Sunday, September 11, 2011
I’m sure I’m not alone in greeting President Obama’s jobs speech with a sense of “It’s about time!” Instead of soaring rhetoric, there were practical proposals that both parties have embraced in the past. Obama recovered his fighting mojo, repeatedly demanding that Congress pass his bill:
I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It's called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that's been supported by both Democrats and Republicans - including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.
The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed. It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away.
Can the Republicans be counted on to support legislation they've supported in the past? No. Witness their current opposition to cap-and-trade, a Republican idea. No matter. If the GOP balks, they'll make their distorted priorities clear. Obama included a few justifiable digs at right-wing ideology:
...I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients. I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy...
In fact, this larger notion that the only thing we can do to restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everyone's money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they're on their own - that's not who we are. That's not the story of America.
Finally, instead of just relying on television and phone calls, Obama has taken his appeal on the road–and to GOP areas. The president is taking steps in the right direction that should continue.
If you missed the speech, watch it above in its entirety.