WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday the nation’s “urgent mission” is to create jobs and accelerate economic growth.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama noted Congress passed legislation this week to cut federal spending and debt, but he said Democrats and Republicans “are going to have to work together on a larger plan to get our nation’s finances in order.”
“But in the short term, our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs,” he said.
The president said the government must do “whatever we can to help folks find work.”
“We need to extend tax cuts for working and middle class families so you have more money in your paychecks next year,” he said. “And that extra money for expenses means businesses will have more customers, and will be in a better position to hire.”
Obama mentioned a proposal he announced Friday to extend a new tax credit to companies that hire unemployed U.S. military veterans and said it was essential to extend unemployment benefits for people who have been unable to find jobs. He said the government has to “cut the red tape that stops too many inventors and entrepreneurs from quickly turning new ideas into thriving businesses.”
The president urged Congress to enact trade deals “that would help displaced workers looking for new jobs, and that would allow our businesses to sell more products in countries in Asia and South America — products stamped with three words: Made in America.” He said construction workers who lost jobs “when the housing boom went bust” could be employed immediately through government “loans to companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, helping to rebuild America.”
Noting that both parties have supported similar ideas in the past, Obama said, “I’m going to keep calling on both parties in Congress to put aside their differences and send these bills to my desk so I can sign them right away.”
“After all, both parties share power,” he said. “Both parties share responsibility for our progress. Moving our economy and our country forward is not a Democratic or a Republican responsibility; it is our responsibility as Americans.”