Liveblog: President Obama addresses joint congressional session on jobs
September 8th, 2011
06:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Liveblog: President Obama addresses joint congressional session on jobs

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress Thursday and discuss his plan to stimulate national job growth.

8:27 p.m. ET@EricCantor Good people can disagree. We should work together to find common ground and quickly pass where we agree to grow this economy. #JobsNow

8:14 p.m. ET
- @SenatorReid Pres. Obama's pckg of common-sense, bipartisan proposals will present a litmus test to Rs

8:10 p.m. ET@Barack Obama Our take: This isn’t just about jobs—it’s about basic fairness and security for middle-class families who work hard and play by the rules.

7:59 p.m. ET@teapartynation Obama's speech is the worst pre game show ever!

7:48 p.m. ET
@EricCantor There are certainly goals the President outlined that we can work with him on. We should work quickly to pass the areas where we agree.

7:47 p.m. ET@GOPWhip I hope POTUS & Dems will work with us & support the GOP plan for #jobs & economic growth. #JobsNow

7:41 p.m. ET–President Obama: I ask every American who agrees to lift your voice and tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now. Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option. Remind us that if we act as one nation, and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge.

President Kennedy once said, “Our problems are man-made – therefore they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants.”

These are difficult years for our country. But we are Americans. We are tougher than the times that we live in, and we are bigger than our politics have been. So let’s meet the moment. Let’s get to work, and show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Read the full liveblog after the jump

(applause)

7:40 p.m. ET–President Obama: Some of them are living week to week; paycheck to paycheck; even day to day. They need help, and they need it now.

I don’t pretend that this plan will solve all our problems. It shouldn’t be, nor will it be, the last plan of action we propose. What’s guided us from the start of this crisis hasn’t been the search for a silver bullet. It’s been a commitment to stay at it – to be persistent – to keep trying every new idea that works, and listen to every good proposal, no matter which party comes up with it. Regardless of the arguments we’ve had in the past, regardless of the arguments we’ll have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now. You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.

(applause)

7:39 p.m. ET–President Obama: I know there’s been a lot of skepticism about whether the politics of the moment will allow us to pass this jobs plan – or any jobs plan. Already, we’re seeing the same old press releases and tweets flying back and forth. Already, the media has proclaimed that it’s impossible to bridge our differences. And maybe some of you have decided that those differences are so great that we can only resolve them at the ballot box.

But know this: the next election is fourteen months away. And the people who sent us here – the people who hired us to work for them – they don’t have the luxury of waiting fourteen months.

7:38 p.m. ET–President Obama: Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past. Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight will be paid for. And every proposal is designed to meet the urgent needs of our people and our communities.

(applause)

7:37 p.m. ET–President Obama: How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip? What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do? How many Americans would have suffered as a result?

No single individual built America on their own. We built it together. We have been, and always will be, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all; a nation with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another. Members of Congress, it is time for us to meet our responsibilities.

7:36 p.m. ET–President Obama: In fact, this larger notion that the only thing we can do to restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own – that’s not who we are. That’s not the story of America.

Yes, we are rugged individualists. Yes, we are strong and self-reliant. And it has been the drive and initiative of our workers and entrepreneurs that has made this economy the engine and envy of the world.

But there has always been another thread running throughout our history – a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.

We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future – a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges. And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.

Ask yourselves – where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways and our bridges; our dams and our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the GI Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?

7:35 p.m. ET
–President Obama: We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards. America should be in a race to the top. And I believe that’s a race we can win.

(applause)

7:35 p.m. ET@AnnCensky Obama is echoing Bernanke from earlier today. Don't sacrifice the recovery now to slash spending over the long haul cnnmon.ie/p3Yw9e


7:35 p.m. ET
–President Obama: I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety. I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients. I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy.

(applause)

7:34 p.m. ET–President Obama: But what we can’t do – what I won’t do – is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.

7:34 p.m. ET@RickSantorum The President said “This isn’t class warfare,” in one breath. Then said “the rich need pay their fair share.” We’re not fooled anymore.

(applause)

7:33 p.m. ET–President Obama: Well, I agree that we can’t afford wasteful spending, and I will continue to work with Congress to get rid of it. And I agree that there are some rules and regulations that put an unnecessary burden on businesses at a time when they can least afford it. That’s why I ordered a review of all government regulations. So far, we’ve identified over 500 reforms, which will save billions of dollars over the next few years. We should have no more regulation than the health, safety, and security of the American people require. Every rule should meet that common sense test.

7:33 p.m. ET@rolandsmartin I haven't seen POTUS give a speech with this much conviction in a long time. Now him & his team need to keep this...

(applause)

7:32 p.m. ET–President Obama: If we provide the right incentives and support – and if we make sure our trading partners play by the rules – we can be the ones to build everything from fuel-efficient cars to advanced biofuels to semiconductors that are sold all over the world. That’s how America can be number one again. That’s how America will be number one again.

7:31 p.m. ET–President Obama: And on all of our efforts to strengthen competitiveness, we need to look for ways to work side-by-side with America’s businesses. That’s why I’ve brought together a Jobs Council of leaders from different industries who are developing a wide range of new ideas to help companies grow and create jobs.

Already, we’ve mobilized business leaders to train 10,000 American engineers a year, by providing company internships and training. Other businesses are covering tuition for workers who learn new skills at community colleges. And we’re going to make sure the next generation of manufacturing takes root not in China or Europe, but right here, in the United States of America.

(applause)

7:31 p.m. ET
–President Obama: Other steps will require Congressional action. Today you passed reform that will speed up the outdated patent process, so that entrepreneurs can turn a new idea into a new business as quickly as possible. That’s the kind of action we need. Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea – while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition. If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers. I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words: “Made in America.”

7:30 p.m. ET@RickSantorum Didn't the President control both houses of congress while our economy was tanking?

7:30 p.m. ET@deirdrewalshcnn Just up and running today, the Super committee's task just got tougher – President just added another $450 b to the $1.5 T they need to cut

7:30 p.m. ET–President Obama: We’re also planning to cut away the red tape that prevents too many rapidly-growing start-up companies from raising capital and going public. And to help responsible homeowners, we’re going to work with Federal housing agencies to help more people refinance their mortgages at interest rates that are now near 4% a step–I know this is something you guys are for– a step that can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket, and give a lift to an economy still burdened by the drop in housing prices.

7:29 p.m. ET@CRrileyCNN Tax cuts for small biz: $70 billion. Payroll tax holiday: $175 billion. Unemployment benefit ext: $49 billion

7:29 p.m. ET–President Obama: The American Jobs Act answers the urgent need to create jobs right away. But we can’t stop there. As I’ve argued since I ran for this office, we have to look beyond the immediate crisis and start building an economy that lasts into the future – an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer security. We now live in a world where technology has made it possible for companies to take their business anywhere. If we want them to start here and stay here and hire here, we have to be able to out-build, out-educate, and out-innovate every other country on Earth.

This task, of making America more competitive for the long haul, is a job for all of us. For government and for private companies. For states and for local communities – and for every American citizen. All of us will have to up our game. All of us will have to change the way we do business.

My administration can and will take some steps to improve our competitiveness on our own. For example, if you’re a small business owner who has a contract with the federal government, we’re going to make sure you get paid a lot faster than you do now.

7:27 p.m. ET–President Obama: So we can reduce this deficit, pay down our debt, and pay for this jobs plan in the process. But in order to do this, we have to decide what our priorities are. We have to ask ourselves, “What’s the best way to grow the economy and create jobs?”

Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can’t afford to do both. Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can’t afford to do both. This isn’t political grandstanding. This isn’t class warfare. This is simple math. These are real choices that we have to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close. And it’s time for us to do what’s right for our future.

7:27 p.m. ET@YellinCNN POTUS tries to use the Republicans tax pledge against them jujitsu style...to sell the employee payroll tax cut. Will it work?

(applause)

7:26 p.m. ET–President Obama: I’ll also offer ideas to reform a corporate tax code that stands as a monument to special interest influence in Washington. By eliminating pages of loopholes and deductions, we can lower one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Our tax code shouldn’t give an advantage to companies that can afford the best-connected lobbyists. It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs here in America.

7:26 p.m. ET–President Obama: And I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that, if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order.

(applause)

7:25 p.m. ET–President Obama: I’m also well aware that there are many Republicans who don’t believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it. But here is what every American knows. While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets. Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary – an outrage he has asked us to fix. We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake, and everybody pays their fair share.

7:24 p.m. ET@EWErickson I feel like we're listening to Fluff the Magic Demagogue.

(Democrats and Republicans rise and applaud)

7:24 p.m. ET–President Obama: What’s more, the spending cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small business and middle-class families get back on their feet right away. Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns. But here’s the truth. Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement. And millions more will do so in the future. They pay for this benefit during their working years. They earn it. But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.

7:24 p.m. ET@HowardKurtz Obama mentions vets, teachers, disadvantaged young people, unemployed, the middle class–trying to put a face on what GOP sees as stimulus

(applause)

7:23 p.m. ET–President Obama: This approach is basically the one I’ve been advocating for months. In addition to the trillion dollars of spending cuts I’ve already signed into law, it’s a balanced plan that would reduce the deficit by making additional spending cuts; by making modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid; and by reforming our tax code in a way that asks the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.

7:23 p.m. ET–President Obama: This is the American Jobs Act. It will lead to new jobs for construction workers, teachers, veterans, first responders, young people and the long-term unemployed. It will provide tax credits to companies that hire new workers, tax relief for small business owners, and tax cuts for the middle-class. And here’s the other thing I want the American people to know: the American Jobs Act will not add to the deficit. It will be paid for. And here’s how:

The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next ten years. It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Tonight, I’m asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act. And a week from Monday, I’ll be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan – a plan that will not only cover the cost of this jobs bill, but stabilize our debt in the long run.

(applause)

7:22 p.m. ET–President Obama: Pass this jobs bill, and the typical working family will get a fifteen hundred dollar tax cut next year. Fifteen hundred dollars that would have been taken out of your paycheck will go right into your pocket. This expands on the tax cut that Democrats and Republicans already passed for this year. If we allow that tax cut to expire – if we refuse to act – middle-class families will get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time. We cannot let that happen. I know some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live. Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.

7:21 p.m. ET–President Obama: Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job. We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work. This jobs plan builds on a program in Georgia that several Republican leaders have highlighted, where people who collect unemployment insurance participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a permanent job. The plan also extends unemployment insurance for another year. If the millions of unemployed Americans stopped getting this insurance, and stopped using that money for basic necessities, it would be a devastating blow to this economy. Democrats and Republicans in this Chamber have supported unemployment insurance plenty of times in the past. At this time of prolonged hardship, you should pass it again – right away.

7:21 p.m. ET - @deirdrewalshcnn Wisc Rep Paul Ryan sporting a Packers tie tonight

(applause)

7:20 p.m. ET–President Obama: Pass this bill, and hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young people will have the hope and dignity of a summer job next year. And their parents, low-income Americans who desperately want to work, will have more ladders out of poverty.

Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job.

7:20 p.m. ET@KateBolduanCNN Many of the longest, loudest applause lines for Dems comes when Pres talks about schools and keeping teachers on the job

7:19 p.m. ET–President Obama: Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get extra tax credits if they hire America’s veterans. We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, and risk their lives to fight for our country. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home.

7:19 p.m. ET - @rolandsmartin POTUS was quick to smack the political pundits who spent a lot of time saying what this speech means for him. It's about the unemployed!

(applause)

7:18 p.m. ET–President Obama: Pass this jobs bill, and thousands of teachers in every state will go back to work. These are the men and women charged with preparing our children for a world where the competition has never been tougher. But while they’re adding teachers in places like South Korea, we’re laying them off in droves. It’s unfair to our kids. It undermines their future and ours. And it has to stop. Pass this jobs bill, and put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong.

(applause)

7:18 p.m. ET
–President Obama: This idea came from a bill written by a Texas Republican and a Massachusetts Democrat. The idea for a big boost in construction is supported by America’s largest business organization and America’s largest labor organization. It’s the kind of proposal that’s been supported in the past by Democrats and Republicans alike. You should pass it right away.

7:18 p.m. ET@streitfeldcnn Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich watches Pres Obama's jobs speech in a college pub before his town hall in Henniker. #NH #FITN

(applause)

7:17 p.m. ET–President Obama: The American Jobs Act will repair and modernize at least 35,000 schools. It will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows; installing science labs and high-speed internet in classrooms all across this country. It will rehabilitate homes and businesses in communities hit hardest by foreclosures. It will jumpstart thousands of transportation projects across the country. And to make sure the money is properly spent and for good purposes, we’re building on reforms we’ve already put in place. No more earmarks. No more boondoggles. No more bridges to nowhere. We’re cutting the red tape that prevents some of these projects from getting started as quickly as possible. And we’ll set up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans based on two criteria: how badly a construction project is needed and how much good it would do for the economy.

(applause)

7:16 p.m. ET–President Obama: There are private construction companies all across America just waiting to get to work. There’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky that’s on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America. A public transit project in Houston that will help clear up one of the worst areas of traffic in the country. And there are schools throughout this country that desperately need renovating. How can we expect our kids to do their best in places that are literally falling apart? This is America. Every child deserves a great school – and we can give it to them, if we act now.

7:16 p.m. ET@AnnCensky According to @SBAgov, small businesses have generated 64% of net new jobs over the past 15 years

(applause)

7:15 p.m. ET–President Obama: It’s not just Democrats who have supported this kind of proposal. Fifty House Republicans have proposed the same payroll tax cut that’s in this plan. You should pass it right away.

Pass this jobs bill, and we can put people to work rebuilding America. Everyone here knows that we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over this country. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our skies are the most congested in the world.

This is inexcusable. Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower. And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America?

7:14 p.m. ET@RNCResearch Since Obama’s $825 billion stimulus 1.7 million jobs lost and unemp rate increased from 8.2% to 9.1%

(applause)

7:14 p.m. ET–President Obama: Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin. And you know that while corporate profits have come roaring back, smaller companies haven’t. So for everyone who speaks so passionately about making life easier for “job creators,” this plan is for you.

Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or raise workers’ wages. Pass this jobs bill, and all small business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year. If you have 50 employees making an average salary, that’s an $80,000 tax cut. And all businesses will be able to continue writing off the investments they make in 2012.

(applause)

7:13p.m. ET–President Obama: It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away.

(applause)

7:13 p.m. ET–President Obama: The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed. It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business.

(applause)

7:12 p.m. ET–President Obama: The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy; whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.

Those of us here tonight can’t solve all of our nation’s woes. Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers. But we can help. We can make a difference. There are steps we can take right now to improve people’s lives.

I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans – including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.

7:12 p.m. ET@deirdrewalshcnn RT @jamiedupree ONE NOTE- For the first time in many years, no House Pages on the floor for a speech by a President

7:11 p.m. ET–President Obama: The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours.

(applause)

7:10 p.m. ET–President Obama: But the millions of Americans who are watching right now: they don’t care about politics. They have real life concerns. Many have spent months looking for work. Others are doing their best just to scrape by – giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; postponing retirement to send a kid to college.

These men and women grew up with faith in an America where hard work and responsibility paid off. They believed in a country where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share – where if you stepped up, did your job, and were loyal to your company, that loyalty would be rewarded with a decent salary and good benefits; maybe a raise once in awhile. If you did the right thing, you could make it in America.

But for decades now, Americans have watched that compact erode. They have seen the deck too often stacked against them. And they know that Washington has not always put their interests first.

7:09 p.m. ET–President Obama: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and fellow Americans:

Tonight we meet at an urgent time for our country. We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse.

This past week, reporters have been asking “What will this speech mean for the President? What will it mean for Congress? How will it affect their polls, and the next election?”

7:07 p.m. ET@deirdrewalshcnn Rep Woolsey tells the President as he heads into House chamber "be bold and brave"

7:05 p.m. ET–President Barack Obama enters the chamber.

7:04 p.m. ET–CNN Congressional Correspondent Kate Bolduan: "Just spotted former Rep. Wu (D-Oregon) in the chamber. He resigned after the debt ceiling vote amid scandal involving allegations of an inappropriate relationship with daughter of family friend. Former members retain floor privileges."

6:58 p.m. ET–First lady Michelle Obama takes her seat.

6:57 p.m. ET
@THEHermanCain Speech time & I never got a call from the President. Figured he'd want to know how I created millions of jobs for 40 years.

6:51 p.m. ET–CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin: "A White House official confirms the President called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to brief him on the speech today…as well as Speaker Boehner."

6:43 p.m. ET–CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin: "Per a Republican House leadership aide the President called Speaker Boehner around 3:45pm to preview the speech this afternoon."

6:20 p.m. ET@deirdrewalshcnn Obama also will say his proposal includes things both Rs and Ds have supported, "Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything."

6:20 p.m. ET
@SenatorDurbin In his address to Congress, the President should call for investment in areas that create #jobs: infrastructure, training and research.

6:16 p.m. ET.@GOPWhip Americans work hard everyday to meet their responsibilities. Now it is time for Washington to do the same. #JobsNow

6:10 p.m. ET@pfeiffer44 POTUS tonight: Our recovery will be driven not by Washington,but by our businesses and our workers.But we can help.We can make a difference

6:09 p.m. ET@pfeiffer44 POTUS will say tonight: The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities.The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours

6:04 p.m. ET@BarackObama I'm heading to Congress to present them with the American Jobs Act. Please watch-and join me in urging them to act. -BO ofa.bo/jobs
(Tweets from the president are signed -BO)

6:00 p.m. ET–The White House released excerpts of the speech ahead of its scheduled delivery at 7 p.m. ET.


The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours. The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy; whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.
Those of us here tonight cannot solve all of our nation’s woes. Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers. But we can help. We can make a difference. There are steps we can take right now to improve people’s lives.I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans – including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed. It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away.

Filed under: Congress • Economy • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Tony

    President Obama continues to give America a valuable history lesson and remind those who get caught up in party idealogies that we belong to one common thread. The quote from JFK could not be more important than now. These economic problems are manmade...and only us Americans can band together to solve them. Any red-blooded American knows that we need to close corporate loopholes and increase taxes on the very wealthy as a start to economic recovery. The middle class has suffered long enough. Dynamic speech and call to action by our President!

    September 8, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. V. Wallace

    Even if I were a devotee to the death for every word that cometh out of the mouth of Saint Palin, I could not find any areas to criticize in the Jobs Plan the President presented tonight. Fortuately, I have a brain...it works well and I can think intelligently. So, I can't be a devotee of Saint Palin...the rules of critical thinking won't allow me to join her crowd. But as an American who cares for her country's surviving and thriving through this Bush & Republics' [since they can't pronounce Democratic...I won't pronounce republican) Party's created recession, I would beg everyone to contact their representatives and ask them to come up with a plan, if they can, that's better than Obama's and that's better for ME and all struggling Americans. If they can not, then let's give the President's plan a chance! Yours, A Teacher in American (part time).

    September 8, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Jacqui Belair

    The presidents speech was spectacular! I loved every minute of it! But, I am fired up at the Republicans "lack of enthusiasm". Let me tell you members of Congress and all Republicans in Washington, I am a member of the American public and I am fed up with your bickering and bipartisanship. Quit acting like a bunch of brats and get with the program. You give the message that you don't care about us only about "winning". I would like to fire all of you.

    September 8, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. gavin

    Once again our President does not understand the cause of our problems. He is asking us to take on another $450 Billion in debt that will just add to the deficit. To date he has spent $1.3 Trillion with no measurable results. The man clearly has no concept of what it takes to stimulate the economy or create jobs. And again, we have a lot of words with very little specifics regarding his proposed programs. The American Jobs Bill looks like another piece of legislation that no one has read where the devil is in the details. This looks like and appears to be just another desperate attempt by this President to get re-elected. Is this the kind of hope and change we can believe in?

    September 8, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. kev

    I kno repubs hate it wen obama does something right.however they can't rebutt it cause their approval is only 13 percent. Obamas numbers are low yet repubs and congress numbers are LOWER

    September 8, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Ken Bradshaw

    I have mixed feelings. If I could agree that every statement the President made was accurate, I would support this speech. And I do think some was very accurate. So there are elements I do support. (As an aside, I don't think Lincoln founded the Republican Party. He was a late joiner. Seward and Chase were ahead of him and Fremont was the first presidential candidate) If the wealthy are not paying their fair share, show it to me. I hear differently. If wealth is gained and kept by unfair advantage, we should stop it. But I haven't seen it. This is the way I would understand it. Tell me the effective tax rate of the top 5%, then tell me the effective tax rate of people making middle income – with no retortic. Just give me those two rates. I whole heartedly agree that some regulations are right and some are wrong, but I would like to hear which ones the President believes are good and bad. I suspect they carry an agenda. Tell me about social security. I favor it But is it being abused. What about entitlements. I agree teachers should work. But I don't like them being the example over all the out of work public sector. I want to see balance. I am not interested in see Ford cars in Korea. I think that is an old economic model that is never going to fit. Let's find the right one.

    September 8, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. tiko

    Did anyone notice that Boehner now has darker colored skin than the president?!

    September 8, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. Paul

    What a NIGHTMARE! More TAX and SPEND. Obama continues to do the opposite of what Americans want. A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different result. We need to get ride of Social Security, Pass A Balance Budget Amendment and start paying off our Federal Debt! Stop REGULATING small business or start up companies and STOP providing all these wacky "tax breaks" and hiring incentives (which really DO NOT help) any small business.

    September 8, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. joe

    I like it

    September 8, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. katherine James

    It's time we start thinking about the people who brought you to the dance..

    September 8, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. peej

    Never trust a politician! Especially one who wants to spend our money, and thinks he knows how to spend our money better than we do!!

    September 8, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Mike kerns

    Good luck getting a jobs bill through the house of representatives.

    September 8, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  13. Dboy009

    The President spoke sternly and set in motion a plan that will be hard for the republicans to contest/not that they won't try/. But the President has also reached out to us/ the AMERICAN PEOPLE./ to do are part and let it be know that we're tired of struglling and not being able to make ends meet or not have a dime in your pocket after cashing your check then we need to get out and back President Obama!!!

    September 8, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. David Holmes

    One thing that will help pay for the President's American Jobs Act is the additional revenue generated by putting people to work. Revenue is just a nice word for the taxes that come from putting people back to work. The tax credit for hiring people that are drawing unemployment compensation is a win – win (especially for those who are getting unemployment on an extension). It creates new revenue because that person will pay taxes, and it reduces spending because they aren’t drawing unemployment compensation anymore. The President made some excellent points. The Republicans better get on board, or they are going to be hurting come Nov 2012.

    September 8, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Dan

    Just another canned rah rah speech that could have been anyone of the previous 10 speeches with zero specifics. He just doesn't get it.

    September 8, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. James

    New tax idea. Tax religion at 10% of total donations. Use the money to bring manufactoring jobs back. Start small example have matel start making hot wheels cars. Rubber made making garbage cans. Levi strous sewing jeans. You cant even by a baseball made in the u.s.a.

    September 8, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. Baker

    I believe that President Obama needs cooperation from congress to fix the economic problem. Don't the members of congress have concious. If the republicans think that stonewalling is the way to go, then our country if in real trouble. I listened to the speech tonight as many may not have, If you don't listen then don't comment. On the Social Security changes I hope the changes to be considered doesn't cut those who are receiving under $2500 a month.

    September 8, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Suporter of president Obama.

    I think the time to play has stopped this evening when the president of our country has had enough with the road blocks and the stubbornness of the Republican party and the new comers the Tea Party who do not have any foot to stand on are becoming the thorn of economic progress. We do not need to create a new party when we have the one's we can not come to an agreement especially on the Republicans who can not agree with th Democrats because they are afraid of the tea party. I do not blame the president for being tough on our elected officials to remind them they are here to work for the people and not allowing political bickering to stop progress. I still loved Cantor's remarks when he said the president should not have talked in that kind of tone because it does not work in Washington. So If he is a true minority leader forget his title and work for the country and for the people who need jobs. I think he should think back and remind himself how much he was a against the presidents agenda and said the presidents agenda will not work so he is not in any position to tell the president not to talk in that kind of tone. I thing what is missing is respect by the republicans for the office of the presidency and the president. The president was saying the voters have 14 month to go back out and vote but they have run out of patience and cannot wait 14 month for the congress to pass the legislation's put forth by the president and start putting people back to work. Time for Boehner to stand tall, put the Tea party on record and if he needs to call them bluff he should do that and Cantor should cool his jets and work for what he is elected for instead of always going against the presidents wishes. So I give the president huge credit for putting forth bold agenda to improve the economy and it is time to see if Washington acts as concerned citizens instead of there politcal agendas and there political existence takes center stage.

    September 8, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Dee

    President Obama did a good job and threw the ball right in their court. Now it is time for everyone to get on the same page and act and help the American people get back on their feet. The rhetoric needs to stop and the media needs tofocus on the positive it can play a great role in lifting the spirit of the American people in this difficult time.

    September 8, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  20. yvette

    I think our president did a great job in his address to all of us.but we all know what is going to be said about him and his plan to get us back to work.they are going to say he is to nice to this dame republican congress and it has got him no were they hate this man because he is black and will alway's hate him for that no matter what he say or do they don;t want to give up anything that is going to hit them in there money.all republican's are crook's and all of us know it they dont want this man to do what is right because it would make them all look like what they realy are rich crook's dont vote republican if you are smart.

    September 8, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  21. nuff said

    Where is the plan–?–today he has an outline of yesterdays plan–but still nothing concrete–huh-for that u wait til sept 19th and then maybe his idea is for the supercommittee to actually get a plan–they must find how to pay for this–so we are left where we started waiting for his URGENT concrete plan–that still is not complete and therefore doesn't exist–and for this he called a joint session of Congress-that's a misuse of power.

    September 8, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. Eke James

    Well taught of.good.may God help America.

    September 8, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. Tina

    T
    The President has great ideas to get the economy heading in the right direction but the republicans want to see him fail, so they are just going to keep saying No!

    September 8, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. Jeffrey Montford

    i agree it is time that all the people that were hired by the america people need to do there job or get out...u don't like the presidents plan what is yours? and no real american can wait to hear for you election speach in fourteen months. get to work or join the pepole in the unemployment line.

    September 8, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. Sam Warton

    I'm sorry tea party nation but have you read this from beginning to end there are actually some good points in here and points that even radicals like yourself would agree to

    September 8, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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