The President's Weekly Address
Hi, everybody. I'm talking with you today from Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, where I just held a town hall and heard from everyday Americans about what we can do together to make their lives a little better.
This week, we got news that confirms what we already know: that our businesses continue to create jobs for hard-working folks all across the country. Last month, America's businesses added another 267,000 jobs. In 2014, our economy created more than 3.1 million jobs in all, the best year for job growth since the late 1990s. All told, over the past 59 months, the private sector has added 11.8 million new jobs, the longest streak on record. And in the single most hopeful sign for middle class families, wages are rising again.
So America is poised for another good year, as long as Washington works to keep this progress going. We have to choose: Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well, or will we build an economy where everyone who works hard can get ahead?
Because while we've come a long way, we've got more work to do to make sure that our recovery reaches more Americans, not just those at the top. That's what middle class economics is all about: the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.
This week, I sent Congress a budget built on middle class economics. It helps families afford childcare, health care, college, paid leave at work, homeownership, and saving for retirement. And it could put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of a working family each year. It helps more Americans learn new skills to earn higher wages, including by making 2 years of community college free for responsible students all across the country. It invests in the research and infrastructure our businesses need to compete and create high-paying jobs. And it pays for this with smart spending cuts and by fixing a Tax Code that's riddled with special-interest loopholes for folks who don't need them, allowing us to offer tax breaks to students and families who do need them.
I believe this is where we need to go to give working families more security in a time of constant economic change. And I'll work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who wants to get to "yes" on these issues. We won't agree on everything, and that's natural. But we should stop refighting old battles and start working together to help you succeed in the new economy.
That's what you elected us to do: not to turn everything into another Washington food fight, but to have debates that are worthy of this country and to build an economy not just where everyone can share in America's success, but where everyone can contribute to America's success.
Thanks, and have a great weekend.
NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 3:30 p.m. on February 6 in Conference Room 121 of the Corporate College and Culinary Center at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, IN, for broadcast on February 7. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on February 6, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on February 7.
Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/309365