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.”
8yrs of George Bush pleasing so called job creators lead to the crisis we are in. 2yrs of Obama listening to Republican songs of job creators and we still do not have jobs. Now we have to dismantle government and tranafer those services to so called job creators to create jobs! What the henk is going on?
"And he added that despite rising costs, paychecks are not getting any bigger."
Thanks for freezing my Cost of Living Allowence for 2 years, God I hope he loses in 2012.
I'm tired of hearing businesses whining about all the things preventing them from creating jobs. First it was the recession, then uncertainty over taxes, now it's crushing federal debt, and too much regulation, and blah blah blah. Enough with excuses. The Dow Jones is at a 3 year high, so businesses have money. They got their certainty when Obama extended their tax cuts for two years, costing the nation about $135 billion over those two years I might add. It's time for businesses to start doing their part, and start "providing certainty" for their employees so that the employees feel like they can start spending money again. If that means that their profit margin is cut into, then so be it. If employees have to live on less profit, then businesses should do so also.
I have an idea – give the wealthy 0% taxes, deregulate everything so that polluters (like Koch bro) make even more money, our water gets dirty (cuts down on people drinking it), air gets dirtier (pesky need for oxygen). That should make the kings happy.
You Republican are full of crap. If you are going to get a good budget It will have to be fair for every one. And that mean do away with the BUSH TAX CUT for the Rich. I'M even reeling to go back to paying Tax for all American people they way they were be for the BUSH TAX CUT. The Bush Tax Cut Just don't work. And you Republican got to lay off the Middle Class ,the POOR and the OLD. And Paul Ryan Plan Is A BUNCH OF CRAP. Start worry about the every day America , Instead of Just the RICH and BIG BUSINESS and Them OIL company. They are making Billions of dollar for rising gas prices for no real reason. Any thing they can use as a reason to rise gas prices they do.
The past 10 years, "I was so embarrassed by speeches made by George Bush" The Gop is "off their rocker" with their agenda, Trump Teaparty completely out of touch, madness? Mr. President, " You can,t imagine how 'Less Sressful" it is to have an "Intelligent sitting President" Your "Patience and "Thinking before acting,is incredible? Your class during this "Birther" non-sense,is quite Impressive! Obama 2012! Keep up the good work.
Both Democrats and Republicans are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to jobs. The Democrats want to create more government jobs, which is not popular because the perception is it would inflate the budget, and Republicans want to give tax breaks to the wealthy, which is not popular because they have not created jobs with tax breaks thus far.
People are concerned about jobs, seniors are concerned about preserving entitlements, and students are concerned about the cost of education and education cuts. There are your campaign issues. It's a tough one this election. I don't think corporations are going to have much clout this election, however. The public is not looking upon them favorably right now.
Mike Johanns must have recorded his message just before leaving on a junket with Mitch McConnell, Rob Portman and
John somebody, along with their wives, on a military jet, to South Korea and and "to be disclosed locations".
Then you have the lovely Jeff Sessions, Jon Kyl and two other Republicans enjoying their Easter break, along with
their wives, to Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithruania.
Thirdly, Harry Reid, and his entourage consisting of 6 Democrats and 3 Republicans, again with wives in tow,
and military escorts cavorting around China, with a side trip to some hotsy totsy gambling joint. Of course, most
information as to why they are there is not known for "security reasons" aka shrouded in secrecy.
I guess you can say their priorities are not Job One, unless it is theirs of course, and to hell with the economy?
The lovely John McCain's office refused to reveal who paid for his trip. (Three gueses)
I want to know who is paying for all of these trips, how much, why they went, did we pay for their wives?
We certainly paid for the military jets and escorts. I didn't know we had so much money to waste, so where
are the jobs, the economic answers for recovery, the real concern for the real peope?
Angry???? You bet. And, we will never know the truth.
"...paychecks are not getting any bigger."
Yeah, that's what happens when companies are being taxed to death.
Johanns Where are the jobs Reublican polices creater during the Bush years? The policies of your dimwitted party loose jobs and/or lower the standard of American workers to that of a Third World Nation. We've all seen it and even a dogmatic True Believer such as yourself has to admit it or lie to explain it away. Eight years of Repiblican rule equal eight years of misery and failure: PERIOD!
If all the old people die, think of the money the republicans will save on Soc. Security to pay to their corporate friends. Pretty smart, aren't they?
Correct, Mr President
Wages and pay for the worker are not rising. What a stupid nation. We want to rid "ourselves" of union interests and expect that employers are going to reward that. Now pay attention. Real pay increases have been in the doldrums for 30 years. Why do we think CEOs and corporates are so rich? Because they get tax cuts, pay you little and squeal like pigs when YOU want a piece of the action (fair tax). "We'll go overseas!!" Fine. Go overseas. Some smart capitalist should then price them out. Corporates have trained you on how "inconvenient" unions are and have intimidate you. Your alternatives, "holler like he!! about government employees making too much money. "Shrink government!!" Yes. Because you are afraid of your employer because you don't have a union to speak up for you. Boy, am I glad Americans are so much smarter than other nations.
The President is correct; there is no reason to subsidize the Big Oil (and its associate death cult, Big War) when we should instead be subsidizing the green energy for the future. China and some European countries are already getting a big lead on the US. Both parties talk about making America more competitive, yet the GOBPbaggers are all hot air when it comes to making actual steps towards an energy independent future.