(CNN)–President Obama called on America to “step up our game,” during the weekly radio address from Miami Central High School in Florida.
While remarking on the fall of the unemployment rate, he singled out “creating jobs and opportunities in a fiercely competitive world” as a top priority because “we have a lot more work to do…for the millions more who still don’t have the right job or all the work they need to live out the American Dream.”
The president attributes the gain of 222,000 private sector jobs to “tax cuts that Democrats and Republicans came together to pass” and urged the need for further collaboration between both parties to deliver a budget that “cuts spending without slowing our economic momentum.”
Working together was a major theme in the president’s address as he acknowledged the action of both parties to cut spending and keep government running for two weeks, but cautioned that "we can’t do business two weeks at a time. It’s not responsible and it threatens the progress our economy has been making.”
Obama emphasized the need for more bi-partisan cooperation to create a “long-term budget that sacrifices wasteful spending without sacrificing the job-creating investments ” and to “put America back on a fiscally sustainable course.” This can only be achieved, he said, by “sitting at the same table, working out our differences, and finding common ground.”
The president added that, “We need a government that lives within its means without sacrificing job-creating investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure” because the future of the country depends on making sure that “our children and our country are better prepared than anyone else in the world.”
Freshman Tennessee Rep. Diane Black echoed the need for job creation in the weekly Republican address, but urged the government to get out of the way so that small businesses can “create the jobs and grow on their own.”
Black stated that job creation must be a “number-one priority for both parties,” but “the policies of the past haven’t worked.” She took a different view of new jobs numbers saying, “Despite some signs of life in our economy, the unemployment rate is still far above the levels that the president’s advisors promised when the ‘stimulus’ spending bill was signed into law."
She prescribed a new approach to improve the economy that includes “cutting unnecessary spending and removing barriers to job growth.” She pledged that the new majority would take “a complete inventory of Washington’s rules and regulations” in order to “root out the ones that make it harder to create jobs. On the list for examination: “wasteful mandatory spending programs” including “Obamacare,” “the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill that’s drying up credit for our small businesses” and “EPA rules that are hurting job creation and creating higher gas prices.”
“It’s not just the overreaching that has to stop,” she said, “It’s the overspending.”
Black criticized the president’s budget as “maintaining the status quo” and adding to the nation’s debt as well as “uncertainty that makes it harder to create jobs.” Instead, she said, “After two ears we know that government doesn’t create private-sector jobs,” and pledged that “our majority is focused on getting government out of the way and charting a new path to prosperity.”