Obama: We're Sunk Without a Strong Middle Class

He lays out his plan for economic recovery
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 8, 2010 1:30 PM CDT
President Obama is greeted prior to delivering remarks on the economy Wednesday at Cuyahoga Community College West Campus in Parma, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – President Obama today delivered his big speech on the economy, though the big themes were laid out in advance. He reiterated that it's time to extend Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class—but that the nation can't afford the Republican approach of extending tax cuts for the wealthy as well. Read the full text here. Highlights:

  • "Let me be clear to (House Minority Leader John) Boehner and everyone else. We should not hold middle class tax cuts hostage any longer." The president says his administration "is ready this week to give tax cuts to every American making $250,000 or less."
  • "I don’t believe we can have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle-class."

  • "Michelle and I are where we are today because even though our families didn’t have much, they worked tirelessly—without complaint—so that we might have a better life."
  • "People are frustrated and angry and anxious about the future. I understand that. I also understand that in a political campaign, the easiest thing for the other side to do is ride this fear and anger all the way to Election Day."
  • "Instead of tax loopholes that incentivize investment in overseas jobs, I’m proposing a more generous, permanent extension of the tax credit that goes to companies for all the research and innovation they do right here in America. And I’m proposing that all American businesses should be allowed to write off all the investment they do in 2011."

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