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President Barack Obama's Weekly Address | “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class”

Uploaded 08/03/2013

“A Better Bargain for the Middle Class”

In this week’s address, President Obama tells the American people that his plan for creating a better bargain for the middle class builds on the progress we’ve made, fighting our way back from the worst economic recession of our lifetimes.

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Hi, everybody.  This week, I went down to an Amazon warehouse in Tennessee to talk more about what we need to do to secure a better bargain for the middle class – to make sure that anyone who works hard can get ahead in the 21st century economy.

Over the past four and a half years, we’ve fought our way back from the worst recession of our lifetimes and begun to lay a foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.  Today, our businesses have created 7.3 million new jobs over the last 41 months.  We now sell more products made in America to the rest of the world than ever before.  Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years, and our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.

But as any middle-class family will tell you, we’re not where we need to be yet.  Even before the crisis hit, we were living through a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better, while most families were working harder and harder just to get by.

Reversing this trend must be Washington’s highest priority.  It’s certainly mine.  But too often over the past two years, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.  They’ve allowed an endless parade of political posturing and phony scandals to distract from growing our economy and strengthening the middle class.

That’s why I’m laying out my ideas for how we can build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America.  A good education.  A home of your own.  Health care when you get sick.  A secure retirement even if you’re not rich.  And the most important cornerstone of all: a good job in a durable, growing industry.

When it comes to creating more good jobs that pay decent wages, the problem is not a lack of ideas.  Plenty of independent economists, business owners and people from both parties agree on what we have to do.  I proposed many of these ideas two years ago in the American Jobs Act.  And this week, I put forward common-sense proposals for how we can create more jobs in manufacturing; in wind, solar and natural gas; and by rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

What we’re lacking is action from Washington.  And that’s why, in addition to proposing ideas that we know will grow our economy, I’ve also put forward a strategy for breaking through the Washington logjam – a “grand bargain” for the middle class.

I’m willing to work with Republicans to simplify our tax code for businesses large and small, but only if we take the money we save by transitioning to a simpler tax system and make a significant investment in creating good, middle-class jobs.  We can put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our infrastructure.  We can boost manufacturing, so more American companies can sell their products around the world.  And we can help our community colleges arm our workers with the skills they need in a global economy – all without adding a dime to the deficit.

I’ll keep laying out my ideas to give the middle class a better shot in the 21st century, and I’ll keep reaching out to Republicans for theirs.  But gutting critical investments in our future and threatening national default on the bills that Congress has already racked up – that’s not an economic plan.  Denying health care to millions of Americans, or shutting down the government just because I’m for keeping it open – that won’t help the middle class.

The truth is, there are no gimmicks when it comes to creating jobs.  There are no tricks to grow the economy.  Reversing the long erosion of middle-class security in this country won’t be easy.  But if we work together and take a few bold steps – and if Washington is willing to set aside politics and focus on what really matters – we can grow our economy and give the middle class a better bargain.  And together, we can make this country a place where everyone who works hard can get ahead.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

11 Comments for President Barack Obama's Weekly Address: “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class”
  1. So funny, mention Obama and the low IQ’s come out

  2. Chris Rider Chris Rider says:

    The health care plan will nearly kill the middle class through taxation. Our taxes will be higher as we “grow” then we actually make less than we made 10 years ago. I think the health care will only help the poor who already have free healthcare.
    Lets not forget Jerry Browns enacted plan that everyone in CA has to be covered for maternity, this means ALL men, children and women. Frustrating as all Hell.

  3. The only thing that’s phony is Obama!

  4. If I hear him say ‘phony scandals’ ONE MORE TIME……… I guess finding out why 4 Americans died in Benghazi (I actually think he knows why and is laying low because his administration was doing something very illegal and it was his fault but like always he won’t own up to it) and particular groups and individuals were targeted by the IRS (overwhelmingly conservatives which I am convinced he gave the order and again won’t own up to it) and going after reporters (conservatives of course), etc. …. are NOT his top priority. His definition of ‘progress’ is once again redefining a word to suit him.

  5. “progress we’ve made” to shrink the labor force and put more people on foodstamps. making people dependent is “progress” to a Democrat

  6. Well, the recession is alive and well in our household.

  7. Is this all you have to say about this continuing lie from this pathetic president? He still thinks we are THAT stupid. Unfortunately he is right about his worshippers. Astounding ignorance from too many so-called Americans.

  8. Eric Baker Eric Baker says:

    If Obama said the sky was blue, i’d have to look outside to double check.

  9. How many times in his Presidency has Obama said he’s pivoting back the economy? But each time we hear this, the result is either inaction or results like Obamacare which is such a mess that the IRS will not even be able to enforce mandates or verify that the much vaunted tax breaks will go to individuals and families that are actually paying for healthcare.

    Please stick to local news unless you are willing to broadcast what the opposition says about Obama’s policies.

    • The answer to how many time he’s pivoting back to the economy is 19 times through his 2 terms so far. It is used as a distraction – always keep your eye on his other hand.

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