Political Headlines December 17, 2012: President Barack Obama & Speaker John Boehner Meet Again, Seek End to Fiscal Cliff Stalemate

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama and Boehner Meet Again, Seek End to Fiscal Cliff Stalemate

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-17-12

File photo. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met again at the White House Monday to continue their discussion about avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

The meeting lasted approximately 45 minutes, the White House said. Upon returning to the Capitol, Boehner kept quiet as he made his way through a small scrum of reporters, ignoring all questions….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 16, 2012: In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Speaker John Boehner Gives on Some Higher Rates in Exchange for Entitlement Cuts

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Boehner Gives on Some Higher Rates in Exchange for Entitlement Cuts

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-16-12

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Imags

Sources familiar with negotiations say that in a phone call on Friday afternoon House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, offered President Obama a deal including letting tax rates expire for those who make over $1 million a year, contingent upon significant entitlement spending cuts and reforms.

One specific example would be savings achieved by slowing the growth of Social Security.

Essentially Boehner offered $1 trillion in revenue over ten years, and somewhere between $1 trillion and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 13, 2012: Speaker John Boehner & President Barack Obama Meet at White House; No ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal Yet

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Boehner, Obama Meet at White House; No ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal Yet

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-14-12

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner was invited to the White House Thursday afternoon for another meeting with President Obama on ways to avoid the looming “fiscal cliff.”

The 50-minute face-to-face meeting was described as a frank and candid exchange of views.  There has been no indication that any decision or agreement has been reached….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 13, 2012: President Barack Obama & Speaker John Boehner Impasse on ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Threatens Holiday, Sandy Relief

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama, Boehner Impasse on ‘Cliff’ Threatens Holiday, Sandy Relief

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-13-12

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner just can’t seem to break through an impasse in their “fiscal cliff” talks, increasing pessimism about a deal by Christmas and now threatening to sidetrack billions in federal aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

After weeks of public posturing and private negotiations, both sides remain firmly dug in with their opposing positions on tax hikes and spending cuts for deficit reduction….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency December 10, 2012: President Barack Obama Speech on the Fiscal Cliff, Economy and Middle-Class Tax Cuts at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant, Redford, Michigan

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Talks About “the Idea that Built America”

Source: WH, 12-10-12

President Obama Tours the Detroit Diesel Facility, Dec. 10, 2012.President Barack Obama watches as workers explain the process of assembling connecting rods and pistons during a tour of the Detroit Diesel Facility in Redford, Mich., Dec. 10, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama was in Detroit today to talk about the economy — how companies are reinvesting in American workers and why it’s so important to extend tax cuts for middle class families.

“I believe America only succeeds and thrives when we’ve got a strong and growing middle class,” he said to the crowd at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant. “I believe we’re at our best when everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead; that they can get a job that pays the bills; that they’ve got health care that they can count on; that they can retire with dignity and respect, maybe take a vacation once in a while — nothing fancy, just being able to pack up the kids and go someplace and enjoy time with people that you love; make sure that your kids can go to a good school; make sure they can aspire to whatever they want to be. That idea is what built America.”

Remarks by the President at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant, Redford, MI

President Obama Speaks on the Economy and Middle-Class Tax Cuts

President Obama Speaks on the Economy and Middle-Class Tax Cuts

Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant
Redford, Michigan

2:29 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Redford!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Michigan.  (Applause.)  How is everybody doing today? (Applause.)

Now, let me just start off by saying we have something in common — both our teams lost yesterday.  (Laughter.)  I mean, I would like to come here and talk a little smack about the Bears, but we didn’t quite get it done.  But it is wonderful to be back. It is good to see everybody in the great state of Michigan.  (Applause.)

A few people I want to acknowledge — first of all, the Mayor of Detroit here — Dave Bing is in the house.  (Applause.) We’ve got the Redford Supervisor — Tracey Schultz Kobylarz.  (Applause.)  We’ve got some outstanding members of Congress who are here — please give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

I want to thank Martin for hosting us.  I want to thank Jeff and Gibby for giving me a great tour of the factory.  (Applause.) I’ve got to say I love coming to factories.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you.  (Applause.)

So in addition to seeing the best workers in the world — (applause) — you’ve also got all this cool equipment.  (Laughter.)  I wanted to try out some of the equipment, but Secret Service wouldn’t let me.  (Laughter.)  They said, you’re going to drop something on your head, hurt yourself.  (Laughter.) They were worried I’d mess something up.  And Jeff and Gibby may not admit it, but I think they were pretty happy the Secret Service wouldn’t let me touch the equipment.  (Laughter.)

Now, it’s been a little over a month since the election came to an end.  (Applause.)  So it’s now safe for you to turn your televisions back on.  (Laughter.)  All those scary political ads are off the air.  You can answer your phone again — nobody is calling you in the middle of dinner asking for your support.  But, look, I have to admit there’s one part of the campaign that I miss, and that is it is a great excuse for me to get out of Washington and come to towns like this and talk to the people who work so hard every day and are looking out for their families and are in their communities, and just having a conversation about what kind of country do we want to be; what kind of country do we want to leave behind for our kids.  Because ultimately, that’s what this is about.

And I believe — and I’ve been saying this not just for the last six months or the last year, but ever since I got into public office — I believe America only succeeds and thrives when we’ve got a strong and growing middle class.  (Applause.)  That’s what I believe.  I believe we’re at our best when everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead; that they can get a job that pays the bills; that they’ve got health care that they can count on; that they can retire with dignity and respect, maybe take a vacation once in a while — nothing fancy, just being able to pack up the kids and go someplace and enjoy time with people that you love; make sure that your kids can go to a good school; make sure they can aspire to whatever they want to be.

That idea is what built America.  That’s the idea that built Michigan.  That’s the idea that’s at the heart of the economic plan I’ve been talking about all year long on the campaign trail. I want to give more Americans the chance to earn the skills that businesses are looking for right now, and give our kids the kind of education they need to succeed in the 21st century.  I want to make sure America leads the world in research and technology and clean energy.  I want to put people back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our schools.  (Applause.)  That’s how we grow an economy.

I want us to bring down our deficits, but I want to do it in a balanced, responsible way.  And I want to reward — I want a tax code that rewards businesses and manufacturers like Detroit Diesel right here, creating jobs right here in Redford, right here in Michigan, right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  That’s where we need to go.  That’s the country we need to build.  And when it comes to bringing manufacturing back to America — that’s why I’m here today.

Since 1938, Detroit Diesel has been turning out some of the best engines in the world.  (Applause.)  Over all those years, generations of Redford workers have walked through these doors.  Not just to punch a clock.  Not just to pick up a paycheck.  Not just to build an engine.  But to build a middle-class life for their families; to earn a shot at the American Dream.

For seven and a half decades, through good times and bad,  through revolutions in technology that sent a lot of good jobs — manufacturing jobs — overseas, men and women like you, your parents, maybe even your grandparents, have done your part to build up America’s manufacturing strength.  That’s something you can all be proud of.  And now you’re writing a new proud chapter to that history.  Eight years ago, you started building axles here alongside the engines.  That meant more work.  That meant more jobs.  (Applause.)  So you started seeing products — more products stamped with those three proud words:  Made in America.
Today, Daimler is announcing a new $120 million investment into this plant, creating 115 good, new union jobs building transmissions and turbochargers right here in Redford — (applause) — 115 good new jobs right here in this plant, making things happen.  That is great for the plant.  It’s great for this community.  But it’s also good for American manufacturing.  Soon, you guys will be building all the key parts that go into powering a heavy-duty truck, all at the same facility.  Nobody else in America is doing that.  Nobody else in North America is doing that.

And by putting everything together in one place, under one roof, Daimler engineers can design each part so it works better with the others.  That means greater fuel efficiency for your trucks.  It means greater savings for your customers.  That’s a big deal.  And it’s just the latest example of Daimler’s leadership on this issue.

Last year, I was proud to have your support when we announced the first-ever national fuel-efficiency standards for commercial trucks, which is going to help save consumers money and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  That’s good news.  (Applause.)

But here’s the other reason why what you guys are doing, what Daimler is doing, is so important.  For a long time, companies, they weren’t always making those kinds of investments here in the United States.  They weren’t always investing in American workers.  They certainly weren’t willing to make them in the U.S. auto industry.

Remember, it was just a few years ago that our auto industry was on the verge of collapse.  GM, Chrysler were all on the brink of failure.  And if they failed, the suppliers and distributors that get their business from those companies, they would have died off, too.  Even Ford could have gone down — production halted.  Factories shuttered.  Once proud companies chopped up and sold off for scraps.  And all of you — the men and women who built these companies with your own hands  — would have been hung out to dry.  And everybody in this community that depends on you — restaurant owners, storekeepers, bartenders — (laughter and applause) — their livelihoods would have been at stake, too.

So I wasn’t about to let that happen.  I placed my bet on American workers.  We bet on American ingenuity.  I’d make that same bet any day of the week.  (Applause.)  Three and a half years later, that bet is paying off.  This industry has added over a quarter of a million new jobs.  Assembly lines are humming again.  The American auto industry is back.

And companies like Daimler know you’re still a smart bet.  They could have made their investment somewhere else, but they didn’t.  And if you ask them whether it was a tough call, they’ll tell you it wasn’t even close.  So the word is going out all around the world:  If you want to find the best workers in the world, if you want to find the best factories in the world, if you want to build the best cars or trucks or any other product in the world, you should invest in the United States of America.  This is the place to be.  (Applause.)

See, you’re starting to see the competitive balance is tipping a little bit.  Over the past few years, it’s become more expensive to do business in countries like China.  Our workers have become even more productive.  Our energy costs are starting to go down here in the United States.  And we still have the largest market.  So when you factor in everything, it makes sense to invest here, in America.

And that’s one of the reasons why American manufacturing is growing at the fastest pace since the 1990s.  And thanks in part to that boost in manufacturing, four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, our economy is growing again. Our businesses have created more than 5.5 million new jobs over the past 33 months.  So we’re making progress.  (Applause.)  We’re moving in the right direction.  We’re going forward.

So what we need to do is simple.  We need to keep going.  We need to keep going forward.  We should do everything we can to keep creating good middle-class jobs that help folks rebuild security for their families.  (Applause.)  And we should do everything we can to encourage companies like Daimler to keep investing in American workers.

And by the way, what we shouldn’t do — I just got to say this — what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions.  (Applause.)  We shouldn’t be doing that.  (Applause.)  These so-called “right to work” laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics.  (Applause.) What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.  (Applause.)

You only have to look to Michigan — where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry — to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America.  (Applause.)  So folks from our state’s capital, all the way to the nation’s capital, they should be focused on the same thing.  They should be working to make sure companies like this manufacturer is able to make more great products.  That’s what they should be focused on.  (Applause.)  We don’t want a race to the bottom.  We want a race to the top.  (Applause.)

America is not going to compete based on low-skill, low-wage, no workers’ rights.  That’s not our competitive advantage. There’s always going to be some other country that can treat its workers even worse.  Right?

AUDIENCE:  Right!

THE PRESIDENT:  What’s going to make us succeed is we got the best workers — well trained, reliable, productive, low turnover, healthy.  That’s what makes us strong.  And it also is what allows our workers then to buy the products that we make because they got enough money in their pockets.  (Applause.)

So we’ve got to get past this whole situation where we manufacture crises because of politics.  That actually leads to less certainty, more conflict, and we can’t all focus on coming together to grow.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  That’s right!

THE PRESIDENT:  And the same thing — we’re seeing the same thing in Washington.  I’m sure you’ve all heard the talk recently about some big deadlines we’re facing in a few weeks when it comes to decisions on jobs and investment and taxes.  And that debate is going to have a big impact on all of you.  Some of you may know this:  If Congress doesn’t act soon, meaning in the next few weeks, starting on January 1st, everybody is going to see their income taxes go up.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s true.  You all don’t like that.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Typical, middle-class family of four will see an income tax hike of around $2,200.  How many of you can afford to pay another $2,200 in taxes?  Not you?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t think so.  You can’t afford to lose that money.  That’s a hit you can’t afford to take.  And, by the way, that’s not a good hit for businesses, either — because if Congress lets middle-class taxes go up, economists will tell you that means people will spend nearly $200 billion less than they otherwise would spend.  Consumer spending is going to go down.  That means you’ve got less customers.  Businesses get fewer profits.  They hire fewer workers.  You go in a downward spiral. Wrong idea.

Here is the good news:  We can solve this problem.  All Congress needs to do is pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income — everybody.  (Applause.)  That means 98 percent of Americans — and probably 100 percent of you — (laughter) — 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up a single dime.  Even the wealthiest Americans would still get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income.  But when they start making a million, or $10 million, or $20 million you can afford to pay a little bit more.  (Applause.)  You’re not too strapped.

So Congress can do that right now.  Everybody says they agree with it.  Let’s get it done.  (Applause.)

So that’s the bare minimum.  That’s the bare minimum we should be doing in order to the grow the economy.  But we can do more.  We can do more than just extend middle-class tax cuts.  I’ve said I will work with Republicans on a plan for economic growth, job creation, and reducing our deficits.  And that has some compromise between Democrats and Republicans.  I understand people have a lot of different views.  I’m willing to compromise a little bit.

But if we’re serious about reducing our deficit, we’ve also got to be serious about investing in the things that help us grow and make the middle class strong, like education, and research and development, and making sure kids can go to college, and rebuilding our roads and our infrastructure.  (Applause.)  We’ve got to do that.

So when you put it all together, what you need is a package that keeps taxes where they are for middle-class families; we make some tough spending cuts on things that we don’t need; and then we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate.  And that’s a principle I won’t compromise on, because I’m not going to have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me, get to keep all our tax breaks, and then we’re asking students to pay higher student loans.  Or suddenly, a school doesn’t have schoolbooks because the school district couldn’t afford it.  Or some family that has a disabled kid isn’t getting the help that they need through Medicaid.

We’re not going to do that.  We’re not going to make that tradeoff.  That’s not going to help us to grow.  Our economic success has never come from the top down; it comes from the middle out.  It comes from the bottom up.  (Applause.)  It comes from folks like you working hard, and if you’re working hard and you’re successful, then you become customers and everybody does well.

Our success as a country in this new century will be defined by how well we educate our kids, how well we train our workers, how well we invent, how well we innovate, how well we build things like cars and engines — all the things that helped create the greatest middle class the world has ever known.  That’s how you bring new jobs back to Detroit.  That’s how you bring good jobs back to America.  That’s what I’m focused on.  That’s what I will stay relentlessly focused on going forward.  (Applause.)

Because when we focus on these things –- when we stay true to ourselves and our history, there’s nothing we can’t do.  (Applause.)  And if you don’t believe me, you need to come down to this plant and see all these outstanding workers.

In fact, as I was coming over here, I was hearing about a guy named Willie.  (Applause.)  Where’s Willie?  There’s Willie right here.  There’s Willie.  (Applause.)  Now, in case you haven’t heard of him, they actually call him “Pretty Willie.”  (Laughter.)  Now, I got to say you got to be pretty tough to have a nickname like “Pretty Willie.”  (Laughter.)  He’s tough.

On Wednesday, Willie will celebrate 60 years working at Detroit Diesel — 60 years.  (Applause.)  Willie started back on December 12, 1952.  I was not born yet.  (Laughter.)  Wasn’t even close to being born.  He made $1.40 an hour.  The only time he spent away from this plant was when he was serving our country in the Korean War.  (Applause.)  So three generations of Willie’s family have passed through Detroit Diesel.  One of his daughters works here with him right now — is that right?  There she is.  (Applause.)

In all his years, Willie has been late to work only once.  It was back in 1977.  (Laughter.)  It’s been so long he can’t remember why he was late — (laughter and applause) — but we’re willing to give him a pass.

So Willie believes in hard work.  You don’t keep a job for 60 years if you don’t work hard.  Sooner or later, someone is going to fire you if you don’t work hard.  He takes pride in being part of something bigger than himself.  He’s committed to family; he’s committed to community; he’s committed to country. That’s how Willie lives his life.  That’s how all of you live your lives.

And that makes me hopeful about the future, because you’re out there fighting every day for a better future for your family and your country.  And when you do that, that means you’re creating value all across this economy.  You’re inspiring people. You’re being a good example for your kids.  That’s what makes America great.  That’s what we have to stay focused on.

And as long as I’ve got the privilege of serving as your President, I’m going to keep fighting for you.  I’m going to keep fighting for your kids.  I’m going to keep fighting for an America where anybody, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, you can make it if you try here in America.  (Applause.)

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

END
2:51 P.M. EST

Full Text Obama Presidency December 6, 2012: President Barack Obama Speech on the Fiscal Cliff Crisis & Preventing an Income Tax Increase on the Middle Class

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President on Preventing an Income Tax Increase on the Middle Class

Source: WH, 12-6-12

Private Residence
Northern Virginia

2:40 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I want to, first of all, just thank Tiffany and Richard, Jimmie and Velma for opening up their beautiful home to us.  The reason that we’re here is because Tiffany is one of the people who responded to My2K.

As many of you know, we asked folks all across the country to talk a little bit about what would it mean if their income taxes went up in 2013, and Tiffany, who is a high school teacher, responded.  Her husband, Richard, works at a Toyota dealership.  They actually live with Tiffany’s parents, both of whom are still working.  And so what Tiffany pointed out was that an increase of $2,000 or so for her and her husband in this household would actually mean $4,000 that was lost.  And a couple of thousand dollars means a couple months’ rent for this family.

And the story they tell about working hard, my understanding is they’re interested in starting a business as well as the work that they currently do.  They’ve got dreams and ambitions.  They’ve got a beautiful 6-year-old son, Noah, who’s back with great-grandma.  And they’re keeping it together, they’re working hard, they’re meeting their responsibilities.

For them to be burdened unnecessarily because Democrats and Republicans aren’t coming together to solve this problem gives you a sense of the costs involved in very personal terms.  Obviously, it would also have an impact on our economy, because if this family has a couple of thousand dollars less to spend, that translates into $200 billion of less consumer spending next year.  And that’s bad for businesses large and small.  It’s bad for our economy.  It means less folks are being hired, and we can be back in a downward spiral instead of the kind of virtuous cycle that we want to see.

So the message that I got from Tiffany and the message that I think we all want to send to members of Congress is this is a solvable problem.  The Senate has already passed a bill that would make sure that middle-class taxes do not go up next year by a single dime.  Ninety-eight percent of Americans whose incomes are $250,000 a year or less would not see any increases.  Ninety-seven percent of small businesses would not see any increases in their income taxes.  And even folks who make more than $250,000 would still have a tax break for their incomes up to $250,000.  So 100 percent of Americans actually would be keeping a portion of their tax cuts, and 98 percent of them would not be seeing any increase in their income tax.

That’s the right thing to do for our economy.  It’s the right thing to do for families like Tiffany’s and Richard’s.  And it’s very important that we get this done now, that we don’t wait.  We’re in the midst of the Christmas season; I think the American people are counting on this getting solved.  The closer it gets to the brink, the more stressed they’re going to be.  Businesses are making decisions right now about investment and hiring, and if they don’t have confidence that we can get this thing done, then they’re going to start pulling back and we could have a rocky time in our economy over the next several months, or even next year.

So I’m encouraged to see that there’s been some discussion on the part of Republicans acknowledging the need for additional revenue.  As I’ve indicated, the only way to get the kind of revenue for a balanced deficit reduction plan is to make sure that we’re also modestly increasing rates for people who can afford it — folks like me.  For folks who are in the top 2 percent, we can afford to have a modest rate increase.  That allows us to not only reduce our deficit in a balanced, responsible way, it also allows us to make investments in education, in making college affordable, in putting folks back to work, and investing in basic research that’s important for our economy.

And I think we all recognize that there are some smart cuts we’ve got to make in government.  We’re going to have to strengthen our entitlement programs so that they’re there for future generations.  Everybody is going to have to share in some sacrifice, but it starts with folks who are in the best position to sacrifice, who are in the best position to do a little bit more to step up.  And that’s what my plan does.

So just to be clear, I’m not going to sign any package that somehow prevents the top rate from going up for folks at the top 2 percent.  But I do remain optimistic that we can get something done that is good for families like this one’s and that is good for the American economy.

All right.  Thank you very much, everybody.

END
2:45 P.M. EST

Political Headlines December 3, 2012: Speaker John Boehner Counters Barack Obama Deficit-Cutting Deal With ‘Credible Plan’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Boehner Counters Obama Deficit-Cutting Deal With ‘Credible Plan’

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-11-12

Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call

[ CLICK TO SEE A COPY OF BOEHNER’S LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT ]

House Speaker John Boehner on Monday sent President Obama a counter-proposal on how to cut the deficit that he called a “credible plan” to break the stalemate in negotiations to keep the country from going off the “fiscal cliff.”

In the plan, Republicans offer a total of $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. That would give lawmakers enough savings to off-set $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts set to take effect Jan. 2, 2013, but senior Republican aides said it does not explicitly include an offer to address the standoff over whether the president or Congress should have power over debt limit increases. The GOP deal offers $800 billion in new revenue through tax reform, but Boehner insist that tax rates should not go up on the top 2 percent of taxpayers….READ MORE

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer issued the following statement Monday afternoon, saying the GOP proposal does not “meet the test of balance.”

The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve. Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires.  While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates.  President Obama believes – and the American people agree – that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down.  Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.

Full Text Obama Presidency December 3, 2012: President Obama Answers #My2k Questions on Twitter — Fiscal Cliff Twitter Interview Transcript

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Answers #My2k Questions on Twitter

Source: WH, 12-3-12

President Obama participates in a live Twitter #My2k chat, Dec. 3, 2012. President Barack Obama participates in a Twitter #My2k live question and answer session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 3, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

[ READ THE FULL TWITTER Q&A HERE ]

[View the story “President Obama Answers #My2k Questions on Twitter” on Storify]

If Congress doesn’t act, a typical middle-class family will see their taxes go up by about $2,000. Last week, President Obama began calling on Americans to make their voices heard and share what $2,000 means to families across the country.

And today, the President connected directly with the Americans who are speaking out about these tax cuts. During a live Twitter Q&A from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, President Obama explained why Congress must act and encouraged people around the country to continue to add their voices to the debate.

Those from whom we heard today are just a few of the people speaking out. Since last week, we’ve heard from over 300,000 people on this issue (with more than 200,000 #My2k tweets and over 100,000 stories submitted on whitehouse.gov). Make sure your voice is heard. Tell us what $2,000 means to you on WhiteHouse.gov/my2k and on Twitter with #My2k.

We know this kind of action has real power. A year ago, during another big fight to protect middle class families, tens of thousands of working Americans called and tweeted and emailed to make their voices heard. The same thing happened earlier this year when college students across the country stood up and demanded that Congress keep rates low on student loans. When the American people speak out they help get things done in Washington — and the President is once again asking the American people to add their voices to this effort.

Political Headlines December 3, 2012: President Barack Obama on Twitter Discusses Fiscal Cliff & Confronts Skeptics of Tax Hike for Rich

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama on Twitter Confronts Skeptics of Tax Hike for Rich

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-3-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

[ READ THE FULL TWITTER Q&A HERE ]

With talks to resolve the “fiscal cliff” at an impasse, President Obama on Monday used Twitter to respond directly to skeptics of his plan to hike income tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at the end of the year.

Obama asserted — through a series of 144-character Tweets sent from his Apple MacBook inside the White House — that “high end tax cuts do least for economic growth” and sharply curtailing government spending hurts the middle class….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 3, 2012: John Boehner, Timothy Geithner Report Little Progress on ‘Fiscal Cliff’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

John Boehner, Timothy Geithner Report Little Progress on ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-2-12

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images

Negotiations between Congress and the White House over the “fiscal cliff” may be continuing in private this weekend, but on television airwaves the top Republican on Capitol Hill reported talks are still at an impasse.

“I would say we’re nowhere. Period,” House Speaker John Boehner said in an interview aired on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ve put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up there to try to get this question resolved. But the White House has responded with virtually nothing. They’ve actually asked for more revenue than they’ve been asking for the whole entire time.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 30, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Fiscal Cliff Deal & Middle Class Tax Extension in Visit to Rodon Group Toy Manufacturing Facility in Hatfield, Pennsylvania

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama: The Sooner We Get This Done, the Sooner Our Economy Gets a Boost

Source: WH, 11-30-12

President Barack Obama examines a K'NEX rollercoasterPresident Barack Obama examines a K’NEX rollercoaster with Michael Araten, President and CEO of K’NEX and Rodon Group, right, during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa., Nov. 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Today, President Obama spoke at a toy factory in Hatfield, Pennsylvania about extending tax cuts for middle-class families.

The Rodon Group, a third-generation family owned business, manufactures Tinkertoy and K’NEX building sets. The company depends on the many Americans who buy gifts for family and friends during the holiday season.

But, if Congress doesn’t act before the end of the year, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1, President Obama said.

 A typical middle-class family of four would see their income taxes go up by about $2,200. That’s for a typical family — it would be more for some folks. That’s money a lot of families just can’t afford to lose. That’s less money to buy gas, less money to buy groceries. In some cases, it means tougher choices between paying the rent and saving for college. It means less money to buy more K’NEX.

“And when folks are buying fewer clothes, or cars, or toys, that’s not good for our businesses; it’s not good for our economy; it’s not good for employment,” President Obama explained.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the K’NEX Production FacilityPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at the K’NEX Production Facility in Hatfield, Pa., Nov. 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

But there is another option.

Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. That means 98 percent of Americans, 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up by a single dime in 2013. Those who make more than $250,000 would still keep their tax cut on the first $250,000 of income.

President Obama said he has a pen ready to sign that law as soon as it’s ready, but he can’t do that without help from both from Congress and the American people.

I need you to remind members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — to not get bogged down in a bunch of partisan bickering, but let’s go ahead and focus on the people who sent us to Washington and make sure that we’re doing the right thing by them.

So I want you to call, I want you to send an email, post on their Facebook wall. If you tweet, then use a hashtag we’re calling “My2K.” … Because it’s about your “2K” in your pocket.

“Let’s give families all across America the kind of security and certainty that they deserve during the holiday season,” he said. “Let’s keep our economy on the right track. Let’s stand up for the American belief that each of us have our own dreams and aspirations, but we’re also in this together, and we can work together in a responsible way; that we’re one people, and we’re one nation. That’s what this country is all about”

Remarks by the President in Visit to Rodon Group Manufacturing Facility

Hatfield, Pennsylvania

12:01 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Well, good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Good morning!

THE PRESIDENT: Everybody, please, please have a seat. Have a seat. Relax for a second. (Laughter.)

It is good to see all of you. Hello, Hatfield! (Applause.) It is good to be back in Pennsylvania. And it is good to be right here at K’NEX. (Applause.) I want to thank Michael Araten, Robert Glickman, and the inventor of K’NEX, Joel Glickman, for hosting me today and giving me a great tour. (Applause.) Where did they go? Where did they go? I want to — (applause) — stand up. Stand up so everybody can see you guys. There they are. (Applause.) There you go.

And I just noticed, we’ve got a couple of outstanding members of Congress here. We’ve got Chaka Fattah — (applause)
— and Allyson Schwartz. (Applause.)

Now, I just finished getting a tour of the K’NEX workshop. I have to say, it makes me wish that Joel had invented this stuff a little sooner, when I was a kid. (Laughter.) Back then, you couldn’t really build a rollercoaster out of your Erector Set. (Laughter.)

And I also got a chance to meet some of the folks who have been working around the clock to keep up with the Christmas rush, and that’s a good thing. These guys are Santa’s extra elves here. They manufacture almost 3,000 K’NEX pieces every minute. And every box that ends up on store shelves in 30 countries is stamped “Made in America.” And that’s something to be proud of. That’s something to be proud of. (Applause.)

By the way, I hope the camera folks had a chance to take a look at some of the K’NEX, including that flag made out of K’NEX. And Joe Biden was in Costco; he wanted to buy some of this stuff. (Laughter.) But I told him he had too much work to do. I wasn’t going to have him building rollercoasters all day long. (Laughter.)

Now, of course, Santa delivers everywhere. I’ve been keeping my own naughty-and-nice list for Washington. So you should keep your eye on who gets some K’NEX this year. (Laughter.) There are going to be some members of Congress who get them, and some who don’t. (Laughter and applause.)

So, look, this is a wonderful time of year. It’s been a few weeks since a long election finally came to an end. And obviously, I couldn’t be more honored to be back in the White House. But I’m already missing the time that I spent on the campaign visiting towns like this and talking to folks like you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. That’s why I miss you. (Applause.)

And one of the benefits of traveling and getting out of the White House is it gives you a chance to have a conversation with the American people about what kind of country do we want to be
–- and what kind of country do we want to leave to our kids.

I believe America only thrives when we have a strong and growing middle class. And I believe we’re at our best when everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead. That’s what I believe. And I know that’s what the founders of this company believe as well. We were talking about these guys’ dad, who I understand just passed away at the age of 101. So these guys have good genes in addition to inventive minds. And the story of generations starting businesses, hiring folks, making sure that if you work hard, you can get ahead, that’s what America is all about. And that’s at the heart of the plan that I’ve been talking about all year.

I want to reward manufacturers like this one and small businesses that create jobs here in the United States, not overseas. (Applause.) And by the way this is a company — one of the few companies in the toy industry that have aggressively moved jobs back here. (Applause.) That’s a great story to tell because we’ve got the best workers in the world and the most productive workers in the world, and so we need champions for American industry creating jobs here in the United States.

I want to give more Americans the chance to earn the skills that businesses are looking for right now, and I want to give our children the kind of education they’ll need in the 21st century. I want America to lead the world in research and technology and clean energy. I want to put people back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our schools. And I want to do all this while bringing down our deficits in a balanced and responsible way. (Applause.)

Now, on this last point, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk in Washington and in the media about the deadlines that we’re facing on jobs and taxes and investments. This is not some run-of-the-mill debate. This isn’t about which political party can come out on top in negotiations. We’ve got important decisions to make that are going to have a real impact on businesses and families all across the country.

Our ultimate goal, our long-term goal is to get our long-term deficit under control in a way that is balanced and is fair. That would be good for businesses, for our economy, for future generations. And I believe both parties can — and will — work together in the coming weeks to get that done. We know how that gets done. We’re going to have to raise a little more revenue. We’ve got to cut out spending we don’t need, building on the trillion dollars of spending cuts we’ve already made. And if we combine those two things, we can create a path where America is paying its bills while still being able to make investments in the things we need to grow like education and infrastructure. So we know how to do that.

But in Washington, nothing is easy, so there is going to be some prolonged negotiations. And all of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen. I’m willing to do that, and I’m hopeful that enough members of Congress in both parties are willing to do that as well. We can solve these problems. But where the clock is really ticking right now is on middle-class taxes. At the end of the year, middle-class taxes that are currently in place are set to expire — middle-class tax cuts that are currently in place are set to expire.

There are two things that can happen. If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1st. Every family, everybody here, you’ll see your taxes go up on January 1st. I mean, I’m assuming that doesn’t sound too good to you.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: That’s sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas. That’s a Scrooge Christmas. A typical middle-class family of four would see their income taxes go up by about $2,200. That’s for a typical family — it would be more for some folks. That’s money a lot of families just can’t afford to lose. That’s less money to buy gas, less money to buy groceries. In some cases, it means tougher choices between paying the rent and saving for college. It means less money to buy more K’NEX.

AUDIENCE: Booo — (laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Just the other day, economists said that if income taxes go up on the middle class, people will spend nearly $200 billion less in stores and online. And when folks are buying fewer clothes, or cars, or toys, that’s not good for our businesses; it’s not good for our economy; it’s not good for employment.

So that’s one path: Congress does nothing, we don’t deal with this looming tax hike on middle-class families, and starting in January, everybody gets hit with this big tax hike and businesses suddenly see fewer customers, less demand. The economy, which we’ve been fighting for four years to get out of this incredible economic crisis that we have, it starts stalling again. So that’s one path.

The good news is there’s a second option. Right now, Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income — everybody. So that means 98 percent of Americans, 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up by a single dime — because 98 percent of Americans make $250,000 a year or less; 97 percent of small businesses make $250,000 a year or less. So if you say income taxes don’t go up for any income above $250,000, the vast majority of Americans, they don’t see a tax hike.

But here’s the thing. Even the top 2 percent, even folks who make more than $250,000, they’d still keep their tax cut on the first $250,000 of income. So it would still be better off for them, too, for us to go ahead and get that done. Families would have a sense of security going into the new year. Companies like this one would know what to expect in terms of planning for next year and the year after. That means people’s jobs would be secure.

The sooner Congress gets this done, the sooner our economy will get a boost. And it would then give us in Washington more time to work together on that long-range plan to bring down deficits in a balanced way: Tax reform, working on entitlements, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we can keep investing in things like education and research that make us strong.

So those are the choices that we have. And understand this was a central question in the election — maybe the central question in the election. You remember. We talked about this a lot. (Laughter.) It wasn’t like this should come as a surprise to anybody. We had debates about it. There were a lot of TV commercials about it. And at the end of the day, a clear majority of Americans — Democrats, Republicans, independents — they agreed with a balanced approach to deficit reduction and making sure that middle-class taxes don’t go up. Folks agreed to that.

Now, the good news is we’re starting to see a few Republicans coming around to it, too — I’m talking about Republicans in Congress. So the reason I’m here is because I want the American people to urge Congress soon, in the next week, the next two weeks, to begin the work we have by doing what we all agree on. Both parties agree that we should extend the middle-class tax cuts. We’ve got some disagreements about the high-end tax cuts, right? Republicans don’t want to raise taxes on folks like me; I think I can pay a little bit more to make sure that kids can go to college and we can build roads and invest in NIH so that we’re finding cures for Alzheimer’s. And that’s a disagreement that we’re going to have and we’ve got to sort out.

But we already all agree, we say, on making sure middle-class taxes don’t go up, so let’s get that done. Let’s go ahead and take the fear out for the vast majority of American families so they don’t have to worry about $2,000 coming out of their pockets starting next year.

The Senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families. That’s already passed the Senate. Your member of Congress like Allyson and Chaka, other Democrats in the House, they’re ready to go. They’re ready to vote on that same thing. And if we can just get a few House Republicans on board, we can pass the bill in the House. It will land on my desk, and I am ready — I’ve got a bunch of pens ready to sign this bill. (Laughter.) I’m ready to sign it. (Applause.) There are no shortage of pens in the White House. (Laughter.) And I carry one around for an emergency just in case, just waiting for the chance to use it to sign this bill to make sure people’s taxes don’t go up.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you!

THE PRESIDENT: Well, don’t thank me yet, because I haven’t signed it. (Laughter.) I need some help from Congress.

So the key is, though, that the American people have to be involved. It’s not going to be enough for me to just do this on my own. So I’m hopeful that both sides are going to come together and do the right thing, but we all know you can’t take anything for granted when it comes to Washington. Let’s face it. And that’s why I’m going to be asking for all of you to make your voices heard over the next few days and the next couple of weeks.

I need you to remind members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — to not get bogged down in a bunch of partisan bickering, but let’s go ahead and focus on the people who sent us to Washington and make sure that we’re doing the right thing by them.

So I want you to call, I want you to send an email, post on their Facebook wall. If you tweet, then use a hashtag we’re calling “My2K.” Not Y2K, “My2K,” all right? Because it’s about your “2K” in your pocket. (Laughter.) We’re trying to burn that into people’s minds here. (Applause.)

So in the meantime I’m doing my part. I’m meeting with every constituency group out there. We’re talking to CEOs. We’re talking to labor groups. We’re talking to civic groups. I’m talking to media outlets, just explaining to the American people this is not that complicated. Let’s make sure that middle-class taxes don’t go up. Let’s get that done in the next couple of weeks.

Let’s also work together on a fair and balanced, responsible plan so that we are paying our bills — we’re not spending on things we don’t need, but we are still spending on the things that make us grow. That’s the kind of fair, balanced, responsible plan that I talked about during the campaign, and that’s what the majority of Americans believe in.

So I’m hopeful, but I’m going to need folks like you, the people here in Hatfield and here in Pennsylvania and all across the country, to get this done. And a lot is riding on this debate. This is too important to our economy, it’s too important for our families to not get it done. And it’s not acceptable to me, and I don’t think it’s acceptable to you, for just a handful of Republicans in Congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they don’t want tax rates on upper-income folks to go up. All right? That doesn’t make sense. (Applause.)

If your voices are heard, then we can help businesses like this one. We’re going to sell a whole bunch of K’NEX. (Laughter and applause.) Let’s give families all across America the kind of security and certainty that they deserve during the holiday season. Let’s keep our economy on the right track. Let’s stand up for the American belief that each of us have our own dreams and aspirations, but we’re also in this together, and we can work together in a responsible way; that we’re one people, and we’re one nation.

That’s what this country is about. That’s what all of you deserve. That’s what I’m fighting for every single day, and I will keep fighting for as long as I have the privilege of being your President.

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

END
12:19 P.M. EST

Political Headlines November 29, 2012: Speaker John Boehner on Fiscal Cliff: ‘White House Has to Get Serious’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Boehner on Fiscal Cliff: ‘White House Has to Get Serious’

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-29-12

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republicans and Democrats may be privately working to avoid the fiscal cliff, but in public they’re digging into opposing positions on the all-important issue of tax rates for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. And leaders from both parties say they want a “serious proposal” from the other side.

“No substantive progress has been made on the fiscal cliff negotiations,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters after a short phone conversation with President Obama Wednesday night and a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Thursday morning….READ MORE

Political Headlines November 29, 2012: President Barack Obama & John Boehner Share ‘Curt’ Phone Call on Fiscal Cliff

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama, Boehner Share ‘Curt’ Phone Call

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-29-12

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner had what Politico called a “curt” conversation on Wednesday, the White House confirms.

Aides to the speaker also confirm the call, adding only, “Watch Boehner this morning” at a scheduled news conference on Capitol Hill.  Both sides refuse to say when during the day the call occurred….READ MORE

Political Headlines November 28, 2012: President Barack Obama Launches #My2K Fiscal Cliff Campaign

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Launches #My2K Fiscal Cliff Campaign

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-28-12

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Kicking off his public relations campaign to build support for his plan to avert the looming “fiscal cliff,” President Obama on Wednesday said he is doing his part and urged Americans to pressure lawmakers to do theirs.

“Middle class families, folks who are working hard to get into the middle class, they’re watching what we do right now. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, when the American people speak loudly enough, lo and behold, Congress listens,” the president told a crowd of middle class Americans at the White House Wednesday….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 28, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Extending Tax Cuts for the Middle Class

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Wants Americans to Speak Out on Passing the Middle Class Tax Cuts

Source: WH, 11-28-12

President Barack Obama discusses the need for Congress to extend the middle class tax cuts (November 28, 2012)President Barack Obama delivers remarks regarding the need for Congress to extend the middle class tax cuts, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Nov. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Surrounded by Americans who had written into the White House in support of his plan, President Obama today renewed his call to prevent a tax increase on the middle class.

“If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year,” the President said. “A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That’s $2,200 out of people’s pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can’t afford that right now.”

To help find an agreement President Obama pledged to keep up the pressure — meeting with lawmakers, labor leaders, and business executives. And he called on the American people to speak up and add their own voices to the debate.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, when the American people speak loudly enough, lo and behold, Congress listens,” he said.

You can share your story by visiting WH.gov/My2K, or help keep the conversation going online on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #My2K. Or, read what others are saying about what $2,000 means to them.

“I can only do it with the help of the American people,” President Obama said. “Do what it takes to communicate a sense of urgency. We don’t have a lot of time here. We’ve got a few weeks to get this thing done.”

Watch the President’s full remarks here

Remarks by the President on Extending Tax Cuts for the Middle Class

Source: WH, 11-28-12

South Court Auditorium

12:01 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.
Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat. Thank you very much. Everybody, please have a seat — except you guys. Don’t sit down. (Laughter.)

Well, good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Good morning.

THE PRESIDENT: There’s been a lot of talk here in Washington about the deadlines we’re facing on taxes and deficits — these deadlines are going to be coming up very soon, in the coming weeks. But today is important because I want to make sure everybody understands this debate is not just about numbers. It’s a set of major decisions that are going to affect millions of families all across this country in very significant ways. And their voices — the voices of the American people — have to be part of this debate. And so I asked some friends of mine here to join me, some folks from here in the area.

Our ultimate goal is an agreement that gets our long-term deficit under control in a way that is fair and balanced. That kind of agreement would be good for our businesses; it would be good for our economy; it would be good for our children’s future. And I believe that both parties can agree on a framework that does that in the coming weeks. In fact, my hope is to get this done before Christmas.

But the place where we already have, in theory at least, complete agreement right now is on middle-class taxes. And as I’ve said before, we’ve got two choices. If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. Starting January 1st, every family in America will see their taxes go up.

A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That’s $2,200 out of people’s pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. (Laughter.) It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can’t afford that right now.

By the way, businesses can’t afford it either. Yesterday, I sat down with some small business owners who stressed this point. Economists predict that if taxes go up on the middle class next year, consumers will spend nearly $200 billion less on things like cars and clothes and furniture — and that obviously means fewer customers. That cuts into business profits. That makes businesses less likely to invest and hire, which means fewer jobs. And that can drag our entire economy down.

Now, the good news is there’s a better option. Right now, as we speak, Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. Everybody’s. And that means that 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up by a single dime. Ninety-eight percent of Americans, 97 percent of small businesses would not see their income taxes go up by a single dime.

Even the wealthiest Americans would still get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. So it’s not like folks who make more than $250,000 aren’t getting a tax break, too. They’re getting a tax break on the first $250,000 just like everybody else.

Families and small businesses would, therefore, be able to enjoy some peace of mind heading into Christmas and heading into the New Year. And it would give us more time then next year to work together on a comprehensive plan to bring down our deficits, to streamline our tax system, to do it in a balanced way — including asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more, so that we can still invest in things like education and training, and science and research.

Now, I know some of this may sound familiar to you because we talked a lot about this during the campaign. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. This was a major debate in the presidential campaign and in congressional campaigns all across the country. And a clear majority of Americans — not just Democrats, but also a lot of Republicans and a lot of independents — agreed we should have a balanced approach to deficit reduction that doesn’t hurt the economy and doesn’t hurt middle-class families. And I’m glad to see — if you’ve been reading the papers lately — that more and more Republicans in Congress seem to be agreeing with this idea that we should have a balanced approach.

So if both parties agree we should not raise taxes on middle-class families, let’s begin our work with where we agree. The Senate has already passed a bill that keeps income taxes from going up on middle-class families. Democrats in the House are ready to vote for that same bill today. And if we can get a few House Republicans to agree as well, I’ll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way. I’ve got to repeat, I’ve got a pen. I’m ready to sign it. (Applause.)

So my point here today is to say let’s approach this problem with the middle class in mind — the folks who are behind me and the millions of people all across the country who they represent. The American people are watching what we do — middle-class families, folks who are working hard to get into the middle class — they’re watching what we do right now. And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, when the American people speak loudly enough, lo and behold, Congress listens.

Some of you may remember that a year ago, during our last big fight to protect middle-class families, tens of thousands of working Americans called and tweeted and emailed their representatives, asking them to do the right thing. And sure enough, it worked. The same thing happened earlier this year when college students across the country stood up and demanded that Congress keep rates low on their student loans. Congress got the message loud and clear and they made sure that interest rates on student loans did not go up.

So the lesson is that when enough people get involved, we have a pretty good track record of actually making Congress work. And that’s important, because this is our biggest challenge yet — and it’s one that we can only meet together.

So in the interest of making sure that everybody makes their voices heard, last week we asked people to tell us what would a $2,000 tax hike mean to them. Some families told us it would make it more difficult for them to send their kids to college. Others said it would make it tougher for them to cover the cost of prescription drugs. Some said it would make it tough for them to make their mortgage.

Lyn Lyon, who’s here, from Newport News — where’s Lyn? There she is. She just wants to see some cooperation in Washington. She wrote, “Let’s show the rest of the world that we’re adults and, living in a democracy, we can solve our problems by working together.”

So that’s what this debate is all about. And that’s why it’s so important that as many Americans as possible send a message that we need to keep moving forward. So today, I’m asking Congress to listen to the people who sent us here to serve. I’m asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard. Tell members of Congress what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to you. Call your members of Congress, write them an email, post it on their Facebook walls. You can tweet it using the hashtag “My2K.” Not “Y2K.” (Laughter.) “My2K.” We figured that would make it a little easier to remember.

And I want to assure the American people I’m doing my part
— I’m sitting down with CEOs; I’m sitting down with labor leaders; I’m talking to leaders in Congress. I am ready and able and willing and excited to go ahead and get this issue resolved in a bipartisan fashion so that American families, American businesses have some certainty going into next year. And we can do it in a balanced and fair way, but our first job is to make sure that taxes on middle-class families don’t go up. And since we all theoretically agree on that, we should go ahead and get that done. (Applause.) If we get that done, a lot of the other stuff is going to be a lot easier.

So in light of just sort of spreading this message, I’m going to be visiting Pennsylvania on Friday to talk with folks at a small business there that are trying to make sure that they’re filling their Christmas orders. And I’ll go anywhere and I’ll do whatever it takes to get this done. It’s too important for Washington to screw this up. Now is the time for us to work on what we all agree to, which is let’s keep middle-class taxes low. That’s what our economy needs. That’s what the American people deserve.

And if we get this part of it right, then a lot of the other issues surrounding deficit reduction in a fair and balanced and responsible way are going to be a whole lot easier. And if we get this wrong, the economy is going to go south. It’s going to be much more difficult for us to balance our budgets and deal with our deficits because if the economy is not strong, that means more money is going out in things like unemployment insurance, and less money is coming in, in terms of tax receipts. And it just actually makes our deficit worse.

So we really need to get this right. I can only do it with the help of the American people. So, tweet — what was that again — “My2K” — tweet using the hashtag “My2K,” or email, post it on a member of Congress’s Facebook wall. Do what it takes to communicate a sense of urgency. We don’t have a lot of time here. We’ve got a few weeks to get this thing done. We could get it done tomorrow. Now, optimistically, I don’t think we’re going to get it done tomorrow — (laughter) — but I tell you, if everybody here goes out of their way to make their voices heard, and spread the word to your friends and your family, your coworkers, your neighbors, then I am confident we will get it done. And we will put America on the right track not just for next year but for many years to come. All right?

Thank you very much, everybody. (Applause.) Appreciate it.
END
12:12 P.M. EST

Full Text Political Headlines November 17, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Sen. Kelly Ayotte Calls for Bipartisan Cooperation on Fiscal Cliff

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: Sen. Ayotte Calls for Bipartisan Cooperation on Fiscal Cliff

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-17-12

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

With the threat of the fiscal cliff quickly approaching, both Democrat and Republican lawmakers have voiced ideas about how to avoid the Jan. 1 deadline, when automatic tax hikes for all Americans and deep government spending cuts are set to take effect. In this week’s Republican address, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte criticizes Washington for “ducking the tough decisions,” but says the critical fiscal cliff represents a new opportunity for both parties to change the country’s “irresponsible spending path.”

“And one thing is clear: the American people expect Republicans and Democrats to work together to solve the difficult challenges we face,” Ayotte says, referring to the “spirited debate” over the federal budget that played out over the last year by members of both parties.

“For too long, partisan bickering has paralyzed Washington — preventing members of both parties from reaching across the aisle to find common ground,” she says in the address. “That must stop. Power sharing is an opportunity — not an obstacle.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 17, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address on ‘Constructive’ Fiscal Talks Underway — Working Together to Extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama’s Weekly Address: ‘Constructive’ Fiscal Talks Underway

Source: WH, 11-17-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

In his weekly address, President Obama gives his assessment of the first fiscal cliff summit with congressional leaders, whom he hosted Friday at the White House.

“It was a constructive meeting.  And everyone agreed that while we may have our differences, we need to come together, find solutions and take action as soon as possible,” he says….READ MORE

Weekly Address: Working Together to Extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts

Source: WH, 11-17-12

In this week’s address, President Obama urges Congress to act now on one thing that everyone agrees on — ensuring that taxes don’t go up on 98 percent of all Americans and 97 percent of small businesses at the end of the year. On Friday, the President had a constructive meeting with Congressional leaders on finding ways to reduce our deficit in a way that strengthens our economy and protects our middle class, and he looks forward to working together to get this done.

Transcript  |  Download mp4  |  Download mp3

Weekly Address: Working Together to Extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts

Hi, everybody.

Four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, our economy is growing again and creating jobs.  But we have much more to do. Our task now is to build on that progress.  Because this nation only succeeds when we’ve got a growing, thriving middle class.

That’s what drives me. That’s what I campaigned on for the past year.  That’s what will guide me in our work over the next four years. And I’m willing to work with anyone of any party to move this country forward.

Because soon, we face a very clear deadline that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs and taxes; on investments and deficits. Both parties voted to set this deadline. And I believe both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way.

When it comes to taxes, for example, there are two pathways available.

One says, if Congress fails to act by the end of the year, then everybody’s taxes automatically go up – including the 98% of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year. Our economy can’t afford that right now. You can’t afford that right now.  And nobody wants that to happen.

The other path is for Congress to pass a law right away to prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of anyone’s income. That means all Americans – including the wealthiest Americans – get a tax cut.  And 98 percent of Americans, and 97 percent of all small business owners, won’t see their income taxes go up a single dime.

The Senate has already passed a bill like this. Democrats in the House are ready to pass one, too. All we need is for Republicans in the House to come on board.

We shouldn’t hold the middle class hostage while Congress debates tax cuts for the wealthy. Let’s begin our work by actually doing what we all agree on. Let’s keep taxes low for the middle class. And let’s get it done soon – so we can give families and businesses some good news going into the holiday season.

I know these challenges won’t be easy to solve. But we can do it if we work together.

That’s why on Friday I sat down with Congressional leaders to discuss how we can reduce our deficit in a way that strengthens our economy and protects our middle class. It was a constructive meeting. And everyone agreed that while we may have our differences, we need to come together, find solutions and take action as soon as possible.

Because if anything, that’s the message I heard loud and clear in the election.

Work as hard as you can to make our lives better. And do it together.

Don’t worry about the politics.  Just get the job done.

Everywhere I went in that campaign – from farms in Iowa to the Vegas strip; from Colorado’s Rockies to the Florida coast – I was inspired by the grit and resilience of the American people, by your hard work and sense of decency.  And it makes me want to work even harder for you. I saw it again this week in New York, where our fellow citizens are going through a really tough time, but are helping each other through it. And we’re going to be there to help them rebuild.

Every single day, the good people of this country work as hard as you can to meet your responsibilities. Those of us you sent to Washington are going to do the same.

Thanks and have a great weekend.

Full Text Obama Presidency November 10, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address on Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts to Grow the Economy ‘No Time to Wait’

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama’s Address: Middle Class Tax Cuts — ‘No Time to Wait’

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-10-12

The White House

With re-election behind him, President Obama says “there’s no reason to wait,” regarding tax cut extensions for middle class families.

“You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours,” the president says in this week’s address, his first since the nation voted him into his second term….READ MORE

Weekly Address: Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts to Grow the Economy

Source: WH, 11-10-12

President Obama says that it’s time for Congress to pass the middle class tax cuts for 98 percent of all Americans. Both parties agree that this will give 98 percent of families and 97 percent of small businesses the certainty that will lead to growth, and so there is no reason to wait. On Tuesday, the American people voted for compromise and action, and the President calls on Congress to come together in that spirit to help create jobs and strengthen our economy.

Transcript  |  Download mp4  |  Download mp3

Weekly Address: Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts to Grow the Economy

Hello, everybody.

On Tuesday, America went to the polls. And the message you sent was clear: you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.

That’s why I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week, so we can start to build consensus around challenges we can only solve together. I also intend to bring in business, labor and civic leaders from outside Washington to get their ideas and input as well.

At a time when our economy is still recovering from the Great Recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan I talked about during the campaign. It’s a plan to reward businesses that create jobs here in America, and give people access to the education and training that those businesses are looking for. It’s a plan to rebuild our infrastructure and keep us on the cutting edge of innovation and clean energy. And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

This is even more important because at the end of this year, we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay down our deficit – decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy and the middle class, now and in the future.

Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending, and I intend to work with both parties to do more. But as I said over and over again on the campaign trail, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue – and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes. That’s how we did it when Bill Clinton was President. And that’s the only way we can afford to invest in education and job training and manufacturing – all the ingredients of a strong middle class and a strong economy.

Already, I’ve put forward a detailed plan that allows us to make these investments while reducing our deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.  Now, I’m open to compromise and new ideas.  But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach – that includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

Now we need a majority in Congress to listen – and they should start by making sure taxes don’t go up on the 98% of Americans making under $250,000 a year starting January 1. This is something we all agree on. Even as we negotiate a broader deficit reduction package, Congress should extend middle-class tax cuts right now. It’s a step that would give millions of families and 97% of small businesses the peace of mind that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. There’s no reason to wait.

We know there will be differences and disagreements in the months to come. That’s part of what makes our political system work. But on Tuesday, you said loud and clear that you won’t tolerate dysfunction, or politicians who see compromise as a dirty word. Not when so many of your families are still struggling.

Instead, you want cooperation. You want action. That’s what I plan to deliver in my second term, and I expect to find leaders from both parties willing to join me.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 28, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Nashua, New Hampshire — Hits Mitt Romney for ‘Cradle to Grave Tax Hikes, Fees’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Hits Mitt Romney for ‘Cradle to Grave Tax Hikes, Fees’

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-28-12

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages

President Obama delivered his final pitch to voters Saturday in the Live Free or Die state, accusing rival Mitt Romney of being untrustworthy, and slamming his record of “cradle to grave tax hikes and fees” as governor of neighboring Massachusetts.

“During Gov. Romney’s campaign for governor down there, he promised the same thing he’s promising now, said he’d fight for jobs and middle class families,” Obama said. “But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the state and then he raised taxes and fees on middle class families to the tune of $750 million. Does that sound familiar to you?…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Nashua, NH

Source: WH, 10-28-12

Elm Street Middle School

Nashua, New Hampshire

1:59 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  How’s it going, Nashua?  (Applause.)  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  This is an unbelievable crowd!  (Applause.) And this is what the weather is always like in late October in New Hampshire — 70 degrees and sunny.  (Applause.)

Can everybody please give it up for your outstanding United States Senator, Jeanne Shaheen?  (Applause.)  Your next governor, Maggie Hassan.  (Applause.)  Your next congresswoman, Annie Kuster.  (Applause.)

And I’ve just got to say something special about one of the most talented singers and songwriters that America has ever had. He has just been a great friend.  This guy has been working his tail off on behalf of this campaign.  I couldn’t be prouder that he’s working with us — James Taylor.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)

Ten days, New Hampshire.  (Applause.)  Ten days.  Ten days and you’ll be stepping into a voting booth and making a defining choice about the future of our country.  Not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties, it is a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America.

We believe in the values that built the largest middle class, the strongest economy the world has ever known; the promise that hard work will pay off; the promise that responsibility will be rewarded; the idea at the core of this nation that no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, this is a country where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same rules.  (Applause.)  That’s what we believe here in America.  (Applause.)

We believe that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.  We insist on personal responsibility.  We don’t believe anybody is entitled to success — we know we all have to earn it.  We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers, everybody who has been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world has ever known.

But we also believe that the true measure of prosperity is more than just a running tally of corporate balance sheets, quarterly profit reports.  We measure prosperity not just by how many millionaires and billionaires we produce; we measure prosperity by how well a typical family is doing — (applause) — by whether our kids are getting a great education and can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take us.  (Applause.)

We understand that in this country people succeed when they’ve got a chance at a decent education, when they can learn new skills.  And by the way, so do the businesses that hire them or the companies that they start.  We believe our economy grows when we support research into medical breakthroughs — (applause) — or new technologies like clean energy and fuel-efficient cars. (Applause.)

We know that our country is stronger when we can count on affordable health insurance and Medicare and Social Security — (applause) — when we protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution; when there are rules in place to make sure that we aren’t taken advantage of by credit card companies or mortgage lenders or unscrupulous financial institutions.  (Applause.)

We know we’re better off when politicians in Washington aren’t allowed to make decisions about health care that women are perfectly capable of making for themselves.  (Applause.)

That’s what we believe.  That’s the vision that we embrace.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We believe in you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I appreciate that.  (Laughter.)

Governor Romney, now, he’s got an entirely different view about what this country is about.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo —

AUDIENCE:  Vote!

THE PRESIDENT:  — vote.  Vote.  (Applause.)

He’s been running around saying he’s got a five-point plan for the economy — turns out it’s a one-point plan.  (Laughter.) Folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules than you do.  They get to pay lower tax rates, outsource jobs.  They want to let Wall Street run wild and make reckless bets with other folks’ money.  That was his philosophy when he was a CEO.  That was his philosophy as governor.  And as President Clinton said, he does have a lot of brass because he’s not talking about big change, but all he’s offering is a big rerun of the same policies that created so much hardship for so many Americans.

And Governor Romney has been out here making a lot of last-minute promises lately — said he’s all about fighting for the middle class; says he’d cut taxes for everybody, and ask something from nobody.  But the problem is we’ve heard those promises before.

Now keep in mind, Governor Romney lives just a few miles south of here in the state of Massachusetts.  (Applause.)  Love Massachusetts.  (Applause.)  But during Governor Romney’s campaign for governor down there, he promised the same thing he’s promising now — said he’d fight for jobs and middle-class families.  But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefitted 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families to the tune of $750 million.  Does that sound familiar to you?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, when he’s asked about this, he says, no these weren’t taxes, these were fees.  (Laughter.)  But keep in mind there were higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse.  There were higher fees for gas.  There were higher fees for milk.  There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind.  He raised fees to get a birth certificate — which would have been expensive for me.  (Laughter and applause.)

He raised fees for marriage certificates and fees for funeral homes — so there were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees.  (Laughter.)  And when he left office, there were only three states in the country that had created fewer jobs than Massachusetts.  And by the way, one of them was Louisiana that had been hit by Hurricane Katrina.  (Laughter.)

He talked a lot about small businesses — still talks about it.  Says, I’m a business guy, I know about small businesses.  Massachusetts, when he was governor, ranked 48th in small business creation.  And one of the two states that ranked lower was Louisiana that had gotten hit by Hurricane Katrina.  So this is a guy who has a track record of saying one thing and doing something else.

On the other hand, when I ran four years ago, I made promises, too.  I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families — and I did, by $3,600.  (Applause.)  I promised to cut taxes for small business owners — and I did, 18 times.  (Applause.)  I promised to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts — and we have.  And by the way, we got every dime worth of money that we used for the bank rescue, and we got interest with it, too.  (Applause.)  I promised to take on those financial institutions that were charging too much for student loans — and we, as a consequence, were able to make college more affordable for millions of Americans.  (Applause.)

I promised I’d never walk away from the millions of jobs that were in jeopardy when the auto industry was on the brink of collapse.  We decided to ignore Governor Romney’s business advice when he said Detroit should go bankrupt — and now, America, we are building the best cars on Earth.  (Applause.)

Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and we did.  (Applause.)  I promised that we would begin the transition in Afghanistan — and we are.  (Applause.)  I said we’d go after the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 — and thanks to the brave men and women in uniform, the courage of our Navy SEALs, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

After losing 9 million jobs under the theories that Governor Romney is now promoting, our businesses under the ideas we’ve been working with have added more than 5 million new jobs over the last two-and-a-half years.  (Applause.)  Manufacturing — highest job growth in manufacturing since the 1990s.  The unemployment rate is falling.  Manufacturing is coming back to our shores.  Our assembly lines are humming again.  Housing prices are starting to pick up.  Housing starts are all on the move.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.  But, New Hampshire, the country has come too far for us to turn back now.  (Applause.)  We can’t afford to go back to the policies that got us into this mess.  We’ve got to continue with the policies that are getting out of the mess.  We’ve got to move forward.  And that’s why I am running for second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  You can do it, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’m going to do it with you.  We can do it together.  (Applause.)

Unlike Governor Romney’s plan — he doesn’t like to talk about it too much — I have a plan that will actually create jobs; that will actually lower our deficit; and will actually provide the middle class with a greater sense of security.  And the good news is my plan — the math actually adds up.  (Applause.)

If you want to check it out, you can go to BarackObama.com/plans.  And I want you to share it with your friends and your neighbors and your coworkers.  There are still people out there who are trying to make up their minds.  Some of you who are here may be trying to make up your mind.  Maybe your girlfriend dragged you out here.  (Laughter.)  No, no, maybe Grandma said, you’ve got to go to the Obama rally — (laughter)  — and you’re still trying to figure it out.  So I’m asking you to compare my plan with Governor Romney’s.  I want you to know what we’re proposing, each of us, and see which plan is better for you and what is better for the future of America.

So, number one, I want to end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  (Applause.)  I want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are putting down roots here, hiring American workers, creating American products stamped with three proud words:  Made in America.  We can bring those jobs back to our shores.  (Applause.)

Number two, I want to cut our oil imports in half by 2020 so we control more of our own energy.  Because of the work we’ve already done — increasing oil production, increasing natural gas production, but also emphasizing renewables like solar and wind and biofuels — today we are less dependent on foreign oil than in any time in the last two decades.  (Applause.)  That’s good for your pocketbook.  That’s good for our national security.  It’s good for the environment.

And one reason we’ve been able — we have confidence we can keep on making progress is we’ve doubled the fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks.  So in the middle of the next decade, you’ll go twice as far on a gallon of gas. (Applause.)   I want us now to build on that progress.  We’ve got to keep making those investments.  I don’t want fuel-efficient cars and long-lasting batteries and wind turbines and solar panels produced in China.  I want them produced right here in New Hampshire.  (Applause.)  I want them made right here in America. And we can do that.

Number three, we have to make it a nation mission to educate our kids and train our workers better than anybody else in the world.  (Applause.)  I want to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers because we know that’s an area where we can’t afford to fall behind.  I want to train 2 million workers at our community colleges for the skills that businesses are hiring for right now.  And I want to work with colleges and universities to make sure that tuition does not keep on going up — because our young people can’t afford the debt that they are taking on, and that’s something we can do.  (Applause.)

Number four, my plan will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years in a balanced way.  We’re going to cut out spending we don’t need — we’ve already cut out a trillion dollars’ worth of spending.  We can do more, but I’m also going to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we can invest in the research and technology and education that will keep new jobs and businesses coming to America.

And under the guise of reducing the deficit, I will never turn Medicare into a voucher system — (applause) — because no American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of an insurance company.

And by the way — I think we saw just this past week — we don’t need a whole bunch of politicians in Washington, most of whom are male, making health care decisions for women.  (Applause.)  I don’t think your boss or your insurance company should be making those decisions either.  I believe women should be making their own health care decisions for themselves.  (Applause.)

That’s why the health care law we passed put those choices in your hands, where they belong, and that’s where they’ll stay as long as I’m President of the United States.  (Applause.)

Now, finally, number five, we’re going to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to put our people back to work.  Let’s do some nation-building here at home.  Let’s rebuild our roads, our bridges, our schools.  Let’s lay broadband lines into rural communities all across the country.  And as we’re doing that, we’re going to be putting our veterans back to work.  We’ve got to serve them as well as they’ve served us — because nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their heads, or the care that they’ve earned when they come home.  (Applause.)

So that’s the plan we need, New Hampshire.  That’s how you build a strong, sustainable economy.  That’s how you make sure that middle-class jobs that pay a good wage are out there.  That’s how you encourage new businesses to start here and stay here in America.  That’s how you increase take-home pay — not just by talking about it.  That’s how you build an economy where everybody who works hard can get ahead.  And that’s what we can do together.

But here’s the thing, New Hampshire, it’s now up to you.  It’s your choice.  It’s up to the young people who are here to choose — (applause) — a future that is worthy of all your dreams.  It’s up to the not-so-young people here, including me — I’m included in that category — (laughter) — to make sure we’re leaving the kind of America we want for future generations.

You can choose the top-down policy that got us into this mess, but I think we need to build on the policies that are helping us to make real progress all across this country.  You can choose a foreign policy that’s reckless and wrong, or you can choose the kinds of leadership that I’ve provided that’s steady and strong.  (Applause.)

You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for women and immigrants and gays — or in this election, you can stand up for that basic principle enshrined in our founding documents that all of us are created equal — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, abled, disabled. No matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, you’ve got a place in America.  You can make it here if you try.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

New Hampshire, we’ve been through tough times, but we’ve been through tough times before and we are tougher.  We always come out on top.  We always bounce back because we pull together. Because we look after one another.  Because we don’t leave anybody behind.  Because when we succeed, we prop that door open and bring those who are following behind us — we pull them through.  That’s who we are.  (Applause.)

Our destiny is not written for us; it’s written by us.  We don’t go backward.  We look forward to that distant horizon, to that new frontier.  We imagine a better America and then we work hard to make it happen.  That’s who we are.

That’s why I’m asking for your vote.  And if you give me your vote, I promise you, you will always have a President who hears your voices, who will fight for your families, who will spend every waking moment thinking about how to make your lives a little bit better.  (Applause.)

New Hampshire, I still believe in you.  I need you to keep believing in me.  (Applause.)  And if you’re willing to work with me, and roll up your sleeves with me, knock on some doors with me, make some phone calls for me, we’ll win Hillsborough County again.  (Applause.)  We’ll win New Hampshire again.  (Applause.) We’ll finish what we started.  And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 8, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speeches at Campaign Events in Stamford & Westport Connecticut Calls Mitt Romney Is ‘Robin Hood in Reverse’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama: Romney Is ‘Robin Hood in Reverse’; Romney Says Obama Will Raise Your Taxes

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Unveiling a new zinger against his opponent, President Obama Monday night said Mitt Romney’s tax plan amounts to “Robin Hood in reverse” because it would take money from the poor to help the rich.

“It’s Romney Hood,” the president said to uproarious laughter and applause from supporters in Stamford, Conn.

The president pointed to a recent study by the Tax Policy Center that found Romney’s economic plan would raise taxes on the majority of Americans to give tax breaks to the super wealthy….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Westport, CT

Source: WH, 8-6-12
Private Residence
Westport, Connecticut

8:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Well, it is wonderful to be here.  And there are just a couple of people I want to acknowledge.  First of all, obviously Harvey and Georgina have just been great friends and have done so much for us — not just in this election, but in the previous one.  A couple of other people who I want to mention — your Governor, Dan Malloy, is here, who’s doing outstanding work here in Connecticut.  (Applause.)

I want to thank Anne Hathaway for taking the time to host us.  She’s spectacular.  (Laughter.)   And I did get a chance to see Batman.  (Laughter.)  And she was the best thing in it.  (Laughter.)  That’s just my personal opinion.  Aaron Sorkin, who writes the way every Democrat in Washington wished they spoke.  (Laughter and applause.)  Aaron, thank you.

And Joanne Woodward — what a treat this is.  Joanne and Paul were not only I think what was best about American film, but also just embodied the American spirit in so many ways.  And their love story and the way they took so many people under their wing and helped so many people I think made them something more important than just folks in film.  And for her to be here, what a great treat that is.  So thank you so much for taking the time.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

Now, you know, in these kind of intimate settings, I usually don’t make a long speech because what I want to do is have a conversation.  And so let me just say a few things at the top.

I’ll give you a sense of the kind of season we’re in.  Jim Messina, my campaign manager, tells this story.  He was at an event like this, and there was a young couple; they had a four-year-old boy, cute as can be.  And during this campaign event, there was a picture of me there.  And so the parents, very proudly, prompt the son, “Who is that?”  And he says, “That’s Barack Obama.”  And they say, “Well, and what does Barack Obama do?”  And he thinks for a second, and he says, “Barack Obama approves this message.”  (Laughter and applause.)

Now, that speaks to the state of affairs in politics today.  (Laughter.)  Unless you have — you don’t have a TV set or your cable is busted, you’re seeing an awful lot of stuff about politics.  And the reason I think there’s so much intensity is because we’ve got a choice that is as stark and as critical as any that we’ve seen in my lifetime — in some ways, more important than 2008.

In 2008, we came together — and it wasn’t just Democrats, it was independents and some Republicans — because we recognized that for over a decade the core idea at the heart of this country was at risk — the idea that if you work hard, that hard work is rewarded; that you can make it here if you try, regardless of what you look like, where you come from, what your last name is.

And for a decade, we had seen job growth slow and we had seen jobs moving overseas, and we had seen people working harder and harder but coming up with less because the costs were going up a lot faster than their wages and their incomes.  And this all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

We have spent three and a half years, a little over three and a half years now, trying to make sure that this country gets back on its feet.  And because of the extraordinary resilience of the American people, we have seen signs of recovery — 4.5 million new jobs, half a million new manufacturing jobs, an auto industry that is reinvigorated.

But we didn’t work this hard in 2008 just to get back to where we were in 2007.  Our notion was that we needed to rebuild a country where the foundations for people who were willing to act responsibly were there for them either to feel security in the middle class or to climb into the middle class — and maybe do even better.  And that means making sure that we have an education system that works — which is why we’ve initiated more aggressive education reform across the country than any President in a very long time; and the reason that we put so much emphasis on making college more affordable for young people.

It meant health care, because in a country this wealthy, we shouldn’t go bankrupt when we get sick.  And the Affordable Care Act means that 30 million people will have health insurance, but it also means that people who already have health insurance have a little more security.

We did an event just before we came here, and there was a woman who clearly is doing fine and is well-insured, but she personally thanked me for the health care bill because she said, my husband just got cancer and we weren’t sure whether we were going to hit that $1 million limit on our insurance policy.  Well, that limit is no longer allowed under the Affordable Care Act — which means they may not lose their house because of an illness.  (Applause.)

It means making investments in science and research that are what made us an economic superpower.  It means having a tax code that’s fair so that we bring down our deficit not on the backs of folks who are struggling, but we ask those of us who are — who’ve been incredibly blessed by this country to do a little bit more, understanding that when folks in the middle and the bottom are doing well, everybody does well and the economy grows.

It means a foreign policy that recognizes the force of our example and our ideals and our capacity to engage with countries diplomatically is a complement to our incredible military power.  And it’s not a sign of weakness to say that we are going to reach out around the world and engage people.

So we’ve had a lot of work to do over the last three and a half years, and we’re not done.  We’re just — we’ve gotten on track, but these gains are reversible.  And you’ve got the other party and the other candidate who don’t just want to reverse the gains that we’ve made over the last three and a half years, but in many ways want to reverse gains we’ve made over the last 40, 0r 50, or 60 years.

When you look at their budget, and they say that they want to initiate a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the Bush tax cut, what that functionally means is that either you blow up the deficit by another $5 trillion — which they say is irresponsible — or you’re going to have to eliminate funding for education, for infrastructure, for basic science and research.  Medicare is going to be a voucher system, which means that seniors may end up paying thousands of dollars more for care that they were counting on.

When Mitt Romney says he wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood I think he means it.  When he says that Arizona is a model for how we should deal with immigration, I think that fundamentally misunderstands that we’re a nation of laws but also a nation of immigrants.

So on a whole host of issues, you’ve got very stark differences.  And the good news is that you guys are the tie-breaker.  You and the American people.  And when you walk into that ballot box — or don’t walk into the ballot box.  That’s the second time I’ve said this today.  (Laughter.)  When you walk into the voting booth — it’s illegal, I’m sure, to walk into a ballot box.  (Laughter.)  When you cast your ballot, you will have the opportunity to determine the course of this country’s direction not just tomorrow, or next year, or five years from now, but probably for decades to come.

And the great privilege of being President is you interact with people from every walk of life, from every corner of the country.  And what you discover is the faith that I brought into this office in the American people — their core decency and their values and their resilience and their fundamental fairness — they have never disappointed me.  And I’m confident that they won’t this time either, despite the fact that we’ve got all these negative ads raining down on our heads, and super PACs running around with folks writing $10 million checks — because when the American people focus and are paying attention, their instincts are sound and they know what makes this country great.

That’s what we’re going to be fighting for, and we’ve got 90 days to do it.  So I hope you guys are onboard.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

END
8:10 P.M. EDT

 

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Stamford, CT

Source: WH, 8-6-12
Stamford Marriott Hotel
Stamford, Connecticut

6:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Well, it is wonderful to be back in Connecticut.  A couple of people I want to give a shout-out to — first of all, your outstanding Governor, Dan Malloy, is here.  (Applause.)  Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman is here.  (Applause.)  Senator Dick Blumenthal is here.  (Applause.)  A outstanding trio of Congressmen — Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes, Chris Murphy.  (Applause.)  And please give it up for Ben Harper.  (Applause.)  We are so grateful to him.

It was my birthday this weekend.  (Applause.)  I was 51 years old.  Michelle says I don’t look a day over 50.  (Laughter.)  She was pointing out, I think in the last week you’ve gotten more gray hair.  (Laughter.)  But that’s okay.

Obviously I know that all of you have been spending most of this week rooting for our unbelievable athletes in London.  (Applause.)  On the flight over here, I’ve got to admit I was spending most of my time watching U.S. women’s soccer.  They won, by the way, 4 to 3 — (applause.)  It was a tight game.  And it’s just an extraordinary reminder of the fact that even when we’ve got political differences, when it comes to our love of this country and the incredible people who represent us, we are unified.  And it’s a very gratifying feeling during the course of a political season, where sometimes the fact that we are unified around so many important things gets hidden.

But unless you’ve been able to hide from your television, or your cable is broke — (laughter) — you are aware that there is a pretty intense campaign going on right now.  And it’s a healthy thing because that’s what our democracy is about.  Sometimes it’s messy and folks get excited.  But in this election in particular, the reason that there is such an intensity is because the choice that we face in November could not be bigger.  Could not be bigger.

It’s not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties.  More than any election in recent memory, it is a choice about two fundamentally different paths for our country.  And the direction that we choose — the direction that you choose when you step into that ballot box in November — in that voting booth — I guess you shouldn’t step into the ballot box.  (Laughter.)  Step into the voting booth.  That’s probably illegal.  (Laughter.)  The impact that you’ll have not just on our lives, but on our kids and our grandkids for decades to come is remarkable.

Now, four years ago, we came together — and it wasn’t just Democrats, we had independents and Republicans coming together to restore that basic bargain that made America an economic superpower, made us the most prosperous economy in the world.  And it’s a bargain that says if you work hard in this country, then your work should be rewarded.  It’s an idea that says if you put in enough effort, if you act responsibly, then you can find a job that pays the bills, and you can afford a home that you can call our own, and you can count on health care if you get sick, and put away a little bit for retirement, and most importantly, give your kids the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger and do even better than you did.

That’s at the core of what America is about.  That’s the American promise.  And we understood that restoring it wouldn’t be easy.  We had gone through a decade in which jobs were being shipped overseas and job growth was sluggish and incomes were falling even as the costs of health care and college and gas and groceries were going up.  So we understood that it was going to take more than one year, or one term, or even one President to meet these challenges.

And that was before the middle class was hammered by the worst economic crisis in most of our lifetimes — a crisis that robbed many of our friends and neighbors of the security of a job, or their homes, or their savings.  That crisis pushed the American Dream even further out of reach for too many working people.

But one of the great privileges of being President is you get to see Americans from every walk of life, and one consistent theme is we don’t buckle, we don’t break, we’re tougher than tough times.  And so over the last three and a half years, we have devoted ourselves to bringing this country back to where it needs to be.

And we’re not there yet, but we created 4.5 million new jobs and 500,000 in manufacturing.  (Applause.)  An auto industry that was on its knees has come roaring back.  We’ve said that we’ve got to make college more accessible, and been able to provide millions of more young people access to higher education.  We made sure that in a country as remarkable as ours that nobody is going to go bankrupt when they get sick.  (Applause.)

And through all these battles, through all these struggles, understanding that we’re not where we need to be, what we’ve constantly been able to affirm is that this economic crisis didn’t change our character.  It didn’t change who we are.  It didn’t change what made us great.  It didn’t change our determination and our resilience.

And what also hasn’t changed is what we came together for in 2008.  It’s just made our mission that much more urgent.  We are here to build an economy where work pays off so that no matter what you look like or where you come from, you can make it here if you try.  That’s what this campaign is about.  (Applause.)  That’s what this campaign is about, Connecticut, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

And we understand there are no quick fixes or easy solutions to these challenges, but we know that we have the capacity to meet them.  We’ve got the best workers in the world. We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world.  We have the best scientists and the best researchers in the world.  We have the best universities and the best colleges in the world.  We are a young nation, and we’ve got the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity from every corner of the globe.  (Applause.)  So, no matter what the naysayers may say, no matter how dark the picture they try to paint, there’s not another country on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States of America.  (Applause.)

So what’s standing in our way right now is not the lack of technical solutions to the deficit or to education or to energy.  What’s standing in our way is our politics — the uncompromising view that says we should be going back to the old, top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.  (Applause.)

And I don’t exaggerate when it comes to how my opponent and his allies in Congress view this economy.  They believe — and this is the sum total of their economic package — that if we give more tax breaks to some of the wealthiest Americans, and we get rid of regulations that keep our air clean and our water clean and make sure consumers aren’t getting cheated and make sure insurance companies aren’t taking advantage of you, that somehow prosperity will rain down on everybody.  That’s their theory.  That’s the path they’re proposing.  That’s where they will take us if we [sic] win.  It is on Mr. Romney’s website.  It is in the form of a bill that passed through the House of Representatives by this Republican Congress.

In fact, the entire centerpiece of Mitt Romney’s economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut.  And we’ve known for a while that a lot of this tax cut would go to the wealthiest 1 percent of all households.  But just last week, an independent, non-partisan organization crunched the numbers.  They went through what would it mean to add a $5 trillion tax cut.  Just to give you a sense of perspective here — our entire defense budget is about — it’s over $500 billion a year, but it’s less than $600 billion.

So you’re talking about each year, a tax cut that’s equivalent of our defense budget for the next 10 years.  And what this policy center did was — it just ran the numbers — if you wanted to actually pay for that, what would that mean.  And they determined that Governor Romney’s plan would effectively raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 — to pay for this tax cut.  Not to reduce the deficit.  Not to invest in things that grow our economy, like education or roads or basic research.  He’d ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s like Robin Hood in reverse.  (Laughter.)  It’s Romney Hood.  (Applause.)

And if this sounds like an idea that’s difficult to explain or sell to the American people, you’d be right.  (Laughter.)  So there were all kinds of different gymnastics being performed by the Romney campaign last week.  They have tried to sell us this trickle-down, tax cut fairy dust before.  And guess what — it does not work.  It didn’t work then; it won’t work now.  It’s not a plan to create jobs.  It’s not a plan to reduce our deficit.  And it is not a plan to move our economy forward.

We do not need — I do not need a tax cut.  We need tax cuts for working Americans.  We need tax cuts for families who are trying to raise kids, and keep them healthy, and send them to college, and keep a roof over their heads.

So that’s the choice in this election.  That’s what this is about.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

See, I’ve got a different plan for America.  Four years ago, I promised to cut middle-class taxes — that’s exactly what I’ve done, by a total of about $3,600 for the typical family.  (Applause.)  So I want to keep taxes exactly where they are for the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  If your family makes under $250,000 — like 98 percent of Americans do — you will not see your income taxes increase by a single dime next year.

And if you’re fortunate enough — as many of you are, as I am — to be in the other 2 percent, you still keep the tax cut on the first $250,000 of your income.  All we’re asking is that, after that, you contribute a little bit more so we can pay down our deficit and invest in things like education that will help us grow.  (Applause.)

And by the way, we’re going to make sure that government does its part.  Government is going to have to cut away the spending that we don’t need.  We’ve already cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending that wasn’t necessary, and we can find more.  Members of Congress here are committed to doing that.  We can’t waste taxpayer dollars.  But we’re not going to pay for a massive new tax cut for folks who don’t need it by gutting investments that have always kept the middle class strong.

We’re going to have to make sure that college is affordable.  We’ve got to make sure that we’re rebuilding our infrastructure.  We’ve got to make sure that we’re investing in science and technology in this competitive 21st century economy.  We’ve got to make sure that Medicare is there for our seniors after they’ve worked hard all their lives.  And we can do all that simply by having folks like me go back to the rates that we paid under Bill Clinton.  And if you remember, that was when the economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and a whole lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

The interesting thing when you look at our economic history is, when a construction worker has got some money in his pocket, he goes out and buys a new car.  When a teacher is getting paid a decent wage, that means they can maybe take their family to a restaurant once in a while.  And when the middle class is doing well, then business is doing well, and those at the top do well.  Everybody does well.  That’s what we believe in — an economy that grows from the middle class out and the bottom up.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President.  (Applause.)

But, look, we’re going to have — that’s just on tax policy and fiscal issues.  There are going to be contrasts throughout this election.  When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse, more than 1 million jobs on the line, Governor Romney said, let’s “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  I refused to turn back on a great American industry and its workers.  We bet on America’s workers.  Three years later, the American auto industry has come roaring back.  (Applause.)

So I want to make sure that this happens not just in the auto industry; let’s replicate that.  There are manufacturing opportunities — advanced manufacturing, high-tech manufacturing opportunities all across America, because I want those jobs here — not in China, not in Germany.  I want them in Connecticut.  I want them in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

And so Governor Romney extolls his experience in the private sector, investing in companies that have been called “pioneers” of outsourcing.  I believe in insourcing.  I want to give — I want to take away tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas.  Let’s give them to companies that are investing right here in Connecticut, investing in American workers.  (Applause.)

I said in 2008 I wanted to end the war in Iraq — we ended it.  (Applause.)  I said we’d go after bin Laden — we got him.  (Applause.)  I said that we would blunt the Taliban’s momentum, and now we can begin transitioning our troops home.  And so, after a decade of war, I think it’s time to do some nation-building here at home.  (Applause.)

Our freedom was secured because of the courage and selflessness of our men and women in the United States armed forces.  I want to make sure that they don’t have to scramble for a job when they come home.  I want to make sure that we’re investing in a Veterans Job Corps that can give them a chance to go back to work.  I want to make sure that they’re getting the services that they need.  We can take half the savings that we spent on war, and let’s use it to do some nation-building here in the United States of America.  Let’s rebuild America — rebuilding schools, rebuilding roads, hiring our veterans, making sure they get the care that they have earned.  That’s the choice in this election.  (Applause.)

Because Mr. Romney has got a different idea — he said me ending the war in Iraq was “tragic.”  (Laughter.)  I disagree.  (Laughter.)  That’s the choice in this election.

Connecticut, I’m running to make sure that America once again is a leader in educating our kids and training our workers.  I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science.  (Applause.)  Let’s give 2 million more Americans the chance to go to community colleges and get the skills that local businesses are looking for right now.  We’ve already done a lot to make millions of young people in a better place to be able to go to college, but I want to also work to help colleges and universities bring the cost of tuition down once and for all.  Higher education cannot be a luxury; it is a economic necessity that every American should be able to afford.  (Applause.)

When it comes to the housing market, Mr. Romney says just let foreclosures bottom out.  I don’t think that’s a solution — I think that’s the problem.  I want to give every American homeowner the opportunity to take advantage of historically low rates and refinance their homes, save $3,000, use that money to recirculate in the economy.  (Applause.)  That will help the entire economy grow and improve the housing market.

I’m running because I continue to believe that no American should go broke because they get sick.  Health care was the right thing to do.  The Supreme Court has spoken.  We are implementing it now.  (Applause.)  That’s a choice in this election.

I believe it was the right thing to do to end “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  You shouldn’t have to hide who you love to serve the country that you love.  (Applause.)  That’s a choice in this election.

I don’t believe that it is Congress’s job to take away the decisions around women’s health.  I think women should be in charge of their own health care.  That’s a choice in this election.  (Applause.)

So all these things, Connecticut — whether it’s bringing manufacturing and construction jobs back, or protecting your health care, or making sure our children get the best education they deserve, or making sure that veterans get the care that they have earned — all these things that help make up a middle-class life, they all tie together.  They’re all central to the idea that made this country great — the promise that if you work hard, you can get ahead.  The same promise our parents and our grandparents passed down to us.  And now it’s our responsibility to make sure that our children and grandchildren can enjoy that same American Dream.

And over the course of the next three months, the other side is going to spend more money than we have ever seen on ads that basically say the same thing you’ve been hearing for months.  They know their economics theory won’t sell, so their ads are going to say the same thing over and over again, which is:  The economy is not where it needs to be and it’s Obama’s fault.  I mean, there will be variations on the theme, but it’s basically — (laughter) — that’s basically their message.

And I’m not exaggerating.  Their strategists admit it.  They say, you know, we’re not going to put out any plans.  We’re just going to see if this works.  (Laughter.)  Now, that may be a plan to win the election, but that’s not a plan to create jobs.  That’s not a plan to grow the economy or revive the middle class.

They don’t have that plan.  I do.  (Applause.)  So, Connecticut, let me say this.  When you’re talking to your friends and your neighbors, and they’re saying, well, I don’t know, I’m not sure — you just tell them, look, if you believe that a plan to just cut taxes and eliminate regulations is going to make our economy stronger, even if it means gutting investments in education or infrastructure or science, if you want an America that essentially sets our sights lower, then by all means send these folks to Washington for the next few years.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  But you need to ask your friends and your neighbors, you need to ask them wouldn’t you be better off if we kept fighting for the things that always made us strong — (applause) — if we fight to make sure more of our students can afford to go to college?  Won’t we be better off if we kept developing new sources of American energy?  Won’t we be better off if we invest in manufacturing and we’re selling goods around the world stamped with three proud words:  Made in America?  Five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, won’t we be better off if we had the courage to keep working and to keep fighting and moving forward — understanding that it’s not easy — change has never been easy.  I told you in 2008, it wasn’t easy.  And I told you I’m not a perfect man.  I told you I wouldn’t be a perfect President.  But I always said that I’d tell you what I thought and where I stood.  And, most of all, I told you I would wake up every single day, fighting as hard as I knew how to make your lives a little bit better.  (Applause.)

And, Connecticut, I have kept that promise.  I’ve kept that promise, because I still believe in you.  And if you still believe in me, and you’re willing to stand with me, and knock on some doors for me, make some phone calls with me, work hard and organize and mobilize with me for the next three months, we will finish what we started in 2008, and we will show the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
6:58 P.M EDT

 

Full Text Obama Presidency August 3, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Extending Middle-Class Tax Breaks — Obama & Mitt Romney Hold High Noon Duel Over Jobs

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama, Romney Hold High Noon Duel Over Jobs

JEWEL SAMAD/FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama and Mitt Romney held a high noon showdown on the economy today, with both men delivering live, televised statements on jobs, taxes and economic growth at the exact same time.

As Romney spoke outside a small business in Las Vegas, Obama surrounded himself with a group of middle-class Americans in Washington to praise the July jobs report and continue his push to put Romney on the defensive on taxes.

“This morning we learned that our businesses created 172,000 new jobs in the month of July. That means that we’ve now created 4.5 million over the last 29 months and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year,” Obama said. “Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work.”…READ MORE

President Obama on Extending Middle-Class Tax Breaks

President Obama on Extending Middle-Class Tax Breaks

Remarks by the President on Tax Cuts for the Middle Class

Source: WH, 8-3-12

South Court Auditorium

12:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Good morning.  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Everybody, please have a seat.  Have a seat.  Well, it is great to see all of you, and I hope you guys are having a wonderful summer.

I am joined here today by moms and dads, husbands and wives, middle-class Americans who work hard every single day to provide for their families.  And like most Americans, they work hard and they don’t ask for much.  They do expect, however, that their hard work is going to pay off.  They want to know that if they put in enough effort, if they are acting responsibly, then they can afford to pay the bills; that they can afford to own a home that they call their own; that they can afford to secure their retirement; and most of all, that they can afford to give their kids greater opportunity — that their children and grandchildren can achieve things that they didn’t even imagine.

Every single decision that I make is focused on giving them that chance — because if we want to keep moving this country forward, these are the folks who are going to get us there.

This morning, we learned that our businesses created 172,000 new jobs in the month of July.  That means that we’ve now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months — and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year.  Those are our neighbors and family members finding work, and the security that comes with work.

But let’s acknowledge, we’ve still got too many folks out there who are looking for work.  We’ve got more work to do on their behalf — not only to reclaim all the jobs that were lost during the recession, but also to reclaim the kind of financial security that too many Americans have felt was slipping away from them for too long.

And we knew when I started in this job that this was going to take some time.  We haven’t had to come back from an economic crisis this deep or this painful since the 1930s.  But we also knew that if we were persistent, if we kept at it and kept working, that we’d gradually get to where we need to be.

Here’s the thing.  We are not going to get there, we’re not going to get to where we need to be if we go back to the policies that helped to create this mess in the first place.  And the last thing that we should be doing is asking middle-class families who are still struggling to recover from this recession to pay more in taxes.

Rebuilding a strong economy begins with rebuilding our middle class.  And what we should do right now is give middle-class families and small business owners a guarantee that their taxes will not go up next year.  When families have the security of knowing that their taxes won’t go up they’re more likely to spend, and more likely to grow the economy.  When small business owners have certainty on taxes and can plan ahead they’re more likely to hire and create new jobs.  And that benefits all of us.

And that’s why, last week, I was pleasantly surprised — I was glad to see the Senate come together and extend tax cuts on the first $250,000 of every family’s income.  That means 98 percent of Americans won’t see their income taxes go up next year.  That means that 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up next year.  Not a single dime.  That would be important.

And that’s why it’s so disappointing that, so far at least, House Republicans have refused to follow the Senate’s example and do the same thing.  On Wednesday, they voted to hold these middle-class tax cuts hostage unless we also spend a trillion dollars over the next decade on tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.  In fact, it’s a little worse than that because their plan would actually raise taxes on 25 million hardworking American families by about $1,000 each.

So, at a time when too many working families are already struggling to make ends meet, they want to give millionaires and billionaires and folks like me tax cuts that we don’t need and that the country can’t afford, even if middle-class families have to pick up the tab for it.  Those are their priorities.

And this week, we learned that there’s some in the Republican Party who don’t want to stop there.  An independent, non-partisan study found that one plan at least would give more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, and they’d pay for those tax cuts by raising taxes on the middle class — an average tax hike of more than $2,000 for families with children.

Now, I just think we’ve got our priorities skewed if the notion is that we give tax breaks to folks who don’t need them and, to help pay for that, we tax folks who are already struggling to get by.  That’s not how you grow an economy.  You grow an economy from the middle out, and from the bottom up.  And the kind of approach that the House Republicans are talking about is bad for our families and it’s bad for our economy.

The people standing behind me should not have to pay more just so the wealthiest Americans can pay less.  That’s not just top-down economics, that’s upside-down economics.  (Laughter.)

Instead of the middle class paying more, we should ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more, a modest amount, so that we can reduce our deficit and still make investments in things like education that help our economy grow.

And keep in mind, we’re talking about folks like me going back to the tax rates that existed under Bill Clinton.  If you remember, that was when we created 23 million new jobs, we went from deficits to surplus, and folks at the top did well, too — because when middle-class families have money in their pockets, they go out and buy that new car, or that new appliance, or that new computer for their kids, or they go out to a restaurant, or, heaven forbid, they take a vacation once in a while.  And that money goes back into the economy, and businesses do well because they’ve got more customers.

And here’s the thing — there are a lot of well-to-do Americans, patriotic Americans, who understand this and are willing to do the right thing, willing to do their part to make this country strong.

So, for those of you who are keeping score at home, here’s where we stand.  We might have a whole bunch of disagreements with folks in the other party on whether it’s a good idea to spend more money giving tax breaks to millionaires or billionaires.  And frankly, that issue is probably not going to be resolved until after November.  In the meantime, though, we say we all agree on extending tax cuts for middle-class families. The House says it agrees.  The Senate has already shown that it agrees.  And I certainly agree.  So let’s at least work on what we agree on.

Let’s keep taxes low for 98 percent of Americans, and we can argue about the other 2 percent.  Let’s keep taxes low for the 97 percent of small business owners, and we can argue about the other 3 percent.  If Congress sends me a clean bill extending the tax cuts on the first $250,000 of every family’s income, I will sign it right away.  (Applause.)  I will sign it right away.

There’s no reason to wait.  There’s no reason to make families and small businesses anxious just so one party can score political points.  Let’s go ahead and give them that guarantee now that their taxes won’t go up next year.

And keep in mind — just one last point I want to make — we’re saying nobody’s income taxes go up on the first $250,000 of their income.  So even somebody who makes more than $250,000 is still getting a tax break on their first $250.000.  Yuu understand?  Even somebody who’s worth $200 million — on that first $250,000 they’re still paying lower taxes.

It’s the right thing to do.  It’s the smart thing to do.  It would be good for the economy, and most importantly, it would be good for your families.

So we’re going to have plenty to argue about in the next three months, and probably in the next five years.  (Laughter.)  This shouldn’t be one of those things we argue about.  (Applause.)

Let’s do what the American people sent us here to do.  Let’s work on those things we can agree on; let’s make progress; let’s do right by the people behind me, and the millions of Americans that they represent.  I’m going to be fighting every single day to make sure that you have opportunity.  I expect, and I hope, that Congress will do the same.

So, thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  And have a great weekend.  (Applause.)

END
12:12 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 1, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Akron, Ohio on Mitt Romney & Middle Class Taxes

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama: Romney Wants to Raise Middle Class Taxes to Help ‘People Like Him’

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-1-12

JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages

President Obama today pounced on a new report that found Mitt Romney’s economic plan would raise taxes on the majority of Americans and give tax breaks to the super wealthy, telling supporters in the battleground state of Ohio that his opponent wants them to pay more so that “people like him” can get a tax cut…..READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event

Source: WH, 8-1-12 

John S. Knight Center
Akron, Ohio

3:31 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Akron!  (Applause.)  Oh, it is good to be in Akron, Ohio again!  (Applause.)

A couple people I want to acknowledge — first of all, please give Jenna a big round of applause for that great introduction.  (Applause.)  I was telling Jenna before we came out I just love nurses, and for her to be looking after people every single day, that’s what it’s all about.  So I am so impressed with her.

A couple other people I want to acknowledge — Russ Pry, Summit County Executive, is here.  (Applause.)  Now, your Mayor, Don Plusquellic — (applause.)  I very much appreciate the fact that he had a little bit of surgery on his leg, just got out of the hospital, got wheeled in here — (laughter) — he’s not going to be able to stay, but I’m grateful for him taking the time to come.

And I want to say thank you to all the neighborhood leaders who are here.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  You guys are what this campaign is all about.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

I also want to make sure we give it up for all our outstanding U.S. of A. athletes who are competing in London right now.  (Applause.)  There are a whole bunch of Ohioans representing our country over there.  When wrestling gets underway next week, we’ll be rooting for Army Specialist Justin Lester, right here from Akron.  (Applause.)  He may be wearing a different uniform, but he is still fighting for the United States of America.  (Applause.)

On the way over here, I had a chance to speak to Michael Phelps, who’s won more medals than anybody.  (Applause.)  And then I spoke to the women’s gymnastic team.  (Applause.)  Now, let me just say, I know how to run — although I don’t run as fast as these guys.  I know how to swim — although I don’t swim as fast.  These gymnasts, I don’t understand what they’re doing. (Laughter.)  I cannot even walk on a balance beam.  They’re doing back flips and — little, itty-bitty young ladies.  Unbelievable. So we could not be prouder of them.  (Applause.)

Now, let me just say, unless you have been hiding your TV set — (laughter) — or your cable is broke, you may be aware that there is a fairly intense political campaign going on right now.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, the reason this campaign is so intense is because the choice that we’re going to be facing in November could not be bigger.  This is not just a choice between two candidates.  It’s not just a choice between two parties.  It is a choice about two fundamentally different visions for where we go in the future, two fundamentally different paths for our country. The direction that we choose -– the direction you choose when you walk into that voting booth –- it will not just have an impact on your lives; it will have an impact on your children’s lives and your grandchildren’s lives.  (Applause.)  It will impact America for decades to come.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  That’s why we vote for you!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, four years ago, we all came together -– Democrats, but we also had independents, we had some Republicans -– to restore the basic bargain that built this country, that made us into an economic powerhouse.  It was a bargain, it was a deal that says if you work hard here in America, you should be rewarded for that work.  (Applause.)  It’s a deal that says if you put in enough effort, if you act responsibly, then you should be able to find a job that pays the bills.  (Applause.)  You should be able to afford a home that you call your own.  You should be able to count on health care when you get sick.  You should be able to put away enough to retire with dignity and respect.  And most of all, you should be able to give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger and do more than you could ever imagine.  (Applause.)

It’s a simple promise.  It’s a promise that I’ve lived out in my life and Michelle has lived out in hers.  It is —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love Michelle!

THE PRESIDENT:  I know you all love Michelle.  (Applause.)

It is the promise that’s at the heart of this country — this idea that here in America, you can make it if you try.  And it had been slipping away for almost a decade.  We had seen sluggish job growth and jobs getting shipped overseas; your incomes were flat or going down; costs of everything from health care to college were going up.  And it culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Now, we knew that restoring that American Dream would not be easy.  We knew it was going to take more than one year or one term or maybe even one President.  And that was before the middle class got hammered by this recession, and we saw millions of our friends and neighbors get hurt, lose homes, lose jobs.

But over the last three and a half years, we’ve worked to make progress — 4.5 million new jobs created; half a million new manufacturing jobs.  They’d counted the auto industry out, and now it is coming back stronger than ever, right here in Ohio and all across the country.  (Applause.)

We passed health care so you could have security if you get sick.  (Applause.)  We passed reforms to make sure that Wall Street could not act in the same reckless manner that almost brought the economy to its knees.  (Applause.)  We ended the war in Iraq.  (Applause.)  And we’re taking care of our veterans — because if you fought for this country, you should not have to fight for a job or a roof over your head when you come home.  (Applause.)

Now, we still have a long way to go.  But there’s one thing that this crisis has not changed.  It hasn’t changed who we are. It hasn’t changed our character.  It hasn’t changed what makes us great.  It hasn’t changed what brought us together in 2008.  We just feel a greater sense of urgency about it.

Our first order of business has been to recover the jobs and wealth that was lost in this crisis.  But we’re not going to stop there.  We’re going to reclaim the financial security that’s been slipping away for more than a decade.  Our job isn’t just to put people back to work.  We want an economy where that work pays off, so that no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, here in America, you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

That’s what this campaign is about — fighting for the middle class and growing our middle class.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, there are no quick fixes or easy solutions to the challenges we face.  But there is no doubt in my mind we’ve got the capacity to meet them.  We’ve got the best workers in the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world.  We’ve got the best scientists and researchers, the best colleges, and the best universities.  (Applause.)  We are still a young nation; we’ve got the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity — people want to come here from every corner of the globe.  So no matter how tough things get, this is not a country that quits.  There isn’t a country on Earth that wouldn’t gladly change places with us.

What’s standing in our way right now is not the lack of good ideas.  What’s standing in our way is our politics.  We’ve got a stalemate in Washington.  We’ve got Republicans in Congress who have clung to the view — the uncompromising view — that the only way to move ahead is to go back to the same, tired solutions that got us into this mess in the first place.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  They’ve got a basic theory — I call it top-down economics.  And the basic idea is, is that if you give more tax breaks to the very wealthy, and you get rid of regulations on banks and polluters and health insurance companies, then somehow everybody is going to prosper.

Ohio, you know better.  We tried that.  It did not work.  America is not built from the top down.  America is built from the middle out.  America is built from the bottom up.  (Applause.)  America is built by farmers and factory workers, and small businesses and companies that send American products overseas, not jobs overseas.  (Applause.)

That’s the country we’re fighting for.  That’s the economy that we need to build together.  And we are not going to get there doing the same kind of stuff that these folks are talking about now.  (Applause.)  We’re not going to get there if we spend more money on tax cuts for folks like me who don’t need them and were not even asking for them.  (Applause.)

And yet, the centerpiece of my opponent’s entire economic plan is not only to extend the Bush tax cuts, but then to add a new $5 trillion tax cut on top of it.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  The bulk of this would go to the wealthiest Americans.  A lot of it would go to the top 1 percent.  Pay attention here — folks making more than $3 million a year — the top one-tenth of 1 percent — they would get a tax cut under Mr. Romney’s plan that is worth almost a quarter of a million dollars — $250,000 they would save under his plan.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Hold on, it gets worse.  My opponent says he’s going to pay for this $ 5 trillion plan, but under this plan guess who gets the bill for these $250,000 tax cuts?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  You do.  And you don’t have to take my word for it.  Just today, an independent, non-partisan organization, they crunched all the numbers.  They looked at his plan.  This wasn’t me, it wasn’t my team.  This was an independent group.  One of the guys who did the analysis used to work for Bush.  (Laughter.)  So they found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan, this $5 trillion tax cut, the only way to do it is to cut tax breaks that you, middle-class families, depend on —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  The home mortgage deduction you use to pay for your home.  The health care deduction that your employers use to provide you health care.  Some of the tax credits we’ve put in place to send your kids to college.  What this means is the average middle-class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, I think a lot of people are willing to sacrifice to bring down the deficit, to defend our country.  But he’s not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit.  He’s not asking you to do it to invest — I’m sure they’re okay. Sometimes folks faint because they’ve been standing too long.  So we just need a paramedic right here in the front.  They’ll be okay, just give them room.  That’s all.  This happens to me all the time.  (Laughter.)  It means I’ve been talking too long.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  They’ll be okay, just give them space.

Now, let me make sure people understand this.  They’re asking you to pay an extra $2,000 not to pay down the deficit, not to invest in our kids’ education — Mr. Romney is asking you to pay more so that people like him get a tax cut.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  In order to afford — we can break it down further.  In order to afford just a tax cut for somebody like Mr. Romney, 125 families like yours would have to pay another $2,000 in taxes each year — and every year.  Not just one year, every year.

Now, does that sound like a plan you can afford?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  How many people like that plan?

AUDIENCE:  None!

THE PRESIDENT:  Does that sound like the kind of future that our country can afford?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ohio, we do not need more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  We need tax cuts for working Americans.  (Applause.)  We need tax cuts for families who are trying to raise their kids, and trying to keep them healthy, and trying to send them to college, and trying to put a roof over their heads. (Applause.)  We don’t need tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas — we need tax breaks for companies that are investing here in Akron, Ohio.  (Applause.)

That’s the choice in this election.  And that’s why I’m running for President of the United States.  (Applause.)

So I’ve got a different plan.  I’ve got a different plan.  Four years ago, I promised middle-class tax cuts — I kept that promise.  (Applause.)  The typical family is paying about $3,600 less in taxes than they were when I came into office.  (Applause.)

So what I’ve said is let’s keep taxes exactly where they are on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  So if your family makes under $250,000 — like 98 percent of American do — you won’t see your income taxes increase by one single dime.  (Applause.)

Now, if you’ve been lucky or you’ve been successful, so that you’re in the other 2 percent of Americans, like I am, all we’re asking is that we pay a little bit more so that we can pay down our deficit and so we can invest in things like education that will help us grow.  (Applause.)

And, listen, Akron, I don’t believe government can solve every problem.  Not every government program works.  Government can’t help somebody who doesn’t want to help themselves.  So we’re cutting things that don’t work.  I’ve already cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending.  But we’ve got to balance that.  And I’m not going to pay for massive new tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires by gutting the investments that we need to keep the middle class strong.  (Applause.)

I want to make sure we’re investing in hiring new teachers, especially in math and science.  (Applause.)  I want to make sure that we’re putting folks back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges, our airports.  (Applause.)  I want to make sure that we’re investing in our community colleges so they can train people for the jobs that businesses are hiring for right now.  (Applause.)  I want to make sure we’re investing in basic science and research to keep our technological edge.  (Applause.)

And if we’re going to bring down our deficit and do those things, and make sure that Medicare is there for our seniors, and make sure Social Security is there for our seniors — (applause) — then we’ve got to make choices.  And all I’m asking is the folks like me and Mr. Romney go back to the rates that we paid under Bill Clinton.  (Applause.)  And if you remember, that was when the economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and — here’s the kicker — it was good for folks at the top, too.

Because here’s what happens.  When middle-class folks and folks who are working to get into the middle class, when they’re getting a decent wage, when their tax bill isn’t too high, they’ve got a little more money in their pockets, and then they go to the store and they buy a new appliance, or they finally get rid of that old beater and buy a new car, and maybe a student buys a new computer.  And so, suddenly, businesses have customers.  And that’s how we make the economy grow.  (Applause.)

So, Ohio, look, this is a choice.  If you believe that Mr. Romney’s plan will make you better off —

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  — if you believe it’s okay to just set our sights lower — we can’t afford to help young people go to college, we can’t afford to rebuild our roads, we can’t afford basic research — if you believe that, then go ahead and send these folks to Washington for the next few years.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  But let me ask you, wouldn’t we be better off if we kept fighting for the things that have always made us strong?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  If we fight to make sure our young people get the education they need?  (Applause.)  Are we going to be better off if we developing new energy sources here in America?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Wouldn’t we be better off if we’re investing in manufacturing so we’re selling goods stamped around the world, “Made in Akron, Ohio,” — (applause) — “Made in the United States of America”?  (Applause.)  Will we be better off five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now if we’ve got the courage to keep working, to keep striving, to keep fighting for what’s true and right and best about America?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s what I believe.  That’s why I’m running for President.  (Applause.)

I want you to know, Akron, my hair may be grayer — (laughter) — but my determination is stronger than ever.  (Applause.)  My faith in the American people, my faith in you is stronger than ever.  (Applause.)  And if you still believe in me like I believe in you — if you’re willing to stand with me, and organize with me, and march with me, and vote with me, knock on some doors with me, and make some phone calls with me, and recruiting your friends and neighbors with me — (applause) — I promise you we will win the state of Ohio — (applause) — we will win this election.  We will finish what we started and we will remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
3:56 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 1, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Mansfield, Ohio on Mitt Romney & Middle Class Taxes

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama: Romney Wants to Raise Middle Class Taxes to Help ‘People Like Him’

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-1-12

JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages

President Obama today pounced on a new report that found Mitt Romney’s economic plan would raise taxes on the majority of Americans and give tax breaks to the super wealthy, telling supporters in the battleground state of Ohio that his opponent wants them to pay more so that “people like him” can get a tax cut.

“If Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for this plan, then he’d have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on to pay for your home — the home mortgage deduction — to pay for your health care — the health care deduction — to send your kids to college,” the president told a crowd of roughly 2,000 in Mansfield, Ohio.

“And here’s the thing: He’s not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit. He’s not asking you to pay more to invest in our children’s education or rebuild our roads or put more folks back to work. He’s asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a big tax cut,” he said….READ MORE

 

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event

Source: WH, 8-1-12 

Mansfield Central Park
Mansfield, Ohio

11:44 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Ohio!  (Applause.)  Well, it is good to be in Mansfield.  I hope everybody is having a great summer.  (Applause.)

A couple of people I want to acknowledge — first of all, please give a huge round of applause to Brenda for that great introduction.  (Applause.)  And go try some of her pizza if you have not tried it.  (Laughter.)  You got a testimony right here  — he says it’s outstanding.  I want to thank her so much for doing this.

A couple other people — your outstanding former governor, Ted Strickland, is here.  Give Ted a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  And although he couldn’t be here because he’s got votes, I just want to tell you that you could not have a stronger advocate than your hometown boy, the United States Senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)

And I want to thank all the neighborhood team leaders who are here who are working so hard in this campaign.  (Applause.)

Now, finally, I just think it makes sense for us to give it up for all of our outstanding American athletes who are competing in London right now.  (Applause.)  I want to congratulate Michael Phelps — (applause) — most medals we’ve ever seen.  And then I had a chance on the way over here to call up the women’s gymnastic team — (applause) — for bringing home the gold.

I have to tell you, when I’m watching — when people run track, I understand, I know how to run.  They’re just much faster.  (Laughter.)  And I know how to swim — they just swim much better than I do.  These gymnastics folks — I don’t understand how they do what they do.  (Laughter.)  So I told these young ladies as I was congratulating them, how do you not bust your head — (laughter) — every time you’re on that little balance beam?  I couldn’t walk across that balance beam.  (Laughter.)

So, anyway, we could not be prouder of them.  (Applause.)  And there are a whole bunch of Ohioans who are representing our country in the Olympics and the Paralympics.  Abby Johnston from Upper Arlington already won a silver medal in diving.  (Applause.)  We’ll be rooting for Army Specialist Justin Lester from Akron — he’s going to be wrestling for America next week.  (Applause.)

The wonderful thing about the Olympics is it reminds us that, for all our differences, when it comes down to our country, we’re Americans first.  (Applause.)  And we could not be prouder of them and everything they’re doing on our behalf.

Now, unless you’ve been hiding from your television, you may be aware there’s a pretty intense campaign going on right now.  (Applause.)  And the reason that this is an intense campaign is because the choice that we face in November could not be bigger. I mean, this is a stark choice.

It’s a choice not just between two candidates or two parties, but more than any election in recent memory, this is a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America — two fundamentally different paths that we should — that we could be going down.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  — President Obama!

THE PRESIDENT:  I appreciate that.  (Laughter.)

Now, the direction that we choose — the direction you choose when you walk into this voting booth in November — is going to have a direct impact on your lives, but also on your children’s lives and your grandchildren’s lives.  (Applause.)

And four years ago, we came together — as Democrats, but also independents and some Republicans — to restore the basic bargain that built the greatest middle class and the most prosperous country the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  And it’s a bargain that I’ve lived in my life and so many of you have experienced.  It’s the basic idea that says here in this country, if you work hard, that work should be rewarded.  (Applause.)  If you act responsibly, you should be able to get ahead.

It’s a deal that says if we put in enough effort, we should be able to find a job that pays the bills.  We should be able to afford a home that we call our own.  We should have health care that we can count on if we get sick.  (Applause.)  We should be able to retire with dignity and respect.  (Applause.)  And most of all, we should be able to give our children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger and do even better than we ever imagined.  (Applause.)  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

It’s a simple promise.  It’s at the core of the American Dream.  And we knew that restoring it wouldn’t be easy — we knew it would take more than one year, or one term, or even one President.  And that was before the middle class was hammered by the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes — a crisis that robbed too many of our friends and our neighbors of their homes, their jobs, their savings — and pushed the American Dream even further out of reach for too many people.

But you know what, there’s one thing that that crisis did not changed.  It did not change who we are.  It did not change the American character.  It did not change what made us great.  It hasn’t changed why we came together to do what we did in 2008 — it’s just made our mission more urgent.  (Applause.)

Our first order of business is to recover all the jobs and wealth that was lost in the crisis.  And we’ve made strides these last three and a half years to get that done.  But beyond that, we’re here to reclaim the financial security that’s been slipping away for more than a decade.

The decade before I came into office, your incomes and wages generally weren’t going up, jobs were moving overseas, the auto industry had been getting hammered.  So our job is not just to put people back to work.  It’s also to build an economy where, over the long haul, that work pays off — so that no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, here in America, you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

That’s what this campaign is about, Ohio.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, Mansfield, there are no quick fixes or easy solutions to the challenges we face.  But there’s no doubt in my mind we’ve got the capacity to meet them.  Think about everything that we have going for us here in America.  We’ve got the best workers.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs. (Applause.)  We’ve got the best scientists.  We’ve got the best researchers.  We’ve got the best colleges, best universities.  (Applause.)  We’ve got a Buckeye guy right here.  (Applause.)  We’re a young nation, with great diversity of talent and ingenuity.  People come here — want to come here from every corner of the globe.  So no matter what the naysayers tell us, no matter how dark the other side tries to make things look, there is not another country on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States of America.  (Applause.)

So what’s standing in our way is not that we don’t have the ingredients to make the 21st century the American Century just like the 20th.  The problem we’ve got right now is our politics  — the sort of uncompromising view, the notion that we should be going back to what we were doing that got us into this mess in the first place, instead of going forward to achieve a brighter American future.  It’s the old — it’s that old top-down economics that we’ve been hearing about for years — the old, discredited idea that if we somehow get rid of more regulations on big corporations and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, that somehow that’s going to lead to more jobs and prosperity for everybody.

Ohio, you know better.  I know better.  We know this country wasn’t built from the top down.  It was built by the middle class.  (Applause.)  It was built by farmers and factory workers, and startups and small businesses, and companies that sent American products overseas, not sending American jobs overseas.  That’s what built Ohio, and that’s what built America.  (Applause.)

And that’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s what we’re fighting for right now.  That’s the economy we need to build together.  And I promise you, we will not get there if we adopt these ideas that somehow spending more money on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires who don’t need them and aren’t even asking for them is actually going to improve the economy.  We tried that — it did not work.

Now, despite the evidence, the entire centerpiece of my opponent’s economic plan is a new, $5 trillion tax cut on top of the Bush tax cuts.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, the bulk of this tax cut would go to the very top.  A lot of it would go to the wealthiest 1 percent of all households.  Folks making more than $3 million a year — the top one-tenth of one percent — would get a tax cut worth almost a quarter of a million dollars.  Now, think about that.  Folks making $3 million a year or more would get a quarter-of-a-million-dollar tax cut.

But, listen, it gets worse.  (Laughter.)  Under my opponent’s plan, who do you think gets the bill for these $250,000 tax cuts?  You do.  And you do not have to take my word for it.  Just today, an independent, nonpartisan organization ran all the numbers on Governor Romney’s plan.  This wasn’t my staff, this wasn’t something we did — an independent group ran the numbers.  They found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for this plan, then he’d have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on to pay for your home — the home mortgage deduction — to pay for your health care — the health care deduction — to send your kids to college.  That means the average middle-class family with children, according to this study, would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  And here’s the thing.  He’s not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit.  He’s not asking you to pay more to invest in our children’s education or rebuild our roads or put more folks back to work.  He’s asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a big tax cut.  In order to afford just one $250,000 tax cut for somebody like Mr. Romney, 125 families like yours would have to pay another $2,000 in taxes each and every year.

Does that sound like a good plan for economic growth?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Does that sound like a plan you can afford?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  How many of you want to pay another $2,000 to give Mr. Romney or me another tax break?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ohio, we do not need more tax cuts for folks who are already doing really well.  We need tax cuts for working Americans.  We need tax cuts for families who are trying to raise their children, and keep them healthy, and send them to college, and put a roof over their heads.  (Applause.)  We don’t need more tax cuts for companies that are shipping jobs overseas — we need tax cuts for companies that are creating jobs right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)
Mansfield, I’ve got a different plan for America than Mr. Romney’s.  Four years ago, I promised to cut middle-class taxes, and that’s exactly what I’ve done — by a total of about $3,600 for the typical family.  (Applause.)  Now I want to keep income taxes exactly where they are on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  So if your family makes under $250,000 a year — which is 98 percent of American families — you won’t see your income taxes increase by a single dime next year.  (Applause.)

Now, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the other 2 percent of Americans, all we’re asking you to do is contribute a little bit more — this includes me, by the way — so that we can pay down our deficit and invest in things like education that are going to help us grow over the long term.  (Applause.)

And in terms of cutting our deficit, I’ll make sure government does its part.  We’re going to cut away spending that we don’t need.  We’ve already cut a trillion dollars.  We can do more.  But I’m not going to pay for massive new tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires by gutting the investments that have always kept the middle class strong.  (Applause.)  All we’re asking people like me and Mr. Romney to do is go back to the rates we paid under Bill Clinton.  (Applause.)  And I don’t know if you remember — that’s when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history.  (Applause.)

And here’s the kicker — it actually created a lot of millionaires, because when the middle class is doing well, then our businesses do well.  When folks have money to spend, they buy a new car, and the car companies do well, and they hire more workers.  (Applause.)  When you’ve got some extra money in your pockets, then you go get some pizza from Brenda.  (Applause.)  And then Brenda decides, maybe she can afford to hire another worker.  That’s how we grow our economy.

If we’re investing in roads and bridges, putting some hard-hats back to work, getting our steelworkers back to work — (applause) — they’ve got more money to spend.  Maybe they buy that new computer.  Maybe they decide to take a little vacation. And all that money circulates in the economy and it makes us all grow.

So here’s the bottom line, Ohio.  If you believe that their plan — Mr. Romney’s plan and his congressional allies — if you genuinely believe that that plan will make you better off, if you believe it’s okay for them to tell us just to set our sights lower, or to settle for something less, then by all means, send these folks back to Washington for the next few years.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  But wouldn’t you be better off, wouldn’t we all be better off if we kept fighting for the things that have always made us strong?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  If we fought to make higher education more affordable so more young people can go to college?  (Applause.)  Wouldn’t we be better off if we invested to develop new sources of American energy?  Wouldn’t we be better off if we kept investing in manufacturing so that we can sell goods around the world stamped with the words:  “Made in Mansfield, Ohio” — (applause) — “Made in the United States of America.”  (Applause.)

In five years, or 10 years, or 20 years, won’t we be better off if we’ve got the courage to keep moving forward?  (Applause.) To keep working our way back.  That’s what I believe.  That’s why I’m running for President.  (Applause.)

You know, my hair may be grayer than it was four years ago.  (Laughter.)  But my determination to do right by you is stronger than ever.  (Applause.)  My faith in you is stronger than ever.  (Applause.)  And if you still believe in me like I believe in you, I hope you’ll stand with me in November.  (Applause.)  I’m asking you to stand with me in November.  I’m asking you to join this cause.  Let’s finish what we started in 2008.  (Applause.)  Let’s put the middle class back in the forefront.  (Applause.) Let’s remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
12:05 P.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency July 28, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges the House of Representatives to Act on Middle Class Tax Cut Extension

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama’s Address: Urging the House to Do ‘What’s Right’ for Middle Class

Source: WH, 7-31-12

White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson

President Obama is using his weekly address to once again urge House Republicans to do “what’s right” and pass middle-class tax cuts, saying their insistence on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans shows what’s at stake in the election.
“It comes down to this,” Obama said. “If 218 Members of the House vote the right way, 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year.”

The president said lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree with his plan to extend the Bush-era tax rate for families earning less than $250,000 a year….READ MORE

President Obama urges Republicans in the House of Representatives to act on his proposal to protect middle class families and small businesses from being hit with a big tax hike next year.

Watch the Video

President Obama tapes the Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address, White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 7/27/12

Weekly Address: The House of Representatives Must Act on Middle Class Tax Cut Extension

Source: WH, 7-28-12

President Obama urges Republicans in the House of Representatives to act on his proposal to protect middle class families and small businesses from being hit with a big tax hike next year. 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: The House of Representatives Must Act on Middle Class Tax Cut Extension

In this week’s address, President Obama urged Republicans in the House of Representatives to act on his proposal to protect middle class families and small businesses from being hit with a big tax hike next year.  Everyone says they agree that we should extend the tax cuts for the middle class and the Senate already passed the President’s plan to prevent a typical family from seeing a tax increase of $2,200, but Republicans in Congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  The President called on Congress to pass the middle class tax extension so that we can continue to grow the economy and create jobs the American people. 

Remarks of President Barack Obama
The Weekly Address
The White House
July 28, 2012

This week, the Senate passed a plan that I proposed a few weeks ago to protect middle class Americans and virtually every small business owner from getting hit with a big tax hike next year – a tax hike of $2,200 for the typical family.

Now it comes down to this: If 218 Members of the House vote the right way, 98% of American families and 97% of small business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year.

That certainty means something to a middle class family who’s already stretched the budget as far as it can go.  It means something to a small business owner who’s trying to plan ahead.  That’s security at a time when folks could use some.

And here’s the thing: everyone in Washington says they agree on this.  Everyone says they agree that we should extend the tax cuts for the middle class.  When Democrats and Republicans agree on something, it should be pretty easy to get it done.

But right now, that’s not the case.  Instead of doing what’s right for middle class families and small business owners, Republicans in Congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

You see, Republicans in Congress and their nominee for President believe that the best way to create prosperity in America is to let it trickle down from the top.  They believe that if our country spends trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, we’ll somehow create jobs – even if we have to pay for it by gutting things like education and training and by raising middle-class taxes.

They’re wrong.  And I know they’re wrong because we already tried it that way for most of the last decade.  It didn’t work.  We’re still paying for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefitted the wealthiest Americans more than anyone else; tax cuts that didn’t lead to the middle class jobs or higher wages we were promised and that helped take us from record surpluses to record deficits.

We can’t afford more top-down economics.  What we need are policies that will grow and strengthen the middle class; that will help create jobs, make education and training more affordable, and encourage businesses to start up and stay right here in the United States.

That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President – by $3,600 for the typical family.  That’s why I’ve cut taxes for small businesses eighteen times.  And that’s why I’m calling on 218 Members of the House to do their job and not raise taxes on the middle class.

As soon as they pass that bill, I’ll sign it right away.  And in the meantime, I’m going to keep fighting for an economy where we’re not just putting folks back to work, but making sure that work pays off – an economy where every American, no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you come from, can have the confidence that if you work hard, you can get ahead.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Full Text Campaign Buzz July 14, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech During 2 Day Virginia Tour at Walkerton Tavern and Gardens Glen Allen, Virginia — Continues Attacks on Mitt Romney & Pushes for Middle-Class Tax Cuts in the Rain

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Drenched Obama Rallies Supporters in Rainy Virginia

Source: ABC News, 7-14-12

ABC News

Undeterred by the pouring rain, hundreds of enthusiastic, and soaked, supporters braved a storm on Saturday to hear President Obama make his case for a second term in the state he carried four years ago.

“I know these are some die-hard political folks here,” the president said as he took to the outdoor stage shortly after the skies opened up. “We’re not letting a little rain chase us away.”

The president, tie-less with his sleeves rolled up, was quickly drenched, resembling the soggy crowd of 900 assembled in front of the historic Walkerton Tavern….READ MORE

No Apologies: Obama Campaign Continues Attacks on Romney

Source: NYT, 7-14-12

President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the rain at a campaign event at Walkerton Tavern & Gardens in Glen Allen, Va., on Saturday.

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the rain at a campaign event at Walkerton Tavern & Gardens in Glen Allen, Va., on Saturday.

President Obama and his campaign barnstormed through Virginia on Saturday, relentlessly hammering away at Mitt Romney’s business record and releasing a mocking new ad….READ MORE

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event

Source: WH, 7-14-12

Walkerton Tavern and Gardens
Glen Allen, Virginia

12:12 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: How’s it going, Virginia? (Applause.) You know, this feels kind of good. (Applause.) Don’t you think?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

THE PRESIDENT: I need to cool off a little bit. It’s a little warm. (Applause.) Well, I know these are some die-hard political folks here — (applause) — not letting a little rain chase us away.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Although I know this from Michelle. Ladies, I do apologize for your hairdos getting messed up. (Applause.)

We’re going to have to treat everybody to a little salon visit after this. (Applause.)

So a couple of acknowledgements I want to make real quick. First of all, an outstanding member of Congress who’s looking out for working people every day, Bobby Scott is in the house. (Applause.) State Senator Donald McEachin is here. (Applause.) State Delegate Jennifer McClellan is here. (Applause.) And John Montgomery is here. Give him a big round of applause. (Applause.)

Now, I’m going to just cut straight to business. We don’t have time for small talk here.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Four more years! (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: This is my last political campaign. We’re term-limited as President. And it got me thinking about my first political campaigns. I think about the places I used to travel as a state senator when I was running for the United States Senate, all across Illinois, which is a lot like Virginia. You got big cities, but you also have small towns. You got rural, suburban, urban areas. You’d stop in VFW halls or diners. You go to churches or synagogues, and you’d meet folks black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, you name it. And wherever I went, even if on the surface folks looked different, there was a common thread that ran through their stories. And in those stories I saw my own.

So I’d meet an elderly veteran, and I think about my grandfather who fought in World War II, and my grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line while he was away, even though they’d already had my mother. And I’d think about how when my grandfather came back from Europe, he was able to get a college education on the GI Bill, and how they’d buy their first home with the help of an FHA loan.

And then I’d meet a single mom somewhere who was working hard, raising kids, and I’d think about my mom — because my dad left when I was young. And so my mother had to work and go to school at the same time, and yet, despite not having a lot of money, was still able to provide me and my sister with the best education possible, and instilled in us a sense that if we worked hard, we could go as far as our dreams would take us. (Applause.)

And then I’d think about Michelle’s parents whenever I’d meet a working family because Michelle’s dad was a blue-collar worker. He had multiple sclerosis. By the time I met him, he could barely walk, in fact, really couldn’t walk without two canes.

And he’d have to wake up an hour early — earlier than everybody else — just to get dressed. But he never missed a day on the job. (Applause.) And Michelle’s mom, she stayed at home when the kids were young and then found a job as a secretary, and that’s the work they did all their lives. They had a little second-floor apartment that Michelle and Craig lived in, and yet, despite those modest beginnings, Michelle and her brother were able to get the best possible education.

And so in these travels that I had in that first campaign, what I was reminded of was that core idea that is central to this country — what makes us exceptional, what makes us great. It’s not just how many skyscrapers we have; it’s not how powerful our military is — what makes us special is this idea that in this country, if you are willing to work hard, if you’re willing to take responsibility for your own life, then you can make it if you try. (Applause.) No matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, no matter what your last name is, no matter how modest your beginnings, you can make it in this country if you work hard. (Applause.) Because America has never been a country of handouts. We’re a nation of workers, and doers, and dreamers, and risk-takers. We work for what we get. And all we ask for, as Americans, is that our hard work pays off. All we ask is that our responsibility is rewarded — so that if we put in enough effort, we can find a job that pays the bills; we can afford a home to call our own; we won’t go bankrupt when we get sick; maybe we can take a vacation.

When I think about my favorite vacations when I was a kid, when I was 11 years old my mom, sister, and my grandmom, we traveled across the country. But we didn’t fly on jets, we took Greyhound buses. (Applause.) Took the train sometimes. I think we were in the car twice. Stayed at Howard Johnsons. And the exciting thing for me was if there was any kind of swimming pool — it didn’t matter how big it was. (Laughter.) And then after you spend the whole day swimming, then you’d go to the vending machine, get a soda and a bucket of ice. (Laughter.)

But the point was to spend time with folks you loved, and enjoy their company. So that was part of it, and then people expect, I think, that they can retire with dignity and respect after a lifetime of work. (Applause.) That’s the essence of America. That is within everybody’s grasp. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to have some ups and downs. It doesn’t mean at some point you’re not going to experience tough times. But it does mean that the trajectory of people’s lives in this country — if you work hard, you can make it. And that’s what made us special. That’s what made us the greatest nation on Earth. That’s what made us an economic superpower. (Applause.)

Now, when I ran in 2008, a lot of people, we came together — not just Democrats, but Republicans and independents — because we’re not Democrats or Republicans first, we’re Americans first. (Applause.) And we came together because we felt like that idea had been slipping away for too long. For almost a decade, people had been working harder but getting less. And then the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes hit, the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes hit, millions of people lost their jobs or lost their homes or lost their savings, and that made the dream that much harder to reach for.

But what I’ve learned over these last three and a half years is that even though the crisis put us through some very tough times, the American people are tougher. (Applause.) Folks may have gotten knocked down some, but they got back up. (Applause.) The crisis didn’t change who we are. It did not change our fundamental character as a people. It hasn’t changed our sense of purpose from 2008. Our mission right now, yes, is to put people back to work and, yes, to strengthen the housing market; but our purpose is also to rebuild our economy so that it lasts — (applause) — so that work pays off. An economy in which everybody, whether you are starting a business or punching a clock, you can have confidence that if you work hard you can get ahead. That’s our goal. That’s our central purpose. That’s what this campaign is about. That’s what I’ve been working on for the last three and a half years. That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT: Now, I want to say this —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Mr. President! (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Because we’ve gone through tough times, I think there’s a tendency sometimes for some of the commentators to say, well, this time it’s really different, we’re losing our number-one status, and all this stuff. I don’t buy any of that. We’re still, by far, the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.) And what’s holding us back from meeting our challenges —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Congress. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: What’s holding us back from meeting our challenges is not a lack of big ideas, it’s not technical solutions. You name it, whatever it is — education, housing, the deficit — we have the solutions in front of us. What’s holding us back is we’ve got a stalemate in Washington that has more to do with — than just two candidates for President or two political parties. It’s two fundamentally different visions about how we move this country forward.

This election is about breaking that stalemate. The outcome of this election will determine not just what happens next year or the year after that, but what happens for the next 20 years.

See, my opponent and his allies in Congress, they believe in a top-down economics. They believe that if we spend trillions of dollars on tax cuts — mostly for the wealthy — even if we have to pay for it by gutting education, or gutting job training programs, or gutting investments in basic research, or turning Medicare into a voucher system, or increasing middle-class taxes — that if we do that, somehow all of you are going to benefit. That’s their idea. They also believe that if we roll back regulations on banks and insurance companies and credit card companies — regulations that are meant to protect people and our economy — that somehow everybody is going to be more secure. That’s their basic argument. They’ll spend a lot of time talking, but if you cut through all the stuff — (laughter) — what they’re really saying is tax cuts for the wealthy, roll back regulations. That’s essentially their plan.

Now, it is a plan. It’s a theory. It fits easily on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: We tried it. We tried it for a decade before I took office. It did not work. (Applause.) We tried it, and we turned a surplus into a deficit. We tried it, and we had the most sluggish job growth in decades. We tried it, and your income and wages on average went down — went down, even while the cost of health care and education and gas were all going up. And then it culminated in the worst financial crisis that we’re still cleaning up after.

So it’s not as if we haven’t tried their theory. It would be one thing if we hadn’t tried it. Then they could say, well, let’s try this. And maybe everybody would say, all right, that’s worth trying. But we did this, and it didn’t work.

We can’t afford to go back to top-down economics. (Applause.) We need somebody who believes in a middle-out economics, a bottom-up economics, somebody who will fight for you and working people all across Virginia and all across America. That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States. (Applause.)

You know, when the American auto industry was about to go under, and my opponent was saying, “let Detroit go bankrupt,” I made a bet on American workers, on American ingenuity, and we got management and workers to sit down and work things out. And right now, GM is number one again — (applause) — and the U.S. auto industry is back on top. (Applause.)

Well, let me tell you something. What can happen in the auto industry in Detroit, that can happen in manufacturing all across this country. (Applause.) In Richmond and in Raleigh, and in Pittsburgh and in Cleveland. Which is why I’ve said let’s stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, let’s give tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in the United States of America, and investing in American workers, so we can make American products stamped with those three proud words: Made In America. (Applause.) That’s how we build an economy that lasts. (Applause.) And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President. (Applause.)

Mr. Romney has got a different idea. He invested in companies that have been called “pioneers” of outsourcing. (Laughter.) I don’t want a pioneer in outsourcing. (Laughter.) I want some insourcing. (Applause.) I want to bring companies back. (Applause.) And part of that is making sure we change our tax code. Part of it is investing in basic science and research. We’ve always been at the cutting-edge of technology. We’ve got to keep that. We’ve got to maintain that.

And you know, four years ago I said I would end the war in Iraq. (Applause.) Because of our veterans, because of our outstanding men and women in uniform, we’ve been able to keep that promise. (Applause.) We’re transitioning out of Afghanistan and starting to bring our troops home. (Applause.) So now my attitude is, after a decade of war, let’s take half of those savings on war and let’s use that to reduce our deficit. Let’s use the other half to do some nation-building here at home. (Applause.) Let’s put folks back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our railroads and our schools, and putting broadband lines into rural communities all across America. (Applause.) That’s how we build an economy that lasts. (Applause.)

That’s also, by the way, how we take care of our veterans. Now that they’re coming home they shouldn’t have to fight for a job after they fought for us. (Applause.) And they should get the benefits that they’ve earned. So we’ll be fighting any kind of cutbacks on veteran services. We’ve got to take care of folks who took care of us. (Applause.)

I’m running to make sure that our kids get the best education in the world. (Applause.) I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially math and science. I want to give 2 million more Americans the chance to go to community colleges and get trained for the jobs that folks are hiring for right now. (Applause.) I want colleges and universities to bring down tuition so young people aren’t burdened with debt. (Applause.) Higher education isn’t a luxury; it is a necessity in this 21st century. (Applause.)

I want to make sure that middle-class families can refinance their homes, save $3,000 a year. (Applause.) That’s good for you, but it’s also good for businesses, because you’ll spend that money.

I’m running because I believe we’ve got to keep going on the Affordable Care Act. It was the right thing to do to make sure that everybody has health care. (Applause.) The Supreme Court has spoken. It is the law of the land. We are going to implement it. (Applause.) And because we’re implementing it, young people can stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until they’re 26 years old. (Applause.) And if you’ve got health insurance, the only thing that’s going to happen is you’ve got more security and insurance companies can’t jerk you around. (Applause.) And 30 million people, including those with preexisting conditions, can finally get health insurance. It was the right thing to do. We’re not going backwards, we’re going forwards. (Applause.)

I’m wrapping up. (Laughter.) Everybody is wet anyway, so it doesn’t matter. (Laughter.) It’s too late — those hairdos are all gone. (Laughter.)

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

THE PRESIDENT: Let me talk about one last thing, and that is the deficit and the debt. Because the other side, they’ll say, well, you know, this is the most important issue. And what I’ve said is, you know what, along with putting people back to work, we do need to bring down our deficit and our debt. After a decade of irresponsibility, where I inherited a trillion-dollar deficit, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. (Applause.) We’ve already cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending that we don’t need.

I’m willing to do more, because not every program works. Government can’t solve every problem. Government can’t help somebody if they don’t want to help themselves. It doesn’t matter how much money we put into schools if parents, you’re not telling your kids they need to work hard in school. (Applause.) But I’m not willing to do is what my opponent proposes, which is pretend like you’re lowering the deficit and then cut taxes for folks like me by $5 trillion on top of the Bush tax cuts, because we can’t afford it.

What I’ve said to Congress is let’s make sure that everybody who’s making $250,000 a year or less, that your taxes don’t go up. (Applause.) That’s 98 percent of Americans. But let’s ask folks like me who can afford it, the top 2 percent, to do a little bit more — (applause) — so that we can still help young people go to college, so that we don’t turn Medicare into a voucher system, so that we’re still investing in basic research, so that we can still build roads and help folks with the housing situation. (Applause.)

And by the way, we’ve tried that, too. A guy named Bill Clinton tried it, and we created 23 million new jobs. (Applause.) And we had surpluses instead of deficits. And by the way, rich people did just fine back then. (Laughter.)

Here’s the thing I think the other side doesn’t understand. When working people do well everybody does well. (Applause.) That means businesses have more customers. That is how we grow an economy — not by everybody just looking out for themselves, but by all of us coming together and working hard. (Applause.)

All these things, whether it’s bringing manufacturing back, putting construction workers back to work, protecting health care, making sure our kids get the best education, caring for our veterans — all these things that make up a middle-class life, they all tie together. They’re all central to that idea that if you work hard you can get ahead. That’s the promise that our parents and our grandparents and our great-grandparents made to future generations.

Some of them came here as immigrants; some came here not wanting to come. But when they got here, all of us — whether they were working on farms or whether they were working in mines or working in a factory — that idea that if I work hard now things will be better for my kids, that’s what built this country.

And over the next four months, the other side is going to spend more money than we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes on a bunch of negative ads. And they’re going to try to peddle this economic theory that everybody knows we tried and didn’t work. And since they know that’s probably not going to sell, really what these ads are going to do is just say, the economy isn’t where it needs to be and it’s Obama’s fault. That’s their message. They’ll use all those scary voices in the ads and — (laughter) — but that’s basically their message.

And that’s a plan for maybe winning an election, but it’s not a plan for creating jobs or helping the middle class. (Applause.) It’s not an plan for rebuilding our economy.

And so I don’t worry about the kind of money they’re spending because what you taught me in 2008 — same thing I learned in my first campaign — was that when ordinary folks come together — (applause) — when they cut through all the nonsense, and they remember what makes this country great, they tap into those core American values, and they remember what’s true about our lives — when you come together, nothing can stop you. (Applause.) When you come together, change happens. (Applause.) When you come together, people get a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules — when you decide.

And that’s the choice you have now in this election. So I have to tell you, when I ran in 2008, I tried to make sure that any promise I made I could keep. So I said I’d end the war in Iraq — we ended the war. (Applause.) I said I’d keep your taxes down — and I’ve lowered taxes for middle-class families, $3,600 on average. (Applause.) If somebody tells you I’ve raised their taxes, tell them that ain’t right. (Laughter.) It’s just not true.

But the main promise I made to you, I said I wasn’t a perfect man and I — you can ask Michelle that — (laughter) — and I told you I wouldn’t be a perfect President. But I told you that I’d always tell you what I thought, I’d always tell you where I stood — sometimes it wasn’t popular, but I’d tell you what I thought, what I believed. And I’d also wake up every single day fighting as hard as I knew how for you. (Applause.) To make your lives a little bit better. (Applause.)

And you know what, I’ve kept that promise. (Applause.) I’ve kept that promise. Because I see myself in you. When I see your grandparents, I see my grandparents. (Applause.) When I see my children, I see your children. We are in this together. We rise and fall as one nation. (Applause.) I still believe in you. And if you still believe in me, and you stand up with me, and make phone calls and knock on doors and get out there and organize with me — (applause) — we’re going to finish what we started in 2008. (Applause.) We’re going to win this election. We’re going to win Virginia. (Applause.) We’re going to put this country on the right track. And we’ll remind the world just why it is that the American way is what is the envy of the world and we are the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

END
12:44 P.M. EDT

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