Full Text Obama Presidency July 26, 2014: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address: Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Weekly Address: Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes

Source: 7-26-14

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
July 26, 2014

Hi, everybody.  Our businesses have now added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months.  The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since September 2008 – the fastest one-year drop in nearly 30 years.  401(k)s are growing, fewer homes are underwater, and for the first time in more than a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that the world’s number one place to invest isn’t China; it’s the United States of America – and our lead is growing.

None of this is an accident.  It’s thanks to the resilience and resolve of the American people that our country has recovered faster and come farther than almost any other advanced nation on Earth.

But there’s another trend that threatens to undermine the progress you’ve helped make.  Even as corporate profits are as high as ever, a small but growing group of big corporations are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes.  They’re keeping most of their business inside the United States, but they’re basically renouncing their citizenship and declaring that they’re based somewhere else, just to avoid paying their fair share.

I want to be clear: this is only a few big corporations so far.  The vast majority of American businesses pay their taxes right here in the United States.  But when some companies cherrypick their taxes, it damages the country’s finances.  It adds to the deficit.  It makes it harder to invest in the things that will keep America strong, and it sticks you with the tab for what they stash offshore.  Right now, a loophole in our tax laws makes this totally legal – and I think that’s totally wrong.  You don’t get to pick which rules you play by, or which tax rate you pay, and neither should these companies.

The best way to level the playing field is through tax reform that lowers the corporate tax rate, closes wasteful loopholes, and simplifies the tax code for everybody.  But stopping companies from renouncing their citizenship just to get out of paying their fair share of taxes is something that cannot wait.  That’s why, in my budget earlier this year, I proposed closing this unpatriotic tax loophole for good.  Democrats in Congress have advanced proposals that would do the same thing.  A couple Republicans have indicated they want to address this too, and I hope more join us.

Rather than double-down on the top-down economics that let a fortunate few play by their own rules, let’s embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together, as one nation, and as one people.  Let’s reward the hard work of ordinary Americans who play by the rules.  Together, we can build up our middle class, hand down something better to our kids, and restore the American Dream for all who work for it and study for it and strive for it.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Political Headlines May 13, 2013: President Barack Obama Has ‘No Patience’ for IRS’ Targeting Conservatives

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Has ‘No Patience’ for IRS’ Targeting Conservatives

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-13-13

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Obama said Monday he has “no patience” for reports that the Internal Revenue Service singled out conservative groups for additional scrutiny, promising accountability if allegations of political motivations at the agency turn out to be true.

“So we’ll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are,” Obama said at a news conference. “But I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it. And we’ll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency May 13, 2013: President Barack Obama Addresses Benghazi Hearings & IRS Controversy at Press Conference

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Obama Addresses Benghazi and I.R.S. Controversies

Source: NYT, 5-13-13

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The president said Republicans were dishonoring the four victims of the attacks in Benghazi last fall, but said he would not tolerate I.R.S. wrongdoing….READ MORE

Source: WH, 5-13-13

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you.  All right, we’ve got time for a couple of questions.  We’re going to start with Julie Pace.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  I wanted to ask about the IRS and Benghazi.  When did you first learn that the IRS was targeting conservative political groups?  Do you feel that the IRS has betrayed the public’s trust?  And what do you think the repercussions for these actions should be?  And on Benghazi, newly public emails show that the White House and the State Department appear to have been more closely involved with the crafting of the talking points on the attack than first acknowledged.  Do you think the White House misled the public about its role in shaping the talking points?  And do you stand by your administration’s assertions that the talking points were not purposely changed to downplay the prospects of terrorism?  And, Prime Minister Cameron, on Syria, if the EU arms embargo that you mentioned is amended or lapses, is it your intention to send the Syrian opposition forces weapons?  And are you encouraging President Obama to take the same step?  Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, let me take the IRS situation first.  I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.  I think it was on Friday.  And this is pretty straightforward.

If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that had been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous and there’s no place for it.  And they have to be held fully accountable, because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity, and people have to have confidence that they’re applying it in a non-partisan way — applying the laws in a non-partisan way.

And you should feel that way regardless of party.  I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat, independent or a Republican.  At some point, there are going to be Republican administrations.  At some point, there are going to be Democratic ones.  Either way, you don’t want the IRS ever being perceived to be biased and anything less than neutral in terms of how they operate.  So this is something that I think people are properly concerned about.

The IG is conducting its investigation.  And I am not going to comment on their specific findings prematurely, but I can tell you that if you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions.  And people have to be held accountable, and it’s got to be fixed.  So we’ll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are.  But I’ve got no patience with it.  I will not tolerate it.  And we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.

With respect to Benghazi, we’ve now seen this argument that’s been made by some folks primarily up on Capitol Hill for months now.  And I’ve just got to say — here’s what we know.  Americans died in Benghazi.  What we also know is clearly they were not in a position where they were adequately protected.  The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.  And what I pledged to the American people was that we would find out what happened, we would make sure that it did not happen again, and we would make sure that we held accountable those who had perpetrated this terrible crime.

And that’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do.  And over the last several months, there was a review board headed by two distinguished Americans — Mike Mullen and Tom Pickering — who investigated every element of this.  And what they discovered was some pretty harsh judgments in terms of how we had worked to protect consulates and embassies around the world.  They gave us a whole series of recommendations.  Those recommendations are being implemented as we speak.

The whole issue of talking points, frankly, throughout this process has been a sideshow.  What we have been very clear about throughout was that immediately after this event happened we were not clear who exactly had carried it out, how it had occurred, what the motivations were.  It happened at the same time as we had seen attacks on U.S. embassies in Cairo as a consequence of this film.  And nobody understood exactly what was taking place during the course of those first few days.

And the emails that you allude to were provided by us to congressional committees.  They reviewed them several months ago, concluded that, in fact, there was nothing afoul in terms of the process that we had used.  And suddenly, three days ago, this gets spun up as if there’s something new to the story.  There’s no “there” there.

Keep in mind, by the way, these so-called talking points that were prepared for Susan Rice five, six days after the event occurred pretty much matched the assessments that I was receiving at that time in my presidential daily briefing.  And keep in mind that two to three days after Susan Rice appeared on the Sunday shows, using these talking points, which have been the source of all this controversy, I sent up the head of our National Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen, up to Capitol Hill and specifically said it was an act of terrorism and that extremist elements inside of Libya had been involved in it.

So if this was some effort on our part to try to downplay what had happened or tamp it down, that would be a pretty odd thing that three days later we end up putting out all the information that, in fact, has now served as the basis for everybody recognizing that this was a terrorist attack and that it may have included elements that were planned by extremists inside of Libya.

Who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days?  So the whole thing defies logic.  And the fact that this keeps on getting churned out, frankly, has a lot to do with political motivations.  We’ve had folks who have challenged Hillary Clinton’s integrity, Susan Rice’s integrity, Mike Mullen and Tom Pickering’s integrity.  It’s a given that mine gets challenged by these same folks.  They’ve used it for fundraising.

And frankly, if anybody out there wants to actually focus on how we make sure something like this does not happen again, I am happy to get their advice and information and counsel.  But the fact of the matter is these four Americans, as I said right when it happened, were people I sent into the field, and I’ve been very clear about taking responsibility for the fact that we were not able to prevent their deaths.  And we are doing everything we can to make sure we prevent it, in part because there are still diplomats around the world who are in very dangerous, difficult situations.  And we don’t have time to be playing these kinds of political games here in Washington.  We should be focused on what are we doing to protect them.

And that’s not easy, by the way.  And it’s going to require resources and tough judgments and tough calls.  And there are a whole bunch of diplomats out there who know that they’re in harm’s way.  And there are threat streams that come through every so often, with respect to our embassies and our consulates — and that’s not just us, by the way; the British have to deal with the same thing.

And we’ve got a whole bunch of people in the State Department who consistently say, you know what, I’m willing to step up, I’m willing to put myself in harm’s way because I think that this mission is important in terms of serving the United States and advancing our interests around the globe.

And so we dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus.  What happened was tragic.  It was carried out by extremists inside of Libya.  We are out there trying to hunt down the folks who carried this out, and we are trying to make sure that we fix the system so that it doesn’t happen again.

Full Text Political Headlines March 17, 2013: Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Interview on ABC News’ This Week with Martha Raddatz Transcript

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

John Boehner: The ‘Talk About Raising Revenue Is Over’

Source: ABC New Radio, 3-17-13

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz during an exclusive interview for This Week that talk of including revenue as part of an effort to strike a so-called “grand bargain” to address the $16 trillion debt of the United States was “over,” leaving Democrats and Republicans where they have been for months – at loggerheads….READ MORE

This Week’ Transcript: Speaker of the House John Boehner

Source: ABC News, 3-17-13

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Good to be with you, Martha.

MARTHA RADDATZ: It’s great to have you here. I call it the so-called charm offensive because you don’t seem particularly charmed. You wrote that outreach is always positive, but then you wrote you had heard it all before, saying it’s going to take more than dinner dates and phone calls from the president. So, were those dinners and meetings a good thing, or did it make no difference at all?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Well, it’s always a good thing to– engage in more conversation– engage more members in the conversation that– have not been involved up to this point. But when you get down the– the– the bottom line, if the president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people, we’re not gonna get very far.

If the president– doesn’t believe that the goal oughta be to balance the budget over the next ten years– I don’t– not sure we’re gonna get very far. And this is the whole issue. We have a spending problem here in Washington and it’s time to solve the problem.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Well, when you talk about that he has to get beyond the Democratic dogma, but the Republicans have taken a very hard line as well.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Hard line? The president– you got $650 billion worth of tax hikes on January the 1st. When are we gonna deal with the spending problem? It’s as simple as that….READ MORE — 1 | 2 | 3 4 5 6 Next Page

Full Text Political Headlines February 26, 2013: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Remarks on the Senate Floor on the Sequester — Smarter Cuts, Not Tax Hikes

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

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Smarter Cuts, Not Tax Hikes

Source: McConnell.Senate.gov, 2-26-13

“I’d like to say a word about the sequester.

“The President’s top aides proposed the sequester as a way of helping the White House avoid a debt-limit debate during last-year’s campaign.

“In essence, the deal we struck was that, in exchange for avoiding a second vote before the election, the debt limit would be paired with spending cuts only, and would not involve a tax increase.

“The President had more than a year and a half to revisit his proposal and work with us to prevent it. He obviously thought his time and energies would be better spent elsewhere.

“In fact, I note that today he’s off campaigning again in Virginia instead of working with us to resolve the issue.

“So here we are.

“The President’s been running around acting like the world’s going to end because Congress might actually follow through on an idea he proposed and signed into law – all the while pretending he’s somehow powerless to stop it.

“Well, it’s time to put the record straight. And as someone who was personally involved in the 2011 budget talks, I think I’m uniquely qualified to do it.

“On the question of who came up with the idea in the first place, it originated, as I just noted, in the White House. I was less than 100 yards from this very spot when Vice President Biden called me at my desk to lay it out. He explained the sequester in exquisite detail, and then, as has been reported, the administration stubbornly stuck by those details throughout the negotiations, refusing any effort by Republicans to adjust its design in any way.

“More important than who came up with the idea of the sequester, however, is the fact that the bipartisan agreement that included it and that brought us to this point envisioned $2.1 trillion in spending cuts. Let me say that again: Democrats and Republicans agreed to $2.1 trillion in cuts as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act.

“So we can all go back and talk about what might have been, or what the President wanted or now wants. But let’s be clear about the facts.

“Those cuts were to come in two steps.

“First, through an immediate $900 billion spending reduction in the form of budget caps, and then by an additional $1.2 trillion in cut to be achieved one of two ways: either by the so-called Supercommittee or, if that failed, through the President’s sequester proposal – meaning automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense programs.

“And while the President tried repeatedly to make tax hikes a part of the backup plan, he ultimately gave up on that in exchange for avoiding a second vote on the debt limit before the election. The President made a deliberate decision, in other words, to give up on getting any tax hikes – or revenue enhancements, or whatever the White House wants to call it – as part of the negotiations over the sequester mechanism.

“He made the calculation that avoiding a second vote on the debt limit before the election was more important. So any effort to bring taxes into the picture now is just a ploy to move the goal posts, as the primary chronicler of this whole episode, Bob Woodward, has noted.

“Of course, the White House has tried to refute these historical facts, but it hasn’t gotten anywhere.

“As the Chairman of the Finance Committee helpfully reminded us last week, ‘The President is part of the sequester’ because ‘the White House recommended it … and so now we’re feeling the effects of it.’

“So it’s time for the administration to at least accept reality so we can all move forward and focus on what the White House is actually doing right now. It’s asking the American people for permission to break its own word on spending.

“We reached an agreement to cut $2.1 trillion in government spending over 10 years, and we intend to keep our word.

“Should these cuts be implemented in a smarter way? Absolutely. But the President and his cabinet secretaries had a year and a half to think about that. They can’t just show up now at the last minute and expect the American people to bail them out of their own lack of responsibility.

“We can either secure those reductions more intelligently, or we can do it the President’s way with across-the board cuts. But one thing Americans simply will not accept is another tax increase to replace spending reductions we already agreed to.

“It was my hope that the Supercommittee would have succeeded. The Senators I appointed took that assignment very seriously. They put real skin in the game, because they wanted it to work. They didn’t like the sequester idea. And had the President engaged in a serious and supportive way at that time, the Supercommittee may very well have succeeded. He chose to campaign, and I’d argue, undermine the process instead.

“But even after the Supercommittee failed, Republicans continued to work to find another way to achieve these cuts. We repeatedly called for replacing the sequester with smarter cuts, rather than tax hikes, according to the original pact. House Republicans passed two bills to do just that. But again, instead of engaging with us, the President just set up more roadblocks.

“For more than a year, he resisted and dismissed every Republican attempt at a compromise. He refused to offer any kind of reasonable alternative, and he even threatened to veto other proposals aimed at averting the sequester. And now, here we are, with the President presenting the country with two options: Armageddon or a tax hike.

“Well, it’s a false choice, and he knows it. But then, the President’s a master at creating the impression of chaos as an excuse for government action. Do nothing. Fan the flames of catastrophe. Then claim the only way out is more government, in the form of higher taxes.

“Look: the choice we face isn’t between the sequester and tax hikes. Remember, we’re only talking about cutting 2 to 3 percent of the budget. Any business owner or middle-class parent will tell you it’s completely ridiculous to think Washington can’t find a better way to cut 2 to 3 percent of the federal budget at a time when we’re $16 trillion in debt.

“Every single working American had to figure out how to make ends meet with 2 percent less in their paychecks last month when the payroll tax holiday expired. Are you telling me Washington can’t do the same? It’s absurd.

“There’s no reason in the world these cuts need to fall on essential services or emergency responders. After all, even with the sequester, Washington will be spending more than when President Obama got here. We’re only talking about cutting a tenth of what the President spent on the stimulus bill.

“Enough.

“Step one in this process of getting to a serious solution is to end the White House’s denial of historical reality. We’re starting to get there, slowly but surely.

“More important, though, is the next step: that’s when the President and his Democrat allies actually come to the table and negotiate in a serious way, without gimmicks and without games on how best to reduce Washington spending. So let’s please shelve the tax hikes and the endless campaigning.

“Finally, I think there’s an even larger point to be made here. The President’s been going around warning of utter chaos if the sequester takes effect. And while I agree that those cuts could be made in a smarter way, and don’t like the fact that they fall disproportionately on defense, what does it say about the size of government that we can’t cut it by 2 to 3 percent without inviting disaster? Doesn’t that make our point? Hasn’t government gotten too big if just cutting the overall budget by a couple percentage points could have that kind of impact?

“Personally, I don’t believe the world will end if the President’s sequester takes effect. But our country would be much better served if the Democrats who run Washington would get off the campaign trail and work with us to trim the budget in a more rational way.

“Americans are tired of the manufactured crises. I know my constituents in Kentucky are. They’re just tired of it. They want us to work together, and Republicans are ready to do just that.”

Full Text Political Headlines February 26, 2013: Speaker John Boehner’s Press Conference on the Sequester — President Obama Using Military as a Campaign Prop to Demand Tax Hikes

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

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Speaker Boehner: President Obama Using Military as a Campaign Prop to Demand Tax Hikes

Source: Speaker Boehner Press Office, 2-26-13

February 26, 2013
Video

“You know, Republicans have voted twice to replace the sequester.  The president, as you’re all aware, insisted that he not have to deal with the debt ceiling twice and insisted that the backstop for the work of the super committee be the sequester. 

“But I don’t think the president’s focused on trying to find a solution to the sequester.  The president has been traveling all over the country and today going down to Newport News in order to use our military men and women as a prop in yet another campaign rally to support his tax hikes. 

“Now the American people know if the president gets more money they’re just going to spend it.  The fact is is that he’s gotten his tax hikes.   It’s time to focus on the real problem here in Washington and that is spending. 

“The president has known for 16 months that the sequester was looming out there when the super committee failed to come to an agreement.  And so for 16 months the president’s been traveling all over the country holding rallies instead of sitting down with Senate leaders in order to try to forge an agreement over there in order to move a bill.  We have moved a bill in the House twice, we should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.”     

Political Headlines February 3, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Pre-Super Bowl Interview with CBS News: Talks Football, Gender Issues, Taxes

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Talks Football, Gender Issues, Taxes Before Super Bowl

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-4-13

Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the nation geared up for the Super Bowl XLVII matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, President Obama said he stood by his recent comments that as a parent he’d hesitate allowing his children to play football and that he viewed the contact sport differently in light of recent heightened national awareness of its health dangers.

In a pre-Super Bowl interview with CBS’ Scott Pelley, the president reiterated what he’d told the New Republic.

“It is a great sport, I am huge fan, but there is no doubt some of the concerns that we have learned about when it comes to concussions have to give parents pause,” he said.  “And as I said before.  I feel differently about the NFL, these are  grown men, they are well compensated, they know the risks that are involved.  But as we start thinking about the pipeline, Pop Warner, high school, college, I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make the sport safer.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines December 21, 2012: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: A Sassy Merry Christmas ‘I’m Stuck Here in Washington’

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

A Sassy Merry Christmas from Mitch McConnell: ‘I’m Stuck Here in Washington’

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-21-12

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

It’s a Christmas greeting with a few digs reflecting the frustration over the fiscal cliff stalemate from Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

In a video just posted to his You Tube page, the Minority Leader, sitting in front of a fireplace and Christmas tree says, “Hello I’m Senator Mitch McConnell. I’m stuck here in Washington trying to prevent my fellow Kentuckians having to shell out more money to Uncle Sam next year, but I wanted to take just a minute to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.”

McConnell then instructs Americans to drink eggnog, sing carols and enjoy their time together – because Washington has all the arguing covered already.

“So pour some eggnog, turn up the Christmas music and enjoy your family. No need to argue with your family, there is plenty of arguing in Washington to go around. Merry Christmas everyone.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines December 5, 2012: President Barack Obama Rejects ‘Doomsday’ Plan as John Boehner Urges Fresh Talks

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Rejects ‘Doomsday’ Plan as Boehner Urges Fresh Talks

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-5-12

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

With the economy hanging in the balance, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday tangled over who’s to blame for the “fiscal cliff” standoff and what to do if lawmakers can’t reach a broad deficit-reduction agreement in 27 days.

Obama, speaking at a meeting of 100 CEOs, warned Republicans that he would not accept a so-called “doomsday” deal that extends tax cuts for middle-income earners before the end of the year but nothing more….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency December 5, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Raising Debt Ceiling as Part of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal at Business Roundtable

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Speaks to the Business Roundtable

Source: WH, 12-5-12

President Barack Obama delivers remarks and takes questions from business leadersPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks and takes questions from business leaders at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable at the BRT in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, President Obama spoke to members of the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of American businesses, and reiterated his plan to extend tax cuts for middle-class families.

Opening Remarks by the President to the Business Roundtable

Source: WH, 12-5-12

Business Roundtable
Washington, D.C.

10:57 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Well, good morning, everybody. It is great to see all of you. Many of you I’ve had a chance to see individually or in small groups over the last several months, but it’s good to be back at the Business Roundtable. Jim, thanks for your leadership.

Originally, my team had prepared some remarks. They always get nervous when I’m out there on my own — never know what I might say. Given the dialogue that we had the last time, I thought it was useful for me to abbreviate my remarks, speak off the cuff at the top, and then spend most of our time just having a conversation.

Let me begin by saying that all of you in this room are not just business leaders, not just CEOs of your companies, but you’re also economic leaders and thought leaders in this country. And I recognize that all of you have an enormous investment not only in your own companies but in the well-being of America.

There are a lot of patriots in this room, people who care deeply about not only your bottom lines but also the future of this country. You’ve shown that over the last four years. We’ve gone through as difficult an economic period as we’ve seen in most of our lifetimes, and we’ve emerged not yet where we need to be but we’ve certainly made progress. And the reason we’ve made progress in part has been because of the outstanding management and productivity gains and efficiencies and competitiveness that you’ve been able to achieve in each and every one of your companies.

And I’ve said this to some of the small groups, let me repeat it to the large group — I am passionately rooting for your success, because if the companies in this room are doing well, then small businesses and medium-sized businesses up and down the chain are doing well. If companies in this room are doing well, then folks get jobs, consumers get confidence, and we’re going to be able to compete around the world.

Now, the good news is that despite the extraordinary challenges that we’ve seen over the last four years, there is progress in some key sectors of our economy. We’ve seen housing finally begin to bounce back for the first time. And that obviously has an enormous ripple effect throughout the economy. Consumer confidence is as high as it’s been. Many of you, over the last two, three years, have experienced record profits or near record profits, and have a lot of money where you’re prepared to invest in plants and equipment and hire folks.

Obviously, globally, the economy is still soft. Europe is going to be in the doldrums for quite some time. Asia is not charging forward, and some of the emerging markets are not charging forward as quickly as they were maybe a few years ago.

But I think what all of you recognize and many of you have told me is that everybody is looking to America because they understand that if we’re able to put forward a long-term agenda for growth and prosperity that’s broad-based here in the United States, that confidence will not just increase here in the United States, it will increase globally, and we can get the kind of virtuous cycle that I think all of us have been waiting for and want to see.

What’s holding us back right now, ironically, is a lot of stuff that’s going on in this town. And I know that many of you have come down here to try to see is there a way that we can break through the logjam and go ahead and get things done. And I’m here to tell you that nobody wants to get this done more than me. I know that you’ve gotten a lot of briefings, but let me just try to describe where the situation is right now with respect to our fiscal situation, both what the opportunities are but what also the challenges are.

I campaigned over the last year on the idea that we need to make sure that this economy is growing and that we’re providing ladders of opportunity for folks — (electricity goes out, feed drops) — I can speak pretty loud. Can people hear me in the back?

During the entire campaign, I talked about the importance of short-term measures to boost growth but also a long-term plan to make sure that we’ve got our fiscal house in order, and I called for a balanced and responsible plan. My budget reflects a balanced, responsible plan, and I’ve shown myself willing to make some tough decisions when it comes to government spending — because, despite, I think, my reputation or the reputation of Democrats, I don’t think every government program works exactly the way it should. I think there are efficiencies that can be gained; there are some programs that used to work and just don’t work now the way they were intended. And as a consequence, working with Democrats and Republicans last year, we were able to cut over a trillion dollars of spending — the largest cut, by the way, in discretionary spending in history. So we’re prepared to make some tough decisions when it comes to spending cuts.

But if you look at what’s needed in order for us to stabilize our budget, stabilize our deficit-to-GDP ratio, our debt-to-GDP ratio, then every credible economist will tell you that you can’t just do it on spending cuts. We can’t cut our way to prosperity, that there’s got to be a balanced approach in which we also are bringing in new revenues — partly because our revenue levels are as low as they’ve been in most of our lifetimes.

And what I’ve proposed, what I put forward in the campaign and what I think a majority of the American people agreed with — in fact, there’s some folks who didn’t vote for me that focus groups and polls show nevertheless they agreed with my concept when it comes to deficit reduction — is that an approach that says we’re going to raise additional revenue particularly from those who have done best in the economy over the last decade, combined with some smart cuts and with entitlement reform that can strengthen our social safety net over the long term but do so in a responsible way — that’s the way to go forward. And that’s what we’ve put forward.

Now, the question I think on the minds of a lot of you is how do you get there — because I know that, speaking to many of you privately, you agree with this approach. I’ve been struck by the number of CEOs who said, we’re willing to pay slightly higher taxes if it means that we’ve got the kind of certainty and stability over the long term that allows us to invest and hire with confidence. So most of the folks in this room I think are onboard for a balanced plan.

The problem that we had up until fairly recently — and this was extensively debated during the campaign — was the belief that either, A, we could balance our budgets entirely on spending cuts, or a variation that has emerged is, is that we can do so while still lowering rates simply by closing loopholes and deductions. And you’ve heard from my team, but let me just repeat, we don’t have any objection to tax reform, tax simplification, closing loopholes, closing deductions. But there is a bottom-line amount of revenue that is required in order for us to get a real, meaningful deficit reduction plan that hits the numbers that are required for us to stabilize our debt and deficits. And all the math that we’ve done — and we analyzed this stuff pretty carefully — shows that it is not possible for us to raise the amount of revenue that’s required for a balanced package if all you are relying on is closing deductions and loopholes.

Let me amend that. It is possible to do, theoretically; it is not possible or wise to do as a practical matter. And the reason is, is that in order for us to raise the amount of revenue that’s needed just by closing deductions and loopholes for high earners, we’d have to, for example, eliminate or severely cap the charitable deduction. And folks in this room, you guys are not only CEOs — I can’t imagine there’s a person here who doesn’t sit on a number of non-for-profit boards, university boards, hospital boards. In your respective communities, you are supporting an entire infrastructure that is the glue that holds our communities together. So the notion that somehow we’re going to just eliminate charitable deductions is unlikely.

What that means is, is that any formula that says we can’t increase tax rates probably only yields about $300-$400 billion, realistically. And that’s well short of the amount of revenue that’s needed for a balanced package.

So what we’ve said instead is let’s allow higher rates to go up for the top 2 percent — that includes all of you, yes, but not in any way that’s going to affect your spending, your lifestyles, or the economy in any significant way; let’s make sure that 98 percent of Americans don’t see a single dime in tax increases next year, 97 percent of small businesses don’t see a single dime in tax increases next year — and by doing that alone we raise almost a trillion dollars without any adverse effects on the economy.

Let’s combine that, then, with some additional spending cuts and some long-term entitlement reform that can get us to a number close to $4 trillion, which stabilizes our debt and our deficits relative to GDP for at least a decade, perhaps more.

That’s our plan. That’s what we’ve presented. The holdup right now is that Speaker Boehner took a position I think the day after the campaign that said we’re willing to bring in revenue but we’re not willing to increase rates. And I just explained to you why we don’t think that works. We’re not trying to — we’re not insisting on rates just out of spite or out of any kind of partisan bickering, but rather because we need to raise a certain amount of revenue.

Now, we’ve seen some movement over the last several days among some Republicans. I think there’s a recognition that maybe they can accept some rate increases as long as it’s combined with serious entitlement reform and additional spending cuts. And if we can get the leadership on the Republican side to take that framework, to acknowledge that reality, then the numbers actually aren’t that far apart. Another way of putting this is we can probably solve this in about a week; it’s not that tough. But we need that conceptual breakthrough that says we need to do a balanced plan; that’s what’s best for the economy; that’s what the American people voted for; that’s how we’re going to get it done.

Let me make one last point and then I’ll start taking questions. There had been reports — and these are not necessarily confirmed, and maybe some of you have more insight than I do on this — that perhaps the Republicans go ahead and let the middle-class tax cuts get extended, the upper-income tax cuts go up, otherwise we don’t get a deal, and next year we come back and the thinking is Republicans will have more leverage because there will be another vote on the debt ceiling and we will try to extract more concessions with a stronger hand on the debt ceiling.

I have to just tell you that is a bad strategy for America. It is a bad strategy for our businesses. And it is not a game that I will play.

Most of you were involved in discussions and watched the catastrophe that happened in August of 2011. Everybody here is concerned about uncertainty; there’s no uncertainty like the prospect that the United States of America, the largest economy that holds the world’s reserve currency potentially defaults on its debts; that we give up the basic notion that the United States stands behind its obligations.

And we can’t afford to go there again. And this isn’t just my opinion; it’s the opinion of most of the folks in this room. So when I hear some on the other side suggesting that to resolve the possibility of a perpetual or a quarterly debt ceiling crisis that there is a price to pay — well, the price is paid by the American people and your businesses and the economic environment worldwide. And we should not accept going through that.

John Engler, who is, I think — he and I philosophically don’t agree on much — (laughter) — no, I’m just being honest about John, and he’s a great politician but he — he originally comes from the other party — but John is exactly right when he says the only thing that the debt ceiling is good for as a weapon is just to destroy your credit rating.

So I want to send a very clear message to people here: We are not going to play that game next year. If Congress in any way suggests that they’re going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation — which, by the way, we had never done in our history until we did it last year — I will not play that game. Because we’ve got to break that habit before it starts.

So, with that, let me just say we’ve got one path where we resolve this fairly quickly — we’ve got some tough spending cuts, we reform our entitlements, we have modest revenue increases; you get business certainty; you do what you do best, innovate, invest, hire workers, make profits, do well by your shareholders and grow America — and we then have open running room next year to deal with a whole host of other issues like information and tax reform and immigration reform that will further make America, Inc. competitive. That’s one option.

The other option is to engage in a self-inflicted series of wounds that will potentially push us back into recession and set back this country, after all the work that we’ve done over the last four years digging ourselves out of a hole.

I know the choice I’d like to make. And I think the BRT can be helpful in making sure that everybody here in Washington makes the right choice.

So with that, let me take some questions. (Applause.)

END
11:14 A.M. EST

Political Headlines December 5, 2012: President Barack Obama to Address Raising Debt Ceiling as Part of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal at Business Roundtable

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama to Address Raising Debt Ceiling as Part of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-5-12

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In remarks at the Business Roundtable on Wednesday, President Obama for the first time will highlight the need to raise the debt ceiling as part of a “fiscal cliff” deal.

“The president will highlight why it would hurt our economy and our nation’s businesses if we do not find a solution to avoid another debt ceiling crisis, and will ask the business leaders for their help in supporting an approach that resolves the debt limit without drama or delay,” a White House official said, according to Politico….READ MORE

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

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

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

Full Text Political Headlines November 10, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Speaker John Boehner on Growing the Economy, Creating Jobs, and Averting the 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: Speaker Boehner on Growing the Economy

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-10-12

ABC/Martin H. Simon

House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama may have found something on which they can agree. In the days since the president’s reelection Tuesday, the House speaker and the president both have stated that they would like to see bipartisan leaders in Washington come together in avoiding the approaching “fiscal cliff.”

While the president has said he refuses to consider any approach that isn’t balanced in reducing the federal deficit. According to President Obama, a balanced approach would mean spending cuts coupled with increased taxes for those making more than $250,000 to generate more revenue.

On the other hand, Boehner has said that tax increases are “unacceptable.”…READ MORE

Weekly Republican Address: Speaker Boehner on Helping Our Economy Grow, Create Jobs, and Avert the Fiscal Cliff

Source: Speaker.gov, 11-10-12

Download Audio | YouTube | Download Video

“This week, I called for action by both parties on a plan to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt.

“It’s also critical to averting the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax rate increases that’s just weeks away from taking effect.

“Some have said that despite the risks, we should let our nation’s economy go off part of the fiscal cliff in January, by allowing the top two rates to rise.  They believe that doing that will generate more revenue for the federal government.

“But here’s the problem with that.  Raising those rates on January 1 would, according to the independent firm Ernst & Young, destroy 700,000 American jobs.  That’s because many of those hit by this tax increase are small business owners – the very people who are the key to job creation in America.  I used to be one of them.

“This week, I offered congratulations to President Obama – along with an alternative to sending our economy over any part of the fiscal cliff.

“Instead of raising tax rates on the American people and accepting the damage it will do to our economy, let’s start to actually solve the problem.

“Let’s focus on tax reform that closes special interest loopholes and lowers tax rates.

“Instead of accepting arbitrary cuts that will endanger our national defense, let’s get serious about shoring up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our country’s massive, growing debt.  2013 should be the year to begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform.

“Together, we should avert the fiscal cliff in a manner that ensures that 2013 finally is that year.

“Shoring up entitlements and reforming the tax code – closing special interest loopholes and deductions, and moving to a fairer, cleaner, and simpler system – will bring jobs home and result in a stronger, healthier economy.

“A stronger economy means more revenue – which is exactly what the president is seeking.  And without a strong economy, we’ll never be able to balance the budget and erase our country’s debt.

“This framework can lead to common ground.  The president and I had a brief conversation this week and I’m hopeful that we can continue those talks and forge an agreement that can pass both chambers of Congress.

“Because if there was a mandate in this election, it was a mandate to work together to do what’s in the best interest of our country.  And right now what’s best is getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving, so we can begin to restore our children’s future.

“It’s a great honor to serve as Speaker of the House.  I’m constantly inspired by the courage and grace of the American people, especially the 22.5 million veterans who we pause to honor this weekend.  To them and their families, we say thank you, God bless you, God bless this great nation that you’ve served so valiantly.”

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 Obama Presidency November 9, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Fiscal Cliff, Tax Cuts & Deficit Deal with Congress

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama made a statement in the East Room of the White House on Friday.
Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Obama made a statement in the East Room of the White House on Friday.

Remarks by the President

Source:  WH, 11-9-12

East Room

1:08 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. (Applause.) Thank you very much, everybody. Everybody, please have a seat. (Applause.)

Well, good afternoon, everybody. Now that those of us on the campaign trail have had a chance to get a little sleep — (laughter) — it’s time to get back to work. And there is plenty of work to do.

As I said on Tuesday night, the American people voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in that spirit, I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week, so we can start to build consensus around the challenges that we can only solve together. And I also intend to bring in business and labor and civic leaders from all across the country here to 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. (Applause.) It’s a plan to reward small businesses and manufacturers that create jobs here, not overseas. It’s a plan to give people the chance to get the education and training that businesses are looking for right now. It’s a plan to make sure this country is a global leader in research and technology and clean energy, which will attract new companies and high-wage jobs to America. It’s a plan to put folks back to work, including our veterans, rebuilding our roads and our bridges, and other infrastructure. And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

Our work is made that much more urgent because at the end of this year, we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay our deficit down — decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy and the middle class, both now and in the future. Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending that we just couldn’t afford. I intend to work with both parties to do more — and that includes making reforms that will bring down the cost of health care so we can strengthen programs like Medicaid and Medicare for the long haul.

But as I’ve said before, 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. (Applause.) That’s how we did it in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was President. That’s how we can reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need to build a strong middle class and a strong economy. That’s the only way we can still afford to train our workers, or help our kids pay for college, or make sure that good jobs in clean energy or high-tech manufacturing don’t end up in countries like China.

Now, 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. I want to be clear — I’m not wedded to every detail of my plan. I’m open to compromise. I’m open to new ideas. I’m committed to solving our fiscal challenges. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I’m not going to do that. (Applause.)

And I just want to point out this was a central question during the election. It was debated over and over again. And on Tuesday night, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach — and that includes Democrats, independents, and a lot of Republicans across the country, as well as independent economists and budget experts. That’s how you reduce the deficit — with a balanced approach.

So our job now is to get a majority in Congress to reflect the will of the American people. And I believe we can get that majority. I was encouraged to hear Speaker Boehner agree that tax revenue has to be part of this equation — so I look forward to hearing his ideas when I see him next week.

And let me make one final point that every American needs to hear. Right now, if Congress fails to come to an agreement on an overall deficit reduction package by the end of the year, everybody’s taxes will automatically go up on January 1st — everybody’s — including the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year. And that makes no sense. It would be bad for the economy and would hit families that are already struggling to make ends meet.

Now, fortunately, we shouldn’t need long negotiations or drama to solve that part of the problem. While there may be disagreement in Congress over whether or not to raise taxes on folks making over $250,000 a year, nobody — not Republicans, not Democrats — want taxes to go up for folks making under $250,000 a year. So let’s not wait. Even as we’re negotiating a broader deficit reduction package, let’s extend the middle-class tax cuts right now. Let’s do that right now. (Applause.)

That one step — that one step — would give millions of families — 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses — the certainty that they need going into the new year. It would immediately take a huge chunk of the economic uncertainty off the table, and that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. Business will know that consumers, they’re not going to see a big tax increase. They’ll know that most small businesses won’t see a tax increase. And so a lot of the uncertainty that you’re reading about, that will be removed.

In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill doing exactly this, so all we need is action from the House. And I’ve got the pen ready to sign the bill right away. I’m ready to do it. (Applause.) I’m ready to do it. (Applause.)

The American people understand that we’re going to have differences and disagreements in the months to come. They get that. But on Tuesday, they said loud and clear that they won’t tolerate dysfunction. They won’t tolerate politicians who view compromise as a dirty word. Not when so many Americans are still out of work. Not when so many families and small business owners are still struggling to pay the bills.

What the American people are looking for is cooperation. They’re looking for consensus. They’re looking for common sense. Most of all, they want action. I intend to deliver for them in my second term, and I expect to find willing partners in both parties to make that happen. So let’s get to work.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.)
END
1:15 P.M. EST

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 October 4, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver, Colorado — Fights Back Day After Debate Defeat

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Fights Back Day After Debate Defeat

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-4-12 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

Under fire from critics on the left and right for his performance at the first presidential debate, President Obama arrived in Denver for a chilly morning-after rally armed with rejoinders to arguments made by Republican rival Mitt Romney, which were not delivered in the heat of debate last night.

Obama told the crowd of 12,000 huddled along the shoreline at Sloan’s Lake Park that the man he faced was a “very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” but who espoused positions in conflict with what “the real Mitt Romney” has been touting on the campaign trail….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Denver, CO

Source: WH, 10-4-12

Sloan’s Lake Park
Denver, Colorado

10:30 A.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Colorado!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Denver!  (Applause.)  Can everybody please give Lily a big round of applause for the great introduction.  (Applause.)  We’ve got so many dignitaries I can’t name them all.  But we’ve got your outstanding senators in the house.  (Applause.)  Your terrific members of Congress are here.  (Applause.)  Got our campaign co-chairs.  Got Will.I.Am.  (Applause.)  Most importantly, we’ve got all of you.  (Applause.)  Even though you had to get the winter coats out a little quicker than you expected.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you, Obama!

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

Now, the reason I was in Denver, obviously, is to see all of you, and it’s always pretty.  (Laughter.)  But we also had our first debate last night.  (Applause.)  And when I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney.  (Laughter.)  But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney — because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy.  The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.  (Laughter.)

The real Mitt Romney said we don’t need any more teachers in our classrooms.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo — vote.  (Laughter and applause.)

But the fellow on stage last night, he loves teachers — can’t get enough of them.  (Laughter.)  The Mitt Romney we all know invested in companies that were called “pioneers” of outsourcing jobs to other countries.  But the guy on stage last night, he said that he doesn’t even know that there are such laws that encourage outsourcing — he’s never heard of them.  Never heard of them.  Never heard of tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.  He said that if it’s true, he must need a new accountant.  (Laughter.)

Now, we know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney, because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant.  (Laughter.)  So you see, the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what he’s been saying for the last year.  And that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling for the last year.  (Applause.)  So Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be President, you owe the American people the truth.  (Applause.)

So here’s the truth:  Governor Romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without blowing up the deficit or sticking it to the middle class.  That’s the math.  We can’t afford to go down that road again.  We can’t afford another round of budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy.  We can’t afford to gut our investments in education or clean energy or research and technology.  We can’t afford to roll back regulations on Wall Street, or on big oil companies or insurance companies.  We cannot afford to double down on the same top-down economic policies that got us into this mess.  That is not a plan to create jobs.  That is not a plan to grow the economy.  That is not change — that is a relapse.  (Applause.)  We don’t want to go back there.  We’ve tried it, it didn’t work.  And we are not going back, we are going forward.  (Applause.)

Now, I’ve got a different view about how we create jobs and prosperity.  This country doesn’t succeed when we only see the rich getting richer.  We succeed when the middle class gets bigger.  We grow our economy not from the top down, but from the middle out.

We don’t believe that anybody is entitled to success in this country, but we do believe in something called opportunity.  We believe in a country where hard work pays off and where responsibility is rewarded, and everybody is getting a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same rules.  (Applause.)  That’s the country we believe in.  That’s what I’m fighting for.  That’s why I’m running for a second term for President of the United States, and that’s why I want your vote.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  What I talked about last night was a new economic patriotism — a patriotism that’s rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class.

That means we export more jobs and we outsource — export more products and we outsource fewer jobs.  Over the last three years, we came together to reinvent a dying auto industry that’s back on top of the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve created more than half a million new manufacturing jobs.

And so now you’ve got a choice.  We can keeping giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that are opening new plants and training new workers, and creating new jobs right here in the United States of America.  That’s what we’re looking for.  (Applause.)

We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and create a million new manufacturing jobs over the next four years.  You can make that happen.

I want to control more of our own energy.  After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will be going twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)

We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar.  And thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.  (Applause.)  The United States of America today is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in nearly two decades.  (Applause.)

So now you’ve got a choice between a plan that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it.  Last night, my opponent says he refuses to close the loophole that gives big oil companies $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies every year.  Now, we’ve got a better plan — where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal, and the good jobs that come with them; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and our trucks; where construction workers are retrofitting homes and factories so they waste less energy; and we can develop a 100-year supply of natural gas that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs — and, by the way, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020.  That will be good for our economy.  That will be good for our environment.  That will be good for Colorado.  That will be good for America.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s why I am running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

I want to give more Americans the chance to learn the skills they need to compete.  I talked last night about how education was the gateway of opportunity for me and Michelle, for so many of you.  It’s the gateway for a middle-class life.  And today, millions of students are paying less for college because we took on a system that was wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on bankers and lenders.  (Applause.)

And so now you’ve got a choice:  We can gut education to pay for more tax breaks for the wealthy, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dream deferred because of an overcrowded classroom.  (Applause.)  No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.  No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here in the United States.

So we’re going to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers, and we’re going to improve early childhood education, and we’re going to create 2 million more slots in community colleges so that workers can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.  (Applause.)  And we are going to continue to do everything we need to do to cut the growth of tuition costs, because every young person in America should have the opportunity to go to college without being loaded up with hundreds — with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt.  That’s part of what it means for us to be able to build an economy that lasts.

And finally, I’ve got a balanced plan that independent experts say will cut the deficit by $4 trillion through a mix of spending cuts and higher taxes on wealthiest Americans.  Now, I’ve already worked with Republicans in Congress to cut a trillion dollars in spending, and I’m willing to do more.  I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple and it’s fair, but also so incomes over $250,000 — we go back to the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President, we created 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, a lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

Now, last night, Governor Romney ruled out raising a dime of taxes on anybody ever, no matter how much money they make.  He ruled out closing the loophole that gives oil companies $4 billion in corporate welfare.  He refused to even acknowledge the loophole that gives tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas.  And when he was asked what he’d actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending, he said he’d eliminate funding for public television.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  That was his answer.  I mean, thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird.  (Laughter and applause.)  It’s about time.  We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit.  (Laughter.)  But that’s what we heard last night.  How about that?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  And Elmo!

THE PRESIDENT:  Elmo, too?  (Laughter.)

Look, the fact is Governor Romney’s math just doesn’t add up.  And I had to spend a lot of time last night trying to pin it down.  The only one way to pay for $5 trillion in new tax cuts and $2 trillion in new defense spending that the military says it doesn’t need is by asking the middle class to pay more. And I refuse to do that.  (Applause.)

I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  I refuse to ask students to pay more for college, or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, or elderly, or disabled — just to pay for more tax cuts that we cannot afford.

And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher.  (Applause.)  Governor Romney doubled down on that proposal last night and he is wrong.  No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.  They should retire with the care and the dignity that they have earned.  (Applause.)

So, yes, we’ll reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care — not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.  And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it — not by turning it over to Wall Street.

Now, going forward we’re going to have a chance to talk a little bit about what’s going on overseas, because our prosperity at home is linked to what happens abroad.  Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq, and I did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan in a responsible way, and we are.  (Applause.)  While a new tower is rising above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

But we still face serious threats around the world.  We saw that just a few weeks ago.  And that’s why, so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.  And when our troops take off their uniforms, we will serve them as well as they’ve served us — (applause) — because nobody should have to fight for a job when they come home, or a roof over their heads when they have fought for their country.  They have earned our respect and our honor.  (Applause.)  That’s a commitment I make.

Now, it will be interesting to see what the guy who was playing Mitt Romney yesterday — (laughter) — will say about foreign policy when we meet next, because he said it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq.  He won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan.  And I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and to put more people back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges, and our schools and our runways and broadband lines — because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home and put some folks to work here at home.  (Applause.)

So this is the choice we now face.  This is what the election comes down to.  Over and over, we’ve been told by our opponents that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing.  If you can’t afford health insurance, hope you don’t get sick.  If a company is releasing toxic pollution into the air that your children breathe, well, that’s the price of progress — can’t afford to regulate.  If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, just borrow money from your parents.  (Laughter.)

As I described last night, that’s not who we are.  That’s not what this country is about.  Here in America, we believe we’re all in this together.  (Applause.)  We understand America is not about what can be done for us — it’s about what can be done by us, together, as one nation, and as one people.  (Applause.)

You understand that.  You understand that, Denver.  You are the reason that there’s a teacher in Pueblo who, with her husband, can buy her first phone with — first home with the help of new tax credits that we helped pass.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  You made that happen.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason that a woman outside Durango can get the treatment she needs to beat cancer, now that there are affordable plans to cover preexisting conditions.  You did that.  You made that happen.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason that thousands of students at CU Boulder, and Colorado State, and University of Denver have more help paying for college this year.  That happened because of you.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here, and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason why an outstanding soldier won’t be kicked out of the military because of who he loves.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason why thousands of families have been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely:  “Welcome home.”  Welcome home.  Welcome home.  (Applause.)

If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that somehow the change we fought for isn’t possible, then of course, change won’t happen.  If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other folks fill the void — lobbyists and special interests, and the people who are writing the $10 million checks.  And all the spin will end up dominating the airwaves, and that’s how things go, and ordinary folks get left out.  All the folks who are trying to make it harder for you to vote; the folks in Washington who think somehow that they should control the health care choices that women should be making for themselves.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Only you can make change happen.  Only you have the power to move us forward.  (Applause.)

From the day we began this campaign, I always said real change takes time.  It takes more than one term.  It takes more even than one President or one party.  You certainly can’t do it if you’ve got a President who writes off half the nation before he even takes office.  (Applause.)

In 2008, 47 percent of the country didn’t vote for me.  But on the night of the election, I said to all those Americans, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President, too.  (Applause.)

And so I want to say to Denver, I want to say to the entire great state of Colorado:  I don’t know how many of you will be with me this time around — (applause) — but I’ll be with you no matter what.  Because I’m not fighting to create Democratic jobs or Republican jobs — I’m fighting to create American jobs.  (Applause.)  I’m not fighting to improve schools in the red states or blue states — I’m fighting to improve schools in the United States.  (Applause.)

The values we care about don’t just belong to workers or businesses, or the rich or the poor, or the 1 percent or the 99 percent — they are American values; they belong to all of us.  And if we reclaim them now, if we rally around a new sense of economic patriotism, a sense of how we build an economy from the middle out and give ladders of opportunity for everybody who is willing to work hard — we will strengthen the middle class, we’ll keep moving forward.

I still believe that our politics is not as divided as it seems sometimes.  I still believe in you.  I’m asking you to keep on believing in me.  (Applause.)  I’m asking for your vote.  And if you’re willing to stand with me and work with me, we’re going to win Denver again.  (Applause.)  We’ll win Colorado again.  We’ll finish what we started.  We will remind the world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

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

END
10:52 A.M. MDT

Full Text Obama Presidency August 22, 2012: President Obama Holds a Press Conference During the White House Daily Press Briefing — Defends His Campaign’s Tone

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama Holds a Press Conference

Source: WH, 8-21-12 

President Barack Obama holds a press conference (August 20, 2012)

President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama Defends His Campaign’s Tone

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-21-12

President Obama today defended his campaign’s persistent demand that Mitt Romney release more than two years of his tax returns, saying it’s standard procedure and the American people want to know that “everybody’s been playing by the same rules.”

“The American people have assumed that if you want to be president of the United States that your life’s an open book when it comes to things like your finances,” he told reporters in an impromptu press conference at the White House today.

“This isn’t sort of overly personal here, guys. This is pretty standard stuff. I don’t think we’re being mean by asking you to do what every other presidential candidate’s done, right? It’s what the American people expect,” he said….READ MORE

Remarks by the President to the White House Press Corps

Source: WH, 8-21-12 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:27 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.

MR. CARNEY:  Looks like there’s a surprise guest here.

THE PRESIDENT:  Jay tells me that you guys have been missing me.  (Laughter.)  So I thought I’d come by and just say hello.

Before I take some questions, let me just mention, since Medicare has been a little bit in the news lately, I thought it would be useful to start with some actual facts and news about the program.

Today, HHS announced that thanks to the health care law that we passed, nearly 5.4 million seniors with Medicare have saved over $4.1 billion on prescription drugs.  That’s an average savings of more than $700 per person.  This year alone, 18 million seniors with Medicare have taken advantage of new preventive care benefits like a mammogram or other cancer screening at no extra cost.

These are big deals for a lot of Americans, and it represents two important ways that the improvements we made as part of the Affordable Care Act has strengthened Medicare and helped seniors everywhere get better care at less cost.  That’s been our goal from the very beginning, and I’m going to continue to do everything I can to make sure that we keep our seniors healthy and the American people healthy.

So with that, let me start off with Jim Kuhnhenn.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you for being here.  You’re no doubt aware of the comments that the Missouri Senate candidate, Republican Todd Akin, made on rape and abortion.  I wondered if you think those views represent the views of the Republican Party in general.  They’ve been denounced by your own rival and other Republicans.  Are they an outlier or are they representative?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, let me, first of all, say the views expressed were offensive.  Rape is rape.  And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.

So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.

And so, although these particular comments have led Governor Romney and other Republicans to distance themselves, I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions — or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape — I think those are broader issues, and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party.

But I don’t think that they would agree with the Senator from Missouri in terms of his statement, which was way out there.

Q    Should he drop out of the race?

THE PRESIDENT:  He was nominated by the Republicans in Missouri.  I’ll let them sort that out.

Nancy Cordes.

Q    Yes, Mr. President, thank you.  As you know, your opponent recently accused you of waging a campaign filled with “anger and hate.”   And you told Entertainment Tonight that anyone who attends your rallies can see that they’re not angry- or hate-filled affairs.  But in recent weeks, your campaign has suggested repeatedly, without proof, that Mr. Romney might be hiding something in his tax returns.  They have suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital.  And your campaign and the White House have declined to condemn an ad by one of your top supporters that links Mr. Romney to a woman’s death from cancer.  Are you comfortable with the tone that’s being set by your campaign?  Have you asked them to change their tone when it comes to defining Mr. Romney?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, I’m not sure all those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate.  For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.

And I think that what is absolutely true is, if you watch me on the campaign trail, here’s what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about how we put Americans back to work.  And there are sharp differences between myself and Mr. Romney in terms of how we would do that.  He thinks that if we roll back Wall Street reform, roll back the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known affectionately as Obamacare — that somehow people are going to be better off.

I think that if we are putting teachers back to work and rebuilding America and reducing our deficit in a balanced way, that’s how you put people back to work.  That is a substantive difference.  That’s what I talk about on the campaign.

When it comes to taxes, Governor Romney thinks that we should be cutting taxes by another $5 trillion, and folks like me would benefit disproportionately from that.  I think that it makes a lot more sense and have put out a detailed plan for a balanced approach that combines tough spending cuts with asking people like me — millionaires and billionaires — to do a little bit more.  That’s a substantive difference in this campaign.

Whether it’s on wind energy, or how we would approach funding education, those are the topics that we’re spending a lot of time talking about in the campaign.

Now, if you look at the overall trajectory of our campaign and the ads that I’ve approved and are produced by my campaign, you’ll see that we point out sharp differences between the candidates, but we don’t go out of bounds.  And when it comes to releasing taxes, that’s a precedent that was set decades ago, including by Governor Romney’s father.  And for us to say that it makes sense to release your tax returns, as I did, as John McCain did, as Bill Clinton did, as the two President Bushes did, I don’t think is in any way out of bounds.

I think that is what the American people would rightly expect — is a sense that, particularly when we’re going to be having a huge debate about how we reform our tax code and how we pay for the government that we need, I think people want to know that everybody has been playing by the same rules, including people who are seeking the highest office in the land.  This is not an entitlement, being President of the United States.  This is a privilege.  And we’ve got to put ourselves before the American people to make our case.

Q    Well, why not send a message to the top super PAC that’s supporting you and say, I think an ad like that is out of bounds?  We shouldn’t be suggesting that —

THE PRESIDENT:  So let’s take that particular issue, as opposed to — because you lumped in a whole bunch of other stuff that I think was entirely legitimate.  I don’t think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for the death of the woman that was portrayed in that ad.  But keep in mind this is an ad that I didn’t approve, I did not produce, and as far as I can tell, has barely run.  I think it ran once.

Now, in contrast, you’ve got Governor Romney creating as a centerpiece of his campaign this notion that we’re taking the work requirement out of welfare, which every single person here who’s looked at it says is patently false.  What he’s arguing is somehow we have changed the welfare requirement — the work requirement in our welfare laws.  And, in fact, what’s happened was that my administration, responding to the requests of five governors, including two Republican governors, agreed to approve giving them, those states, some flexibility in how they manage their welfare rolls as long as it produced 20 percent increases in the number of people who are getting work.

So, in other words, we would potentially give states more flexibility to put more people back to work, not to take them off the work requirement under welfare.  Everybody who has looked at this says what Governor Romney is saying is absolutely wrong.  Not only are his super PACs running millions of dollars’ worth of ads making this claim; Governor Romney himself is approving this and saying it on the stump.

So the contrast I think is pretty stark.  They can run the campaign that they want, but the truth of the matter is you can’t just make stuff up.  That’s one thing you learn as President of the United States.  You get called into account.

And I feel very comfortable with the fact that when you look at the campaign we’re running, we are focused on the issues and the differences that matter to working families all across America.  And that’s exactly the kind of debate the American people deserve.

Jake Tapper.

Q    Mr. President, a couple questions.  One, I’m wondering if you could comment on the recent spate of green-on-blue incidents in Afghanistan, what is being done about it, why your commanders tell you they think that there has been an uptick in this kind of violence; and second, with the economy and unemployment still the focus of so many Americans, what they can expect in the next couple months out of Washington, if anything, when it comes to any attempt to bring some more economic growth to the country.

THE PRESIDENT:  On Afghanistan, obviously we’ve been watching with deep concern these so-called green-on-blue attacks, where you have Afghan individuals, some of whom are actually enrolled in the Afghan military, some in some cases dressing up as Afghan military or police, attacking coalition forces, including our own troops.

I just spoke today to Marty Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who happens to be in Afghanistan.  He is having intensive consultations not only with our commander, John Allen, on the ground, but also with Afghan counterparts.  And I’ll be reaching out to President Karzai as well — because we’ve got to make sure that we’re on top of this.

We are already doing a range of things, and we’re seeing some success when it comes to better counterintelligence, making sure that the vetting process for Afghan troops is stronger.  And we’ve got what’s called the Guardian Angel program, to make sure that our troops aren’t in isolated situations that might make them more vulnerable.  But obviously we’re going to have to do more, because there has been an uptick over the last 12 months on this.

Part of what’s taking place is we are transitioning to Afghan security, and for us to train them effectively, we are in much closer contact — our troops are in much closer contact with Afghan troops on an ongoing basis.  And part of what we’ve got to do is to make sure that this model works but it doesn’t make our guys more vulnerable.

In the long term, we will see fewer U.S. casualties and coalition casualties by sticking to our transition plan and making sure that we’ve got the most effective Afghan security force possible.  But we’ve got to do it in a way that doesn’t leave our guys vulnerable.

So we are deeply concerned about this from top to bottom.  And hopefully, over the next several weeks, we’ll start seeing better progress on this front.

In terms of the economy, I would love to say that when Congress comes back — they’ve got a week or 10 days before they go out and start campaigning again — that we’re going to see a flurry of action.  I can’t guarantee that.  I do think that there’s some specific things they could do that would make a big difference.  I’ll give you a couple of examples.

First of all, just making sure that we’ve got what’s called a continuing resolution so that we don’t have any disruptions and government shutdowns over the next couple months, that’s important.  It appears that there’s an agreement on that, but we want to make sure that that gets done.

Number two, we have put forward an idea that I think a lot of Americans think makes sense, which is we’ve got historically low interest rates now, and the housing market is beginning to tick back up but it’s still not at all where it needs to be.  There are a lot of families out there whose homes are underwater. They owe more than the house is worth because housing values dropped so precipitously, and they’re having trouble refinancing.

We’re going to be pushing Congress to see if they can pass a refinancing bill that puts $3,000 into the pockets of the average family who hasn’t yet refinanced their mortgage.  That’s a big deal.  That $3,00 can be used to strengthen the equity in that person’s home, which would raise home values.  Alternatively, that’s $3,000 in people’s pockets that they can spend on a new computer for their kid going back to school, or new school clothes for their kids, and so that would strengthen the economy as well.

Obviously, the biggest thing that Congress could do would be to come up with a sensible approach to reducing our deficit in ways that we had agreed to and talked about last year.  And I continue to be open to seeing Congress approach this with a balanced plan that has tough spending cuts, building on the trillion dollars’ worth of spending cuts that we’ve already made, but also asks for additional revenue from folks like me, from folks in the top 1 or 2 percent, to make sure that folks who can least afford it aren’t suddenly bearing the burden, and we’re providing some additional certainty to small businesses and families going forward.

Alternatively, they could go ahead and vote for a bill that we’ve said would definitely strengthen the economy, and that is giving everybody who’s making $250,000 a year or less certainty that their taxes aren’t going to go down [sic] next year.  That would make a big difference.

Now, obviously the Republicans have voted that down already once.  It’s not likely, realistically, that they’re going to bring it back up again before Election Day.  But my hope is after the election, people will step back and recognize that that’s a sensible way to bring down our deficit and allow us to still invest in things like education that are going to help the economy grow.

Chuck Todd.

Q    Mr. President, could you update us on your latest thinking of where you think things are in Syria, and in particular, whether you envision using U.S. military, if simply for nothing else, the safe keeping of the chemical weapons, and if you’re confident that the chemical weapons are safe?

I also want to follow up on an answer you just gave to Nancy.  You said that one of the reasons you wanted to see Mitt Romney’s tax returns was you want to see if everybody is playing by the same set of rules.  That actually goes to the question she asked, which is this implication, do you think there’s something Mitt Romney is not telling us in his tax returns that indicates he’s not playing by the same set of rules?

THE PRESIDENT:  No.  There’s a difference between playing by the same sets of rules and doing something illegal.  And in no way have we suggested the latter.  But the first disclosure, the one year of tax returns that he disclosed indicated that he used Swiss bank accounts, for example.  Well, that may be perfectly legal, but I suspect if you ask the average American, do you have one and is that part of how you manage your tax obligations, they would say no.  They would find that relevant information, particularly when we’re going into a time where we know we’re going to have to make tough choices both about spending and about taxes.

So I think the idea that this is somehow exceptional, that there should be a rationale or a justification for doing more than the very bare minimum has it backwards.  I mean, the assumption should be you do what previous presidential candidates did, dating back for decades.  And Governor Romney’s own dad says, well, the reason I put out 10 or 12 years is because any single year might not tell you the whole story.  And everybody has, I think, followed that custom ever since.

The American people have assumed that if you want to be President of the United States, that your life is an open book   when it comes to things like your finances.  I’m not asking him to disclose every detail of his medical records — although we normally do that as well — (laughter.)  You know?  I mean, this isn’t sort of overly personal here, guys.  This is pretty standard stuff.  I don’t think we’re being mean by asking him to do what every other presidential candidate has done — right?  It’s what the American people expect.

On Syria, obviously this is a very tough issue.  I have indicated repeatedly that President al-Assad has lost legitimacy, that he needs to step down.  So far, he hasn’t gotten the message, and instead has double downed in violence on his own people.  The international community has sent a clear message that rather than drag his country into civil war he should move in the direction of a political transition.  But at this point, the likelihood of a soft landing seems pretty distant.

What we’ve said is, number one, we want to make sure we’re providing humanitarian assistance, and we’ve done that to the tune of $82 million, I believe, so far.  And we’ll probably end up doing a little more because we want to make sure that the hundreds of thousands of refugees that are fleeing the mayhem, that they don’t end up creating — or being in a terrible situation, or also destabilizing some of Syria’s neighbors.

The second thing we’ve done is we said that we would provide, in consultation with the international community, some assistance to the opposition in thinking about how would a political transition take place, and what are the principles that should be upheld in terms of looking out for minority rights and human rights.  And that consultation is taking place.

I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation.  But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical.  That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel.  It concerns us.  We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.

We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus.  That would change my equation.

Q    So you’re confident it’s somehow under — it’s safe?

THE PRESIDENT:  In a situation this volatile, I wouldn’t say that I am absolutely confident.  What I’m saying is we’re monitoring that situation very carefully.  We have put together a range of contingency plans.  We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that’s a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons.  That would change my calculations significantly.

All right, thank you, everybody.

END
1:49 P.M. EDT

Full Text Political Headlines August 4, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: House Leader Eric Cantor and the Problem with Taxes

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: House Leader Eric Cantor and the Problem with Taxes

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-4-12

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In this week’s Republican address, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor focuses on rebutting the president’s tax proposals, but joins the president in wishing well for the athletes.

“Watching the Olympics this week, I am reminded that one of the things that sets America apart is that ordinary people have the freedom to accomplish extraordinary things,” Cantor states. “Every day I hear from Americans who are ready to do the extraordinary: Open a new business, create new jobs, build a better future for our children and theirs.  All they ask is that Washington get out of the way.”

“While we continue to work to provide solutions here at home, we wish our athletes in London the very best,” he said….READ MORE

 

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Delivers Weekly Republican Address

Source: House Majority Leader, 8-4-12

“Hello, I’m Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, from Virginia.

“Throughout the country, whether I’m in my hometown of Richmond or on the road, I hear a lot from small business owners…people who have chased their dreams, taken risks and built a business. They tell me that they are deeply concerned about what Washington will do next. The threat of higher taxes and more red tape has our small business owners anxiously sitting on the sidelines rather than starting a new business and hiring another employee. They tell me they long for the moment when they can once again think about growing their businesses and hiring people.

“These men and women know what some in Washington apparently do not, that higher taxes and more regulations do not create jobs. Entrepreneurs do. Red tape and new taxes just make the job of creating jobs that much harder. This week in Washington, we saw a collision of two very different plans for economic growth.

“House Republicans, joined by 19 Democrats, passed a bill to stop the looming tax hike that will hit all Americans next year. On the other side of the Capitol, in the Senate, a Democrat-only plan to hike taxes passed. The President sided with Harry Reid and the Democrats, insisting that their plan to raise taxes was the answer for economic growth.

“But a recent independent study concluded that the President’s tax hike could result in the loss of over 700,000 jobs.

“You know, it’s odd that less than two years ago President Obama actually agreed with House Republicans that a tax increase on our small businessmen and women would hurt our economy. This raises the question: does President Obama now believe our economy is doing so well that we can afford to raise taxes on small businesses?

“Today, there are millions of Americans who are looking for work or trying to decide whether to open a new business. They are rightly frustrated by the lack of results in Washington. But I am hopeful that with the passage of a bipartisan bill to stop the tax hike in the House and with unemployment still above 8 percent that President Obama will return to the position that he embraced less than two years ago and agree that now is NOT the time to be raising taxes on small business job-creators and the hardworking taxpayers of this country.

“We have made clear our willingness to be here in Washington if the President and Harry Reid will finally decide to join us in a bipartisan solution to stop the massive tax hike.

“Watching the Olympics this week, I am reminded that one of things that sets America apart is that ordinary people have the freedom to accomplish extraordinary things. Every day I hear from Americans who are ready to do the extraordinary… open a new business… create new jobs… build a better future for our children and theirs. All they ask is that Washington get out of the way. After over 40 straight months of 8 percent-plus unemployment, isn’t it time to make jobs priority one?

“While we continue to work to provide solutions here at home, we wish our athletes in London the very best. Thank you for joining me.”

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

Political Headlines July 28, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Sen. Orrin Hatch Says Raising Taxes Is ‘Not a Solution’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: Sen. Orrin Hatch Says Raising Taxes Is ‘Not a Solution’

Source: ABC News Radio, 7-28-12

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Raising taxes on businesses is the wrong solution while in the middle of economic crisis, according to Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah who delivers this week’s Republican address.

Sen. Hatch warns Americans about the impending tax hike set to hit “middle-class families, job creators and seniors” if the president and Congress don’t act soon.

“The uncertainty caused by this tax crisis — or Taxmageddon — is contributing to America’s lackluster economic recovery,” he says in the address. “That’s not a Republican talking point; that’s based on what job creators across the country are saying.”….READ MORE

Political Headlines June 2, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Sen. John Cornyn Cautions Against ‘Taxmageddon’ Unless Congress Extends Bush Tax Cuts

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

GOP Weekly Address: Sen. Cornyn Cautions Against ‘Taxmageddon’

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-2-12

United States Senate

In this week’s Republican address, Texas Sen. John Cornyn warns Americans of ‘Taxmageddon’ — or what the GOP says will be the “largest tax increase in American history” without action by Congress and the president.

“Make no mistake: every single working American will see his or her taxes go up on January 1st absent action,” Cornyn says in the address. “Family budgets will be squeezed even tighter. Disposable income will shrink.  And many jobs will be destroyed.”

WATCH Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, deliver this week’s GOP Address…READ MORE

White House Recap May 12-18, 2012: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Honors Barnard Graduates, Fallen Law Enforcement Officials, LA Galaxy — Awards Medal of Honor & Discussed Congress Economic “To-Do-List”

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: MAY 12-18, 2012

This week, the President discussed his plan to help responsible homeowners, honored law enforcement officers, awarded the Medal of Honor and continued to call on Congress to act on a “To Do List”

West Wing Week

Weekly Wrap Up: Courage and Sacrifice

Source: WH, 5-18-12

Fight for Your Seat: President Obama traveled to New York City to deliver his first commencement address of the year at Barnard College, one of the famous “Seven Sisters” private female liberal arts colleges. HIs first piece advice to the graduates was: “Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.”

Celebrating Soccer Champions: On Tuesday, President Obama welcomed the L.A. Galaxy to the White House to congratulate the team on their 2011 Major League Soccer Cup Championship. The star-studded team won a tough championship match after going undefeated at home all season long, and as President Obama noted, “You combined star power, hard work; it paid off.”

What Comes with the Badge: President Obama visited the U.S. Capitol for a ceremony where he paid tribute to law enforcement officials who were killed in the line of duty in the previous year. “Every American who wears the badge knows the burdens that come with it – the long hours and the stress; the knowledge that just about any moment could be a matter of life or death. You carry these burdens so the rest of us don’t have to,” the President said, acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice of all of those who serve as law enforcement officers across our country.

Above and Beyond: On Wednesday, President Obama awarded a Medal of Honor for valor above and beyond the call of duty to Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., an Army Specialist who died while serving in Cambodia in 1970. In honoring Sabo, who received the award posthumously, President Obama also paid tribute to those who served alongside him in the Vietnam era: “This medal is bestowed on a single soldier for his single courage. But it speaks to the service of an entire generation, and to the sacrifice of so many military families.”

Spruce Street at Taylor Gourmet: President Obama joined Small Business Administrator Karen Mills at Taylor Gourmet, a quickly expanding hoagie shop in Washington, D.C. for a roundtable with the business’ owners. President Obama discussed his To-Do List for Congress which includes passing legislation to help hard working small business owners create jobs by giving them a tax credit for new hires and tax relief for investments they make.

Fighting Global Hunger: At Friday’s Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, President Obama announced that leaders at the G8 meeting this weekend at Camp David would devote a special session to the chronic hunger facing nearly 1 billion people around the world. G8 and African leaders will launch a major new alliance with private sector partners with a clear goal of reducing hunger and lifting 50 million people out of poverty by investing in Africa’s agricultural economy.

Full Text Obama Presidency March 31, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges Congress to Pass the Buffett Rule So That Everyone Pays Their Fair Share of Taxes

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Weekly Address: Passing the Buffett Rule So That Everyone Pays Their Fair Share

President Obama calls on Congress to pass the Buffett Rule, a principle that ensures that millionaires and billionaires do not pay less in taxes as a share of their income than middle class families pay — as a matter of fairness.

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address, White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 3/29/12
Source: WH, 3-31-12
President Obama calls on Congress to pass the Buffett Rule, a principle that ensures that millionaires and billionaires do not pay less in taxes as a share of their income than middle class families pay — as a matter of fairness.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Passing the Buffett Rule so that Everyone Pays Their Fair Share

In this week’s address, President Obama calls on Congress to pass the Buffett Rule, a principle of fairness that ensures that millionaires and billionaires do not pay less in taxes as a share of their income than middle class families pay.  The President believes our system must ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share, while protecting 98 percent of Americans from seeing their taxes go up at all. That is why the President proposed the Buffett Rule, which will help make our system reflect our values so that all Americans get a fair shot, play by the same rules, and pay their fair share.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
March 31, 2012

Hello.

Over the last few months, I’ve been talking about a choice we face as a country.  We can either settle for an economy where a few people do really well and everyone else struggles to get by, or we can build an economy where hard work pays off again – where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.  That’s up to us.

Today, I want to talk to you about the idea that everyone in this country should do their fair share.

Now, if this were a perfect world, we’d have unlimited resources.  No one would ever have to pay any taxes, and we could spend as much as we wanted.  But we live in the real world.  We don’t have unlimited resources.  We have a deficit that needs to be paid down.  And we also have to pay for investments that will help our economy grow and keep our country safe: education, research and technology, a strong military, and retirement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

That means we have to make choices.  When it comes to paying down the deficit and investing in our future, should we ask middle-class Americans to pay even more at a time when their budgets are already stretched to the breaking point?  Or should we ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share?

That’s the choice.  Over the last decade, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars on what was supposed to be a temporary tax cut for the wealthiest two percent of Americans.  Now we’re scheduled to spend almost a trillion more. Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years.  Warren Buffett is paying a lower rate than his secretary.  Meanwhile, over the last 30 years, the tax rates for middle class families have barely budged.

That’s not fair.  It doesn’t make any sense.  Do we want to keep giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans like me, or Warren Buffett, or Bill Gates – people who don’t need them and never asked for them?  Or do we want to keep investing in things that will grow our economy and keep us secure?  Because we can’t afford to do both.

Now, some people call this class warfare.  But I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense.  We don’t envy success in this country.  We aspire to it.  But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead – not just a few.

That’s the America I believe in.  And in the next few weeks, Members of Congress will get a chance to show you where they stand.  Congress is going to vote on what’s called the Buffett Rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle class families do.  On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year – like 98 percent of American families do – your taxes shouldn’t go up.  You’re the ones struggling with the rising cost of everything from college tuition to groceries.  You’re the ones who deserve a break.

So every Member of Congress is going to go on record.  And if they vote to keep giving tax breaks to people like me – tax breaks our country can’t afford – then they’re going to have to explain to you where that money comes from.  Either it’s going to add to our deficit, or it’s going to come out of your pocket.  Seniors will have to pay more for their Medicare benefits.  Students will see their interest rates go up at a time when they can’t afford it.  Families who are scraping by will have to do more because the richest Americans are doing less.

That’s not right.  That’s not who we are.   In America, our story has never been about what we can do by ourselves – it’s about what we can do together.  It’s about believing in our future and the future of this country.  So tell your Members of Congress to do the right thing.  Call them up, write them a letter, pay them a visit, and tell them to stop giving tax breaks to people who don’t need them and start investing in the things that will help our economy grow and put people back to work.

That’s how we’ll make this country a little fairer, a little more just, and a whole lot stronger.  Thank you.

Full Text Obama Presidency March 29, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Calls on Congress to End Oil and Gas Subsidies

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Speaks on Repealing Subsidies for Oil Companies

President Obama Speaks on Repealing Subsidies for Oil Companies

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President on Oil and Gas Subsidies

Rose Garden

11:00 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)   Everybody, please have a seat.  Sorry we’re running just a little bit behind, but I figured it’s a great day to enjoy the Rose Garden.

Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make:  They can stand with the big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.

Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits –- profits that go up every time folks pull up into a gas station.  But on top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year — billions a year in taxpayer subsidies -– a subsidy that they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.

Think about that.  It’s like hitting the American people twice.  You’re already paying a premium at the pump right now.  And on top of that, Congress, up until this point, has thought it was a good idea to send billions of dollars more in tax dollars to the oil industry.

It’s not as if these companies can’t stand on their own.  Last year, the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profits.  Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour.  And when the price of oil goes up, prices at the pump go up, and so do these companies’ profits.  In fact, one analysis shows that every time gas goes up by a penny, these companies usually pocket another $200 million in quarterly profits.  Meanwhile, these companies pay a lower tax rate than most other companies on their investments, partly because we’re giving them billions in tax giveaways every year.

Now, I want to make clear, we all know that drilling for oil has to be a key part of our overall energy strategy.  We want U.S. oil companies to be doing well.  We want them to succeed.  That’s why under my administration, we’ve opened up millions of acres of federal lands and waters to oil and gas production.  We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high.  We’ve added enough oil and gas pipeline to circle the Earth and then some.  And just yesterday, we announced the next step for potential new oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic.

So the fact is, we’re producing more oil right now than we have in eight years, and we’re importing less of it as well.  For two years in a row, America has bought less oil from other countries than we produce here at home -– for the first time in over a decade.

So American oil is booming.  The oil industry is doing just fine.  With record profits and rising production, I’m not worried about the big oil companies.  With high oil prices around the world, they’ve got more than enough incentive to produce even more oil.  That’s why I think it’s time they got by without more help from taxpayers who are already having a tough enough time paying the bills and filling up their gas tank.  And I think it’s curious that some folks in Congress, who are the first to belittle investments in new sources of energy, are the ones that are fighting the hardest to maintain these giveaways for the oil companies.

Instead of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, we should be using that money to double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising — investments in wind power and solar power and biofuels; investments in fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and energy-efficient homes and buildings.  That’s the future.  That’s the only way we’re going to break this cycle of high gas prices that happen year after year after year.  As the economy is growing, the only time you start seeing lower gas prices is when the economy is doing badly.  That’s not the kind of pattern that we want to be in.  We want the economy doing well, and people to be able to afford their energy costs.

And keep in mind, we can’t just drill our way out of this problem.  As I said, oil production here in the United States is doing very well, and it’s been doing well even as gas prices are going up.  Well, the reason is because we use more than 20 percent of the world’s oil but we only have 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.  And that means we could drill every drop of American oil tomorrow but we’d still have to buy oil from other countries to make up the difference.  We’d still have to depend on other countries to meet our energy needs.  And because it’s a world market, the fact that we’re doing more here in the United States doesn’t necessarily help us because even U.S. oil companies they’re selling that oil on a worldwide market.  They’re not keeping it just for us.  And that means that if there’s rising demand around the world then the prices are going to up.

That’s not the future that I want for America.  I don’t want folks like these back here and the folks in front of me to have to pay more at the pump every time that there’s some unrest in the Middle East and oil speculators get nervous about whether there’s going to be enough supply.  I don’t want our kids to be held hostage to events on the other side of the world.

I want us to control our own destiny.  I want us to forge our own future.  And that’s why, as long as I’m President, America is going to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy, which means we will continue developing our oil and gas resources in a robust and responsible way.  But it also means that we’re going to keep developing more advanced homegrown biofuels, the kinds that are already powering truck fleets across America.

We’re going to keep investing in clean energy like the wind power and solar power that’s already lighting thousands of homes and creating thousands of jobs.  We’re going to keep manufacturing more cars and trucks to get more miles to the gallon so that you can fill up once every two weeks instead of every week.  We’re going to keep building more homes and businesses that waste less energy so that you’re in charge of your own energy bills.

We’re going to do all of this by harnessing our most inexhaustible resource:  American ingenuity and American imagination.  That’s what we need to keep going.  That’s what’s at stake right now.  That’s the choice that we face.  And that’s the choice that’s facing Congress today.  They can either vote to spend billions of dollars more in oil subsidies that keep us trapped in the past, or they can vote to end these taxpayer subsidies that aren’t needed to boost oil production so that we can invest in the future.  It’s that simple.

And as long as I’m President, I’m betting on the future.  And as the people I’ve talked to around the country, including the people who are behind me here today, they put their faith in the future as well.  That’s what we do as Americans.  That’s who we are.  We innovate.  We discover.  We seek new solutions to some of our biggest challenges.  And, ultimately, because we stick with it, we succeed.  And I believe that we’re going to do that again.  Today, the American people are going to be watching Congress to see if they have that same faith.

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

END
11:08 A.M. EDT

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