09.09.11 1:48 PM ET
Best Moments From Jobs Speech
Pass This Plan!
President Obama kicked off his speech with a direct call to action. “Pass this jobs bill,” he urged, promising his “American Jobs Act” is the solution for putting people back to work. “There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation,” he said sternly before outlining points in the plan he said were favorable to both Democrats and Republicans. Watch him urge Congress to skip the political pandering and act instantly for the sake of the American economy.
More Tax Cuts for the Middle Class
Doing everything possible to appeal to the masses, Obama offered a $1,500 tax cut for the “typical working family.” The proposed plan would expand on the cuts already in place, provide credit for companies that hire new workers, and lower taxes for small businesses. “I know some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone as long as you live,” he said, sprinkling a bit of sarcasm into his plea. “Now is not the time to carve out an exception.”
Basic Protections Will Stand
Obama promised that this economic crisis would not “be used as an excuse” to cut basic protections that “Americans have counted on for decades.” Credit-card regulations, health-care laws and collective-bargaining rights were all points he cited, saying they can’t be sacrificed for the sake of economic growth. “I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety,” he said, listing off the protections he vowed will stand.
Skepticism and Politics of the Moment
Time is of the essence, and Obama was sure to make that clear. “The next election is 14 months away … The people that hired us to work for them, they don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months,” he said. Watch him urge lawmakers not to wait for the next ballot box or get caught up in “tweets flying back and forth” before acting on behalf of their constituents.
Medicare: The Case for Changes
“We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it,” President Obama said, even though some members of his own party have staunch views against changes. He urged “gradual reform” for the sake of Americans who “earn it,” saying the system as it stands is not financially sustainable.
Taking the Fight to the People
The president ended on an ominous note, urging, yet again, for lawmakers to put aside any political bickering. “This plan is the right thing to do right now. You should pass it,” he declared, drawing the line in the sand and seemingly kicking off his reelection campaign.