Entries in Obama Weekly Address (26)


Obama's Weekly Address: Making the Country 'A Little Fairer'

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza (WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is urging Congress to pass the “Buffett Rule,” saying lawmakers who oppose it will have to “go on record” and explain to the American people where they are getting the money to keep funding tax breaks for the wealthy.
“We have to make choices. When it comes to paying down the deficit and investing in our future, should we ask middle-class Americans to pay even more at a time when their budgets are already stretched to the breaking point? Or should we ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share?” Obama said in his weekly address.
The president’s proposal would require those making more than $1 million a year to pay at least the same tax rate as middle class families. The rule is named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has said publicly that he should not pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.
“Some people call this class warfare. But I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense. We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead -- not just a few,” the president said.
Obama, who has positioned himself to run against the “do-nothing Congress,” said if lawmakers “vote to keep giving tax breaks to people like me -- tax breaks our country can’t afford -- then they’re going to have to explain to you where that money comes from.”
“Either it’s going to add to our deficit, or it’s going to come out of your pocket. Seniors will have to pay more for their Medicare benefits. Students will see their interest rates go up at a time when they can’t afford it. Families who are scraping by will have to do more because the richest Americans are doing less,” he said. “That’s not right.  That’s not who we are. In America, our story has never been about what we can do by ourselves -- it’s about what we can do together.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama: 'Democrats and Republicans Have to Work Together'

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama in his weekly radio address urged Congress to compromise on the looming debt ceiling deal and reduce the federal budget deficit.

"We need an approach that goes after waste in the budget and gets rid of pet projects that cost billions of dollars," the President said. "We need an approach that makes cuts to worthy programs, cuts I wouldn't make under normal circumstances and we need an approach that asks everybody to do their part."

The President also called for solidarity, since both Democrats and Republicans share the blame for overspending.

"Folks in Washington like to blame one another for this problem but the truth is neither party is blameless and both parties have a responsibility to do something about it.

"Democrats and Republicans have to work together.  It means we need to put aside our differences to do what's right for the country."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Working Together to Meet our Fiscal Challenges

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- On the heels of Friday's dismal jobs reports, and with another round of deficit negotiations on the horizon, the president says “the last thing we can afford is the usual partisan game-playing in Washington.”
In his weekly address Obama says that “by getting our fiscal house in order,” Congress will be in a “stronger position” to focus on job creating measures, such as investments in infrastructure and patent reform.
Reaching an agreement to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling will mean “businesses that may be holding back because of the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of a default by the U.S. government will have greater confidence to invest and create jobs,” Obama says.
To do so, the President says, “we need a balanced approach.”
“That means taking on spending in our domestic programs and our defense programs. It means addressing the challenges in programs like Medicare so we can strengthen those programs and protect them for future generations. And it means taking on spending in the tax code -- spending on tax breaks and deductions for the wealthiest Americans,” he says.
While the President admits “that Republicans and Democrats don't see eye to eye on a number of issues,” he stresses that “we agree on some of the big things.”
“We agree that after a decade of racking up deficits and debt, we finally need to get our fiscal house in order,” he says. “We agree that to do that, both sides are going to have to step outside their comfort zones and make some political sacrifices. And we agree that we simply cannot afford to default on our national obligations for the first time in our history; that we need to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Address: No Mention of Jobs Numbers, Touts Auto Industry Progress

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Taped from the floor of the Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio Friday President Obama touts the progress in the auto industry, again without directly mentioning Friday’s disappointing jobs numbers.
“Today, each of the Big Three automakers -- Chrysler, GM and Ford -- is turning a profit for the first time since 2004,” Obama says, “Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes American taxpayers for their support during my presidency -- and it repaid that money six years ahead of schedule.  And this week, we reached a deal to sell our remaining stake. That means soon, Chrysler will be 100 percent in private hands.”
The president made no specific mention of the jobs numbers -- but, as he did in his formal remarks Friday afternoon, broadly states that the economy is still far from where it needs to be.
“We’ve got a ways to go.  Even though our economy has created more than two million private sector jobs over the past 15 months and continues to grow, we’re facing some tough headwinds. Lately, it’s high gas prices, the earthquake in Japan, and unease about the European fiscal situation. That will happen from time to time. There will be bumps on the road to recovery.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Calls for 'No Child Left Behind' Replacement

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address President Obama calls on Congress to replace No Child Left Behind this year.
“Reform just can’t wait,” Mr. Obama says.
The president uses his trip to Memphis on Monday, where he spoke at “Commencement Challenge” winner Booker T. Washington High School’s high school graduation, as an example of where reforms can help student’s outcomes and raise graduation rates.
“If anyone doubts this, they ought to head to Booker T. Washington High.  They ought to meet the inspiring young people who overcame so much, and worked so hard, to earn their diplomas -- in a school that believed in their promise and gave them the opportunity to succeed.  We need to give every child in America that chance.  That’s why education reform matters.”
The president says that the school is no longer about “what’s wrong in education. It’s a story about how we can set it right.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Weekly Address: Obama Again Tries to Show He Feels Your Pain

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address, President Obama once again lays out what he’s doing to respond to the apparent pain America is feeling at the gas pumps. However, he admits “there’s no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away.” 
Obama says a smart answer to soaring gas prices is investing in clean renewable energy. 

“In the long term, that’s the answer. That’s the key to helping families at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Trying once again to show he gets it, Obama talks about the anxiety felt by so many Americans this Easter and Passover. 
“Your paycheck isn’t getting bigger, while the cost of everything from college for your kids to gas for your car keeps rising.  That’s something on a lot of people’s minds right now, with gas prices at $4 a gallon.  It’s just another burden when things were already pretty tough.”
The president's address also includes a mention of the upcoming battle over the debt with his critiques of the Republican plan. He says he disagrees strongly with proposed cuts to clean energy. 

“Yes, we have to get rid of wasteful spending -- and make no mistake, we’re going through every line of the budget scouring for savings. But we can do that without sacrificing our future,” Obama says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Obama: Trade with Latin America Means Jobs

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama in his weekly address stressed the importance of trade with Latin America in the United States economy.

"We've always had a special bond with our neighbors to the south. It's a bond born of shared history and values and strengthened by the millions of Americans who proudly trace their roots to Latin America. What's clear is that in an increasingly global economy our partnership with these nations is only going to become more vital," he said.

The address comes as the president travels to South America. He cited Brazil, his first stop on the trip, as an example of how American exports to Latin America are a cornerstone in U.S. job creation.

"Today Brazil imports more goods from the United States than from any other nation. And I'll be meeting with business leaders from both countries to talk about how we can create even more jobs by deepening these economic ties."

Obama also reasserted that the U.S. is responding to the crisis in Libya and the emergency in Japan.

"We will work with our partners in the region to protect innocent civilians in Libya and hold the Gadhafi regime accountable. We will continue to stand with the people of Japan in their greatest hour of need."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Address: Going to 'Keep Up the Fight' for Paycheck Fairness Act

The White House | Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address President Obama promises to “keep up the fight” to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
“I was so disappointed when an important bill to give women more power to stop pay disparities -- the Paycheck Fairness Act -- was blocked by just two votes in the Senate,” Obama says in the address, “And that’s why I’m going to keep up the fight to pass the reforms in that bill.”
The Act failed in the Senate last November, but the president highlighted it during Women’s History Month to show that even though progress has been made, there still is much more to be done for women’s rights.

Last week the White House released a report looking at the status of women in America.
“There was a lot of positive news about the strides we’ve made, even in recent years,” Obama noted referencing the report showing that women have caught up with men in seeking higher education.
The president said this is important to him not just as President, but something he cares deeply about “as the father of two daughters who wants to see his girls grow up in a world where there are no limits to what they can achieve.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama on Budget Cuts: Met GOP 'Half Way,' 'Prepared to Do More'

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address President Obama calls on both parties to “come together” around a budget “that cuts spending without slowing our economic momentum.”
“We need a government that lives within its means without sacrificing job-creating investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure,” the president says.

Mr. Obama praises both parties for passing the continuing resolution this week, which he signed on Wednesday, to keep the government running for an additional two weeks -- but emphasized that the nation “can’t do business two weeks at a time.”
“It’s not responsible, and it threatens the progress our economy has been making.  We’ve got to keep that momentum going.”
Repeating the administration line of the week -- that they have met Republicans “half-way” on their proposed cuts -- the president calls for both parties to come together and indicated that he is willing to cut more, yet gave no specifics.
“My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway.  And I’m prepared to do more. But we’ll only finish the job together – by sitting at the same table, working out our differences, and finding common ground. “
The president says that cuts have to be smart.
“Getting our fiscal house in order can’t just be something we use as cover to do away with things we dislike politically.  And it can’t just be about how much we cut.  It’s got to be about how we cut and how we invest.  We’ve got to be smart about it. “
The president says this is a challenge he’s “confident” they will meet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: 'We Cannot Allow Gridlock to Prevail'

Photo Courtesy - The White House | Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- With the possibility of government shutdown looming next Friday, President Obama calls on both parties to evade “gridlock” and says he “expects them to find common ground.”

“For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail,” Obama says in his weekly address, “Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have said they believe it’s important to keep the government running while we work together on a plan to reduce our long-term deficit. “

Avoiding mentioning the particulars, namely the GOP’s latest proposal of a two-week spending bill with $4 billion in cuts -- the president says said that both sides have to be willing to compromise and warned that neither side will likely get everything they want.

“Given that, I urge and expect them to find common ground so we can accelerate, not impede economic growth.”

The president said he is willing to consider any serious ideas to help reduce the deficit regardless of what party is proposing them -- but called for a balanced approach that would not compromise with sending cuts the future.

“But instead of cutting the investments in education and innovation we need to out-compete the rest of the world, we need a balanced approach to deficit reduction. We all need to be willing to sacrifice, but we can’t sacrifice our future.”

The government is set to shut down at the end of Friday March 4 if lawmakers cannot agree on a way to extend federal funding before then. The president says there will be “debates and disagreements” in the coming days as Congress hashed this out,  but that he looks forward to  producing “a responsible budget that cuts what we can’t afford, sharpens America’s competitive edge in the world, and helps us win the future”

The president also calls for seriousness to tackling the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges -- cutting excessive spending in defense, Medicare and Medicaid and spending though tax break and loopholes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio