A thriving middle class has always been America’s engine of economic growth. Reigniting that engine is the defining challenge of our time.
In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out a plan that builds on the progress we’ve made during his first term and strengthens the middle class by making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing, equipping every American with the skills they need to do those jobs, and ensuring that hard work leads to a decent living. These investments in manufacturing, clean energy, infrastructure, and education will grow our economy from the middle class out—not from the top down—and, when combined with the President’s plan for balanced deficit reduction, none of these proposals will add a dime to the deficit.
While we won’t solve every challenge we face, there are steps we can take right now to grow the economy and where there is common ground the American people expect Congress to act. That is why the President has called on Congress to rally around building a strong middle class and a strong America.
Making America a Magnet for Jobs
The President’s plan begins with attracting more jobs to our shores. Together, we can prove that America is the best place to do business by training our workers for high-tech manufacturing jobs and rebuilding our infrastructure so our businesses have the tools they need to compete in the global economy. By investing in clean energy, we can continue to create good American jobs, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and reduce the cost of energy for families and businesses. And we can cut red tape to create jobs rebuilding our housing sector and help responsible homeowners save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s low rates.
Equipping Americans with the Skills they Need
Education and job training are critical to strengthening the middle class and preparing our kids to compete in the global economy. The President’s plan provides high-quality preschool for every child and teaches high school graduates the real world skills they need to find a job today. For those graduates pursuing higher education, the President’s plan cuts the cost of college for families by rewarding quality schools that make higher education affordable. And while we fix our broken immigration system so everyone plays by the same rules, we also need to attract the best workers and entrepreneurs to help create jobs and grow our economy.
Ensuring Hard Work Leads to a Decent Living
Our economy is strongest when we expand opportunity and reward the hard work of every
American. The President’s plan rewards work by raising the minimum wage in stages to $9 an hour for 15 million Americans so an honest day’s work pays more. For communities hardest hit by the recession, the President’s plan forges partnerships with businesses to rebuild neighborhoods and provide job training that puts people back to work. And to strengthen families, the President’s plan secures equal pay for equal work and encourages fatherhood.
Cutting the Deficit in a Balanced Way
In addition to making investments that we pay for responsibly to grow the middle class, the
President believes we need to cut the deficit in a balanced way so we don’t pass on crushing debt to future generations. The President is determined to cut wasteful spending, strengthen entitlements, and ask the wealthy to do their fair share in order to finish the job of $4 trillion in balanced reduction. We can also make our tax code more simple, fair, and competitive by eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy and big corporations. But deficit reduction alone is not a plan for economic growth and we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. Making smart investments in our people that we pay for responsibly is the only proven way to both cut our deficits and create a thriving middle class.
President Obama is embarking on a series of ‘Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tours.’ He will visit these places to learn what has helped them become successful and use these models of growth to encourage Congress to act help spur the economy, and build support for his economic policies.
Thursday, May 9 @ 2:05 PM ET
Manor New Tech High School , Austin, TX
Friday, May 17 @ 1:20 PM ET
Moravia Park Elementary School, Baltimore, MD
Ellicott Dredges, Baltimore, MD
Community Center, Baltimore, MD
US Office of Personnel Management app for Federal jobs USAJOBS
American Job Center – Explore Careers http://jobcenter.usa.gov/explore-careers
US Dept of Education Federal Student Aid app StudentAid