Obama Focuses on Middle Class, Economic Security in Labor Day Weekend Address

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– Calls for jobs-creating infrastructure investments in face of expected GOP obstruction –

By Julie Pace

WASHINGTON – Vowing to find new ways to stimulate the sputtering economy, President Barack Obama will call for long-term investments in the nation’s roads, railways and runways that would cost at least $50 billion.

The infrastructure investments are one part of a package of targeted proposals the White House is expected to announce in hopes of jump-starting the economy ahead of the November election. Obama will outline the infrastructure proposal Monday at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee.

From the VA:
The AP(9/4, Superville) reports President Obama said in his weekly addressthat a “strong economy needs bustling Main Streets and a thriving middle class, not just a healthy stock market.” The President “outlined what he’s done to help the middle class, a group he says has been squeezed the most during the recession. He spoke of efforts to create jobs, make college more affordable, help the middle class build retirement nest eggs, cut taxes on these families and stop health insurance companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.” The President said, “This Labor Day, we should recommit ourselves to our time-honored values and to this fundamental truth: To heal our economy, we need more than a healthy stock market; we need bustling Main Streets and a growing, thriving middle class. That’s why I will keep working day by day to restore opportunity, economic security and that basic American dream for our families and future generations.”
     Bloomberg News (9/4, Johnston) reports the President will “outline new ideas to boost growth and hiring” this week. The President “has also urged Congress to pass a package of measures to help small businesses, including tax breaks and aid to ease credit.” The New York Times(9/5, Calmes, 1.01M) reports the President “will ask Congress to increase and permanently extend a popular but costly tax credit for businesses’ research expenses, and to pay for it by closing other corporate tax breaks, according to administration officials.” He will also “call for expanding the simpler of two credit options available to businesses. He would increase that to 17 percent from 14 percent.” The Times notes that in his address, Obama “said more must be done to help the middle class and ‘to accelerate job creation.'”
     The Washington Post(9/5, Kornblut, 605K) says as he heads “into a week of major economic events, the president is attempting to walk a familiar fine line between sounding optimistic and realistic, striking a forward-looking tone even as he recounts reasons why the US economy has sagged for so long. ‘I don’t have to tell you that this is a very tough time for our country,’ Obama began his address, then claimed credit for having ‘stopped the bleeding’ in the job market that he inherited upon taking office.”

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