During his latest speech focusing on economy in Chattanooga, U.S. state of Tennessee, Obama stressed U.S. policymakers should secure a better bargain for the middle class -- a national strategy to make sure everyone who works hard has a chance to succeed in the 21st century economy.
"Over the past four and a half years, we've been fighting our way back from a devastating recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, and their savings -- a recession that laid bare the long erosion of middle-class security," he said.
"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," Obama stressed.
Reversing this trend must be Washington's highest priority, said Obama, adding that policymakers should endeavor to achieve a "grand bargain" for creating middle-class jobs.
Over the past four years, for the first time since the 1990s, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States hasn't gone down. "Now we have to build on that progress. Let's offer new tax incentives for manufacturers that bring jobs back to America, and new tax credits so communities hit hardest by plant closures can attract new investment," Obama suggested.
"I'm willing to simplify our tax code in a way that closes those loopholes, ends incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lowers rates for businesses that create jobs right here in America," he proposed.
"Let's put more construction workers back on the job doing the work America needs done -- vital projects our businesses need," he added.
The nation will keep creating good jobs in wind, solar and natural gas that are reducing energy costs, reducing dangerous carbon pollution, and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"Now is not the time to gut the investments in American technology that have brought us to this point -- now is the time to double down on renewables, and biofuels, and electric vehicles, and the research that will shift our cars and trucks off oil for good," Obama noted.
"I'm asking Congress for the authority to negotiate the best trade deals possible for our workers along with robust training and assistance measures to make sure our workers have the support and skills they need for good jobs," Obama said.
"We're not lacking for ideas. We're just lacking for action. And for much of the past two years, Washington has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to the middle class," he charged.
The White House has been buffeted recently by controversies over surveillance of citizens' phone and Internet activity by U.S. intelligence agencies and Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservatives groups seeking tax-exempt status.
The administration also confronts a fiscal deadline on Oct. 1, when spending legislation is needed to keep government programs running. Lawmakers will also need to raise the nation's debt limit, probably in November, to avoid a debt default.
While Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, have not unveiled a coherent strategy for these measures, individual members of the House and Senate have threatened to use them as they have in the past to extract concessions from the White House on spending, and perhaps on Obamacare - the president's signature healthcare law set for launch on Oct. 1.
Congress breaks in August, so there are only four weeks of legislative activity before the government funding deadline.
--ANI (Posted on 31-07-2013)