President Barack Obama today spoke at Knox College in Galesburg, Ilinois to push an economic message that focuses on the middle class. Obama promoted what he calls the "cornerstones" of middle class economic security, such as education, good jobs, affordable housing, healthcare and retirement security. A video and transcript of Obama's speech can be found here. Among the highlights of President Obama's speech were:
Economic progress -- Obama stated that, five years after a major economic recession began, America has fought its way back, creating 7.2 million jobs, having a growing economy, and even producing more oil than it imports.
Infrastructure -- Speaking from President Abraham Lincoln’s home state, President Obama noted that “Lincoln was all about building stuff,” referring to Lincoln’s building projects such as the Transcontinental Railroad. Obama favors putting Americans back to work fixing the nation's roads and bridges, many of which are in dire need of repair, as well as building systems to provide high speed Internet and high tech transportation.
Education -- President Obama called for Congress to reverse its recent inaction which caused student loan interest rates to double.
Healthcare -- Obama said that the Affordable Care Act a/k/a “Obamacare” is working, and will be fully implemented. He said that the Affordable Care Act is lowering healthcare costs, including in New York State, where costs for premiums are expected to decline by 50 percent next year. Obama said that, beginning January 1, 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to Americans who have pre-existing conditions.
Jobs -- President Obama stated that he wants to create incentives to bring more manufacturing jobs back to America, and to create jobs in alternative energy industries such as wind and solar power and natural gas. Obama also called for raising the minimum wage, which has not been raised in several years.
Taxes -- Obama mentioned that the very wealthiest Americans had been asked "to pay a little more," and called on Congress to achieve further tax fairness by closing corporate loopholes.
Housing -- President Obama noted that, after a housing crisis that was a large part of the recession, today home "sales are up, prices are up, and fewer Americans see their homes underwater."
Retirement security -- Obama stated that the U.S. tax code should be reformed "to make it easier for workers to put money away, and free middle class families from the fear that they'll never be able to retire."
President Obama's Galesburg speech was the first of what the White House has announced will be a series of economic speeches by the President.
© 2013 Matthew Emmer -- All Rights Reserved
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