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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Weekly Address: President Obama : “End the sequester to keep the economy growing”

From the White House – Weekly Address

In his weekly address, President Obama says that businesses have created jobs every month for three years straight – nearly 6.4 million altogether, and have added 246,000 new jobs in February. We must keep this momentum going, and that’s why the President recently met with Republican leaders to discuss how we can replace the harmful, arbitrary budget cuts, called the “sequester,” with balanced deficit reduction.

Transcript “End the Sequester to Keep Growing the Economy” –

Hi, everybody.  My top priority as President is making sure we do everything we can to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.  

Yesterday, we received some welcome news on that front.  We learned that our businesses added nearly 250,000 new jobs last month.  The unemployment rate fell to 7.7% – still too high, but now lower than it was when I took office.

Our businesses have created jobs every month for three years straight – nearly 6.4 million new jobs in all.  Our manufacturers are bringing jobs back to America.  Our stock market has rebounded.  New homes are being built and sold at a faster pace.  And we need to do everything we can to keep that momentum going.

That means asking ourselves three questions every day: How do we make America a magnet for new jobs?  How do we equip more of our people with the skills those jobs require?  And how do we make sure that your hard work leads to a decent living?

That has to be our driving focus – our North Star.  And at a time when our businesses are gaining a little more traction, the last thing we should do is allow Washington politics to get in the way.  You deserve better than the same political gridlock and refusal to compromise that has too often passed for serious debate over the last few years.

That’s why I’ve been reaching out to Republicans and Democrats to see if we can untangle some of the gridlock.  Earlier this week, I met with some Republican Senators to see if there were smarter ways to grow our economy and reduce our deficits than the arbitrary cuts and the so-called “sequester” that recently went into place.  We had an open and honest conversation about critical issues like immigration reform and gun violence, and other areas where we can work together to move this country forward.  And next week, I’ll attend both the Democratic and Republican party meetings in the Capitol to continue those discussions.

The fact is, America is a nation of different beliefs and different points of view.  That’s what makes us strong, and frankly, makes our democratic debates messy and often frustrating.  But ultimately what makes us special is when we summon the ability to see past those differences, and come together around the belief that what binds us together will always be more powerful than what drives us apart.

As Democrats and Republicans, we may disagree on the best way to achieve our goals, but I’m confident we can agree on what those goals should be.  A strong and vibrant middle class.  An economy that allows businesses to grow and thrive.  An education system that gives more Americans the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future.  An immigration system that actually works for families and businesses.  Stronger communities and safer streets for our children.

Making progress on these issues won’t be easy.  In the months ahead, there will be more contentious debate and honest disagreement between principled people who want what’s best for this country.  But I still believe that compromise is possible.  I still believe we can come together to do big things.  And I know there are leaders on the other side who share that belief.

So I’ll keep fighting to solve the real challenges facing middle-class families.  And I’ll enlist anyone who is willing to help.  That’s what this country needs now – and that’s what you deserve.


(bolding added)


  1. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry Present International Women of Courage Awards

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry marked International Women’s Day at the State Department where they presented the International Women of Courage Awards to nine remarkable women who, as Mrs. Obama said in her remarks, show us what our most basic values look like when they are put to the test.

    When these women witnessed horrific crimes or the disregard for basic human rights they spoke up, risking everything they had to see that justice was done.  When they saw their communities or their countries were ignoring issues like sexual violence or women’s rights, they gave those issues a face and a voice.  And with every act of strength and defiance, with every blog post, with every community meeting, these women have inspired millions to stand with them, and find their own voices, and work together to achieve real and lasting change.

    Young women from the White House Leadership and Mentoring Initiative were in the audience, and the First Lady encouraged them to listen carefully to the women being recognized today, and use their example as a guide for their own paths forward.

    In them, you can see that no matter who you are …or where you come from, if you’re willing to dig deep enough, and fight hard enough, and believe strongly enough in yourself, then you can truly change the world.  

    …And the potential that I see in not just all of you, but all of our young women all across this world, that reminds me that the rest of us must work to lift up the women and girls in our own communities — because we know that when women and girls rise, their communities and their countries rise with them.

  2. Household Wealth Is Back To Its Pre-Crisis Level, But It’s Mostly Flowing To The Rich

    The Great Recession destroyed trillions of dollars in wealth and economic output. And in what looks like a measure of good news, most of the household wealth that was vaporized is back. However, it’s almost all going to the rich:

       Surging stock prices and steady home-price increases have finally allowed Americans to regain the $16 trillion in wealth they lost to the Great Recession. The gains are helping support the economy and could lead to further spending and growth.

       The recovered wealth – most of it from higher stock prices – has been flowing mainly to richer Americans. By contrast, middle class wealth is mostly in the form of home equity, which has risen much less.

    A reminder, from this “Politizane” video, based on the Norton Ariely study, that went viral last:

  3. slksfca

    This is a lot for me to read this morning, but I’ve skimmed through it and promise to come back and peck away at it ’til I’ve got it more thoroughly digested. 🙂

  4. Portlaw

    up judicial appointments. Can’t see how, with a straight face, they can say they care about the US.

  5. Its the Supreme Court Stupid

    over the past 3 years, if austerity politics had not forced state, local and the Federal government to lay off 1.1 million public sector workers.  How many more private sector jobs would have been created by those public sector workers still having a paycheck which they spent in their communities?

  6. When A Good Jobs Report Is Bad For Political Spin

    News that the economy created 236,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level in more than four years, caught nearly everyone by surprise after economists forecast perhaps 171,000 new jobs.

    For President Obama, the seemingly nice surprise has a real downside: It could make his task of convincing Republicans that the economy is being harmed by their emphasis on deficit reduction, and specifically by the mandated sequester spending cuts, that much tougher.

    Bullcrap! President Obama does not want the economy to tank so that he can point to it as a reason to stop the sequester. He wants the economy to continue its recovery and sees the jobs report as good news, not a bargaining chip.

    NPR was threatened with defunding by the Republican congress and since then they have had a very right-wing tilt. Hey, NPR! Not every politician wants our country to suck so that they can win votes. And you would more likely find that attitude with Republicans, like Mitch McConnell, who wanted the economy to tank so that President Obama would not win re-election.

    The gotcha-politics described in that headline and that story is what is wrong with the media. Everything is a fight and a battle and a conflict to drive up readership. No wonder the media is not trusted. You don’t need to set your hair on fire to provide the illumination necessary to read your articles.

  7. Ryan Defends Medicare Plan: ‘It’s Not A Voucher’

    “It’s not a voucher, it’s premium support, which is very different,” [Rep. Paul] Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.”

    Right. You get a premium support, er, “piece of paper” in the mail that you can use to defray the cost of premiums. No voucher there!

    This part is precious:

    Ryan argued that despite being attacked during the campaign for wanting “voucher care,”the issue didn’t hurt the Romney-Ryan ticket in 2012. “We won the senior vote,” Ryan said.

    Let me fix that for you!

    “We won the senior old racist white folks vote”.

    It wasn’t because of your plan to voucherize Medicare, it was because seniors 1) had been lied to about it and 2) don’t like the black guy.

    Bad news, though, Rep. Ryan. As your colleague, Senator Lindsey Graham, points out, there are just not going to be enough old white racists to win any more elections.  

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