Two Choices: President Obama Sets Out His Vision for the Economy

The following dispatch went out yesterday from David Axelrod regarding President Obama’s speech in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday.

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:

John Burton

CA Democratic Party Chairman Sen (ret.) John Burton (Photo: Lou Delgado)

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.

  4 comments for “Two Choices: President Obama Sets Out His Vision for the Economy

  1. Carl Marks
    June 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I like this BHO guy – and remember: “The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.”

  2. June 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    The 1st of 3 necessary steps for economic recovery is 1st reinstate Glass-Steagall 1933-1999. The vote to kill Glass-Steagall occurred during the Clinton Administration.

    Many correctly argue that Glass-Steagall was already dead due to the previous legislation that weakened the Glass-Steagall principal of separation between Commercial and Investment banking. For example, your neighborhood Chase Bank is actually J. P. Morgan – Chase, Inc.

    Obama’s “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protect Act” does not reinstate Glass-Steagall; it doesn’t do much of anything. Obama, Bush, & Clinton serve Wall Street. Mitt Romney serves Wall Street.

    Rather than “copy & paste” from Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s website if offer the link that explains what Obama’s Wall Street reform fraud does not accomplish.
    http://www.kaptur.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=637&Itemid=122

  3. MikeM128
    June 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Better Education: Since we try to make sure that all of the morons graduate even if they cant read and we keep the lousy teachers, I don’t think there is any hope there. Raise the bar and add school hours, that might help education. Reward successful teachers and fire the failures.

    More, Cleaner Energy: I agree with the exception of the fact that his administration has done everything it can to kill domestic oil and coal. Invest in sound companies with good ideas, not political contributors. Look at currently viable solutions such as cleaner coal solutions, natural gas and nuclear power plants.

    Leading Through Innovation: Many companies do invest in innovation here. Then they build it in China.

    Job-Creating Infrastructure: I agree, except both parties use this as payoffs to political contributors and trains to nowhere.

    Fair, Simple Tax Reform: Flat tax, mail in the post card. I could be sold on tiers except liberals think that we should take all the money from those who work and give it to political contributors projects and to pander to the 50% who don’t pay.

    If you think that taking it from the rich only will be good enough, the Buffet rule wont even put a dent in the deficit. If you want to know why there is no money for investment just look and see who borrows all the money.

    Republicans = the lesser of two evils. I can’t wait until we all wake up and remove all the evil.

    • TeaBags
      June 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      I’m with Mike here.
      Let’s go back to Bush’s policies and those of the Republicans in the last 30 years. Operating under deficits and increasing the national debt is best for America.
      Let’s legislate what women can do with their bodies. We all know they’re not smart enough to know what to do with those “verginas.”
      More military spending. More wars! More dead soldiers! More dead terrorists and other innocent brown people.
      Less regulation of business! We all know less Regulation equals better business and safer products and is better for the environment. Except it doesn’t and when regulation was higher (30’s to 60’s) businesses were still doing well. And the environment. Fuck it! Let future generations deal with it.
      Equal pay for women? Ha! We all know that’s a myth (except when we look at the facts).
      More tax breaks! Trickle down works damn it! We just haven’t given it enough time to fully work. No, increasing taxes alone won’t work. Elimination of tax loopholes might. But that would be “job killing” right? Cuz if hedge fund managers pay more than 15% then there will be less jobs countrywide!

      Lesser of two evils indeed. Can I cast my vote early?

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