The President's Weekly Address
We all know the past few years have been difficult for this country. After the worst recession of our lifetimes, it's going to take longer than any of us would like for the economy to fully recover. But there are plenty of steps we can take to speed up the recovery. There are things we can do right now to help create jobs and restore some of the financial security that so many families have lost.
Now, the other side isn't so optimistic. They think all we can do is cut taxes, especially for the wealthiest Americans, and go back to letting banks and corporations write their own rules again. That's their plan.
But I think they're wrong. We tried their ideas for nearly a decade, and it didn't work out so well. We can't go back to the same policies that got us into this mess. We've got to move forward. We need to build an economy where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, where you can find a good job, own your own home, maybe start a businesses, and give your kids the chance to do even better.
That's where we need to go. And I've been pushing Congress to help us get there by passing a few commonsense policies that would make a difference. Democrats and Republicans have already done some important work together, from passing tax cuts for workers, to opening up new markets for American products, to reforming our patent system. But now we need to do more.
That's why we made Congress a handy to-do list, just like the kind I get from Michelle. It's short, but each of the ideas on this list will help create jobs and build a stronger economy right now.
First, Congress should stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that bring jobs back to America.
Second, Congress should help the millions of Americans who have worked hard and made their mortgage payments on time refinance their mortgages at lower rates and save at least $3,000 a year.
Third, Congress should help small-business owners by giving them a tax break for hiring more workers and paying them higher wages. Small businesses are the engine of economic growth in this country. We shouldn't be holding them back; we should be making it easier for them to succeed.
Fourth, if Congress fails to act soon, clean energy companies will see their taxes go up and could be forced to lay off employees. These companies are putting Americans to work and helping break our dependence on foreign oil. Congress should extend these tax credits.
And finally, Congress should help our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan by creating a veterans' job corps. Our men and women in uniform have served this country with honor. Now it's our turn to serve them.
So that's Congress's to-do list. But now we need them to start crossing things off. I need you to call your Members of Congress, write them an e-mail, tweet, and let them know we can't afford to wait any longer to get things done. Tell them now is the time to take steps we know will grow our economy and create jobs.
You're working harder. You're meeting your responsibilities, and your representatives in Washington should do the same. Let's push Congress to do the right thing. Let's keep moving this country forward together.
Thanks, and have a great weekend.
Note: The address was recorded at approximately 9:15 a.m. on May 11 in the Stardust Room at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, for broadcast on May 12. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 11, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on May 12.
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/301530