Washington (CNN)–President Barack Obama recognized the economic strain caused by soaring gas prices and stressed the importance of clean energy initiatives to reduce America's dependence on oil in the weekly address Saturday.
"Even if you haven't faced a job loss, it's still not easy out there," he said.
And he added that despite rising costs, paychecks are not getting any bigger.
"There's no silver bullet that can bring gas prices down right away," he said.
Obama offered solutions including the "safe and responsible production of oil at home," and discussed a task force launched Thursday by Attorney General Eric Holder that has the mission of "rooting out cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, including any illegal activity by traders and speculators."
The president also called for an end to $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies given to oil and gas companies.
"Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow's," he asserted.
Obama recalled "historic" first steps made with major auto companies when they formed an agreement with the administration to raise the fuel economy of American cars and trucks.
He openly disagreed with a proposal in Congress that would cut investments in clean energy by 70 percent.
"Yes, we have to get rid of wasteful spending," he said. "But we can do that without sacrificing our future."
The president advocated for deficit reduction that "cuts spending while still investing in things like education and clean energy" and argued that spending can be cut while the country continues to invest in job-creating technologies that would allow the United States to "lead the world in new industries."
"That's how we'll not only reduce the deficit, but also lower our dependence on foreign oil, grow the economy, and leave for our children a safer planet," Obama said.
Republican Sen. Mike Johanns begs to differ, as he explained in the GOP weekly address Saturday.
“The claim is often made that new federal policies will create jobs and paychecks for Americans,” said Johanns, a freshman senator from Nebraska. “The idea of government creating jobs; well it simply misses the point entirely.”
Johanns asserted that "record-setting deficits" stifle job creation because "they have a ripple effect right to Main Street" when "creditors pull back because of our government's debt" and small businesses can't grow.
"I've met a whole lot of business owners, and they never thank the government for creating jobs," he said. "They thank me for getting government out of their way, so they can create jobs."
Stating that “Washington is out of touch” with “folks on Main Street” who are trying to boost the economy, Johanns recommended that federal government focus not only on reducing the deficit, but also on reducing “burdensome regulations.”
“It’s our task to unshackle job creators from regulations and mandates,” he continued.
“It is clearly time for government to get out of the way. Our small businesses will respond with innovation and job creation.”