Four years ago, the American economy changed forever. During the Great Recession, Americans lost more than just jobs and wages; we lost defining elements of our economy and infrastructure. More importantly, we lost our confidence – both in our economic system and in the ability of that system to sustain us.
Over the last four years, Barack Obama has worked diligently to heal the economy. He hasn’t settled for superficial quick-fix measures, but rather has sought real and enduring progress; his policies aim to fundamentally revolutionize the way our economy functions both domestically and internationally. In the wake of a crippling financial catastrophe, Obama has found new ways for America to compete and prosper.
Many of the jobs America lost in 2008 simply aren’t coming back the way they left. We must now change with the times; we must embrace and adapt to our role as an economy based on a technological, highly skilled and highly educated workforce. President Obama has spent four years positioning us to meet this challenge.
To fuel this dynamic and growing economy, Obama will work to increase investment in the fundamental engines of prosperity that can make our nation great again: education, infrastructure, energy and technology.
President Obama understands that a superior 21st century American workforce requires a superior American education. To this end, the Obama administration has made it a priority to fund the innovative ‘Race to the Top’ initiative and has taken steps to ensure that a college degree is within reach for all Americans by expanding Pell Grants and tax credits.
The president plans to expand investment in the long-term infrastructure projects, which will keep the arteries of American business healthy and flowing – improving our nation’s bridges, highways, public transit systems, and airports is a critical objective for the Obama administration’s economic agenda moving forward.
President Obama is committed to creating an energy-independent America and has created over 225,000 new jobs by expanding clean energy initiatives. By developing alternative energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, hydro power, nuclear and natural gas, Obama is working to ensure at least 80 percent of American energy will be “clean” by 2035.
All of these important investments will undeniably cost a significant amount of money; fortunately, President Obama – unlike his opponent – has a concrete and reasonable plan to make sure the financial math adds up.
In pursuing a more balanced budget, Obama continues to stand by his conviction that all Americans should pay their fair share. This means that additional tax relief for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class is no longer a viable fiscal policy.
Indeed, in order to keep us on the correct path toward progress and economic reinvention, Obama has emphasized that strengthening the middle class is a top priority. In his first term, the president cut taxes for every working family (saving households an average of $3,600) and will refuse to raise taxes on the 98 percent of households earning less than $225,000 in his second term.
To continue promoting the growth of the middle class, the president has pledged to eliminate capital gains taxes on start-ups and small businesses. He has consistently fought to reform the financial system, making sure Wall Street plays by the same rules as Main Street. Such economic accountability will allow every citizen the opportunity to sit at the American table – not just the financial elites.
Finally, by paring down defense spending on costly foreign wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the president will be able to conserve funding for many of his innovative investment programs.
The Obama economic program presents a logical and responsible solution for sustaining the new-and-improved American economy. It will allow us to put money back into the pockets of hard-working Americans and grow the economy today, even as we reduce the troubling federal deficit and build for a dynamic future.
Such common sense measures will not only get Washington working again, but will get all Americans back to work to build a better tomorrow. President Obama offers the innovative economic vision necessary for the United States to emerge from the Great Recession stronger, more diverse and more prosperous than before.
The President’s policies are already working – 31 consecutive months of job growth and 5.2 million new private sector jobs are a powerful testament to that fact. Still, amid these unsteady domestic and international economic currents, changing our direction midstream now would not only be irresponsible, it could be catastrophic for our recovering economy.