This is a make-or-break moment for middle-class Americans — and anyone who cares needs to watch the speech President Obama made in Cleveland today.
In this election, we face a choice between two fundamentally different visions of how to grow the economy. The path Mitt Romney and his Republican allies want to take us down is exactly the one that led us to the 2008 crisis. We have to reject those policies and embrace the President’s vision of growing the economy, not from the top down, but from the middle class out.
The choice couldn’t be clearer on the issues most important to ordinary Americans:
- Better Education: We need to invest in good teachers and help more students go to college and get job training — not pack kids into classrooms and slash scholarships.
- More, Cleaner Energy: We need to invest in promising new sources of energy to create a market for innovation and good jobs of the future — not go back to relying on foreign oil.
- Leading Through Innovation: We need to invest in our best scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs so they innovate here — not cede new ideas to countries like China and India.
- Job-Creating Infrastructure: We need roads, bridges, ports, and broadband technology that attract businesses that will create jobs here — not more pet projects and bridges to nowhere.
- Fair, Simple Tax Reform: We need to reward businesses that create jobs here instead of rewarding outsourcing, and must ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share again — not sacrifice investments critical to the middle class.
This economic crisis didn’t start in 2008. For more than a decade before, we knew things weren’t working the way they should. We saw costs for everything from health care to education rising faster than wages. Good-paying, middle-class jobs were becoming harder to find, as more and more companies moved production overseas.
The other side’s solution was the same then as it is now — massive tax cuts benefiting mainly the wealthy, rolling back regulations on risky behavior for Wall Street and banks, and slashes to services that the middle class depends on, like Medicare, education, and job training. A decade ago, Bill Clinton left a record surplus. But the last administration put two wars, two huge tax cuts, and the Medicare prescription program on a credit card, and handed President Obama a trillion dollar deficit and a raging economic crisis.
Incredibly, Romney and his allies want to go back to those same, disastrous policies: budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and free rein for Wall Street to write its own rules. We tried Mitt Romney’s failed formula for most of the last decade. It benefitted a few, but exploded the deficit, crashed our economy, and devastated the middle class. It didn’t grow our economy, create good jobs, or pay down our debt — it did the opposite. And it won’t work this time around either: Independent economists confirm that Romney’s plan wouldn’t cut the deficit, or even create a single job now — in fact, it could slow growth and push us back into recession.
Today the President laid out a very different vision, one where everyone — no matter who you are, where you’re from, or how big your bank account is — pitches in together to rebuild the foundations of our country and economy. Instead of another $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, Obama believes we should pay down our debt and invest in the things we know we need to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class. That means restoring and upgrading our crumbling infrastructure, investing in education, paying down our debt responsibly, and yes, asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. This approach requires tough choices and shared sacrifice — exactly how we built the American economy in the first place.
Here is the video of President Obama’s remarks:
In a statement released after the President’s major economic speech, California Democratic Party Chairman, John Burton said:
President Obama today in Cleveland laid out a crystal clear vision of how we can keep our country moving forward toward an economy built to last, not one that rewards the 1% while the rest of America gets left behind.
The President is right: our economic strength will grow from our middle class up. Governor Romney and the Republicans in Congress are wrong. They believe that the best way to grow the economy is to continue to reward those who have the most in the hopes that pennies trickle down to the middle class and to those who continue to feel the effects of the Bush economic legacy.
The American middle class has seen their wages plummet and their economic security destabilized by disastrous conservative policies that have been tried and have failed us time and again.
As Democrats we believe America prospers when people have good jobs here at home, when responsibility is rewarded, and when everyone gets a fair shot. The last thing we need is billions of dollars in tax breaks for the big corporations.
By contrast Mitt Romney and the House Republicans continue to push for a budget-busting 25 percent tax cut for the wealthiest among us and are calling for us to once again let Wall Street write its own rules.
This election, the American people will get to choose which path we will take together. It’s a choice between whether we go forward together with President Obama or go back to the failed Bush policies with Mitt Romney. Democrats will work hard to make sure that voters know the President is on their side come November.