July 24th, 2013
01:51 PM ET
9 months ago

Obama: Rest of my presidency is for working-class America

Galesburg, Illinois (CNN) - President Barack Obama pledged Wednesday to focus his energy for the rest of his presidency on the core tenet of his election victories - equal opportunity for all Americans - starting with a campaign-style speech on the economy that also appeared to launch this year's budget battle with Republicans.

Confronting deep partisan divide over federal spending, tax reform and raising the debt ceiling later this year, Obama told a raucous crowd of hundreds at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, that reversing a growing inequality between haves and have-nots should be the top priority of Congress.

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Filed under: Economy • President Obama
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Independent

    Rudy NYC

    smith wrote:

    Being angry at people that have omre than you is no way to live out your life. These folks will never be happy because their is always somebody that has more. Stop cryin` about wealthy folks and concentrate on your own personal progression and you will see the fruits of your hard work.
    ------–
    There they go again with the class warfare rhetoric. It seems to be the topic of the day from the neo-libertarians.. They want to turn the argument about people not paying taxes into one about liberals being jealous of wealth.
    ______________
    Sorry Rudy but that is really how it comes accross. If you look at the poeple that make these comments they are not "regulars" on this blog.

    July 24, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. RandyIA

    It's funny, one moment he says wage inequality is wrong, the next he uses movie stars and the rich to promote his agenda.

    July 24, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Lars

    More lies, diversions and class warfare from Obama. We are not back from recession. Unemployment is ridiculous. We are not even back to the same employment numbers when Obama started.

    July 24, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Wal-Mart isn't the only player in the labor market. "

    Wrong. In many MANY locales, the local WalMart (or other "big box" store) comes in, eradicates all of the small businesses and becomes the only game in town. That is a FUNDAMENTAL, CORE aspect of their business model, and they achieve it via their labor practices, which is to say they can offer really low prices and out-compete the small business owners in the area because they pay crap wages, only offer part-time jobs and then rely on the government to supplement their profits by forcing their employees to rely on government provided health care systems, food stamps, other social services and, eventually, social security for their retirements (because if you think anyone working a minimum wage job at WalMart is able to save for retirement, then you're so far through the looking glass you're never coming back). They are an agent of downward mobility. Their business model is designed to create decadent and blighted areas. The bad jobs they provide are the reason they are able to out-compete everyone else in an area when they swoop in with piles of capital to sustain them until the store is built and they can start undercutting prices on every small business in the area, putting them out of business and then offering their owners a 25 hour per week minimum wage job.

    July 24, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "see Mikey this is why no one believes a Dem anymore, there was a story right here on CNN (a few hours ago) that put his rating at 45% (CNN Pull) and 45%-49% on the ECONOMY not overall (ABC I believe) not 46%, I know it is only 1 percent but you still are NOT telling the truth. All pulls you refer to are LIBERAL leaning outlets anyway, look up a right leaning or one in the MIDDLE and they are in the low 40's approaching high 30's!!! I have no idea what Bush's ratings were so I can't speak to that. Here I have pasted some of the article below for PROOF!"
    --------------------
    I believe the numbers Mikey cited reflect the NBC/WSJ poll. Are you calling that poll biased, too?

    July 24, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -Independent

    tom l.

    @Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote:

    So, be intellectually honest when you make comments rather than just being a partisan hack. The fact is that Obama is absolutely using class warfare. How can you deny this? Or am I wrong that when he says the "rich need to pay their fair share" that he is not utilizing class warfare tactics?
    ––––
    "partisan hack" That ranks as one of most hypocritical remarks ever seen around here. It takes talent to contradict yourself in the same breathe and not realize it. Tell someone not to be partisan and then turn right around and make a partisan attack.

    I keep telling you that the hyper right are too high and mighty to see themselves for what they are, hypocrites This proves it.

    Dude, I am so far from "hyper right" that it is laughable. I am against our foreign incursions, I have no problem with gay marriage, a woman should have the right to have an abortion. I voted for Ron Paul. Shall I go on?
    I am a moderate libertarian who is no big fan of repubs and mainly look at them as the lesser of two evils whereas you actually love being a democrat and support every single issue that the president supports. You really don't think for yourself.

    Now, would you like to respond to the actual comments I made with regards to Obama using class warfare? Or would you like to continue making poor assumptions about me just like the rest of your buddies here?
    ___________________
    Thank you Tom for pointing out that not all of us are far right OR far left, that describes me perfectly except I gave up and did not vote since I knew Paul had no chance of winning. Well I didn't vote for a president but I did vote for the house reps and local reps. The problem is these liberals see everyone as either far left or far right nothing between....

    ************
    I agree that you gave up when you only stated that only liberals see the world interms of extremes. The Right has been pushing the envelope of extremes far in advance of anything the left has been doing, so please don't pile all this on the left. Is the Left innocent? Nope.be honest.

    July 24, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. tom l.

    @Rudy
    "Lol. So I guess you don't remember when Pelosi and Reid referred to GWB as a loser and a liar. It happens both ways, my man.
    ----
    You lie. Reid called him a "liar" and never used the word "loser." Pelosi never said either one, but made no effort to hide her contempt for Bush."

    From Harry Reid: "The man's father is a wonderful human being," Reid said in response to a question about Bush's policies. "I think this guy is a loser."

    Would you care to apologize now for calling me a liar?

    July 24, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. mainesrd

    Same ole boring class warfare card that all left wing nut cases keep in their hand when everything else they have tries has failed miserably. It's the same thing that every politician in Detroit has said for the past 60 years. Look where it got them. Obama's policies are a road to ruin. It will take decades to recover from the damage he alone has done to this country.

    July 24, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Mikey

    @Independant – so you are disputing whether the President's approval rating is 46% – 49%, which is minus 3% or 45% – 47%, which is minus 2%???????????????? Do you have any idea how silly that is? It depends on who's 'poll of polls' you use. The source I used included Rasmussen, Gallop, Pew, and NBC, not a sample of "LIBERAL leaning outlets". I was disputing the claim that his approval was in the LOW 40's and lower than Bush's. I would never be so stupid as to quible about 1% in a poll.

    July 24, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. smith

    @Rudy- Last time I checked the wealthy do pay taxes and a heck of alot more than you or I do. Life isn`t always fair. Some have more than others.

    July 24, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Mikey

    @Independent – Being a Ron Paul supporter does not put you in the middle. The fact that you choose to criticize liberals almost exclusively confirms your political position – far to the right.

    July 24, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Tony D

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    He is everyone's President.
    --

    He doesn't act or talk like it. Actually, I think he hates people like me. A typical white person that wants to be left alone and not used as a piggy bank to fund every lunatic idea that crosses some liberals feeble mind. Yes, I make more than the average person but I attribute that to my education and work ethic. I don't live beyond my means and save. But this government and Obama just thinks what I make is not just and fair and keeps taking more and more of it to give to people that do nothing and contribute nothing. My family could use that money but I guess the kids will have to do with less so the drug addicts and welfare cases can buy their drugs and booze with my tax dollars.

    July 24, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. simplyput

    @Rudy NYC
    Doesn't really matter about the # of bridges the president referred to, they were *ready for medicare*, weren't they? Now I know how the liberal refutes dissent: change the numbers, and if they argue, call them liars. I call ageism discrimination; if you are really a senior, why don't you?

    July 24, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote

    "Lol. So I guess you don't remember when Pelosi and Reid referred to GWB as a loser and a liar. It happens both ways, my man.

    From Harry Reid: "The man's father is a wonderful human being," Reid said in response to a question about Bush's policies. "I think this guy is a loser."

    Would you care to apologize now for calling me a liar?
    -----------–
    Nope. Your quote is totally untraceable, and you've lied about Pelosi.

    July 24, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sniffit your last two posts (three if you count the 'edit') were OUTSTANDING my friend.
    Clear, succint, beautifully stated and truthful.
    BRAVO!!!!!!

    July 24, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. The REAL TRUTH...

    @RandyIA – It's funny, one moment he says wage inequality is wrong, the next he uses movie stars and the rich to promote his agenda.
    --------------------------
    Funny... perhaps the POTUS actually understands the meaning of wage inequality unlike some of the low information posters here...

    July 24, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Gunderson

    Ow!,
    Archie Campbell tells Story of person who went to get job. Person ask, what can you pay me? Employer think minute. Then said, I pay you what you worth. Umm, person think for moment, then say, NO I won't work for that. Sad Story.
    Now full time job become part time job. Puitin Care. Sad Story.

    Think you have unemployment unequality now? You ain't seen nothing yet. Man the fire hoses. Rome burn to ground.

    July 24, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. The REAL TRUTH...

    @Tony D – you have a very myopic view of the current administration. ACA has cuts healthcare costs, and will continue to do so.. the budget deficit has decreased by some 38% over the last one Bush had, the rate on increase of the national debt has reached all-time LOW's – yes LOW's, the DOW is at its highest ever, and you think he wants you as a piggybank source.... truth is, Obama is fiscally further right than both Reagan and Bush, but that's an inconvenient truth the GOP doesn't wasn't you to know about.. look up the numbers. Get educated..

    July 24, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Tony D.
    Not today and not with me.
    Try that crappy bait on someone else.

    July 24, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. tom l.

    @Sniffit
    ""Wal-Mart isn't the only player in the labor market. "

    Wrong. In many MANY locales, the local WalMart (or other "big box" store) comes in, eradicates all of the small businesses and becomes the only game in town. That is a FUNDAMENTAL, CORE aspect of their business model, and they achieve it via their labor practices, which is to say they can offer really low prices and out-compete the small business owners in the area because they pay crap wages, only offer part-time jobs and then rely on the government to supplement their profits by forcing their employees to rely on government provided health care systems, food stamps, other social services and, eventually, social security for their retirements (because if you think anyone working a minimum wage job at WalMart is able to save for retirement, then you're so far through the looking glass you're never coming back). They are an agent of downward mobility. Their business model is designed to create decadent and blighted areas. The bad jobs they provide are the reason they are able to out-compete everyone else in an area when they swoop in with piles of capital to sustain them until the store is built and they can start undercutting prices on every small business in the area, putting them out of business and then offering their owners a 25 hour per week minimum wage job."

    In all of your diatribe I never once read where you said that Wal-Mart helps the middle class and low income earners by providing quality goods and services at dramatically lower prices therefore stretching their dollars futher. Have you ever even been in a Wal-Mart? Do you realize how much money they SAVE the average American with their products being at such lower prices than anyone else...and certainly lower than the mom and pop convenience stores?

    Interesting how you fail to acknowledge the good that Wal-Mart does for the community and their customers.

    July 24, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. The REAL TRUTH...

    @smith – Last time I checked the wealthy do pay taxes and a heck of alot more than you or I do. Life isn`t always fair. Some have more than others.
    -----------------------
    Like many who have been assimilated, you ignore the reality of the situation.. it's NOT the amount they pay, it's the PERCENTAGE TO INCOME RATIO that is the issue. They – like Mittens 14% – generally pay less as a percentage than Joe Q. Public (look it up). The dollar amount tends to be higher.. sure... 10% of $1 Mill is more dollars than 22% of $64,000 (median income of US family of 4).
    It's not illegal, but it sure is immoral and inequitable.

    July 24, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. tom l.

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    "He is everyone's President."

    I'm curious if you said those exact same words about GWB. I am not saying whether you did or didn't because I don't like to make assumptions.

    But I can guarantee that many, many people here (most likely including Sniffit) never said those words about GWB.

    July 24, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. just askin

    ok, so obama and the leftists are going to make life completely fair and equitable. everybody will get a $2,000 a week pay check whether they work, don't work, work 80 hours or work 10 hours. some people spent years getting advanced degrees, other dropped out of high school, not a problem, because in the new obama economic model, everybody gets a trophy. some maybe be risking all they own in their own business, others may be risking pulling a muscle getting another beer out of the frig. both risks shall be treated the same. yup, sure sounds like a sure fire way to run an economy.

    July 24, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. tom l.

    @Mikey
    "@Independent – Being a Ron Paul supporter does not put you in the middle. The fact that you choose to criticize liberals almost exclusively confirms your political position – far to the right."

    Ummmm, not really. We have a very liberal president, therefore, just based on the content of the discussion, it boils down to criticisms of his policies which are decidedly left. I, and I believe Independent will agree, can easily criticize the repubs for their new wave of abortion laws, their stance on gay marriage (which is evolving just like our President) and the repubs fascination with intervening in foreign affairs.

    July 24, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "In all of your diatribe I never once read where you said that Wal-Mart helps the middle class and low income earners by providing quality goods and services at dramatically lower prices therefore stretching their dollars futher."

    That's because WalMart hawks trash manufactured in outsourced Chinese labor camps. You've clearly never been to WalMart and seen or experienced the un-quality of the absolute filth they peddle. Moreover, the only real reason people need to buy such shoddy cobbled-together products and blatant knock-offs is because WalMart isn't the only employer in Amurika treating their labor force like indentured servants and reducing them to economic serfdom in order to siphon off all the profit generated by the blood, sweat and tears of their workforce, all for the executives and ownership. The virtuous cycle has been systematically, institutionally dismantled in this country, and until it returns, the economy will remain in the crapper, because our problems are not supply-side, they are demand-side.

    July 24, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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