s job creators and working to address their concerns with real solutions.  In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor has scheduled several bills for a vote this fall aimed at cutting red tape and addressing the excessive, Washington-imposed regulations that hamper job creation.

 

This week, the House passed a bill to eliminate the barriers Boeing faces.  It stops the government from telling an employer where it can – and cannot – create jobs.

We can take common-sense steps like these and still have rules that look out for our health and safety.   What’s important is that these rules are effective and dependable.  Job creators should be able to focus on their work – not on Washington’s busy-work.

 

In his speech last week, the president talked about the urgency of this moment.  He said we can act ‘right now.’  I agree.

He can help us fix this hostile regulatory environment immediately.  He already canceled some counterproductive rules that hurt our economy, and he can cancel more.

 

He can call on the Democrat-led Senate to pass the dozen or so jobs bills we’ve passed in the House and ones that are on their way.  That includes the Boeing bill that I just mentioned.  There’s also the REINS Act, common-sense legislation that gives Congress a say before Washington imposes new rules and regulations.  So instead of being circumvented, the people’s representatives should be able to hold accountable unelected bureaucrats who encroach on our freedoms and make it harder to create jobs.

I hope the president will consider our ideas as we take a look at his.  Let’s listen to the people and find common ground to remove barriers to job creation.  Let’s help small businesses return to creating jobs so that they can pick up where they left off instead of being left behind.

You can learn more about our jobs plan by visiting Jobs.GOP.gov.  Thank you for listening.

Full Text September 17, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges Congess to Pass the American Jobs Act

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Weekly Address: Passing the American Jobs Act

President Obama discusses the need for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act to put more people back to work, and more money back in the pockets of people who are working. Read the jobs bill.

 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 9/16/11

Weekly Address: Passing the American Jobs Act

In this week’s address, President Obama urged Congress to pass the American Jobs Act without delay so that businesses will be able to hire more workers and every American who wants a job will be able to find one.  The President’s jobs bill keeps cops on the streets and teachers in the classrooms, cuts taxes for small businesses, and puts construction workers back to work without adding to the deficit.  All Americans who agree with the President’s plan should call their elected officials and tell them that it’s time to pass the jobs bill, which will ensure that everyone pays their fair share and that we live within our means as we help the economy continue to grow.

Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House September 17, 2011

I’ve spent some time lately traveling the country and talking with folks outside of Washington.  And the number one issue for the people I meet is how we can get back to a place where we’re creating good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer some security.

That’s the idea behind the American Jobs Act.  It’s a jobs bill that does two simple things: put more people back to work, and more money back in the pockets of people who are working.

This jobs bill puts construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges and modernizing our schools.

This jobs bill puts teachers back in the classroom, and keeps cops and firefighters on our streets.

This jobs bill gives tax credits to companies that hire our veterans, because if you sign up to fight for our country, the last thing you should have to do is fight for a job when you come home.

This jobs bill connects the long-term unemployed to temporary work to keep their skills sharp while they look for a job, and it gives hundreds of thousands of young people the hope of a job next summer.

This jobs bill cuts taxes for every small business owner in America.  It cuts them even more for small business owners that hire new workers and raise workers’ salaries.  And it cuts taxes for every working family in America so that you’ll have more money in your pockets, and businesses know they’ll have customers to buy what they sell.

That’s the American Jobs Act, and you can check it out for yourself on WhiteHouse.gov.

It will create new jobs.  It will cut taxes for every worker and small business in the country.  And it will not add to the deficit.  It will be paid for.

On Monday, I’ll lay out my plan for how we’ll do that – how we’ll pay for this plan and pay down our debt by following some basic principles: making sure we live within our means and asking everyone to pay their fair share.

But right now, we’ve got to get Congress to pass this jobs bill.  Everything in the American Jobs Act is the kind of idea that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans before.  And if they’re ideas you agree with, too, every one of you can help make it happen by telling your congressperson to pass this jobs bill right away.

I know some of them would rather wait another year to wage another election than work together right now.  But most Americans don’t have the luxury of waiting.  It was three years ago this week that a financial crisis on Wall Street made things much more difficult for working folks on Main Street.  And too many are still hurting as a result.

So the time for action is now.  No more games or gridlock.  No more division or delay.  It’s time for the people you sent to Washington to put country before party – to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying more about yours.

It’s time to get to work and show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you.

White House Recap September 9-16, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Sells American Jobs Act on Tour, Sends Bill to Congress — President Attends 9/11 10th Anniversary Memorials in New York, Washington & Shankville

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: SEPTEMBER 9-16, 2011

President Barack Obama drops by an Interactive One panel

President Barack Obama drops by an Interactive One panel discussion in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Sept. 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Weekly Wrap-Up: Innovative Ideas

Source: WH, 9-16-11

Here’s what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:

American Jobs Act On Monday, the President sent the American Jobs Act to Congress and throughout the week he met with Americans who will benefit from the measures proposed in the Act, including gatherings at  Fort Hayes High School, in Columbus, Ohio where the conversation focused on how the American Jobs Act will help teachers and student across the country, North Carolina State University and  WestStar Precision, a small business that will benefit from the proposed Jobs Act. Here on whitehouse.gov, we held  Office Hours with some of the President’s senior economic advisers and hosted an Open for Questions session, answering your tweets, Facebook posts and questions sent to WhiteHouse.gov about the bill.

Remembering September 11 Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the worst attacks on American soil in our history. Across the country people answered the President’s call and participated in service projects, including the First Family.  The President and First Lady visited the September 11 memorials in all three of the crash sites, ground zero in New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. Vice President and Dr. Biden participated in the dedication ceremony for the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, and attended the Sunday service at the Pentagon.  On Sunday evening, the President told the audience at the Kennedy Center’s Concert for Hope: “We kept the faith, took a painful blow, and we are stronger than before.”

America Invents Act Thomas Jefferson would be proud.  On Friday morning, President Obama signed the America Invents Act in law at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology in Alexandria, Virginia – in a nod to Jefferson, the first official to issue a U.S. patent. This historic legislation will help American entrepreneurs and businesses get their inventions to the marketplace sooner so they can turn their ideas into new products and new jobs.

Medal of Honor Dakota Meyer On Thursday the President awarded the Medal of Honor to Dakota Meyer, a former active duty Marine Corps Corporal from Kentucky. Sergeant Meyer was recognized for his courageous actions above and beyond the call of duty while serving in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on September 8, 2009. Meyer is the third living recipient – and the first Marine – to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. And at 23, he is also one of the youngest recipients in decades.

Violence Against Women Act This week marked the 17th anniversary of the landmark legislation, and Vice President Biden, who sponsored this bill as a senator, spoke about the great strides that have been made in addressing all types of violence against women. Since the enactment of the bill in 1994, major changes have been made in the ways that communities respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence.

We the People Turns out people want to know more about our upcoming petitions platform. Macon Phillips, the White House’s Director of Digital Strategy, addressed some of the questions and comments WhiteHouse.gov visitors have submitted about the new petition site.  We the People will provide you with a new way to petition the federal government to take action on a range of issues that you care about.

Don’t miss some behind the scenes footage on West Wing Week.

Full Text September 15, 2011: Speaker of the House John Boehners’ Jobs Speech at the Economic Club of Washington (Transcript)

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Boehner’s Jobs Speech

Source: NYT, 9-16-11

The following is a prepared text of Representative John A. Boehner’s speech about jobs to the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday, as provided by the House Speaker’s office:

 

House Speaker John A. Boehner spoke to the Economic Club of Washington about the Republicans' approach to creating jobs on Thursday.Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesHouse Speaker John A. Boehner spoke to the Economic Club of Washington about the Republicans’ approach to creating jobs on Thursday.

MR. BOEHNER: President Rubenstein, members of the board, honored guests — thank you for the opportunity to be here with you today to talk about jobs and the state of our nation’s economy.

We all know the economy is stalled, and it’s been stalled.  And it’s not because the American people have lost their way.  It’s because their government has let them down.

Last week the president put forth a new set of proposals.  The House will consider them, as the American people expect.  Some of the president’s proposals offer opportunities for common ground.

But let’s be honest with ourselves.  The president’s proposals are a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation in America…the policies that are needed to put America back to work.

If we want job growth, we need to recognize who really creates jobs in America.  It’s the private-sector.

This building is named in memory of President Ronald Reagan, who recognized that private sector job creators are the heart of our economy.  They always have been.

That was the America I was raised in.  My father and grandfather were small businessmen.  They ran a tavern in Cincinnati that my grandpa started in the 1930s.  I worked in that tavern growing up.

I ran a small business myself.  I know what it takes to meet a payroll, hire workers, and create jobs in the private sector.

There’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy that leads to a lot of bad decisions in Washington, D.C.

The reality is that employers will hire if they have the right incentives, but the incentives have to outweigh the costs.  Businesses are not going to hire someone for a $4000 tax credit if government mandates impose long-term costs on them that significantly exceed the temporary credit.  In recent years, such mandates have been overwhelming.

Private-sector job creators of all sizes have been pummeled by decisions made in Washington.

They’ve been slammed by uncertainty from the constant threat of new taxes, out-of-control spending, and unnecessary regulation from a government that is always micromanaging, meddling, and manipulating.

They’ve been hurt by a government that offers short-term gimmicks rather than fundamental reforms that will encourage long-term economic growth.

They’ve been hampered by a government that offers confusion to entrepreneurs and job creators when there needs to be clarity.

They’ve been undercut by a government that favors crony capitalism and businesses deemed ‘too big to fail,’ over the small banks and small businesses that make our economy go.

They’ve been antagonized by a government that favors bureaucrats over market-based solutions.

They’ve been demoralized by a government that causes despair when we need it to provide reassurance and inspire confidence.

My worry is that even after all of this, much of the talk in Washington right now is basically about more of the same.  More initiatives that seem to have more to do with the next election than the next generation. . .initiatives that seem to be more about micromanaging economic decisions than liberating them.

I think the American people are worried about this too.

I can tell you the American people — private-sector job creators in particular — are rattled by what they’ve seen out of this town over the last few years.

My worry is that for American job creators, all the uncertainty is turning to fear that this toxic environment for job creation is a permanent state.

Job creators in America are essentially on strike.

The problem is not confusion about the policies. . .the problem is the policies.

The anger many Americans have been feeling in recent years is beginning to turn into fear. . .fear of our future.

That bothers me, and it should bother all of us.

America is a land of opportunity.  Always has been.

Our economy has always been built on opportunity. . .on entrepreneurs, innovators and risk-takers willing to take a chance — because they’re confident if they work hard, they can succeed.

Over the past few years, government has made people less confident — not more confident — that they can succeed.

More and more Americans are realizing this, and they’re speaking out about it.

I’ve spent the past 4-5 weeks traveling through my district and across this country, listening to the people outside of Washington who are the key to making our economy work.

My message to Washington today on their behalf: this isn’t that hard.  We need to liberate our economy from the shackles of Washington.  Let our economy grow!

We need to trust in the good judgment of the American people.

The instinct in government, always, is to get bigger, more intrusive, more meddlesome.  And that instinct is directly at odds with the things that make the American economy move.

Job creation in America is facing what I would call a triple threat from government.  The first aspect of this threat is excessive regulation.

During the Joint Session of Congress last week, I hosted about a dozen job creators from the private sector in as my guests in the House gallery — all of them with a common story: they’re trying to help create more American jobs, but the government is getting in their way.

We all know some regulations are needed.  We have a responsibility under the Constitution to regulate interstate commerce.

There are reasonable regulations that protect our children and help keep our environment clean.

And then there are excessive regulations that unnecessarily increase costs for consumers and small businesses.

Those excessive regulations are making it harder for our economy to create jobs.

Over the last couple of months we’ve seen two vivid illustrations.

Last month federal agents raided the Gibson Guitar factories in Tennessee.

Gibson is a well-respected American company that employs thousands of people.  The company’s costs as a result of the raid?  An estimated $2-3 million.  Why?  Because Gibson bought wood overseas to make guitars in America.  Seriously.

The other example is in South Carolina, where the Boeing company recently completed a plant that will create thousands of new full-time jobs for American workers — only to be sued by a federal agency that wants to shut it down.

Let make sure I have this straight: under current rules, American companies are free to create jobs in China, but they aren’t free to create them in South Carolina?

At this moment, the Executive Branch has 219 new rules in the works that will cost our economy at least $100 million.

That means under the current Washington agenda, our economy is poised to take a hit from the government of at least $100 million — 219 times.

I think it’s reasonable to ask: is it wise to be doing all of this right now?

The current regulatory burden coming out of Washington far exceeds the federal government’s constitutional mandate.  And it’s hurting job creation in our country at a time when we can’t afford it.

Government’s threat to job creation has two other components.

One is the current tax code, which is discourages investment and rewards special interests.

It strikes me as odd that at a time when it’s clear that the tax code needs to be fundamentally reformed, the first instinct out of Washington is to come up with a host of new tax credits that make the tax code more complex.

The final aspect of the threat is the spending binge in Washington.  It has created a massive debt crisis that poses a direct threat to our country’s ability to create jobs and prosper.

There are some people in this town who still deny this. . .who still deny that the debt is a threat to jobs.

But if you talk to anybody outside of Washington who has to meet a payroll, they’ll tell you that out-of-control spending in Washington is one of the things that concerns them the most about our future.

In New York City back in May, I warned that if we don’t take action soon, the markets will do it for us.

Last month, the markets took action, in the form of a downgrade and the possibility of future downgrades that caused the markets to tumble.

It’s going to keep happening, until we act.

The responsibility for fixing this toxic environment for job creation is a bipartisan one.

The situation was created by Washington’s inability to let our economy work.

It was created by government intrusion and micromanagement.

We have a responsibility to work together in the coming months to remove these barriers and liberate our economy.

This is what the American people are demanding of us.

Everything we do in the weeks and months to come needs to start with asking: are we addressing these problems?  Or are we making them worse?

The Budget Control Act of 2011, signed into law last month, establishes a Joint Select Committee of Congress for the purpose of identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.

Many have expressed doubts about the Joint Committee’s chances of success.

The skepticism is understandable.  A Joint Select Committee is, after all, no substitute for a president who continues to control most of the arms of government.

But I think the Joint Select Committee has a huge opportunity.

It has a chance to lay the foundation for economic growth, by dealing with some of the obstacles that are standing in the way.

The Joint Committee’s mission is deficit reduction, and that has everything to do with jobs.

As the co-chairman of the Joint Committee, Jeb Hensarling, said last week at the Committee’s first meeting:

‘Our debt threatens our jobs. . .Speak to any Fortune 500 CEO or small business person.  It is clear that our debt hangs like the Sword of Damocles over their hiring decisions. . .It should be obvious that deficit reduction and a path to fiscal sustainability are themselves a jobs program.’

The Joint Select Committee can tackle tax reform, and it should.

It’s probably not realistic to think the Joint Committee could rewrite the tax code by November 23.  But it can certainly lay the groundwork by then for tax reform in the future that will enhance the environment for economic growth.

The Committee can develop principles for broad-based tax reform that will lower rates for individuals and corporations while closing deductions, credits, and special carveouts in our tax code.  And I hope it will.

Yes, tax reform should include closing loopholes.  Not for purposes of bringing more money to the government.  But because it’s the right thing to do.

And if we’re going to tackle tax reform, we should do it all.

Making short-term fixes in exchange for long-term flawed policy is not tax reform.

Tax reform should deal with the whole tax code, both the personal side and the corporate side, and it should result in a code that is simpler and fairer to everyone.

Tax increases, however, are not a viable option for the Joint Committee.

It’s a very simple equation.  Tax increases destroy jobs.  And the Joint Committee is a jobs committee.  Its mission is to reduce the deficit that is threatening job creation in our country.

We should not make its task harder by asking it to do things that will make the environment for job creation in America even worse.

I hope the president will meet this standard when he puts forth his recommendations for the Joint Committee next week.

When it comes to producing savings to reach its $1.5 trillion deficit reduction target, the Joint Select Committee has only one option: spending cuts and entitlement reform.

The Joint Committee can achieve real deficit reduction by reforming entitlements and taking real action to preserve and strengthen Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

There is a myth that spending reforms aren’t ‘real’ unless they happen this year.

That myth is built on a healthy skepticism that spending cuts made today are going to be implemented tomorrow.

But it is a myth nonetheless, and we need to make sure it doesn’t stop us from doing what needs to be done.

Most of the entitlement reforms in the House GOP budget are phased in over time.  And that’s the way the Joint Committee should do them as well.

Modest changes in spending programs today can have large effects tomorrow.

Gimmicks, however, are unacceptable.  As I told the president’s economic team during the debt limit negotiations: we’re just not doing that anymore.

Deficit reduction shouldn’t just be about quantity; it should be about quality.

A billion dollars in imaginary savings from war spending that was never going to happen is not the same as a billion dollars in savings that strengthens our entitlement programs.

There are plenty of skeptics about the Joint Select Committee’s ability to accomplish its mission, and that’s to be expected.

There are always skeptics.

There were skeptics last spring when I said in New York that we should have spending cuts larger than any debt limit hike we gave the president.

But it happened.

And this can happen, too.

The Joint Committee can succeed, and it must succeed.  And with success, it can help to lay the foundation for economic growth and job creation in America.

If the Joint Committee does its work correctly – addressing the structural problems in our entitlement programs that have put us in danger of more job-destroying downgrades, and setting the stage for fundamental tax reform that will help to support private investment – it will have begun to remove some of the biggest barriers to job creation that exist in our country today.

As the Joint Committee does its work, there is a lot of other work in Washington that also needs to be done.

As I mentioned earlier, there are 219 major regulatory actions in the works by the federal bureaucracy right now.  We know seven of them will each have an economic impact of $1 billion or more.

The biggest is an EPA rule that could have an impact of as much as $90 billion.

The president acted wisely by halting the implementation of this rule.  I would urge the White House to build on it by disclosing to the American people the cost estimates for the remaining 212 ‘economically significant’ rules it has planned.

I would also urge the president to call a Cabinet meeting, and tell every member of his Cabinet: ‘Until further notice, I don’t want anything that gets in the way of private-sector job creation.  And I want you to report back to me in a month with how you’ve done.’

The members of the president’s Cabinet are not doing their jobs if they aren’t constantly focused on removing impediments to job growth.

If they’re not focused on that, they should be fired.

In the House, Majority Leader Cantor has put together a fall legislative schedule that reflects the concerns we’ve heard from job creators across America about unnecessary federal regulations that are hampering job growth.

Earlier I mentioned the situation in South Carolina with Boeing.

Today the House is working on a measure that will prevent the federal government from meddling in that situation, and similar ones.

The Senate needs to follow the House in passing this bill, and we need to send it to the president’s desk.

The NRLB bill is one of a whole series of measures we’re working on this fall to reduce the burden of excessive regulation on job creators.

We’ll pass the REINS Act, which would require congressional review for any new regulation that has a major impact on the economy.  House committees have identified dozens of job-crushing regulations that are keeping our economy from producing jobs.

We’ll repeal the ‘3 percent withholding rule,’ which serves as an effective tax increase on those who do business with the government.

We’ll stop excessive federal regulations that inhibit jobs in areas as varied as cement and farm dust.

We’ll work on other reforms such as removing barriers to increased domestic energy production and removing barriers to trade, many of which are in the House GOP jobs agenda at Jobs.GOP.gov.

The United States Senate needs to act, too.  The Senate cannot continue to sit idle on jobs and the budget.

The House has passed an array of bills already this year to remove barriers to job creation, and those bills are piling up in the Senate.

The Senate hasn’t produced a budget, either.  It must.

There are a few other things I want to mention that we can do in the weeks and months ahead to free our economy and bolster confidence among our job creators.

One is very simple.  Both parties can boost confidence and reassure job creators by being clear: there will be no shutdown of the federal government, and we aren’t willing to default on our debt.  The United States will meet its obligations to its citizens and to its creditors.

In Congress, I’ve been clear about these goals since the day I was elected Speaker.  And we’ve been true to our word.

Another thing we can do is in the area of transportation and infrastructure.

I’m not opposed to responsible spending to repair and improve infrastructure.  But if we want to do it in a way that truly supports long-term economic growth and job creation, let’s link the next highway bill to an expansion of American-made energy production.

Removing some of the unnecessary government barriers that prevent our country from utilizing its vast energy resources could create millions of new jobs.

There’s a natural link between the two: as we develop new sources of American energy, we’re going to need modern infrastructure to bring that energy to the market.

We can also boost confidence and reassure job creators by sending a balanced budget amendment to the states.

One of the most important things we did in the Budget Control Act last month — in addition to requiring a vote in both houses of Congress this fall on a balanced budget amendment — was establish caps on future spending.

These caps are designed to hold back the growth of government while our economy expands and creates jobs.

To ensure those spending caps are set in stone, we should ratify a balanced budget amendment.

If the president truly wants to make a difference and change the dynamic in Washington, he should announce his support for a balanced budget amendment and call on the Congress to send one to the states without delay.

And lastly, if we want to create a better environment for job creation, politicians of all stripes can leave the ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy behind.

The all-or-nothing approach is not a workable mindset if we’re serious about getting our economy on its feet again.

Our economy is facing a broad-based, systemic crisis.

As such, it will require everyone coming to the table with their best ideas first and leaving politics at the door, with the courage to listen to each other’s critiques and questions.

It means ending the name-calling, the yelling, and the questioning of others’ motives.

Leadership is about ending that nonsense, buckling down, and getting to work.

Thomas Edison once said that ‘opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’

We have an opportunity in front of us.  The trick is to recognize it, and believe in it, and act on it.

We know the challenges we face as a nation, and we have a chance to confront them.

If we put election-year politics aside this year and focus on our work, we’ll leave our country in a better place.

Getting it done will require a serious effort by both parties.

There are some in both parties who would rather do nothing.

They’d prefer to sit this one out, waiting to be dealt a better hand down the road, after the next election.

That’s not what I was elected to do.

This is the hand we’ve been dealt.

Instead of ducking from the challenge, we should rise to the occasion, and liberate our economy from the shackles government has placed on it.

I’m ready.  And for the sake of our country, and our economy – I hope all of us are ready.

Thank you for listening.  I look forward to your questions.”

Full Text September 15, 2011: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s Reponse Statement on Speaker John Boehner’s Jobs Speech

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Statement from the Press Secretary on Speaker Boehner’s Speech

Source: WH, 9-15-11

Any plan to grow the economy and create jobs should be measured by whether it puts money in the pockets of middle class families, puts teachers, police officers, firefighters and construction workers back to work, and invests in our small businesses so they can grow and hire.  The President’s plan meets that test.  The American Jobs Act includes the kinds of proposals that have been supported in a bipartisan way in the past, is fully paid for, and prominent, independent economists say it could create between 1.5 and 2 million jobs.  And the President’s plan rebuilds the economy the American way, based on balance, fairness and ensuring there is the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street.  The President is committed to working with members of both parties in Congress to pass the American Jobs Act right away.

Full Text September 13, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Remarks on the American Jobs Act in Columbus, Ohio

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama on the American Jobs Act in Columbus, Ohio

President Barack Obama delivers remarks to students, faculty and staff at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 13, 2011. The President highlights his American Jobs Act proposal to put workers back on the job by rebuilding and modernizing schools across the country. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama: “Every Child Deserves a Great School”

Source: WH, 9-13-11

It was a hot afternoon in Columbus, Ohio today when President Obama spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of over 3,000 people at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School and laid out how the American Jobs Act will put teachers back in the classroom and get construction workers, carpenters and electricians back on the job modernizing America’s schools.

Even though the September sun still felt like midsummer, students are back in school at Fort Hayes and on days like today they’re glad to have air-conditioning, one of many recent renovations to buildings on campus that were originally built during the Civil War. The American Jobs Act would make it possible to renovate at least 35,000 schools like Fort Hayes across the country. As the President said, putting construction workers back on the job rebuilding schools is just common sense for the economy and for the education of our kids:

When buildings are that old, they start falling apart.  They start leaking, and ceiling tiles start to cave in, and there’s no heat in the winter or air-conditioning in the summer.  Some of the schools the ventilation is so poor it can make students sick.

How do we expect our kids to do their very best in a situation like that?  The answer is we can’t.  Every child deserves a great school, and we can give it to them, but we got to pass this bill.

Modernizing America’s schools is just one of the many ways the American Jobs Act will create jobs in industries like construction hit hard by the recession:

So this bill cuts taxes for small businesses that hire new employees.  It cuts taxes for small businesses that raise salaries for current employees.  It cuts small business payroll taxes in half.  So let’s tell Congress, instead of just talking about helping America’s job creators, let’s actually do something to help America’s job creators.  Let’s pass this bill right away.

The bill that President Obama sent to Congress also cuts taxes for middle-class families. The typical working family will get $1,500 in tax cuts next year if the American Jobs Act is passed. But some are saying that even though they agree with the proposal, they shouldn’t pass it for political reason. The President made it clear that this isn’t the time for Washington game-playing:

They supported this stuff in the past, but they’re thinking maybe they don’t do it this time because Obama is promoting it.  Give me a win?  This isn’t about giving me a win.  This isn’t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win.  It’s about giving the American people a win. It’s about giving Ohio a win. It’s about your jobs and your lives and your futures, and giving our kids a win.

President Obama called on Americans that are ready to get our economy moving and create jobs “to lift your voice…tell your congressperson that the time for gridlock and the time for games is over.” He made it clear that the time to act is now:

We’re not a people who just watch things happen.  We’re Americans; we make things happen. We are tougher than the times we live in.  We are   — bigger than the politics that we’ve been putting up with.  We are patriots and pioneers, and innovators and entrepreneurs, who, through individual effort, but also through a commitment to one another, built an economy that’s the engine and the envy of the world.

We write our own destiny.  It’s within our power to write it once more.  So let’s meet this moment.  Let’s get to work.  Let’s show the world once again why the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth.

Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (159MB) | mp3 (15MB)

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act in Columbus, OH

Fort Hayes High School
Columbus, Ohio

2:33 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Columbus! (Applause.) It is good to be back in the state of Ohio. (Applause.) Just a couple of people I want to make sure you know are here. First of all, my outstanding Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is in the house. (Applause.) Superintendant of Columbus City Schools, Dr. Gene T. Harris, is here. (Applause.) The principal of Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, Milton Ruffin, is here. (Applause.) And the mayor of the great city of Columbus, Michael Coleman, is in the house. (Applause.)

It is a great honor to be here at Fort Hayes –- one of the best high schools in Ohio. (Applause.)

I want to thank Tom for that introduction. He just gave me a quick tour, and let me just say, these buildings look great. He did a good job. I wouldn’t mind taking a few classes here. (Applause.) You’ve got computers in every classroom, got state-of-the-art graphic design and science labs, new media center, music rooms. And when you combine that with outstanding teachers — (applause) — and a challenging curriculum, you’ve got the foundation for what you need to learn and graduate, and compete in this 21st century economy. (Applause.)

So, Fort Hayes, I’m here to talk about exactly that — about the economy. I came to talk about how we can get to a place where we’re creating good, middle-class jobs again -– jobs that pay well; jobs that offer economic security. (Applause.) And the renovation of Fort Hayes is a great example of where those jobs can come from if we can finally get our act together in Washington. (Applause.) If we can get folks in that city to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying about your jobs. (Applause.)

Now, yesterday, I sent Congress the American Jobs Act. This is it right here. It’s pretty thick. This is a plan that does two things: It puts people back to work, and it puts more money in the pockets of working Americans. (Applause.) Everything in the American Jobs Act is the kind of proposal that in the past has been supported by both Republicans and Democrats. Everything in it will be paid for. And every one of you can make it happen by sending a message to Congress that says: Pass this bill. (Applause.)

Ohio, if you pass this bill, then right here in this state, tens of thousands of construction workers will have a job again. (Applause.) This is one of the most common-sense ideas out there. All over the country, there are roads and bridges and schools just like Fort Hayes in need of repair. Some of the buildings here at Fort Hayes were originally built during the Civil War. That’s old. (Laughter.) And when buildings are that old, they start falling apart. They start leaking, and ceiling tiles start to cave in, and there’s no heat in the winter or air-conditioning in the summer. Some of the schools the ventilation is so poor it can make students sick.

How do we expect our kids to do their very best in a situation like that? The answer is we can’t. Every child deserves a great school, and we can give it to them, but we got to pass this bill. (Applause.)

Your outstanding Senator, Sherrod Brown, has been fighting to make this happen. (Applause.) And those of you here at Fort Hayes have been making it happen. See, a few years back, you decided to renovate this school. And you didn’t just repair what was broken; you rebuilt this school for the 21st century -– with faster Internet and cutting-edge technology. And that hasn’t just created a better, safer learning environment for the students; it also created good jobs for construction workers.

You just heard Tom say it’s created over 250 jobs for masons and concrete workers and carpenters and plumbers and electricians -– and many of those jobs are filled by the good people of Columbus, Ohio. (Applause.)

But here’s the thing. There are schools all throughout Ohio that need this kind of renovation. There’s a bridge in Cincinnati that connects Ohio to Kentucky that needs this kind of renovation. (Applause.) There are construction projects like these all across the country just waiting to get started. And there are millions of unemployed construction workers who are looking for a job. So my question to Congress is: What on Earth are we waiting for? (Applause.)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any student to study in broken-down schools. I want our kids to study in great schools. I don’t want the newest airports and the fastest railroads being built in China. I want them being built right here in the United States of America. (Applause.) There is work to be done. There are workers ready to do it. So let’s tell Congress, pass this bill right away. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Pass this bill! Pass this bill! Pass this bill! Pass this bill!

THE PRESIDENT: Pass this jobs bill, and there will be funding to save the jobs of up to 14,000 Ohio teachers and cops and firefighters. (Applause.) Think about it. There are places like South Korea that are adding teachers to prepare their kids for the global economy, at the same time as we’re laying off our teachers left and right; where we’ve got school districts that have eliminated all extracurriculars — art, sports, you name it.

You’ve got situations where — I just heard a story from Arne Duncan driving over here. I met this young man yesterday — he’s a music teacher in Philly, and his budget — total budget is $100 for teaching music in a whole bunch of schools. So they’re using buckets to do drums because they can’t afford actual musical instruments.

You’ve seen it here in Ohio. Budget cuts are forcing superintendents here in Columbus and all over the state to make layoffs they don’t want to make. It is unfair to our kids, it undermines our future, and it has to stop. Tell Congress to pass the American Jobs Act so we can put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong. (Applause.)

Tell them to pass this bill so we can help the people that create most of the new — we can help the people who create most of the new jobs in this country. That’s America’s small business owners. It’s all well and good that big corporations have seen their profits roaring back — that’s good. We want them to be able to hire people as well. But smaller companies haven’t come back.

So this bill cuts taxes for small businesses that hire new employees. It cuts taxes for small businesses that raise salaries for current employees. It cuts small business payroll taxes in half. So let’s tell Congress, instead of just talking about helping America’s job creators, let’s actually do something to help America’s job creators. Let’s pass this bill right away. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Pass this bill! Pass this bill! Pass this bill!

THE PRESIDENT: If Congress passes this jobs bill, companies will get new tax credits for hiring America’s veterans. (Applause.) We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, risk their lives to make sure that we’re protected. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home. That’s why Congress needs to pass this bill. It will help hundreds of thousands of veterans all across the country.

It will help hundreds of thousands of young people find summer jobs next year. (Applause.) It’s also got a $4,000 tax credit for companies that hire anybody who’s spent more than six months looking for a job. The American Jobs Act extends unemployment insurance, but it also says if you’re collecting benefits, you’ll get connected to temporary work as a way to build your skills and enhance your résumé while you’re looking for a permanent job. (Applause.)

And, finally, if we get Congress to pass this bill, the typical working family will get $1,500 in tax cuts next year — (applause) — $1,500 that would have been taken out of your paycheck will go right back into your pocket. But if Congress doesn’t act, if Congress refuses to pass this bill, then middle-class families will get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time. Now, we can’t let that happen.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Some folks have been working pretty hard to keep tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. Tell them they need to fight just as hard — they need to fight harder — for middle-class families. Tell them to pass this jobs bill. (Applause.)

So the American Jobs Act will lead to new jobs for construction workers, jobs for teachers, jobs for veterans, jobs for young people, jobs the unemployed. It will provide tax relief for every worker and small business in America. And it will not add to the deficit. It will be paid for. (Applause.)

We will pay for this plan, we’ll pay down our debt, and we’ll do it by following the same principle that every family follows: We’ll make sure that government lives within its means. We’ll cut what we can’t afford to pay for what we really need -– including some cuts we wouldn’t make if we hadn’t racked up so much debt over the last decade.

And here’s the other thing, Columbus. We got to make sure that everybody pays their fair share — (applause) — including the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations. (Applause.) After all, we’ve got to decide what our priorities are. Do you want to keep tax loopholes for oil companies?

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Or do you want to renovate more schools like Fort Hayes so that construction workers have jobs again? (Applause.) Do you want to keep tax breaks for multi-millionaires and billionaires?

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Or do you want to put teachers back to work, and help small businesses, and cut taxes for middle-class families? (Applause.)

So, Columbus, we know what’s right. We know what to do to create jobs now, and in the future. We know that if we want businesses to start here and stay here and hire here, we’ve got to out-build and out-educate and out-innovate every country on Earth. We’ve got to start manufacturing. We’ve got to sell more goods around the world that are stamped with three proud words — “Made in America.” (Applause.)

We need to build an economy that lasts. And, Columbus, that starts now. That starts with your help. Democrats and Republicans have supported every kind of proposal that’s in the American Jobs Act -– and we need to tell them to support those proposals now.

Already, yesterday there were some Republicans quoted in Washington saying that even if they agree with the proposals in the American Jobs Act, they shouldn’t pass it because it would give me a win.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: That’s the kind of games-playing we’ve gotten used to in Washington. Think about that. They supported this stuff in the past, but they’re thinking maybe they don’t do it this time because Obama is promoting it. Give me a win? This isn’t about giving me a win. This isn’t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win. It’s about giving the American people a win. (Applause.) It’s about giving Ohio a win. (Applause.) It’s about your jobs and your lives and your futures, and giving our kids a win. (Applause.)

Maybe there’s some people in Congress who’d rather settle our differences at the ballot box than work together right now. But I’ve got news for them: The next election is 14 months away. And the American people don’t have the luxury of waiting that long. You’ve got folks who are living week to week, paycheck to paycheck. They need action, and they need it now.

So I’m asking all of you to lift your voice –- not just here in Columbus, but anybody who is watching, anybody who is listening, anybody who is following online. I need you to call and email and tweet and fax and visit, and tell your congressperson that the time for gridlock and the time for games is over. The time for action is now. (Applause.)

Tell them that if you want to create jobs right now –- pass this bill. (Applause.) If you want construction workers renovating schools like this one -– pass this bill. (Applause.) If you want to put teachers back in the classroom –- pass this bill. If you want tax cuts for middle-class families and small business owners, then what to do you do? Pass this bill.

AUDIENCE: Pass this bill!

THE PRESIDENT: If you want to help our veterans share in the opportunity that they defend -– pass this bill.

Now is the time to act. We’re not a people who just watch things happen. We’re Americans; we make things happen. (Applause.) We are tougher than the times we live in. We are — bigger than the politics that we’ve been putting up with. We are patriots and pioneers, and innovators and entrepreneurs, who, through individual effort, but also through a commitment to one another, built an economy that’s the engine and the envy of the world.

We write our own destiny. It’s within our power to write it once more. So let’s meet this moment. Let’s get to work. Let’s show the world once again why the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth. (Applause.)

Thank you very much, Ohio. Thank you, Columbus. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

END
2:50 P.M. EDT

Full Text September 12, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Memorandum Sending the American Jobs Act to Congress (Transcript)

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Sends The American Jobs Act to Congress

Source: WH, 9-12-11

Today, President Obama sent a message to Congress with the American Jobs Act of 2011 and a section-by-section analysis of the legislation. The American Jobs Act is composed of the kinds of proposals to put Americans back to work that both Democrats and Republicans have supported. That’s why President Obama is urging Congress to pass the bill right away to get the economy moving. As the President stressed this morning, this is not a time to play politics:

It’s not okay at a time of great urgency and need all across the country. These aren’t games we’re playing out here. Folks are out of work. Businesses are having trouble staying open. You’ve got a world economy that is full of uncertainty right now — in Europe, in the Middle East. Some events may be beyond our control, but this is something we can control. Whether we not — whether or not we pass this bill, whether or not we get this done, that’s something that we can control. That’s in our hands.

Read the letter to Congress, the full American Jobs Act, and the section-by-section analysis below:

Download the President’s message to Congress, a sectional analysis and the full text of the American Jobs Act of 2011 (pdf).

Find out more about the American Jobs Act

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Presidential Memorandum–American Jobs Act of 2011

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Today, I am pleased to submit to the Congress the enclosed legislative proposal, the “American Jobs Act of 2011,” together with a section-by-section analysis of the legislation.

The American people understand that the economic crisis and the deep recession were not created overnight and will not be solved overnight.  The economic security of the middle class has been under attack for decades.  That is why I believe we need to do more than just recover from this economic crisis — 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.  We can work together to create the jobs of the future by helping small business entrepreneurs, by investing in education, and by making things the world buys.

To create jobs, I am submitting the American Jobs Act of 2011 — nearly all of which is made up of the kinds of proposals supported by both Republicans and Democrats, and that the Congress should pass right away to get the economy moving now.  The purpose of the American Jobs Act of 2011 is simple:  put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.  And it will do so without adding a dime to the deficit.

First, the American Jobs Act of 2011 provides a tax cut for small businesses, to help them hire and expand now, and an additional tax cut to any business that hires or increases wages.  In addition, the American Jobs Act of 2011 puts more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of the paycheck of every worker, saving typical families an average of $1,500 a year.

Second, the American Jobs Act of 2011 puts more people back to work, including 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 schools, with projects chosen by need and impact, not earmarks and politics.  It will repair and refurbish hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes and businesses in communities across the country.

Third, the American Jobs Act of 2011 helps out-of-work Americans by extending unemployment benefits to help them support their families while looking for work, and by 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.  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.

Lastly, this legislation is fully paid for.  The legislation includes specific offsets to close corporate tax loopholes and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share that more than cover the cost of the jobs measures.  The legislation also increases the deficit reduction target for the Joint Committee by the amount of the cost of the jobs package and specifies that, if the Committee reaches that higher target, then their measures would replace and turn off the specific offsets in this legislation.

I urge the prompt and favorable consideration of this proposal.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 12, 2011.

Full Text September 12, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Remarks Persuading Congress to Pass the American Jobs Act

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act

Source: WH, 9-12-11

Rose Garden

*Please see below for a correction (marked with an asterisk) to a typo in the transcript.

10:58 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Please, everybody, have a seat, on this beautiful morning. It’s wonderful to see all of you here.

On Thursday, I told Congress that I’ll be sending them a bill called the American Jobs Act. Well, here it is. (Applause.) This is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country. This is the bill that will help our economy in a moment of national crisis. This is a bill that is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. And this is the bill that Congress needs to pass. No games. No politics. No delays. I’m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately. (Applause.)

Standing with me this morning are men and women who will be helped by the American Jobs Act. I’m standing with teachers. All across America, teachers are being laid off in droves — which is unfair to our kids, it undermines our future, and it is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing if we want our kids to be college-ready and then prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. We’ve got to get our teachers back to work. (Applause.) Let’s pass this bill and put them in the classroom where they belong. (Applause.)

I’m standing here with veterans. We’ve got hundreds of thousands of brave, skilled Americans who fought for this country. The last thing they should have to do is to fight for a job when they come home. So let’s pass this bill and put the men and women who served this nation back to work. (Applause.)

We’re standing here with cops and firefighters whose jobs are threatened because states and communities are cutting back. This bill will keep cops on the beat, and firefighters on call. So let’s pass this bill so that these men and women can continue protecting our neighborhoods like they do every single day. (Applause.)

I’m standing with construction workers. We’ve got roads that need work all over the country. Our highways are backed up with traffic. Our airports are clogged. And there are millions of unemployed construction workers who could rebuild them. So let’s pass this bill so road crews and diggers and pavers and workers — they can all head back to the jobsite. There’s plenty of work to do. This job — this jobs bill will help them do it. Let’s put them back to work. Let’s pass this bill rebuilding America. (Applause.)

And there are schools throughout the country that desperately need renovating. (Applause.) We cannot — got an “Amen” over there. (Laughter and applause.) We can’t expect our kids to do their best in places that are literally falling apart. This is America. Every kid deserves a great school — and we can give it to them. Pass this bill and we put construction crews back to work across the country repairing and modernizing at least 35,000 schools.

I’m standing here with small business owners. They know that while corporate profits have come roaring back, a lot of small businesses haven’t. They’re still struggling — getting the capital they need, getting the support they need in order to grow. So this bill cuts taxes for small businesses that hire new employees and for small businesses that raise salaries for current employees. It cuts your payroll tax in half. And all businesses can write off investments they make this year and next year. (Applause.) Instead of just talking about America’s job creators, let’s actually do something for America’s job creators. We can do that by passing this bill. (Applause.)

Now, there are a lot of other ways that this jobs bill, the American Jobs Act, will help this economy. It’s got a $4,000 tax credit for companies that hire anybody who spent more than six months looking for a job. We’ve got to do more for folks who’ve been hitting the pavement every single day looking for work, but haven’t found employment yet. That’s why we need to extend unemployment insurance and connect people to temporary work to help upgrade their skills.

This bill will help hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young people find summer jobs next year — jobs that will help set the direction for their entire lives. And the American Jobs Act would prevent taxes from going up for middle-class families. If Congress does not act, just about every family in America will pay more taxes next year. And that would be a self-inflicted wound that our economy just can’t afford right now. So let’s pass this bill and give the typical working family a $1,500 tax cut instead. (Applause.)

And the American Jobs Act is not going to add to the debt — it’s fully paid for. I want to repeat that. It is fully paid for. (Laughter.) It’s not going to add a dime to the deficit. Next week, I’m laying out my plan not only to pay for this jobs bill but also to bring down the deficit further. It’s a plan that lives by the same rules that families do: We’ve got to cut out things that we can’t afford to do in order to afford the things that we really need. It’s a plan that says everybody — including the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations — have to pay their fair share. (Applause.)

The bottom line is, when it comes to strengthening the economy and balancing our books, we’ve got to decide what our priorities are. Do we keep tax loopholes for oil companies — or do we put teachers back to work? Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires — or should we invest in education and technology and infrastructure, all the things that are going to help us out-innovate and out-educate and out-build other countries in the future?

We know what’s right. We know what will help businesses start right here and stay here and hire here. We know that if we take the steps outlined in this jobs plan, that there’s no reason why we can’t be selling more goods all around the world that are stamped with those three words: “Made in America.” That’s what we need to do to create jobs right now. (Applause.)

I have to repeat something I said in my speech on Thursday. There are some in Washington who’d rather settle our differences through politics and the elections than try to resolve them now. In fact, Joe and I, as we were walking out here, we were looking at one of the Washington newspapers and it was quoting a Republican aide saying, “I don’t know why* we’d want to cooperate with Obama right now. It’s not good for our politics.” That was very explicit.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It was.

THE PRESIDENT: I mean, that’s the attitude in this town — “yeah, we’ve been through these things before, but I don’t know why we’d be for them right now.” The fact of the matter is the next election is 14 months away. And the American people don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months for Congress to take action. (Applause.) Folks are living week to week, paycheck to paycheck. They need action. And the notion that there are folks who would say, we’re not going to try to do what’s right for the American people because we don’t think it’s convenient for our politics — we’ve been seeing that too much around here. And that’s exactly what folks are tired of.

And that’s okay, when things are going well, you play politics. It’s not okay at a time of great urgency and need all across the country. These aren’t games we’re playing out here. Folks are out of work. Businesses are having trouble staying open. You’ve got a world economy that is full of uncertainty right now — in Europe, in the Middle East. Some events may be beyond our control, but this is something we can control. Whether we not — whether or not we pass this bill, whether or not we get this done, that’s something that we can control. That’s in our hands.

You hear a lot of folks talking about uncertainty in the economy. This is a bit of uncertainty that we could avoid by going ahead and taking action to make sure that we’re helping the American people.

So if you agree with me, if you want Congress to take action, then I’m going to need everybody here and everybody watching — you’ve got to make sure that your voices are heard. Help make the case. There’s no reason not to pass this bill. Its ideas are bipartisan. Its ideas are common sense. It will make a difference. That’s not just my opinion; independent economists and validators have said this could add a significant amount to our Gross Domestic Product, and could put people back to work all across the country. (Applause.) So the only thing that’s stopping it is politics. (Applause.) And we can’t afford these same political games. Not now.

So I want you to pick up the phone. I want you to send an email. Use one of those airplane skywriters. (Laughter.) Dust off the fax machine. (Laughter.) Or you can just, like, write a letter. (Laughter.) So long as you get the message to Congress: Send me the American Jobs Act so I can sign it into law. Let’s get something done. Let’s put this country back to work.

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. (Applause.)

END
11:10 A.M. EDT

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: 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:

Campaign Buzz 2012 September 6, 2011: Mitt Romney Releases Plan for Jobs & Economic Growth (Full Text)

CAMPAIGN 2012

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.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Source: Mitt Romney, 9-6-11

Introduction

Mitt Romney will rebuild the foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work, and innovation. His plan seeks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. It seeks to increase trade, energy production, human capital, and labor flexibility. It relinquishes power to the states instead of claiming to have the solution to every problem.

Any American living through this economic crisis will immediately recognize the severity of the break that Mitt Romney proposes from our current course. He is calling for a fundamental change in Washington’s view of how economic growth and prosperity are achieved, how jobs are created, and how government can support these endeavors. It is at once a deeply conservative return to policies that have served our nation well and a highly ambitious departure from the policies of our current leadership. In short, it is a plan to get America back to work.

The Plan

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Full Text September 5, 2011: President Barack Obama Speech on Jobs Plan at GM Plant Labor Day Picnic in Detroit

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama walks across the stage at the Labor Day celebration in De
President Barack Obama walks across the stage at the Labor Day celebration in Detroit, Mich., White House Photo, Pete Souza), 9/5/11

President Obama in Detroit: “We’ve Got to Fully Restore the Middle Class in America”

Source: WH, 9-5-11

Today, President Obama traveled to Detroit, Michigan where he spoke at a Labor Day picnic with workers at a GM plant. During his remarks, the President spoke of the important role the labor unions have played in establishing the “cornerstones of middle-class security:”

Work to make sure that folks get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Work to make sure that families get a fair shake. The work you’ve done that helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. I’m talking about the work that got us a 40-hour workweek and weekends, and paid leave and pensions, and the minimum wage and health insurance, and Social Security and  Medicare — the cornerstones of middle-class security. That’s because of your work.

If you want to know who helped lay these cornerstones of an American middle class you just have to look for the union label.

That’s the bedrock this country is built on. Hard work. Responsibility. Sacrifice. Looking out for one another. Giving everybody a shot, everybody a chance to share in America’s prosperity, from the factory floor to the boardroom. That’s what unions are all about.

eople wave as President Barack Obama addresses the Labor Day celebration in Detroit, Mich.

People wave as President Barack Obama addresses the Labor Day celebration in Detroit, Mich., Sept. 5, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

But over the past decade, the American middle class has felt their economic security slipping away. And the economic crisis has only made it more difficult for middle class families to get by. The President discussed the importance of restoring economic security for middle class Americans:

But I’m not satisfied just to get back to where we were before the recession; we’ve got to fully restore the middle class in America. And America cannot have a strong, growing economy without a strong, growing middle class and without a strong labor movement.

That’s the central challenge that we face in our country today.  That’s at the core of why I ran for President. That’s what I’ve been fighting for since I’ve been President. Everything we’ve done, it’s been thinking about you. We said working folks deserved a break — so within one month of me taking office, we signed into law the biggest middle-class tax cut in history, putting more money into your pockets.

The President called on members of Congress to put country ahead of party to put Americans back to work:

So I’m going to propose ways to put America back to work that both parties can agree to, because I still believe both parties can work together to solve our problems. And given the urgency of this moment, given the hardship that many people are facing, folks have got to get together.

But we’re not going to wait for them. We’re going to see if we’ve got some straight shooters in Congress.  We’re going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party. We’ll give them a plan, and then we’ll say, do you want to create jobs?  Then put our construction workers back to work rebuilding America. Do you want to help our companies succeed? Open up new markets for them to sell their products.  You want — you say you’re the party of tax cuts? Well then, prove you’ll fight just as hard for tax cuts for middle-class families as you do for oil companies and the most affluent Americans. Show us what you got.

The time for Washington games is over. The time for action is now. No more manufactured crises. No more games. Now is not the time for the people you sent to Washington to worry about their jobs; now is the time for them to worry about your jobs.

Rep. Gary Peters, left, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, center, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Rep. Gary Peters, left, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, center, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka listen as President Barack Obama addresses the Labor Day celebration in Detroit, Mich., Sept. 5, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President at Detroit Labor Day Event

GM Plant Parking Lot

Detroit, Michigan

Please see below for a correction (marked with an asterisk) to a typo in the transcript.

1:30 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Detroit!  (Applause.)  Thank you, Michigan!  (Applause.)  Oh, this is a —

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  It is —

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.  I can tell Ghana got you fired up.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Ghana, for that introduction.  Thank you all for having me.  It is good to be back in Detroit.  (Applause.)  I’m glad I was able to bring a friend — a proud daughter of the Teamsters, your Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, in the house.  (Applause.)

We’re thrilled to be joined by so many other friends.  I want to acknowledge, first of all, two of the finest senators in the country — Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are in the house. (Applause.)   Outstanding members of the congressional delegation — John Dingell Bingham*, John Conyers, Sandy Levin, Gary Peters, and Hansen Clarke.  (Applause.)

The president of the Metropolitan Detroit Central Labor Council, our host, Saundra Williams.  (Applause.)  AFL-CIO president, Rich Trumka.  (Applause.)  President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, Mark Gaffney.  (Applause.)  And some proud sons and daughters of Michigan representing working people here and across the country — SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, UAW President Bob King, Utility Workers President Mike Langford.  (Applause.)  We are proud of them and we’re proud of your congressional delegation who are working every single day with your state and local elected officials to create jobs and economic growth and prosperity here in Michigan and all across the country.

I am honored, we are honored, to spend this day with you and your families — the working men and women of America.  This day belongs to you.  You deserve a little R&R, a little barbecue — (laughter) — little grilling — because you’ve been working hard.  (Applause.)  You’ve been working hard to make ends meet.  You’ve been working hard to build a better life for your kids.  You’ve been working hard to build a better Detroit.  (Applause.) But that’s not all I’m going to talk to you about.

I also want to talk about the work you’ve been doing for decades:  Work to make sure that folks get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.  (Applause.)  Work to make sure that families get a fair shake.  The work you’ve done that helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  I’m talking about the work that got us a 40-hour workweek and weekends, and paid leave and pensions, and the minimum wage and health insurance, and Social Security and  Medicare — (applause) — the cornerstones of middle-class security.  That’s because of your work.  (Applause.)

If you want to know who helped lay these cornerstones of an American middle class you just have to look for the union label. (Applause.)

That’s the bedrock this country is built on.  Hard work.  Responsibility.  Sacrifice.  Looking out for one another.  Giving everybody a shot, everybody a chance to share in America’s prosperity, from the factory floor to the boardroom.  That’s what unions are all about.  (Applause.)

And that’s something that’s worth keeping in mind today.  We’ve come through a difficult decade in which those values were all too often given short shrift.  We’ve gone through a decade where wealth was valued over work, and greed was valued over responsibility.  And the decks were too often stacked against ordinary folks in favor of the special interests.  And everywhere I went while I was running for this office, I met folks who felt their economic security slipping away, men and women who were fighting harder and harder just to stay afloat.  And that was even before the economic crisis hit, and that just made things even harder.

So these are tough times for working Americans.  They’re even tougher for Americans who are looking for work –- and a lot of them have been looking for work for a long time.  A lot of folks have been looking for work for a long time here in Detroit, and all across Michigan, and all across the Midwest, and all across the country.  So we’ve got a lot more work to do to recover fully from this recession.

But I’m not satisfied just to get back to where we were before the recession; we’ve got to fully restore the middle class in America.  (Applause.)  And America cannot have a strong, growing economy without a strong, growing middle class and without a strong labor movement.  (Applause.)

That’s the central challenge that we face in our country today.  That’s at the core of why I ran for President.  That’s what I’ve been fighting for since I’ve been President.  (Applause.)  Everything we’ve done, it’s been thinking about you. We said working folks deserved a break — so within one month of me taking office, we signed into law the biggest middle-class tax cut in history, putting more money into your pockets.  (Applause.)

We said working folks shouldn’t be taken advantage of — so we passed tough financial reform that ended the days of taxpayer bailouts, and stopped credit card companies from gouging you with hidden fees and unfair rate hikes, and set up a new consumer protection agency with one responsibility:  sticking up for you. (Applause.)

We said that if you’re going to work hard all day to provide a better life for your kids, then we’re going to make sure that those kids get the best education possible.  So we helped keep teachers on the job.  (Applause.)  We’re reforming our public schools, and we’re investing in community colleges and job-training programs.  (Applause.)  And we ended wasteful giveaways that went to the big banks and used the savings to make college more affordable for millions of your kids.  (Applause.)

We said that every family in America should have affordable, accessible health care.  (Applause.)  We said you shouldn’t be discriminated against because you’ve got a preexisting condition. We said young adults without insurance should be able to stay on their parents’ plans.  We got that done — for you.  (Applause.)

And here’s what else we said, Detroit.  We said that American autoworkers could once again build the best cars in the world.  (Applause.)  So we stood by the auto industry.  And we made some tough choices that were necessary to make it succeed.  And now, the Big Three are turning a profit and hiring new workers, and building the best cars in the world right here in Detroit, right here in the Midwest, right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

I know it.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve been to GM’s Hamtramck plant.  (Applause.)  I’ve been to Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant.  (Applause.)   I’ve seen Detroit prove the cynics and the naysayers wrong.

We didn’t just stop there.  We said American workers could manufacture the best products in the world.  So we invested in high-tech manufacturing and we invested in clean energy.  And right now, there’s an advanced battery industry taking root here in Michigan that barely existed before.  (Applause.)  Half of the workers at one plant in Detroit were unemployed before a new battery company came to town.  And we’re growing our exports so that more of the world buys products that are stamped with three simple words:  “Made in America.”  (Applause.)

So that’s what we’re fighting for, Michigan.  We’re fighting for good jobs with good wages.  We’re fighting for health care when you get sick.  We’re fighting for a secure retirement even if you’re not rich.  We’re fighting for the chance to give our kids a better life than we had.  That’s what we’re doing to restore middle-class security and rebuild this economy the American way — based on balance and fairness and the same set of rules for everybody from Wall Street to Main Street.  (Applause.) An economy where hard work pays off and gaming the system doesn’t pay off, and everybody has got a shot at the American Dream.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  (Applause.)

On Thursday, we’re going to lay out a new way forward on jobs to grow the economy and put more Americans back to work right now.  I don’t want to give everything away right here, because I want you all to tune in on Thursday — (applause) — but I’ll give you just a little bit.  (Applause.)

We’ve got roads and bridges across this country that need rebuilding.  We’ve got private companies with the equipment and the manpower to do the building.  We’ve got more than 1 million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now.  There is work to be done and there are workers ready to do it.  Labor is on board.  Business is on board.  We just need Congress to get on board.  Let’s put America back to work.  (Applause.)

Last year, we worked together, Republicans and Democrats, to pass a payroll tax cut.  And because of that, this year the average family has an extra $1,000 in their pocket because of it.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you!

THE PRESIDENT:  But that’s going to expire in a few months if we don’t come together to extend it.  And I think putting money back in the pockets of working families is the best way to get demand rising, because that then means business is hiring, and that means the government — that means that the economy is growing.  (Applause.)

So I’m going to propose ways to put America back to work that both parties can agree to, because I still believe both parties can work together to solve our problems.  And given the urgency of this moment, given the hardship that many people are facing, folks have got to get together.

But we’re not going to wait for them.  (Applause.)  We’re going to see if we’ve got some straight shooters in Congress.  We’re going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party.  (Applause.)  We’ll give them a plan, and then we’ll say, do you want to create jobs?  Then put our construction workers back to work rebuilding America.  (Applause.)  Do you want to help our companies succeed?  Open up new markets for them to sell their products.  You want — you say you’re the party of tax cuts?  Well then, prove you’ll fight just as hard for tax cuts for middle-class families as you do for oil companies and the most affluent Americans.  (Applause.)  Show us what you got.  (Applause.)

The time for Washington games is over.  (Applause.)  The time for action is now.  No more manufactured crises.  No more games.  Now is not the time for the people you sent to Washington to worry about their jobs; now is the time for them to worry about your jobs.  (Applause.)

Now, let me say a word about labor in particular.  Now, I know this is not going to be an easy time.  I know it’s not easy when there’s some folks who have their sights trained on you.  After all that unions have done to build and protect the middle class, you’ve got people trying to claim that you’re responsible for the problems middle-class folks are facing.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  You’ve got Republicans saying you’re the ones exploiting working families.  Imagine that.

Now, the fact is, our economy is stronger when workers are getting paid good wages and good benefits.  (Applause.)  Our economy is stronger when we’ve got broad-based growth and broad-based prosperity.  That’s what unions have always been about — shared prosperity.

You know, I was on the plane flying over here, and Carl Levin was with me, and he showed me a speech that Harry Truman had given on Labor Day 63 years ago, right here in Detroit — 63 years ago.  And just to show that things haven’t changed much, he talked about how Americans had voted in some folks into Congress who weren’t very friendly to labor.  And he pointed out that some working folks and even some union members voted these folks in.  And now they were learning their lesson.  And he pointed out that — and I’m quoting here — “the gains of labor were not accomplished at the expense of the rest of the nation.  Labor’s gains contributed to the nation’s general prosperity.”  (Applause.)

What was true back in 1948 is true in 2011.  When working families are doing well, when they’re getting a decent wage and they’re getting decent benefits, that means they’re good customers for businesses.  (Applause.)  That means they can buy the cars that you build.  (Applause.)  That means that you can buy the food from the farmers.  That means you can buy from Silicon Valley.  You are creating prosperity when you share in prosperity.  (Applause.)

So when I hear some of these folks trying to take collective bargaining rights away, trying to pass so-called “right to work” laws for private sector workers —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  — that really mean the right to work for less and less and less — when I hear some of this talk I know this is not about economics.  This is about politics.

And I want everybody here to know, as long as I’m in the White House I’m going to stand up for collective bargaining.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s why we’ve reversed harmful decisions that were designed to undermine those rights.  That’s why we passed the Fair Pay Act to stop pay discrimination.  (Applause.) That’s why we appointed people who are actually fulfilling their responsibilities to make sure that the offices and factories and mines workers that clock in each day, that they’re actually safe on the job.

And we’re going to keep at it.  Because having a voice on the job and a chance to organize and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work, that is the right of every man and woman in America — not just the CEO in the corner office, but also the janitor who cleans that office after the CEO goes home.  (Applause.) Everybody has got the same right.  (Applause.)

And that’s true for public employees as well.  Look, the recession had a terrible effect on state and local budgets — we all understand that.  Unions have recognized that; they’ve already made tough concessions.  In the private sector, we live in a more competitive global economy — so unions like the UAW understand that workers have to work with management to revamp business models, to innovate so we can sell our products around the world.  We understand that the world is changing; unions understand that the world is changing.  Unions understand they need to help drive the change, whether it’s on the factory floor, or in the classroom, or in the government office.  (Applause.)

But what unions also know is that the values at the core of the union movement, those don’t change.  Those are the values that have made this country great.  (Applause.)  That’s what the folks trying to undermine your rights don’t understand.  When union workers agree to pay freezes and pay cuts — they’re not doing it just to keep their jobs.  They’re doing it so that their fellow workers -– their fellow Americans — can keep their jobs. (Applause.)

When teachers agree to reforms in how schools are run at the same time as they’re digging into their pockets to buy school supplies for those kids, they do so because they believe every child can learn.  (Applause.)  They do it because they know something that those who seek to divide us don’t understand:  We are all in this together.  That’s why those crowds came out to support you in Madison and in Columbus.  We are one nation.  We are one people.  We will rise and we will fall together.  (Applause.)

Anyone who doesn’t believe it should come here to Detroit.  It’s like the commercial says:  This is a city that’s been to heck and back.  (Applause.)  And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.  (Applause.)
You ask somebody here if times are tough, they’ll say, yeah, it’s tough, but we’re tougher.  (Applause.)  Look at what we’re doing to overcome.  Look at what we’re doing to rebuild and reinvent and redefine what it means to live in this great city.  Look at our parents who catch the first bus to work, and our students who stay up late to earn a degree.  Look at our workers on the line at Hamtramck and Jefferson North who are building the best cars in the world.  Look at our artists who are revamping our city, and our young people who are thinking up new ways to make a difference that we never dreamed of.  Look how we look out for one another.  (Applause.)

That’s why we chose Detroit as one of the cities that we’re helping revitalize in our “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative.  (Applause.)  We’re teaming up with everybody — mayors, local officials, you name it — boosting economic development, rebuilding your communities the best way, which is a way that involves you.  Because despite all that’s changed here, and all the work that lies ahead, this is still a city where men clocked into factories.  This is the city that built the greatest middle class the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  This is the city where women rolled up their sleeves and helped build an arsenal for democracy to free the world.  (Applause.)  This is a city where the great American industry has come back to life and the industries of tomorrow are taking root.  This is a city where people, brave and bold, courageous and clever, are dreaming up ways to prove the skeptics wrong and write the next proud chapter in our history.  (Applause.)

That’s why I wanted to be here with you today.  Because for every cynic and every naysayer running around talking about how our best days are behind us — for everybody who keeps going around saying, “No, we can’t” —

AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can!

THE PRESIDENT:  — for everybody who can always find a reason why we can’t rebuild America, I meet Americans every day who, in the face of impossible odds they’ve got a different belief.  They believe we can.  You believe we can.  (Applause.)

Yes, times are tough.  But we’ve been through tough times before. I don’t know about you, but I’m not scared of tough times.  (Applause.)  I’m not scared of tough times because I know we’re going to be all marching together and walking together and working together and rebuilding together.  And I know we don’t quit.  (Applause.)  I know we don’t give up our dreams and settle for something less.  We roll up our sleeves — and we remember a fundamental truth of our history:  We are strong when we are united.  (Applause.)  We’re firing all cylinders.

The union movement is going to be at the center of it.  And if all of you are committed to making sure that the person standing next to you, and their kids and their grandkids — that everybody in this city and everybody in this country can unleash his or her potential, if you work hard and play by the rules, you will get a fair shake and get a fair shot.  That’s the country I want for my kids.  (Applause.)  That’s the country you want for your kids.  That’s the country we’re going to build together.  (Applause.)

Thank you very much, Detroit.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
1:57 P.M. CDT

Full Text September 3, 2011: Sarah Palin’s Speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Governor Palin’s Speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa (Video and Transcript)

Source: Sarah PAC, 9-3-11

The following is the video and text of Governor Palin’s speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa, on September 3, 2011.

Sarah Palin spoke before a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.
Jim Young/Reuters Sarah Palin spoke at a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.

Thank you, Iowa. Thank you so much. The sign that says, “Thank you, Sarah,” no, I thank you. You are what keeps me going, keeps so many of us going. Your love of country keeps us going. Thank you so much. Iowa, you are good people. You are all good people who are here. Thank you.

It is an honor to be in the Heartland sharing this Labor Day weekend with you. And I thank you so much for the invitation, to these organizers who put so much work into all this. It’s so good to see the O4P and C4P people here today. Last night was fun – getting to run into some of you at that restaurant and to see so many different demographics represented and so many different states all across our great nation. We got to gather together last night – different demographics, different political parties even represented – and Todd reminded me as we walked out of that room, he said, “See, we’re not celebrating ‘red America’ or ‘blue America.’ We’re celebrating red, white, and blue America.”

So, what brought us here today out in this field? Why aren’t we catching a Cyclones game, or watching the Hawkeyes perhaps, or grilling up some venison and corn-on-the-cob, maybe some caribou with some friends on this Labor Day weekend? What brought us together is a love of country. And we see that America is hurting. We’re not willing to just sit back and watch her demise through some “fundamental transformation” of the greatest country on earth. We’re here to stop that transformation and to begin the restoration of the country that we love.

We’re here because America is at a tipping point. America faces a crisis. And it’s not a crisis like perhaps a Midwest summer storm – the kind that moves in and hits hard, but then it moves on.  No, this kind will relentlessly rage until we do restore all that is free and good and right about America. It’s not just fear of a double dip recession. And it’s not even the shame of a credit downgrade for the first time in U.S. history. It’s deeper than that. This is a systemic crisis due to failed policies and incompetent leadership. And we’re going to speak truth today. It may be hard-hitting, but we’re going to speak truth today because we need to start talking about what hasn’t worked, and we’re going to start talking about what will work for America. We will talk truth.

Now, some of us saw this day coming. It was three years ago on this very day that I spoke at the GOP Convention where I was honored to be able to accept the nomination for vice president that night. And in my speech I asked America: “When the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away….what exactly is [Barack Obama’s] plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger, and take more of your money, and give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.” I spoke of this, but back then it was only my words that you had to go by. Now you have seen the proof yourself. Candidate Obama didn’t have a record while he was in office, but President Obama sure does, and that’s why we’re here today.

Candidate Obama pledged to fundamentally transform America. And for all the failures and the broken promises, that’s the one thing he has delivered on. We’ve transformed from a country of hope to one of anxiety. Today, one in five working-age men are out of work. One in seven Americans are on food stamps. Thirty percent of our mortgages are underwater. In parts of Michigan and California, they’re suffering from unemployment numbers that are greater than during the depths of the Great Depression. Barack Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, and instead he turned around and he tripled it. And now our national debt is growing at $3 million a minute. That’s $4.25 billion a day.

President Obama, is this what you call “winning the future”? I call it losing – losing our country and with it the American dream. President Obama, these people – these Americans – feel that “fierce urgency of now.” But do you feel it, sir?

The Tea Party was borne of this urgency. It’s the same sense of urgency that propelled the Sons of Liberty during the Revolution. It’s the same sense of urgency that propelled the Abolitionists before the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement during the 20th Century. The Tea Party Movement is part of this noble American tradition. This movement isn’t simply a political awakening; it’s an American awakening. And it’s coming from ordinary Americans, not the politicos in the Beltway. No, it’s you who grow our food; you run our small businesses; you teach our children; you fight our wars. We are always proud of America. We love our country in good times and in bad, and we never apologize for America.

That is why the far left’s irresponsible and radical policies awakened a sleeping America so that we finally understood what it was that we were about to lose. We were about to lose the blessings of liberty and prosperity. So, the working men and women of this country, you got up off your couch, you came down from the deer stand, you came out of the duck blind, you got off the John Deere, and we took to the streets, and we took to the town halls, and we ended up at the ballot box. And as much as the media wants you to forget this, Tea Party Americans won an electoral victory of historic proportions in November. We the people, we rose up and we rejected the left’s big government agenda. We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we are unwilling to pay for it.

That victory, remember friends, was only one step in a long march towards saving our country.

We sent a new class of leaders to D.C., but immediately the permanent political class tried to co-opt them – because the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class, until we change that. They talk endlessly about cutting government spending, and yet they keep spending more. They talk about massive unsustainable debt, and yet they keep incurring more. They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more, and then they stick us with the bill. Then they pat their own backs, and they claim that they faced and “solved” the debt crisis that they got us in, but when we were humiliated in front of the world with our country’s first credit downgrade, they promptly went on vacation.

No, they don’t feel the same urgency that we do. But why should they? For them business is good; business is very good.  Seven of the ten wealthiest counties are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Polls there actually – and usually I say polls, eh, they’re for strippers and cross country skiers – but polls in those parts show that some people there believe that the economy has actually improved. See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.

Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars.  They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.

So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.

It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen this kind of crony capitalism before. It’s is the same good old boy politics-as-usual that I fought and we defeated in my home state. I took on a corrupt and compromised political class and their backroom dealings with Big Oil. And I can tell you from experience that sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power-brokers. So, please you must vet a candidate’s record. You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they’re going to claim that they inherited.

Real reform never sits well with the entrenched special interests, and that’s why the true voices of reform are so quickly demonized. Look what they say about you. You are concerned civilized citizens and look what they say about you. And just look what happened during the debt-ceiling debate. We’d been given warning after warning that our credit rating would be downgraded if politicians didn’t get serious about tackling the debt and deficit problem. But instead of making the real cuts that are necessary, they used Enron-like accounting gimmicks, and they promised that if they were just allowed to spend trillions more today, they’d cut billions ten years from now. By some magical thinking, they figured they could run up trillion dollar deficits year after year, yet still somehow avoid the unforgiving mathematics that led to the downgrade. Well, they got a rude awakening from the rest of the world, and that’s that even America isn’t “too big to fail.”

When we finally did get slapped with that inevitable downgraded, the politicians and the pundits turned around and blamed us – independent commonsense conservatives. We got blamed! They called us un-American and terrorists and suicide bombers and…hobbits…couldn’t understand that one.

And what is the President’s answer to this enormous debt problem? It’s just spend more money. Only you can’t call it “spending” now. Now you got to call it “investing.” Don’t call it “spending.” Call it “investing.” It’s kind of like what happens with FEMA and some of these other bureaucratic agencies that don’t really want to refer to our centralized federal government as “government.” Now it’s called the “federal family.” Am I too old to ask to be emancipated? Never thought I’d say it, but I want a divorce.

No, the President’s answer to our debt problem is: Incur more debt. Spend more money (only call it “investing”). Make more folks even more reliant on government to supply their every need. This is the antithesis of the pioneering American spirit that empowered the individual to work, to produce, to be able to thrive and succeed with fulfillment and with pride; and that in turn built our free and hope-filled and proud country.

He wants to “Win The Future” by “investing” more of your hard-earned money in some harebrained ideas like more solar panels and really fast trains. These are things that venture capitalists will tell you are non-starters, yet he wants to do more of them. We’re flat broke, but he thinks these solar panels and really fast trains are going to magically save us. He’s shouting “all aboard Obama’s bullet train to bankruptcy.”

The only future that Barack Obama is trying to win is his own re-election, and he has shown that he’s perfectly willing to mortgage our children’s future to pay for it. And there is proof of this. Just look closely at where all that “green energy” stimulus money is “invested.” See a pattern. The President’s big campaign donors got nice returns for their “investments” in him to the tune of billions of your tax dollars in the form of “green energy” stimulus funds. The technical term for this is “pay-to-play.” Between bailouts for Wall Street cronies and stimulus projects for union bosses’ security and “green energy” giveaways, he took care of his friends. And now they’re on course to raise a billion dollars for his re-election bid so that they can do it all over again. Are you going to let them do it all over again? Are you willing to unite to do all we can to not let them do it again so we can save our country?

Now to be fair, some GOP candidates also raised mammoth amounts of cash, and we need to ask them, too: What, if anything, do their donors expect in return for their “investments”? We need to know this because our country can’t afford more trillion-dollar “thank you” notes to campaign backers. It is an important question, and it cuts to the heart of our problem. And I speak from experience in confronting the corruption and the crony capitalism since starting out in public office 20 years ago. I’ve been out-spent in my campaigns two to one, three to one, five to one. (And, by the way, I don’t play that game either of hiring expert political advisors just so they’ll say something nice about me on TV – if you ever wonder. You know how that game’s played too I’m sure.) But the reason is simple: It’s because like you, I’m not for sale. It’s because we believe in the free market. I believe in the free market, and that is why I detest crony capitalism. And Barack Obama has shown us cronyism on steroids. It will lead to our downfall if we don’t stop it now. It’s a root that grows our economic problems. Our unsustainable debt and our high unemployment numbers and a housing market that’s in the tank and a stagnant economy – these are all symptoms. Politicians are so focused on the symptoms and not the disease. We will not solve our economic problems until we confront the cronyism of our President and our permanent political class.

So, this is why we must remember that the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with. It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.

Yes, we need sudden and relentless reform, and that will return power to “We the People.” This, of course, requires deeds, not just words. It’s not good enough for politicians to just be throwing our way some vague generalities, talking about some promises here and there. It’s time that we hold them accountable. It is amazing to me that even some good conservatives run away from being honest and straight up with us about what needs to be done. They don’t want to rock the boat. They can’t hurt future election prospects evidently. They just talk vaguely about cuts and then they move on. They’re too busy saying what they think we want to hear, but instead they should be telling us what needs to be said and what needs to be done. So, let us today in this field have that adult conversation about what needs to be done to restore America. Let’s do that now.

In five days time, our President will gift us with yet another speech. In his next speech he’ll reveal his latest new super-duper “jobs plan.” It will have more lofty goals and flowery rhetoric, more illogical economic fantasies and more continued blame and finger-pointing. But listen closely to what he says. All of his “solutions” will revolve around more of the same – more payoffs for his friends and supporters. His “plan” is the same as it’s always been, and that’s grow more government, increase more debt, take and give more of your hard-earned money to special interests. And this is such a problem. But you know what the problems are. We could go on all day about the problems caused by the status quo in Washington. Status quo I think is Latin for “more of the same mess that we’re in.” That status quo won’t work any more. We could go on all day about the problems, but you know them because you live them everyday. So, let’s talk about real solutions. I want to tell you what my plan is. My plan is a bona-fide pro-working man’s plan, and it deals in reality. It deals in the way that the world really works because we must talk about what really works in order to get America back to work.

My plan is about empowerment: empowerment of our states, empowerment of our entrepreneurs, most importantly empowerment of you – our hardworking individuals – because I have faith, I have trust, I have respect for you.

The way forward is no more politics as usual. We must stop expanding an out-of-control and out-of-touch federal government. This is first: All power not specifically delegated to the federal government by our Constitution is reserved for the states and for we the people. So, let’s enforce the 10th Amendment and devolve powers back locally where the Founders intended them to be.

Second, what happened to all those promises about staying committed to repealing the mother of all big government unfunded mandates? We must repeal Obamacare! And rein in burdensome regulations that are a boot on our neck. Get government out of the way. Let the private sector breathe and grow. This will allow the confidence that businesses need in order to expand and hire more people.

Third, no more run away debt. We must prioritize and cut. Cancel unused stimulus funds, and have that come to Jesus moment where we own up to the debt challenge that is entitlement reform. See, the reality is we will have entitlement reform; it’s just a matter of how we’re going to get there. We either do it ourselves or the world’s capital markets are going to shove it down our throats, and we’ll have no choice but to reform our entitlement programs. The status quo is no longer an option. Entitlement reform is our duty now, and it must be done in a way that honors our commitment to our esteemed elders today, while keeping faith with future generations. I don’t think anything has irked me more than this nonsense coming from the White House about maybe not sending our seniors their checks. It’s their money! They have paid into Social Security all of their working lives; and for the President to say, “ah, we may not be able to cut their checks,” ah, well, where did all their money go, politicians? It’s like the Commander-in-Chief being willing to throw our military under the bus by threatening that their paychecks may not arrive. But the politicians will still get their checks and their secure retirements, and he’ll still get his posh vacations. Aren’t you just sick to death of those skewed priorities? It’s all backwards. Our seniors and our brave men and women in uniform being used as pawns – I say it’s shameful, and enough is enough. No more.

Fourth, it is time for America to become the energy superpower. The real stimulus that we’ve been waiting for is robust and responsible domestic energy production. We have the resources. Affordable and secure energy is the key to any thriving economy, and it must be our foundation. So, I would do the opposite of Obama’s manipulation of U.S. supplies of energy. Drill here, drill now. Let the refineries and the pipelines be built. Stop kowtowing to foreign countries and dictators asking them to ramp up production and industry for us, promising them that we’ll be their greatest customer. No, not when we have the resources here. We need to move on tapping our own God-given natural resources. I promise you that this will bring real job growth, not the politicians’ phony “green jobs” fairy dust sprinkled with wishes and glitter… No, a hardcore all-of-the-above energy policy that builds this indestructible link between made-in-America energy and our prosperity and our security. You know, there are enough large conventional natural resource development projects waiting for government approval that could potentially create more than a million high-paying jobs all across the country. And this is true stimulus. It wouldn’t cost government a dime to allow the private sector to do these. In fact, these projects will generate billions of dollars in revenue. Can you imagine that: a stimulus project that actually helps dig us out of debt instead of digging us further into it! And these are good-paying jobs, and I know that from experience. For years my own family was supported (as Todd worked up on the North Slope) by a good energy sector job. America’s economic revival starts with America’s energy revival.

Fifth, we can and we will make America the most attractive country on earth to do business in. Here’s how we’re going to do this. Right now, we have the highest federal corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world. Did you know our rates are higher than China and communist Cuba? This doesn’t generate as much revenue as you would think, though, because many big corporations skirt federal taxes because they have the friends in D.C. who right the rules for the rest of us. This makes us less competitive and restrains our engine of prosperity. Heck, some businesses spend more time trying to figure out how to hide their profits than they do in generating more profits so that they can expand and hire more of us. So, to make America the most attractive and competitive place to do business, to set up shop here and hire people here, to attract capital from all over the globe that will lead to an explosion of growth, instead of chasing industry offshore, I propose to eliminate all federal corporate income tax. And hear me out on this. This is how we create millions of high-paying jobs. This is how we increase opportunity and prosperity for all.

But here’s the best part: To balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts. This is how we break the back of crony capitalism because it feeds off corporate welfare, which is just socialism for the very rich. We can change all of that. The message then to job-creating corporations is: We’ll unshackle you from the world’s highest federal corporate income tax rate, but you will stand or fall on your own, just like all the rest of us out on main street.

See, when we empower the job-creators, our economy will soar; Americans will get back to work.

This plan is a first step in a long march towards fundamental restoration of a strong and free market economy. And it represents the kind of real reform that we need. And, folks, it must come from you. It must come from the American people. Real hope is in you. It’s not that hopey-changey “stuff” that we heard about back in 2008. We’ve all learned that. And real hope isn’t in an individual. It’s not in a politician certainly. And that hopey-changey stuff that was put in an individual back when Barack Obama was a candidate – that hopey-changey stuff didn’t create one job in August, did it? That’s the first time that’s happened in the United States since World War II. Real hope comes from you. Real hope comes from realizing that we the people can make the difference. And you don’t need a title to make a difference. We can get this country back on the right track. We can do it by empowering the people and realizing that God has richly blessed this most exceptional nation, and then we do something about that realization.

Don’t wait for the permanent political class to reform anything for you. They won’t. They can’t. They can’t even take responsibility for their own actions. Our credit is downgraded, but it’s not their fault. Our economy’s in turmoil, but it’s not his fault. It’s the tsunami in Japan or the Middle East uprising. It’s Irene. It’s those doggone ATM machines.

Folks, the truth is Barack Obama is adrift with no plan because his “fundamental transformation” is at odds with everything that made this country great. It doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t make sense. Unbelievably our President declares that he “believes in American Exceptionalism… just as the Greeks believe in Greek Exceptionalism.” Well, the path he has us on will make us just as “exceptional” as Greece, alright – with the debt crisis and the stagnation and the unemployment and uprisings and all.

Friends, you are better than that. Our country is better than that. We’ve got to unite. We’ve got to stand together. We can confront the problem and we can achieve lasting reform. And I can tell you from hard-earned experience with bumps and bruises along the way, that the road ahead is not easy. You will be demonized. They’ll mock you. They’ll make things up. They’ll tell you to “go to hell.” But we’ll bite our tongue, we’ll keep it classy, and we won’t respond—as tempting as it is—to anyone who just has such disdain for our free market economy and for individual initiative and responsibility. We won’t say, “No, you go to hell.” No, we won’t say that. You know why we don’t have to say that? Because when we have time-tested truth and logic on our side, we win. And when we refuse to retreat because we know that our children’s future is at stake, we win.

No, the road isn’t easy, but it’s nothing compared to the suffering and sacrifice of those who came before us.

A few weeks ago, after my visit to the Iowa State Fair, I took my daughter Piper and my niece McKinley with us to the World War I Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. And standing in the rain, reading the inscriptions on the Memorial about the honor in one’s dedication to God and country, I thought of all those young patriots who suffered and died so far from home. And revering our vets there with the next generation by my side, there was such clarity – clarity in our calling, patriotic Constitutionalists. We have a duty not just to the living, but also to those who came and died before us and to the generations yet to be born. Our freedom was purchased by millions of men now long-forgotten throughout history who charged the bayonets, and they charged the cannons; they knew they were going to die, but it was worth it for them sacrificing for future generations’ freedom. They’re the ones who prayed in the trenches and suffered in the P.O.W. camps. They gave their lives so that we could be here today.

You and I are blessed to be “born the heirs of freedom.” As President John F. Kennedy said, “We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.” We are the heirs of those who froze with Washington at Valley Forge and who held the line at Gettysburg, who freed the slaves to close a shameful chapter, and who carved a nation out of the wilderness. We are the sons and daughters of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy and raised the flag at Iwo Jima and made America the strongest, the most prosperous, the greatest nation on earth forever in mankind’s history – the greatest, most exceptional nation.

America, we will always endure. We will always come through. We will never give up. We shall endure because we live by that moral strength that we call grace. Because though we’ve often skirted a precipice, a Providential Hand has always guided us to a better future. So, let us seek that Hand once more. Our Ronald Reagan said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, we will be a nation gone under.” Yes, He shed his grace on thee, America! We will not squander what we have been given! We will fight for freedom. We will fight for America. We are at the tipping point. United we must stand. And we shall nobly save, not meanly lose, this last best hope on earth.

So, God bless you, Iowa! God bless the United States of America!

Full Text September 3, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges Congress to Extend Transportation Bill

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
White House Photo, Samantha Appleton, 9/1/11

Weekly Address: Time to Act on the Transportation Bill

Source: WH, 9-3-11

President Obama calls on Congress to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep America moving and avoid costing nearly one million workers their jobs.

 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Extending the Transportation Bill to Keep America Moving

WASHINGTON – In this week’s address, President Obama called on Congress to do what it has done seven times over the past two years and pass a clean extension of the transportation bill.  Failure of Congress to act would be disastrous for the economy, costing nearly one million workers their jobs over the next year and almost $1 billion in highway funding after the first ten days alone.

Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House September 3, 2011

At the end of September, if Congress doesn’t act, funding for our roads and bridges will expire.  This would put a stop to highway construction, bridge repair, mass transit systems and other important projects that keep our country moving quickly and safely.  And it would affect thousands of construction workers and their families who depend on the jobs created by these projects to make ends meet.

Usually, renewing this transportation bill is a no-brainer.  In fact, Congress has renewed it seven times over the last two years.  But thanks to political posturing in Washington, they haven’t been able to extend it this time – and the clock is running out.

Allowing this bill to expire would be a disaster for our infrastructure and our economy.  Right away, over 4,000 workers would be furloughed without pay.  If it’s delayed for just 10 days, we will lose nearly $1 billion in highway funding that we can never get back.  And if we wait even longer, almost 1 million workers could be in danger of losing their jobs over the next year.

Those are serious consequences, and the pain will be felt all across the country.  In Virginia, 19,000 jobs are at risk.  In Minnesota, more than 12,000.  And in Florida, over 35,000 people could be out of work if Congress doesn’t act.

That makes no sense – and it’s completely avoidable.  There’s no reason to put more jobs at risk in an industry that has been one of the hardest-hit in this recession. There’s no reason to cut off funding for transportation projects at a time when so many of our roads are congested; so many of our bridges are in need of repair; and so many businesses are feeling the cost of delays.

This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican issue – it’s an American issue.  That’s why, last week, I was joined at the White House by representatives from the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce – two groups who don’t always see eye-to-eye, but who agree that it’s critically important for our economy that Congress act now.

That’s also why 128 mayors from both parties wrote to Congress asking them to come together and pass a clean extension.  These are the local leaders who are on the ground every day, and who know what would happen to their communities if Congress fails to act.

So I’m calling on Congress, as soon as they come back, to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep workers on the job, keep critical projects moving forward, and to give folks a sense of security.

There’s a lot of talk in Washington these days about creating jobs.  But it doesn’t help when those same folks turn around and risk losing hundreds of thousands of jobs just because of political gamesmanship.  We need to pass this transportation bill and put people to work rebuilding America.  We need to put our differences aside and do the right thing for our economy.  And now is the time to act.

Political Buzz September 1, 2011: President Obama’s Joint Address to Congress on Jobs Plan Set for September 8 @ 7PM EDT Before NFL Opener

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:

THE HEADLINES: PRESIDENT OBAMA JOINT ADDRESS TO CONGRESS SEPTEMBER 8 @ 7PM EDT BEFORE FOOTBALL OPENER

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Speech to a Joint Session of Congress: “Today, the President asked to address the Congress about the need for urgent action on the economic situation facing the American people as soon as Congress returned from recess. Both Houses will be back in session after their August recess on Wednesday, September 7th, so that was the date that was requested. We consulted with the Speaker about that date before the letter was released, but he determined Thursday would work better. The President is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation’s leaders to start focusing 100% of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people.”

JAMES CARVILLE: And I do think this is a really big debate and I think the White House was, was out of bounds in trying to schedule a speech during a debate. I know- given a choice between watching a debate and speech I would have watched the debate and I’m not even a Republican or close to being a Republican.

President Obama’s Address on Jobs Before a Joint Session of Congress Set for Sept 8 at 7 P.M. EDT: President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress at 7 pm Washington time on Sept. 8 to speak on jobs and the economy.

  • Obama will address Congress at 7 pm next Thursday: President Obama will address a joint session of Congress at 7 pm Thursday to lay out his plans to create jobs to help boost the economy. House Speaker John Boehner announced the timing of the speech in an e-mail to reporters. … – WaPo, 9-1-11
  • Plan to Create Jobs Is a Balancing Act for the President: Anticipation of President Obama’s plan for creating jobs while cutting deficits, now heightened by the scheduling controversy over his prime time address to Congress next Thursday, has turned on a question: Will he go big…. – NYT, 9-1-11
  • WH Furious Over Speech Delay: It seemed like a trivial matter: On Wednesday, House Republicans forced the president to delay his speech to a joint session of Congress by one day. Who cares? The White House cares. Very much. … – Fox News, 9-1-11
  • James Carville: White House ‘Out of Bounds’ Over Speech Flap: Yesterday’s Congressional denial of a presidential request to speak before a joint session was unprecedented. And even Democratic talking head James Carville now says the responsibility falls squarely on the White House…. – ABC News, 9-1-11
  • Obama Speech to Congress Set; Carney Calls Spat ‘Not Very Relevant': The date is set. The scheduling SNAFU that beset Washington for the past two days is over. President Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 pm, according to an official invitation sent “respectfully” from House Speaker … – ABC News, 9-1-11
  • Obama speech won’t conflict with football: Relax, football fans. President Obama’s jobs speech next Thursday will wrap up long before the NFL season opener begins. The White House and congressional Republicans have agreed on a 7 pm address to a joint session of Congress…. – USA Today, 9-1-11
  • Obama to Address Congress at 7 p.m. Next Thursday: September 01, 2011 President Obama will address a joint session of Congress at 7 pm next Thursday evening, ending the scheduling conflict between the White House and the House Speaker’s office…. – Fox News, 9-1-11
  • Time for Obama address set: The long national nightmare that was speechgate has come to an end. It appears the time has been set for President Obama’s speech to Congress next Thursday…. – CNN, 9-1-11
  • In Flap Over Obama Speech, a Clear Winner: While the political world ponders the ultimate loser in Wednesday’s back-and-forth between the White House and the speaker’s office over when President Obama could deliver his jobs speech, the real winner may be the NBC News/Politico…. – NYT, 9-1-11
  • Newt Gingrich: President Obama’s speech play ‘silly': A well-known former House Speaker argues President Obama’s joint congressional session request was too cute: “Under the House rules, you have to have a concurrent resolution of the House and Senate. They don’t even come in until 6:00 on Wednesday night … Politico, 9-1-11
  • California Debate Gets New Clout: President Obama’s announcement of his intention to address the nation next Wednesday on jobs immediately drew sparks with House Speaker John Boehner, since it conflicted directly with a long-scheduled GOP presidential debate…. – NBC Los Angeles, 9-1-11
  • Not Prime Time: A day after reluctantly accepting an invitation to speak to a Joint Session of Congress next Thursday, September 8, President Obama agreed to start his jobs and economic growth speech at 7 pm Eastern Time, to avoid any conflict with the opening game of the football season…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9-1-11
  • White House: What President Barack Obama says more important than when: The White House characterized the flap over the timing of the president’s address to Congress next week as a sideshow and not what people care about…. – AP, 9-1-11
  • Squabble Over Timing of Obama’s Jobs Speech Is Embarrassing: The whole episode is so embarrassing, on so many levels. President Obama, who for weeks has been promising a major speech on ways to create jobs, sent what is normally a perfunctory request to Congress, asking to be hosted on the Wednesday after Labor … – U.S. News & World Report, 9-1-11
  • Understanding the Obama-Boehner speech mess: President Obama’s team and House Speaker John Boehner squabbled over the date of Obama’s upcoming address before a joint session of Congress which of course raises the question of how will lawmakers, back from a long summer break next week, get any of the big stuff done on jobs and the deficit.
    Boehner and Obama’s staffers said that they would rather not dwell on the Wednesday miscommunications and want to move on. But it’s instructive to look at what happened. That’s because it shows how hard it is for opponents to work together in the partisan political climate…. – Chicago Sun-Times, 9-1-11
  • GOP vs. Obama: Disrespect or Just Politics? NYT, 9-1-11
  • Oh, Grow Up: Whenever we think Washington couldn’t get more cynical or more craven, it proves us wrong. So we will resist the temptation to say it’s hard to imagine anything more base than the food fight over President Obama’s planned speech to Congress. … – NYT, 9-1-11
  • Obama speech: Why was the timing so complicated?: The Obama speech, on his long-awaited jobs plan, will take place before a joint session of Congress on Thursday, Sept. 8 – before the NFL kickoff, the White House says…. – CS Monitor, 9-1-11
  • Walsh to skip Obama jobs speech: House Republican Joe Walsh of Illinois is thumbing his nose at President Obama’s speech on jobs before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8 — by skipping it…. – Chicago Tribune, 9-1-11

Full Text Eric Cantor: Washinton Post Op-Ed “Removing the Obstacles to Economic Growth”

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

112TH CONGRESS

Eric Cantor: Removing the Obstacles to Economic Growth

Source: Eric Cantor, Originally published in The Washington Post, 8-22-11

Our country is facing two related but separate crises. The first is the federal government’s debt crisis, the result of decades of fiscal mismanagement by both political parties as well as unsustainable entitlement commitments. The second is the jobs crisis, which has resulted in painful levels of unemployment and underemployment. President Obama is wrong to think that the answer is to increase spending or raise taxes when so many millions of Americans are out of work.

In fact, the Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda has fueled economic uncertainty and sent the message from the administration that “we want to make it harder to create jobs.” There is no other conclusion for policies such as the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including the “Transport Rule,” which could eliminate thousands of jobs, or the ozone regulation that would cost upward of $1 trillion and millions of jobs in the construction industry over the next decade. The administration’s new maximum achievable control technology standards for cement are expected to affect nearly 100 cement plants, setting over-the-top requirements resulting in increased costs and possibly thousands of jobs being offshored. There is the president’s silence as the National Labor Relations Board seeks to prevent Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina that would create thousands of jobs. Such behavior, coupled with the president’s insistence on raising the top tax rate paid by individuals and small businesses, has resulted in a lag in growth that has added to the debt crisis, contributing to our nation’s credit downgrade.

The debt crisis threatens our long-term future: the ability of our children and their children to have the same opportunities to succeed that this and previous generations enjoyed. Republicans passed a budget this spring, written by Rep. Paul Ryan, that would address our challenges head-on by putting in place common-sense reforms to manage our debt over the short and long term.

Unfortunately, we have found President Obama to be an unwilling partner when it comes to getting America’s fiscal house in order. Since taking office, he has added trillions to the debt, ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission and put forth a budget that failed to address the drivers of our debt. Then we had to drag him to the table to make even the modest spending cuts that Standard & Poor’s says don’t go far enough.

The president has acknowledged that without reform, spending on entitlement programs is unsustainable. But he has also made clear that he would never support the type of structural changes to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security needed to make these programs solvent as envisioned in our budget — even if Republicans agree to his demand for tax increases. While a compromise on the way to strengthen entitlements may be one thing, raising taxes in this economy is another. Doing so would exacerbate the jobs crisis for the 14 million Americans out of work. It would negatively affect the businesses across America that we are counting on to get our economy going.

It is critical that as we work toward solutions to overcome both crises, the paths we take don’t expedite or worsen the other.

But the politics of division have reared up, fueled by efforts to incite class warfare. For example, though he often talks about millionaires, billionaires and corporate jet owners paying their “fair share,” behind closed doors the president admits to wanting to raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 per year and families and small businesses earning $250,000 per year.

Why does the president insist on higher taxes? Behind the rhetoric lies a desire to permanently increase the size of government — a philosophy that most Americans, who already think the government is trying to do too much — do not agree with. For the past few years, investors, families and businesses small and large have felt the threat of higher taxes, increased regulations and government expansion. Business people I talk to are worried about the massive costs imposed by the president’s health-care law and new regulations. Yet last week, the president called for more stimulus spending paid for by higher taxes and more job-killing regulations. The past two years have shown that this is no way to create jobs.

In lieu of more wasteful stimulus spending, we should go all-in on ways to invigorate growth. The Congressional Budget Office has found that for every one-tenth of 1 percent of additional economic growth, the budget deficit is narrowed by nearly $300 billion. Economic growth will help reduce the deficit and get people back to work.

That is why this fall the Republican Party will pursue a legislative agenda that boosts economic growth through reducing the regulatory and tax burden. We will make sure that Washington policies are less restrictive to businesses small and large. Our goals include repealing the “3 percent withholding rule,” which serves as an effective tax increase on those who do business with the government, and overturning the EPA’s proposed regulations that inhibit jobs in areas as varied as cement and farm dust. We plan to prevent the NLRB from inhibiting where a business chooses to create jobs. We well know that the Republican majority was not elected to raise taxes or take more money out of the pockets of hardworking families and business people. We were elected to change the way Washington does business and spends money.

The writer, a Republican from Virginia, is the House majority leader.

Full Text August 20, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Discusses Midwestern Tour, States Plans to Create Jobs & Strengthen the Economy More Important than Partisan Politics

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address

White House Photo, Pete Souza, 8/17/11

QUOTES

Weekly Address: Putting Country Ahead of Party

Source: WH, 8-20-11

From a farm in the Midwest, President Obama talks about the determination and integrity of the American people and calls on Congress to put aside their differences to grow the economy.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Getting America Back to Work

WASHINGTON— In this week’s address, President Obama spoke to the American people from the Corner Country Farm in Alpha, Illinois on the need to create jobs and strengthen the economy. President Obama reminded the American people that we still have the best workers, entrepreneurs, and students in the world, and called on both parties to come together and act on a series of steps we can take right away to get our nation back to work.

Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address Saturday, August 20, 2011 Alpha, Illinois

Hello from the Country Corner Farm in Alpha, Illinois! For the past few days, I’ve been traveling to small towns and farm towns here in the heartland of this country. I sat down with small business owners in Gutenberg, Iowa; and ranchers and farmers in Peosta. I had lunch with veterans in Cannon Falls, Minnesota; and talked to plant workers at a seed distributor in Atkinson, Illinois. And to the girls volleyball team at Maquoketa High School, let me just say one thing: Go Cardinals.

Now, I’m out here for one reason: I think Washington, DC can learn something from the folks in Atkinson and Peosta and Cannon Falls. I think our country would be a whole lot better off if our elected leaders showed the same kind of discipline and integrity and responsibility that most Americans demonstrate in their lives every day.

Because, the fact is, we’re going through a tough time right now. We’re coming through a terrible recession; a lot of folks are still looking for work. A lot of people are getting by with smaller paychecks or less money in the cash register. So we need folks in Washington – the people whose job it is to deal with the country’s problems, the people who you elected to serve – we need them to put aside their differences to get things done.

There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country. We can cut payroll taxes again, so families have an extra $1,000 to spend. We can pass a road construction bill so construction crews – now sitting idle – can head back to the worksite, rebuilding roads, bridges, and airports. We’ve got brave, skilled Americans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s connect them with businesses that could use their skills. And let’s pass trade deals to level the playing field for our businesses. We have Americans driving Hyundais and Kias. Well, I want to see folks in Korea driving Fords, Chevys and Chryslers. I want more products sold around the globe stamped with three words: Made in America.

These are commonsense ideas – ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. The only thing holding them back is politics. The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.

Because, for all the knocks we’ve taken, despite all the challenges we face, this is still the greatest country on earth. We still have the best workers and farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses, students and scientists. And you can see that here in Alpha. You can see it along the country roads that connect these small towns and farmlands.

These past few days, I’ve been seeing little kids with American flags and grandparents in lawn chairs. I’ve shaken hands with folks outside machine shops and churches, corner stores and farms. It reminds me why I got into public service in the first place. Getting out of Washington and spending time with the people of this country – seeing how hard you’re working, how creative you are, how resourceful you are, how determined you are – that only makes me more determined to serve you as best I can as President. And it only makes me more confident in our future.

That’s why it’s so important that folks in Washington put country before party. That’s why it’s so important that our elected leaders get past their differences to help grow the economy and put this nation back to work. Because here in Alpha it couldn’t be more clear: if we can come together, there’s no stopping the United States of America. There’s no doubt that our future is bright.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

White House Recap August 13-19, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — Obama Embarks on Economic Rural Tour to the Midwest States of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois — Job Plan Will be Announced After Labor Day

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: AUGUST 13-19, 2011

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a town hall
White House Photo, Samantha Appleton, 8/17/11

Weekly Wrap Up: On the Road

Source: WH, 8-19-11

This week most of the action took place far away from the West Wing, as the President and many of his senior advisors hit the road to talk with Americans in rural towns and communities in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

Rural Road Trip: From August 15-18, President Obama traveled through the Midwest, meeting with Americans in rural towns and communities in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The purpose of his trip, dubbed the Economic Rural Tour 2011, was to have conversations with people from different walks of life about what is happening in our country right now. The President was there to talk, but also to listen. His message at the end of his trip? There’s nothing wrong with our country that can’t be fixed.

Summer Tour: The President was not the only member of the Administration on the road this week. In fact, this summer there are more than 100 events being held across the country in support of the White House’s Rural Economic Council, which this week released a Jobs and Economic Security report. The Council held a Rural Economic Forum in Iowa, where the President announced several new initiatives to help create jobs and grow the economy in rural communities.

VP in Asia: Vice President Joe Biden logged even more miles than the President this week, as he headed to China for the first stop on his three country trip through Asia. In addition to meeting with Chinese leaders in Beijing, the VP also attended a U.S.-China business roundtable and chatted with locals at a snack shop in the city. You can follow his travels live on Twitter – #VPin Asia.

Historic Appointments, Historic Delays: The President’s nominations for federal judges embody an unprecedented commitment to expanding the racial, gender and experiential diversity of the men and women who enforce our laws and deliver justice. Unfortunately, the delays these nominees are encountering on Capitol Hill are equally unprecedented. Check out this infographic to understand what this means for Americans seeking justice.

Immigration Update: The Department of Homeland Security announced a new strategy that focuses immigration resources in a way that puts public safety and national security first. Cecilia Muñoz, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, held Office Hours via Twitter to explain the change and what it means.

Super Bowl Champs in the House: On August 12, the Green Bay Packers paid a visit to the President, where he congratulated the team on their championship season. Team members took a tour of the White House and gave a shout out to the First Lady, whose work with Let’s Move inspires their own Fit Kids program, which helps educate Wisconsin children about good health and smart eating habits.

Full Text US Economy in Crisis August 13, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Discusses the Economy & Job Growth

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address

QUOTES

Weekly Address: Putting the American People First

Source: WH, 8-13-11

While members of Congress are at home in their districts, President Obama asks Americans that agree that it’s time to put country before party and pass stalled bills to help grow our economy to let them know.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Putting the American People First

In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that although the United States leads the world in new ideas, innovative businesses and creative entrepreneurs, too many Americans are still struggling to get by.  It is time for Congress to act on the President’s proposals, including extending the payroll tax cut, cutting red tape, and getting our construction workers back to work, so that we can get our economy on firmer ground and ensure that anyone who wants a job can find one.  President Obama believes the American people deserve more than political brinksmanship, and urges anyone who is frustrated by the gridlock in Washington to let their elected officials know that it is time to put aside partisanship and act in the best interests of the country.

Remarks of President Barack Obama As Prepared for Delivery Saturday, August 13, 2011 Washington, DC

On Thursday, I visited a new, high-tech factory in Michigan where workers are helping America lead the way in a growing clean energy industry.

They were proud of their work, and they should be.  They’re not just showing us a path out of the worst recession in generations – they’re proving that this is still a country where we make things; where new ideas take root and grow; where the best universities, most creative entrepreneurs, and most dynamic businesses in the world call home.  They’re proving that even in difficult times, there’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with us.

That doesn’t mean we don’t face some very tough economic challenges.  Many Americans are hurting badly right now.  Many have been unemployed for too long.  Putting these men and women back to work, and growing wages for everyone, has got to be our top priority.

But lately, the response from Washington has been partisanship and gridlock that’s only undermined public confidence and hindered our efforts to grow the economy.

So while there’s nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics, and that’s what we’ve got to fix.  Because we know there are things Congress can do, right now, to get more money back in your pockets, get this economy growing faster, and get our friends and neighbors back to work.

The payroll tax cut that put $1,000 back in the average family’s pocket this year?  Let’s extend it.  Construction workers who’ve been jobless since the housing boom went bust?  Let’s put them back to work rebuilding America.  Let’s cut red tape in the patent process so entrepreneurs can get good ideas to market more quickly.  Let’s finish trade deals so we can sell more American-made goods around the world.  Let’s connect the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan to businesses that need their incredible skills and talents.

These are all things we can do right now.  So let’s do them.  And over the coming weeks, I’ll put forward more proposals to help our businesses hire and create jobs, and won’t stop until every American who wants a job can find one.

But we can no longer let partisan brinksmanship get in our way – the idea that making it through the next election is more important than making things right.  That’s what’s holding us back – the fact that some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.

So you’ve got a right to be frustrated.  I am.  Because you deserve better.  And I don’t think it’s too much for you to expect that the people you send to this town start delivering.

Members of Congress are at home in their districts right now.  And if you agree with me – whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or not much of a fan of either – let them know.

If you’ve had it with gridlock, and you want them to pass stalled bills that will help our economy right now – let them know.

If you refuse to settle for a politics where scoring points is more important than solving problems; if you believe it’s time to put country before party and the interests of our children before our own – let them know.

And maybe they’ll get back to Washington ready to compromise, ready to create jobs, ready to get our fiscal house in order – ready to do what you sent them to do.

Yes, we’ve still got a long way to go to get to where we need to be.  We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and it’s going to take time to get out of it.  That’s a hard truth – but it’s no excuse for inaction.  After all, America voted for divided government, not dysfunctional government, and we’ve got work to do.  And when we come together and find common ground, there’s no stopping this country.  There’s no stopping our people.  There’s no holding us back.  And there is every reason to believe we’ll get through this storm to a brighter day.

Thanks for listening, and have a nice weekend.

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