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Obama writes: "We have to choose what we want that future to look like. Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and rising chances for everyone who makes the effort?"

President Barack Obama  (photo: AP)
President Barack Obama (photo: AP)

Blueprint for Middle-Class Economics

By President Barack Obama, Reader Supported News

29 January 15


merica's resurgence is real. With a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.

Now we have to choose what we want that future to look like. Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and rising chances for everyone who makes the effort?

In my State of the Union Address last week, I focused on making sure middle-class economics helps more Americans get ahead in the new economy. As a country, we need to do more to make working families' paychecks go farther, give Americans of every age the chance to upgrade their skills so they earn higher wages, and build the world's most competitive economy for our businesses.

On Monday, I will present Congress with my budget, a plan for bringing middle-class economics into the 21st Century. First, I'm proposing we make the kinds of investments we need to continue to grow our economy and enhance our national security. We would establish new advanced manufacturing hubs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and lead a new age of precision medicine that uses cutting-edge science to find new treatments for diseases like diabetes and cancer. We would give working parents a chance to get ahead with guaranteed paid sick leave, and we'd give Americans of all ages a chance to earn new skills by making community college free for responsible students. And we should invest in a 21st century military to confront global challenges with strong and sustained American leadership. These proposals are pragmatic; they're the types of things both parties should be able to support.

But where Democrats and Republicans often disagree is in how to pay for these kinds of ideas. I'm proud that since I took office, we've experienced the fastest period of sustained deficit reduction since the end of World War II. My budget will build on that progress with reforms to health programs, our tax code, and our broken immigration system. It would eliminate the trust fund loophole that allows the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying taxes on their unearned income, and use the savings to cut taxes for middle class families. If Congress passes my budget, our country would meet the key test of fiscal sustainability, with our debt declining as a share of our GDP.

Of course, to make these common-sense investments in our future without adding to our deficits, we need to turn the page on the manufactured crises that have defined the debates over our budget in recent years. Our recovery was held back when Congress shut down the government and risked the full faith and credit of the United States. We can't afford to do that again. And we have to build on the bipartisan budget agreement I signed in 2013 that helped us end some of the arbitrary, across-the-board budget cuts known as "sequestration." Last year's agreement helped boost our economic growth without undermining fiscal responsibility. We were able to invest in key national priorities while cutting our deficits to their lowest level since 2007.

In order to get wages and incomes rising faster, we need to take the next step. That's why my Budget will fully reverse the sequestration cuts for domestic priorities in 2016. It will match those investments with equal dollar increases for defense funding. If Congress rejects my plan and refuses to undo these arbitrary cuts, it will threaten our economy and our military. Investments in key areas will fall to their lowest level in ten years, adjusted for inflation, putting American research, education, infrastructure, and national security at risk. But if Congress joins me, we can make sure that ending sequestration is fully paid for by cutting inefficient spending and closing tax loopholes.

The Budget I'm sending to Congress is a blueprint for success in the new economy. I know that there are Republicans in Congress who disagree with my approach, and I look forward to hearing their ideas for how we can pay for what the middle class needs to grow. But what we can't do is simply pretend that things like child care or college aren't important, or that there's nothing we can do to help middle class families get ahead.

Because we still have work to do. As a country, we have made it through some hard times. But we've laid a new foundation. We've got a new future to write. And I am eager to get to work. your social media marketing partner


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+37 # PeacefulGarden 2015-01-29 15:06
Dear Mr. Obama,

I am 100% behind you on the issues you state, but it is not enough. Most of the middle class in my area is frozen, we are being nickel and dimed to the point of no return; taxes, social security, endless fees, water, gas, electric, trash, auto repairs, health insurance, phone, internet... and the worst is to watch food prices go through the roof, and college tuition.

All it takes is a car to break down, a spouse to get ill, for that matter any family member to get ill, and the mortgage payment will be undoable.

I am lucky, I think I am, because I am nearing retirement; I am more concerned about the generation after me, and my children's generation.

The nickle and diming, nothing left in savings, eventually leads to borrowing (purchasing money). The whole thing is rigged to force the middle class into further debt, which creates further debt; all for the increase in profit to our benevolent overlords and the politicians who represent them.

You need to double the minimum wage, and cut housing cost by at least a third. Do it now!

I just spoke to a friend in Brazil; college is free!
-10 # jdd 2015-01-29 16:25
What a joke. Even the Republicans know that income disparity has worsened in his tenure to the greatest point since 1927. He speaks of a "recovery" at the time he is joining with John Boehner and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan, to erase the few remaining banking restrictions of the Dodd-Frank bill, so that taxpayers would be forced to bail out the worthless oil-derivatives of the bankrupt Wall Street banks.
+8 # jon 2015-01-29 16:43
And your proposed alternative was Romney?
-4 # nice2bgreat 2015-01-29 19:27
I have a proposed alternative: address the points he specifically made; then pose your -- inane -- question.
+3 # economagic 2015-01-29 20:27
MY proposed alternative was a democrat--WITHO UT the "D."
+17 # dyannne 2015-01-29 17:58
This situation has been a long time building. It's not just Obama's fault, or John Boehner's fault. It's the fault of years and years of crappy legislation and corporate takeover of the government. We need a movement to right this sinking ship.
0 # A_Har 2015-02-01 03:31
Quoting jdd:
What a joke. Even the Republicans know that income disparity has worsened in his tenure to the greatest point since 1927. He speaks of a "recovery" at the time he is joining with John Boehner and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan, to erase the few remaining banking restrictions of the Dodd-Frank bill, so that taxpayers would be forced to bail out the worthless oil-derivatives of the bankrupt Wall Street banks.

I don't know why you got so many negatives since what you noted is TRUE. The truth hurts.

Yep....they institutionaliz ed Cyprus style bailins at the G20 in Australia last year. They will be applicable worldwide.
0 # politicfix 2015-02-01 12:38
@jdd - You're the joke who doesn't get it. When Clinton left office there was a surplus. Bush and Cheney went through that in a NYC minute and continued on a rampage of 911, misleading the country with a war we never should have been in, another war in Afghanistan, and a complete destruction of the middleclass with outsourcing, their mortgage debacle, and the list goes on while CEO's walked away with millions. Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld still have indictments out on them with Interpol for violating the Geneva Convention. The Bush administration was a reign of complete disaster for our country. The fact that Obama got through it at all was a miracle with a Congress that refused to do anything or work with him and voted "NO" on everything. The ACA was passed and all they can think about is trying to reverse that. The Congress and Senate have been bought and they're the ones that are erasing any simile of law and order with the banks. The 99% aren't going to put up with anymore bailouts. I'm hopeful that we have Warren and Sanders hammering away at the budget and the banks. It takes more than one man to get a job done. Obama has been ducking bullets since he took office. That's how much Radcons care about this country or the people.
0 # A_Har 2015-02-01 14:02
You DO NOT UNDERSTAND--Lov e is blind. Bush was a complete disaster, but the Obama administration has continued and enlarged the same policies including further bank deregulation. This is what brought on the big crash to begin with. AND, we can give Bill Clinton the credit for gutting Glass-Steagall which ushered in 2008. That allowed the banks to gamble with your money through derviatives. *Nothing was fixed* since the bailouts in 2008. The next crash will be much much worse.

As to the congress doing the dirty work, what about the Obama administration' s failure to prosecute the too big to fail banks for money laundering and massive FRAUD?

Gimme a break.

Then too there is the screw job bankruptcy law put in place in 2005.

Plan B – How to loot nations and their banks legally

We are IN a DEPRESSION. The thing that hides it and the reason there are no bread lines like there were in the 1930's is the fact of the food stamp program and other subsidies.
Dollar Store Nation: Largest percentage of Americans on food stamps while stock market disconnects from working class Americans.

Think it is all peachy keen? “The last official act of any government is to loot the treasury.” – George Washington
0 # A_Har 2015-02-01 14:25
Your Emperor has no clothes!
+17 # Walter J Smith 2015-01-29 16:45
This is a line that would never come from anyone not lost in either the 1% bubble or the illiusion that singing such songs will land them there: "America's resurgence is real. With a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth."

The 1% resurgence is real. The 99% America is still stuck in the very same recession. What but self-imposed blinders could allow one to believe that 1% fairy tale?

Obama is back in campaign mode. Seems that campaigning is the only thing he has ever done on the national stage that can be called respectful.

He worked with Congressional Democrats to abandon the mandate we voters gave them, all for creating the resurgent 1% at the expense of reclaiming national economic integrity.

And now everything Obama does to boost the economy comes with a horribly unbearable ecological price tag.

What a disgusting disappointment. With any luck, our memory of his whole presidency, lame duck throughout by Presidential choice, will help us avoid believing Hillary's lies.
+10 # Robbee 2015-01-29 16:45
i like the new obama, reminds me of the old obama, running for president, first time. lots of progressive ideas
+6 # Seadog 2015-01-29 17:04
Now that he knows none of his talk will ever happen he's freed to say what he wants. Its all a bunch of nonsense. This guy has had 6 yrs to deliver and all he's done is deliver a GOPig Congress. He's a fraud.
0 # Merlin 2015-01-29 19:06
Deleted Duplicate post
+7 # Merlin 2015-01-29 19:06
Obama is the biggest Trojan Horse this country has ever seen. We could not roll him into the WH compound fast enough. Total believers in hope and change, from this truly “Progressive” president cheered. Well, we had not even gotten that horse fully inside (inaguration in January) when the banksters started coming down the ladder (Geithner and the rest of the clintonista group.) They took their expected places and we all got screwed.

And here we are today, with a few people on this blog still believing in the beauty of that Trojan Horse. Robbee-“I like the new Obama…” angelfish-“I LOVE your speeches and lofty goals…”

Poor hard working, big hearted Obama! “Its all Congress’ fault!” “Its the newbie Republicans coming into the House…” “If only they would work with this President’s great Progressive ideas…”

+6 # pbbrodie 2015-01-30 09:29
All one needs to do is look at the first 2 years of his administration. He had a super majority of Democrats in the Senate and a majority in the House, yet all he would do is "reach out" to the Republicans and give in to them repeatedly. It's obvious to me that he wasn't trying to compromise with the Rethuglicans, he was with them. With the majorities in both houses of Congress, there was absolutely no need to give the R's anything and he could have passed almost any bill he wanted but didn't.
Where was this Obama then??!! He is a fraud!!!
0 # bmiluski 2015-01-30 10:44
Dear pbbrodie....... ..Since the 2009 “stimulus,” Republicans have obstructed pretty much every effort to help the economy. In the Senate they have filibustered hundreds of bills, and since the “stimulus” they have managed to keep anything from passing that might help the economy.
-4 # Roland 2015-01-30 11:05
Pbbrodie is forgetting Obamacare. Passed without a single R vote. And now look at it's popularity.

The president couldn't get his own people after that to support him. He had done enough dammage to the democrats in congress. Many in non blue areas of the country were now afraid to follow him.
0 # bmiluski 2015-01-30 12:35
Roland the dems didn't support Pres. Obama and they lost. They allowed the neo-con to define them and they lost. If only they had countered the neo-cons negative ads with positive Obama ads they would have won. Instead, they went down into that republican dung and they lost.
0 # A_Har 2015-02-01 03:58
As we can see Bmiluski, you still have the dream that the Obama is on your side and that he is simply misunderstood.
0 # A_Har 2015-02-01 02:40
Quoting Robbee:
i like the new obama, reminds me of the old obama, running for president, first time. lots of progressive ideas

Talk is cheap. People can *say anything* but it means very little. What they DO is everything. THAT is who they are.
+7 # harleysch 2015-01-29 17:19
A recovery? Improvements for the middle class? Even the Obama-supportin g New York Times pointed out the lies in this. Obama has presided over the largest increase in income inequality in U.S. history, with the middle class in decline.

Yes, I know, the Republicans bear responsibility for this as well. But Obama never challenged them, he went along with Wall Street from the beginning. And now, some Democrats are getting all goose-bumpy, because they think the "real" Obama can finally emerge!?!?

You have seen the real Obama -- the ally of Jamie Dimon, who never met a bailout he couldn't embrace.
+15 # Vardoz 2015-01-29 17:23
Obviously the greedy bastards at the top who would like to chew us up and spit us out and their money ravenous parasitic amoral trolls who are in our house and senate with their tongues hanging out ready to give us all away to fill their pockets- most are old guys who won't even be around for much longer but they and the Elite and military and corporations are willing to destroy everything so they can have more. It reminds me of that scene in India where a billionaire built a sky scraper for himself in the middle of acres of the most hideous poverty one can imagine, where people lived like rates- he had no compassion or remorse. Without compassion or wisdom we are simply lost savages. with the rich at the top of the ant hill. So those at the top must have some interest in caring about the health, safety and welfare of the general population to make the system of living work for everyone and our ailing planet as well
+3 # angelfish 2015-01-29 17:52
I LOVE your speeches and lofty goals, Mr. President, However, getting the Newbie Morons in Congress to do anything to help hard working Americans for the next two years will be nearly impossible! All I have is hope that the scales will fall from their eyes, they'll develop some moral conscience and be moved to DO something for a citizen who isn't rich or related to the Koch brothers!
+14 # lfeuille 2015-01-29 18:05
If he really meant it he would have gone much bigger. Obamacare $11.00 minimum wage and just two years of free college won't get the job done. He is facing no more elections. Why can't he be strait for once? We need single payer, at least $15.00 minimum wage and four years of college free. Plus guaranteed job or income.
+1 # economagic 2015-01-29 20:32
I think that's as "straight" as he gets. He was hand picked for the job by the Hyatt (union-busting) hotel heiress who ran the family mortgage bank into the ground more than half a decade before the Crash of 2008 and got off with a small fine and no admission of guilt. He also voted for telecom immunity while in the Senate. I believe that so far from being "straight," this is a long stretch to his left to appease the people who voted for him--TWICE. Seems to be working.
+12 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-01-29 20:28
The disfunctional/b ickering Congress is a cover/distracti on for Corporate Rule. Fascism rules.
-8 # WaaDoo 2015-01-29 20:46
Chavez of Venezuela said almost the same words in a speech and now the socialist domination is causing people to be so hungry that they are hijacking food delivery trucks.

+1 # A_Har 2015-02-01 02:54
The dive in the oil price is what is killing them NOT their form of government. It also is hitting Russia and Iran. The oil price reduction along with sanctions leveled at these countries amounts to *financial warfare.*

The oil price dive near the end of the 1970's with the Saudis increasing their oil production contributed greatly to the demise of the Soviet Union. Oil is and was their major source of revenue, and the drop in the price slammed their economy badly and drove the USSR into bankruptcy. However, that is not going to work this time with Russia.

The Saudis could end up screwing themselves by pumping full out. Their wells are very old at this point and if you overproduce an older well, you can end up damaging it so it produces *less over the longer term.*

These policies being implemented for geopolitical ends are insane and could lead to a hot war.

This is ALL a neocon move.
+5 # Regina 2015-01-29 22:52
Nobody, including Obama, has cited the fundamental fact that hobbles the 99% -- for whatever reasons, due to whatever causes, today's dollar does not buy as much as years-ago dollars bought. The "middle class" needs a higher (more of these chintzy dollars!) minimum wage to just break even. Instead, they've fallen painfully far behind as price tags have ballooned. Meanwhile we have a Congress composed of plutocrats bought and paid for, blissfully ignorant of real life.
0 # A_Har 2015-02-01 14:39
Price tags have ballooned because they have printed money like there is no tomorrow guaranteeing there will be none. It is all that quantitative easing done by the Fed. They are destroying the currency.

This makes our dollars not go as far and it makes other nations want to dump the dollar as the reserve currency for buying OIL.
+4 # Bolduc619 2015-01-30 12:01
Joke, joke, joke!

Where were these lovely words six years ago when they could have meant something?
0 # bmiluski 2015-01-30 12:37
They were lost in the neo-con noise-makers in Congress.
+5 # Blackjack 2015-01-30 15:25
Well, la, ti, da! How magnanimous of him now that there's no chance that Congress will pass any of this! He could have done it when the Dems had a majority, but instead he was out there putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. Too little too late, Mr. President. . . and full of hypocrisy!
0 # Blackjack 2015-01-31 09:29
Well, I will have to backtrack a little on this comment. Actually, I think Obama is laying out a blueprint for Clinton and the Dems to follow in 2016. If so, that may be the biggest accomplishment of his presidency, if they actually pay attention to it.
+1 # A_Har 2015-02-01 02:43
+4 # Kauai John 2015-01-31 22:12
No one mentions the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

No one questions Obama's increased "Defense Spending"?

No one questions his desire to have a 21st Century Military.

Ah, screw it. We're all f.....d
0 # A_Har 2015-02-01 02:55
Quoting Kauai John:
Ah, screw it. We're all f.....d

Indeed we ARE.

The other thing not mentioned is the ENORMOUS DEBT including the unfunded mandates like Medicare and Social Security and the potential loss of the reserve currency status of the U$ Dollar. They are willing to go to war to protect that racket. But he has to give a happy talk offering. Like Bush once said...."Gotta catapult the propaganda."

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