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Ahead of Labor Day, Obama urges help for the middle class

By Anne E. Kornblut
Saying that his policies had "stopped the bleeding" in the job market, President Obama called Saturday on the country to "recommit" to helping the middle class.

"This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn't become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness. We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility. We did it by recognizing that we rise or we fall together as one nation - one people - all of us vested in one another," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

Heading 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 U.S. 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.

Obama performed the same balancing act on Friday, embracing as "positive news" new jobless figures that he said were also "not nearly good enough."

Under mounting pressure from Democratic candidates to project a more forceful image on the central issue of the midterm campaigns, Obama will unveil new proposals during a trip Wednesday to Cleveland. The White House noted that the location - a Democratic stronghold in a swing state - is also where House Minority Leader John Boehner delivered an economic speech weeks earlier.

"Speaking in the city where Minority Leader Boehner recently detailed the Republican economic agenda, the President will lay out the choice between his ideas and the failed policies and failed philosophy that led us into this mess," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote in a blog post. He said Obama will "discuss some targeted proposals to keep the economy growing including extending tax cuts for the middle class, and investing in the areas of our economy where the potential for job growth is greatest."

Obama will also travel Monday to Milwaukee, for a Labor Day event, and he will conduct a press conference on Friday at the White House - all events designed to demonstrate his recommitment to the economy. But it is unlikely that he will have an announcement on one important arena: who will head the new Consumer Protection Bureau created by the financial regulatory bill he signed into law this summer.

Aides said it is possible he could fill another vacancy, at the helm of the Council of Economic Advisers, which Christina Romer departed Friday.

By Anne E. Kornblut  |  September 4, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: McCain: Dems playing 'class warfare'; White House pushes R&D tax credit expansion; Graham: GOP winning by default

Comments

People need to realize that the government can not be the solution for everything. Obama and his band of merry men certainly can not help because everything that they want to do puts us more in debt. They have this vision of a socialist utopia which isn't practical. Our society has grown too dependent on the government and it is killing Americans initiative to do anything. Businesses are afraid to hire more people because they have zero confidence in the government and are scared of what new taxes are going to be imposed on them. Free markets with less regulation is the only way to create jobs.

Posted by: Jsuf | September 4, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn't become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness. We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility. We did it by recognizing that we rise or we fall together as one nation - one people - all of us vested in one another,"
-----------------------------

TheHamptons1 responded: The Obama quote in the (above) paragraph clearly reflects his socialist views. He is absolutely committed to spreading the wealth by punishing success (which he calls greed) and rewarding sloth. This strategy creates a huge class of people dependent on government for their existence.

His socialistic philosophy is exactly why his stimulus and other economic policies didn't work. Successful people (those Obama calls greedy) are the very people who create jobs. As long as there is a hostile administration the successful people will stay on the sidelines. Econ 101.

The question is, is his policy actually working toward his stated goal of "fundamentally transforming America"? Is he really actually trying to revamp our economy from free enterprise to socialism?
---------------------------------
TheHamptons – You are absolutely right – “Successful people (those Obama calls greedy) are the very people who create jobs” – like Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman created jobs in India and China – and the transfer of 6.2 million total jobs overseas most certainly transformed America.

What you expect an army of starving unemployed angry people to DO after you deliberately remove all hope of advancement or even basic survival is a question only you can answer, although the US faced a similar situation in Iraq after the Bush Administration dismissed the (armed) Iraqi army after the fall of Saddam. The US spent the next nine years in a country-wide occupation. Is THAT what you wish for America? It's what your policies are dictating.

Posted by: shadowmagician | September 4, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Bush did it, Bush did it. Tired old line that is not working anymore. Our president does not take responsibility for anything and the same goes for his party.

Posted by: farmsnorton | September 4, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

No more help, please!

Posted by: logicprevails | September 4, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama is full of it. His last desperate attempt will come on Wednesday but it will be to little and to late. Summer of recovery, my butt.

Posted by: farmsnorton | September 4, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

This administration does not respond to ordinary citizens. There is rampant police and judicial corruption here in Indianapolis, Indiana. I have sent certified mail and email begging for investigations for over 1 & 1/2 years with no response to my requests. I finally put videos on Youtube in a deparate attempt to get the Whitehouses'attention. See " Obama Conspiracy Letters " and " Supreme Court Fraud ". If Obama wants to help, he should start there.

Posted by: edwinjones | September 4, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

This administration does not respond to ordinary citizens. There is rampant police and judicial corruption here in Indianapolis, Indiana. I have sent certified mail and email begging for investigations for over 1 & 1/2 years with no response to my requests. I finally put videos on Youtube in a deparate attempt to get the Whitehouses'attention. See " Obama Conspiracy Letters " and " Supreme Court Fraud ". If Obama wants to help, he should start there.

Posted by: edwinjones | September 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Who exactly is Obama urging to help the middle class? He is president, and his party has large majorities. Is he urging himself to help the middle class?


I tell you what, Obama and democrats have proven that they love employees, but hate employers. Why don't they stop hating employers, who EMPLOY the middle class, and maybe they wouldn't be so SPOOKED by the Socialism that he is forcing down everyone's throats.


Obama urges help for the middle class. Give me a freaking break.


They want jobs? Let 'em have health care!

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | September 4, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

what's this recommit crap? when did he dump us? What he means is he will tell you what you want to hear so you will vote his way and after that he will throw you under the bus. Folks, do you really believe what the teleprompter man says?. How many lies does he have to tell before you Kool-ade drinkers choke? He needs to know that he is not God and that he works for us and if we are not happy no one is going to be happy.

Posted by: sambird | September 4, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo:
You left wing idiot you are so brainwashed with "it's Bush's/Republican's fault" you don't have any intelligence left.
Ask any small businessman about Obama's latest tax scheme and he and all the others will tell you that until they know what the rules of the game are vis-a-vis the financial reform, the health reform, and then talk seriously about tax cuts - until then - they are NOT going to hire, or expand, or anything. They are going to sit on what they have and wait it out. Smarten up left wingers - it isn't getting better until Obama, Pelos, Reid, et.al are gone.

Posted by: sandynh | September 4, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, does Kornblut swallow? What a dope..

Posted by: wewintheylose | September 4, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed an almost uniform tendency now in the MSM to say about every Obama policy, speech, or utterance that the President is trying to "walk a fine line," or "thread the needle," or some such malarkey.

I guess this is simply a politically correct way of saying that his policies have been such failures he can't be seen taking credit for them while urging us to embrace even more failed ideas.

He no longer can fascinate the throngs, make women faint, and convince young ones that he'll cure cancer. That poor lady who thought he was filling her gas tank and paying her mortgage is still waiting.

He's not "walking a fine line." He's getting to the END of the line.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | September 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse


How is that 42 percent job approval rating of Barry's going for you Dims? Not too good, hmm?

"Overall, 42% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. This matches the lowest approval rating yet measured for President Obama. Fifty-six percent (56%) now disapprove."

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 4, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse


How is that 42 percent job approval rating of Barry's going for you Dims? Not too good, hmm?

"Overall, 42% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. This matches the lowest approval rating yet measured for President Obama. Fifty-six percent (56%) now disapprove."

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

You seem to forget that it was Bush who gave the stimulous package to the financial institution with no guidelines, oversight, regulations.
And it was Bush and the republicans who started the two wars, one totally unwarrented.
And the auto industry is back on it's feet, avoiding many thousands of lost jobs and businesses closing.
At the same time allowing Wall St, the financial institutions a free run on whatever they wanted.
That Bush and the republicans wanted to privatize SS which would have been wiped out with the financial collapse, wanted to destroy our beautiful parks with drilling, lifted restrictions on pollution and environment protection.
Those who say they are or were a democrat then spout ridiculous statements are not fooling anyone.

Posted by: kathlenec | September 4, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Stop helping us! Its killing us and the nation!

Robert Fuller
Hopewell, NJ

Posted by: fuller1 | September 4, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Stop helping us! Its killing us and the nation!

Robert Fuller
Hopewell, NJ

Posted by: fuller1 | September 4, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Too late. All the money was already given to the criminal bankers, uncompetitive companies that should've gone out of business, and pointless and winless wars.

Obama's team is all about gimmicks -- strong words followed by no action of substance. No risk. No principle. I voted for him, but he blew his chance because he sold himself out. The criminal bankers got the money, we got the words. They deserve to be booted unceremoniously out of power.

Posted by: revolver | September 4, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse


President Obama has spoken twice from the Rose Garden to urge Congress to stop stalling on the Small Business Act to help small businesses.

And small businesses need it. small business is the core of middle class. If we even have a middle class any longer!!!!

the party of no, stopping important legislation again.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | September 4, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has become a huge, festering pimple on the face of the Democratic Party and it is going to burst like an erupting volcano in November.


Posted by: Jerzy | September 4, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

And what have the republicans done these last 20 months to help get our country back on it's feet? They were given numerous opportunities to work together on deterring our destruction, but not only refused, worked against any policy that would help our survival.
They voted against finance reform, additional veterans benefits, funds to bring teachers, fire fighters etc back to work, extension of unemployment, which they created, aid to small businesses, anything and everything that would create improvement.
Why?? Because of their goals to win the next election at any cost, thus supporting further destruction for us and our country and prevent any signs of improvement, destroy our president regardless of consequences and supportijg Wall St the control they once had.
They have thrown away all integrity and honor, abandoned us and our country, ignored what they were elected to do and produce nothing but propaganda, lies, fear, all for the sake of winning this next election.
Heaven help us and our country if they regain control.

Posted by: kathlenec | September 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I greatly respect President Obama. He is absolutely right. It is time to start building the middle class again. In the last 10-20 years, the middle class has been stomped. Government policies have rewarded (and bailed out) companies which lay off people and send jobs overseas. We have allowed financial institutions to build houses of cards around instruments like derivatives which do little more than make a few of the privileged incredibly wealthy.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | September 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama will get help in the form of November when a whole lot of politicians are headed home or to that lobby job. He heads 'home' where ever that is Jan. 2013.

He is totally losing touch with the Country.

Posted by: KBlit | September 4, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

FirstMouse1 writes:

"It seems like the GOP's radical extremist Right has shifted campaign strategy to racism posing as Muslim terrorism. This doesn't bode well for strengthening the health of small businesses across America."
-------------------------------------------------
Let us know if the The Journolist/Left strategy of calling people "racist" who disagree with you politically works out for you in November.

Posted by: carolinadreams | September 4, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The Obama quote in the second paragraph clearly reflects his socialist views. He is absolutely committed to spreading the wealth by punishing success (which he calls greed) and rewarding sloth. This strategy creates a huge class of people dependent on government for their existence.

His socialistic philosophy is exactly why his stimulus and other economic policies didn't work. Successful people (those Obama calls greedy) are the very people who create jobs. As long as there is a hostile administration the successful people will stay on the sidelines. Econ 101.

The question is, is his policy actually working toward his stated goal of "fundamentally transforming America"? Is he really actually trying to revamp our economy from free enterprise to socialism?

Posted by: thehamptons1 | September 4, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Republicans once regarded themselves as the friends of small business, a significant part of our middle class. But now in the Senate they obstruct measures to provide improved conditions for small business recovery.

It seems like the GOP's radical extremist Right has shifted campaign strategy to racism posing as Muslim terrorism. This doesn't bode well for strengthening the health of small businesses across America.

Posted by: FirstMouse1 | September 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse
__________________________________________

...and you are a mummalard, not capable of intellectual thought.

Small businesses don't need government handouts or anything from the government...nor do they want it...hence being small business, beholden to no one save their customers.
Yet Obama proposes a cobbled together piece of crap he calls legislation, the Republicans block it, and you somehow formulate that the Republicans are using racism to destroy small business in America just to spite Obama.

Maybe just maybe, Obama and his cronies drafted said bill, fully knowing the Republicans would denounce it, in order to skew your opinion into believing exactly what you just wrote.

That is politics...and if you don't believe it...observe for a little while and shut up in the meantime...you might learn something outside the propaganda which is fed to you daily by both parties of government.

Posted by: TheFreeMan | September 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday I talked with some so-called Middle-Class neighbors. They talked of having it rough, not getting a raise this year, and over-time cut back. All three make an average of $70-90,000 per year. How SAD! -- So President OBAMA- please help them out! -- And if You & Congress ever get an inkling,- maybe, just maybe, talk with some Low Incomers, or with some of the Most Suffering,- like the DISABLED & ELDERLY Living in "POVERTY"!! -- You think the middle-class has it bad? -- CONGRESS should be Ashamed!! But NO!! -- They enjoy supporting & $BAILing the Globalist $BANKsters & WALLsters whom Economically Raped Our' REPUBLIC!!! -- we NEED CHANGE for real America! -- A new People's Patriot 3rd Party Is called for NOW!!!

Posted by: jward52 | September 4, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse
___________________________________________

Exactly the idiocy that has allowed these communists in the Democratic and Republican parties to instill their will against us.

Who told you Wall St. stole your nation?

Oh yeah, Mr. Obama, Mr. Bush and their minions who have an interest in blaming someone else for the policies which they adopted which led to this pass.

Banks and brokers don't sell credit default swaps outside the realm of the law in such quantity unless the Federal government first gave the OK to do so, or orchestrated the entire event against the will of Wall St...ie, "every American must own a home."

Americans are so easily duped in so many cases that many of you actually deserve what is coming to you.

Posted by: TheFreeMan | September 4, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

But, Why is The Anti-Christ Obama Destroying America. If you truly want to know what is going on; Then you will have to accept these things as the TRUTH. Once you understand the following things; All things will be understood. So I tell you Obama is Satan on Earth, Lawless One, or what ever else you want to call this Demonic Figure. His words describe him, He is a False Hope, If you listen to him you will love him. He carries a Bow without an Arrow. He will conquer all through his speech, his false hoods will capture all who sit and listen to him.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Posted by: makom | September 4, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Republicans once regarded themselves as the friends of small business, a significant part of our middle class. But now in the Senate they obstruct measures to provide improved conditions for small business recovery.

It seems like the GOP's radical extremist Right has shifted campaign strategy to racism posing as Muslim terrorism. This doesn't bode well for strengthening the health of small businesses across America.

Posted by: FirstMouse1 | September 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing to me that the President and his team of wizards...just like the previous President and his team of sorcerors, have yet to realize that the middle class has turned against you because we do not want your help. We want you to stay out of our affairs, stop handing money out to those who will not walk on their own, stop handing money to those who do walk on their own, stop demonizing the same people you rely on to get elected, stop sprouting lies about the economy and simply own up to its realities.

Most middle class folks in this country are content to be middle class and live a good life, looking out for their own...but now all we hear is how you will help us, how you will save us, how you will make this all right.

We didn't need you before and we don't need you now...so by all means stop suing the state of Arizona and its majority middle class population even as you blather your concerns for the middle class.

Stop telling us that Wall Street, a vague faceless enemy, has stolen our livelihood, even as you invite these faceless enemies to your campaign fundraisers.

Nobody buys your nonsense Mr. Obama because it is as easy to see through as your predecessors nonsense.

Your piss-poor research and marketing tactics associated with said research have clouded your ideas about a group of people you have never and will never really understand. Most of the people will buy into a portion of your lies, but many will do everything in their power to make sure that this nation survives the tenure of two tyrants with absolutely opposite messages...but absolutely identical characteristics and minions.

The Rubicon was crossed in the year 2000...and the Senate and House of DC has yet to stand up to the forces of destruction because they are part of the force and their interests are supplemented tenfold by the policies adopted by our previous and current idiots that we sadly must call Presidents.

Posted by: TheFreeMan | September 4, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Almost 2 years now I have heard "the last 8 years" When is this admin, or his party going to take ownership of their own failures?

America has noticed that the blame game doesn't work anymore. The race card doesnt work anymore. The left and the media are in for it come November.

Posted by: JBfromFL | September 4, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

How anyone can expect what took eight years plus to create be resolved overnight.
Complete success of policies when republicans demands are to water down and then they still vote against it. When they have obstructed everything, regardless of merits, to try to get our country back on it's feet for the sake of trying to win an election.
The do not want improvement, have abandoned the majority of the American people with their undying love and support of Wall St and the rich, have no acceptable, workable, credible ideas except continue on with their politics as usual that almost destroyed our country.
And, yet, there are those who think they are blameless, blindly swallowing their propaganda, lies and goal of win at any cost.
Heaven help us and our country if they regain control.

Posted by: kathlenec | September 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Obama the "bitter little people" have a message for you- start packing.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | September 4, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the headline read "Ahead of the mid term kick off campaign"?

After all, the party of "It's Not Our Fault" usually pushes idiot agendas that they have no intention of keeping on the voters during any campaign don't they?

Posted by: ieklein | September 4, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Vote Ron Paul 2012.

Posted by: afikjames | September 4, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

jward52 - Why is it the Government's job to make your life easy? That just leads to lazy people.

Posted by: ahashburn | September 4, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

hey obama: all classes of people work for the rich - since you defined the rich with anyone who has a job - who do you think will now hire anyone when all our customers are broke ?
Please go back to school and re-learn american economics 101 "Free Market Economies are NOT Compatible with Marxist/Socialism"

Posted by: corp21 | September 4, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

It probably is fair to say that the President's policies helped to halt the financial crisis and to reduce the damage that it did to our economy. But, so far, the President has not done anything to reverse the long term trends that have caused the big problem with jobs. Nor is there any prospect that a transfer of wealth from the upper class to the middle class will fix our problems. Too much consumption by the middle class is already part of the problem. So is the growing inequality between those in the middle to upper middle class who have stable jobs and those in the middle to lower middle class who have seen their job prospects diminsh over the last decade. There does not appear to be anyone with better prospects than the President of tackling our real problems. Some of his words have indicated at least some recognition of them. But, so far there is little sign of much real progress in dealing with the big problems. Repeating the platitude that the President's goal is to help the middle class only raises more questions about the prospects for any kind of real accomplishment from him.

Posted by: dnjake | September 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday I talked with some so-called Middle-Class neighbors. They talked of having it rough, not getting a raise this year, and over-time cut back. All three make an average of $70-90,000 per year. How SAD! -- So President OBAMA- please help them out! -- And if You & Congress ever get an inkling,- maybe, just maybe, talk with some Low Incomers, or with some of the Most Suffering,- like the DISABLED & ELDERLY Living in "POVERTY"!! -- You think the middle-class has it bad? -- CONGRESS should be Ashamed!! But NO!! -- They enjoy supporting & $BAILing the Globalist $BANKsters & WALLsters whom Economically Raped Our' REPUBLIC!!! -- we NEED CHANGE for real America! -- A new People's Patriot 3rd Party Is called for NOW!!!

Posted by: jward52 | September 4, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

2 Months before the mid terms and now you want to worry about us.

to little to late and shove that big giveaway to the insurance industry you call healthcare reform where the sun does not shine.

You worry more about the health and welfare of the illegals than you do about the American citizen and now you insult us 2 months before the midterms by saying you are in our corner.

Illegals don't vote(though you have tried to make them eligible) there are not enough big bankers or Hollywood crowd or insurance execs to carry the day for you because America is pissed and we are coming out to vote against you not because we like the republicans but because we want to vote against you.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | September 4, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The president is all about helping the middle class.

right?

Posted by: JBfromFL | September 4, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS OFF ON ANOTHER VACATION TO CAMP DAVID. DOES THIS GUY EVER WORK?

Posted by: BIGMANONCAMPUS1 | September 4, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

O needs to produce or they're done. No job, no vote incumbent. That simple. Labor Day my eye.

Posted by: coogene | September 4, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

"This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn't become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness

I guess that is why we rewarded all the borrowers with new houses.

Posted by: nanonano1 | September 4, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

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