President Barack Obama Weekly Address August 27, 2011 (Video/Transcipt)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, August 27, 2011

In just two weeks, we’ll come together, as a nation, to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. We’ll remember the innocent lives we lost. We’ll stand with the families who loved them. We’ll honor the heroic first responders who rushed to the scene and saved so many. And we’ll pay tribute to our troops and military families, and all those who have served over the past ten years, to keep us safe and strong.

We’ll also recall how the worst terrorist attack in American history brought out the best in the American people. How Americans lined up to give blood. How volunteers drove across the country to lend a hand. How schoolchildren donated their savings. How communities, faith groups and businesses collected food and clothing.

We were united, and the outpouring of generosity and compassion reminded us that in times of challenge, we Americans move forward together, as one people.

This September 11th, Michelle and I will join the commemorations at Ground Zero, in Shanksville, and at the Pentagon. But even if you can’t be in New York, Pennsylvania or Virginia, every American can be part of this anniversary. Once again, 9/11 will be a National Day of Service and Remembrance. And in the days and weeks ahead, folks across the country—in all 50 states—will come together, in their communities and neighborhoods, to honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts of service and charity.

In Minneapolis, volunteers will help restore a community center. In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, they’ll hammer shingles and lay floors to give families a new home. In Tallahassee, Florida, they’ll assemble care packages for our troops overseas and their families here at home. In Orange County, California, they’ll renovate homes for our veterans. And once again, Michelle and I look forward to joining a local service project as well.

There are so many ways to get involved, and every American can do something. To learn more about the opportunities where you live, just go online and visit Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost; a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.

On this 10th anniversary, we still face great challenges as a nation. We’re emerging from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. We’re taking the fight to al Qaeda, ending the war in Iraq and starting to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. And we’re working to rebuild the foundation of our national strength here at home.

None of this will be easy. And it can’t be the work of government alone. As we saw after 9/11, the strength of America has always been the character and compassion of our people. So as we mark this solemn anniversary, let’s summon that spirit once more. And let’s show that the sense of common purpose that we need in America doesn’t have to be a fleeting moment; it can be a lasting virtue—not just on one day, but every day.

President Barack Obama Weekly Address August 20, 2011 (Video/Transcipt)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Alpha, Illinois

Hello from the Country Corner Farm in Alpha, Illinois! For the past few days, I’ve been traveling to small towns and farm towns here in the heartland of this country. I sat down with small business owners in Gutenberg, Iowa; and ranchers and farmers in Peosta. I had lunch with veterans in Cannon Falls, Minnesota; and talked to plant workers at a seed distributor in Atkinson, Illinois. And to the girls volleyball team at Maquoketa High School, let me just say one thing: Go Cardinals.

Now, I’m out here for one reason: I think Washington, DC can learn something from the folks in Atkinson and Peosta and Cannon Falls. I think our country would be a whole lot better off if our elected leaders showed the same kind of discipline and integrity and responsibility that most Americans demonstrate in their lives every day.

Because, the fact is, we’re going through a tough time right now. We’re coming through a terrible recession; a lot of folks are still looking for work. A lot of people are getting by with smaller paychecks or less money in the cash register. So we need folks in Washington – the people whose job it is to deal with the country’s problems, the people who you elected to serve – we need them to put aside their differences to get things done.

There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country. We can cut payroll taxes again, so families have an extra $1,000 to spend. We can pass a road construction bill so construction crews – now sitting idle – can head back to the worksite, rebuilding roads, bridges, and airports. We’ve got brave, skilled Americans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s connect them with businesses that could use their skills. And let’s pass trade deals to level the playing field for our businesses. We have Americans driving Hyundais and Kias. Well, I want to see folks in Korea driving Fords, Chevys and Chryslers. I want more products sold around the globe stamped with three words: Made in America.

These are commonsense ideas – ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. The only thing holding them back is politics. The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.

Because, for all the knocks we’ve taken, despite all the challenges we face, this is still the greatest country on earth. We still have the best workers and farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses, students and scientists. And you can see that here in Alpha. You can see it along the country roads that connect these small towns and farmlands.

These past few days, I’ve been seeing little kids with American flags and grandparents in lawn chairs. I’ve shaken hands with folks outside machine shops and churches, corner stores and farms. It reminds me why I got into public service in the first place. Getting out of Washington and spending time with the people of this country – seeing how hard you’re working, how creative you are, how resourceful you are, how determined you are – that only makes me more determined to serve you as best I can as President. And it only makes me more confident in our future.

That’s why it’s so important that folks in Washington put country before party. That’s why it’s so important that our elected leaders get past their differences to help grow the economy and put this nation back to work. Because here in Alpha it couldn’t be more clear: if we can come together, there’s no stopping the United States of America. There’s no doubt that our future is bright.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

What in the world are they thinking?

Watch out what are you planning to vote for.

Remember how many voted for the Tea Party Movement hoping to get real change, when in fact they have caused a dysfunctional congress and a political stalemate where nothing goes, far from progress and any positive change.

Now there are more Tea Party Movement members running for president, claiming that they can do better and are more efficient that the current president.

For example, Michele Bachmann an Evangelical Christian who owns together with her husband a Christian counseling practice named Bachmann & Associates. She is a wealthy person and though opposed minimum wage increases and even proposes to eliminate the federal minimum wage!

And then there is Herman Cain, a businessman who wants to create jobs and stimulate the economy by lowering the corporate tax rates from 35 to 25 percent, eliminating the capital gains tax, and suspending taxes on repatriated foreign profits. He also supports elimination of the estate tax. He wants replace all federal personal and corporate income taxes with a 23% national sales tax.

In other words, both want to put more pressure on the working as well as middle class and at the same time increase their wealth and the wealthiest in the United States. If you don't believe it, ask people in Europe who have a 19% sales tax. Most people with low income don't know how to make ends meet anymore. Do you want this in the U.S?

Both and other candidates of the Republican Party want to go further that President Jorge W. Bush who squandered a billion dollar surplus and ran-up a trillion dollar deficit before passing it to the current administration.

Now I wonder who in the world still believes that these philosophies of giving money to the rich to stimulate the economy will work. It hasn’t worked over the last 30 years since President Regan started this idea.


Dear President Barack Obama,

You are right with your remarks as you have often been.
However, I don’t think that much has changed despite your promise that you would change Washington.
I am not sure if you were ever able to change much, since you had a full plate to deal with after your election.
However, I had hoped for one thing that should have been changed by now.
The political system in Washington.

As long as politics is continuing in the way it has been over the last 30 or so year, the future for America looks quite bleak. In my opinion, it is appalling that the strongest country in the world continues to rely on such old political system, that was made when most American where still riding on horses and trying to defend their land by themselves.
We are in the 21st century and we still haven’t been able to change our voting system to a proportional representation system. It is appalling that a party like the Republican Party is able to change zoning to favor their electoral outcome. Why are other countries in this world more advanced in this respect than the U.S.A?

And why does our country, the U.S.A, have almost the worst schools in the world considering the GDP?
Why do corporation get more money than our public school? 
Why do we spend more money on the military than our public school? 
Why do we spend more money on the wealthier in the country than our public school? 
I could go on and on but I think I made my point!

I think Democrats have to expose politicians (especially from the Republican Party) and their true agenda by telling the American voter where they stand in respect to these important issues. It is not right that Republicans use unfair tactics, such as scare tactics as well as falsifying the truth and are able to get away with it.

Things have to change or we will see the same kind of problems as we have just witnessed in the United Kingdom.

President Barack Obama Weekly Address August 13, 2011 (Video/Transcipt)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Washington, DC
On Thursday, I visited a new, high-tech factory in Michigan where workers are helping America lead the way in a growing clean energy industry.

They were proud of their work, and they should be.  They’re not just showing us a path out of the worst recession in generations – they’re proving that this is still a country where we make things; where new ideas take root and grow; where the best universities, most creative entrepreneurs, and most dynamic businesses in the world call home.  They’re proving that even in difficult times, there’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with us.

That doesn’t mean we don’t face some very tough economic challenges.  Many Americans are hurting badly right now.  Many have been unemployed for too long.  Putting these men and women back to work, and growing wages for everyone, has got to be our top priority.

But lately, the response from Washington has been partisanship and gridlock that’s only undermined public confidence and hindered our efforts to grow the economy.

So while there’s nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics, and that’s what we’ve got to fix.  Because we know there are things Congress can do, right now, to get more money back in your pockets, get this economy growing faster, and get our friends and neighbors back to work.

The payroll tax cut that put $1,000 back in the average family’s pocket this year?  Let’s extend it.  Construction workers who’ve been jobless since the housing boom went bust?  Let’s put them back to work rebuilding America.  Let’s cut red tape in the patent process so entrepreneurs can get good ideas to market more quickly.  Let’s finish trade deals so we can sell more American-made goods around the world.  Let’s connect the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan to businesses that need their incredible skills and talents.

These are all things we can do right now.  So let’s do them.  And over the coming weeks, I’ll put forward more proposals to help our businesses hire and create jobs, and won’t stop until every American who wants a job can find one.
But we can no longer let partisan brinksmanship get in our way – the idea that making it through the next election is more important than making things right.  That’s what’s holding us back – the fact that some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.

So you’ve got a right to be frustrated.  I am.  Because you deserve better.  And I don’t think it’s too much for you to expect that the people you send to this town start delivering.

Members of Congress are at home in their districts right now.  And if you agree with me – whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or not much of a fan of either – let them know.

If you’ve had it with gridlock, and you want them to pass stalled bills that will help our economy right now – let them know.

If you refuse to settle for a politics where scoring points is more important than solving problems; if you believe it’s time to put country before party and the interests of our children before our own – let them know.
And maybe they’ll get back to Washington ready to compromise, ready to create jobs, ready to get our fiscal house in order – ready to do what you sent them to do.

Yes, we’ve still got a long way to go to get to where we need to be.  We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and it’s going to take time to get out of it.  That’s a hard truth – but it’s no excuse for inaction.  After all, America voted for divided government, not dysfunctional government, and we’ve got work to do.  And when we come together and find common ground, there’s no stopping this country.  There’s no stopping our people.  There’s no holding us back.  And there is every reason to believe we’ll get through this storm to a brighter day.

Thanks for listening, and have a nice weekend.


President Barack Obama Weekly Address August 6, 2011 (Video/Transcipt)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Washington, DC

This week, Congress reached an agreement that’s going to allow us to make some progress in reducing our nation’s budget deficit. And through this compromise, both parties are going to have to work together on a larger plan to get our nation’s finances in order. That’s important. We’ve got to make sure that Washington lives within its means, just like families do. In the long term, the health of our economy depends on it.

But in the short term, our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs. That’s what’s on people’s minds; that’s what matters to families in this country. And the fact is, this has been a tumultuous year for the economy. We’ve weathered the Arab Spring’s effect on oil and gas prices. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami’s effect on supply chains. The economic situation in Europe. And in Washington, there was a contentious debate over our nation’s budget that nearly dragged our country into financial crisis.

So our job right now has to be doing whatever we can to help folks find work; to help create the climate where a business can put up that job listing; where incomes are rising again for people. We’ve got to rebuild this economy and the sense of security that middle class has felt slipping away for years. And while deficit reduction has to be part of our economic strategy, it’s not the only thing we have to do.

We need Democrats and Republicans to work together to help grow this economy. We’ve got to put politics aside to get some things done. That’s what the American people expect of us. And there are a number of steps that Congress can take right away, when they return in September.

We need to extend tax cuts for working and middle class families so you have more money in your paychecks next year. That would help millions of people to make ends meet. And that extra money for expenses means businesses will have more customers, and will be in a better position to hire.

Yesterday, I proposed a new tax credit for companies that hire veterans who are looking for work after serving their country. We’ve got a lot of honorable and skilled people returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and companies that could benefit from their abilities. Let’s put them together.

We need to make sure that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs are not denied unemployment benefits to carry them through hard times.

We’ve got to cut the red tape that stops too many inventors and entrepreneurs from quickly turning new ideas into thriving businesses – which holds back our whole economy.

It’s time Congress finally passed a set of trade deals that would help displaced workers looking for new jobs, and that would allow our businesses to sell more products in countries in Asia and South America – products stamped with three words: Made in America.

And we ought to give more opportunities to all those construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing boom went bust. We could put them to work right now, by giving loans to companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, helping to rebuild America.

Those are a few commonsense steps that would help the economy. And these are ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the past. So I’m going to keep calling on both parties in Congress to put aside their differences and send these bills to my desk so I can sign them right away. After all, both parties share power. Both parties share responsibility for our progress. Moving our economy and our country forward is not a Democratic or a Republican responsibility; it is our responsibility as Americans.

That’s the spirit we need in Washington right now. That’s how we’ll get this economy growing faster and reach a brighter day.

Thanks for listening, and have a great weekend.


President Obama Announces Jobs Initiative for Post 9-11 Veterans

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, everybody. Good morning. I’m glad somebody told me that was the last one because I had lost count. (Laughter.)

It is great to be here at the Navy Yard. And first of all, I want to thank Admiral Mullen for being here and for his four decades of extraordinary service to this country. And I want to thank him for saying that for an old guy I look okay. (Laughter.) I appreciate that.

This may be one of the oldest shipyards in the United States, but today it’s used to develop some of the most advanced technology in the military. Although I hear your engineers are still working on a solution to the traffic when the Nationals are playing. (Laughter.) That’s not ready yet.

Let me start by saying a few words about our economy. There is no doubt this has been a tumultuous year. We’ve weathered the Arab Spring’s effect on oil and gas prices, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami’s effect on supply chains, the extraordinary economic uncertainty in Europe. And recently, markets around the globe have taken a bumpy ride.

My concern right now -- my singular focus -- is the American people. Getting the unemployed back on the job, lifting their wages. Rebuilding that sense of security the middle class has felt slipping away for years. And helping them recover fully, as families and as communities, from the worst recession that any of us have ever seen.

Today, we know that our economy created 154,000 new private sector jobs in July. And that’s the strongest pace since April. The unemployment rate went down, not up. But while this marks the 17th month in a row of job growth in the private sector --nearly 2.5 million new private sector jobs in all -- we have to create more jobs than that each month to make up for the more than 8 million jobs that the recession claimed. We need to create a self-sustaining cycle where people are spending, and companies are hiring, and our economy is growing. And we’ve known that will take some time.

But what I want the American people and our partners around the world to know is this: We are going to get through this. Things will get better. And we’re going to get there together.

The bipartisan compromise on deficit reduction was important in terms of putting us on sounder fiscal footing going forward. But let’s be honest: The process was divisive. It was delayed. And if we want our businesses to have the confidence they need to get cash off the sidelines and invest and hire, we’ve got to do better than that. We’ve got to be able to work together to grow the economy, right now, and strengthen our long-term finances. That’s what the American people expect of us –- leaders that can put aside our differences to meet our challenges.

So when Congress gets back in September, I want to move quickly on things that will help the economy create jobs right now –- extending the payroll tax credit to put $1,000 in the pocket of the average worker, extending unemployment insurance to help people get back on their feet, putting construction workers back to work rebuilding America. Those are all steps that we can take right now that will make a difference. And there’s no contradiction between us taking some steps to put people to work right now and getting our long-term fiscal house in order. In fact, the more we grow, the easier it will be to reduce our deficits.

Now, both parties share power. Both parties share responsibility for our progress. Moving our economy and our country forward is not a Democratic or a Republican responsibility; it is -- it’s not a public or a private responsibility. It is the responsibility of all Americans. It’s in our nature to do the tough things when necessary; to do the right things when called. And that’s the spirit that Washington needs right now.

It’s also the kind of spirit found in the men and women who proudly serve in our country’s uniform, and it’s a spirit that endures long after they take those uniforms off. Today’s veterans are Americans who have done their duty. They’ve fought our wars with valor, from the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan. And they include the members of today’s military, the 9/11 generation -- some of whom are here today -- who volunteered to serve at a time of war knowing they would be sent into harm’s way.

To these men and women, I want to say that all of you have served our country with honor. Over the last decade, you’ve performed heroically and done everything we have asked of you in some of the most dangerous places on the planet. Your generation has earned a special place in American history.

Today, nearly 3 million extraordinary service members like you have completed their service and made the transition back to civilian life. They’ve taken their leadership experience, their mastery of cutting-edge technologies, their ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and they’ve become leaders here at home. Just think about how many veterans have led their comrades on life-and-death missions by the time they were 25 years old. That’s the kind of responsibility and experience that any business in America should want to take advantage of.

These veterans are already making an impact, making companies and communities stronger. But for every success story, there are also stories of veterans who come home and struggle to find a job worthy of their experience and worthy of their talent.

Veterans like Nick Colgin. When Nick was in Afghanistan, he served as a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne. Over the course of his deployment, Nick saved the life of a French soldier who was shot in the head and helped 42 people escape from a flooding river. He earned a Bronze Star for his actions. But when Nick got back home to Wyoming, he couldn’t get a job as a first responder. So he ended up having to take classes through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, classes he easily could have taught, just so he could qualify for the same duties at home that he was doing every single day in Afghanistan.

They’re veterans like Maria Canales. She was a financial specialist in the Army, helping provide financial support for her unit in Iraq. And when she got home, she finished earning her degree in business management. But even with her education and her experience in the Army, Maria still couldn’t find a steady, working job in accounting or finance. That isn’t right, and it doesn’t make any sense -- not for our veterans, not for the strength of our country.

If you can save a life in Afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance in Wyoming. If you can oversee millions of dollars in assets in Iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home. Our incredible servicemen and women need to know that America values them not simply for what they can do in uniform, but for what they can do when they come home. We need them to keep making America stronger.

Our companies need skilled workers like our veterans to grow, and there’s no reason why we can’t connect the two. And keeping our commitments to our veterans has been one of my top priorities as Commander-in-Chief, and that includes helping them make the transition back to civilian life.

That’s why we’re fully funding the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which is helping more than 500,000 veterans and their family members pursue a college education. That’s why we supported extending the bill to include non-college degrees and on-the-job and apprenticeship training. That’s why I directed the federal government to be a model employer and hire more veterans, including more than 100,000 in the past year and a half alone.

So today, we’re taking it a step further.

First, we need to do more to make the transition from military to civilian life easier for our veterans. That’s why I’m directing the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to design what we’re calling a “reverse boot camp.” The problem is that right now, we spend months preparing our men and women for life in the military, but we spend much less time preparing them for life after they get out. So we’ll devote more time on the back end to help our veterans learn about everything from benefits to how they can translate their military training into an industry-accepted credential. In addition, we’ll make it easier for veterans to go to their local OneStop career center and get help pursuing a career that fits them best.

These steps will help bridge part of the gap between veterans looking for work and companies looking to hire. But that’s only part of the equation. The other half is about encouraging companies to do their part. That’s why I’m proposing a new Returning Heroes Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans. And I’m proposing an increase in the existing tax credit for companies who hire unemployed veterans with a disability, who still have so much to offer our country.

And finally, we’re challenging the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed post-9/11 veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013. This builds on commitments that many companies have already made as part of the Joining Forces campaign championed by my wife Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden. Siemens, for example, recently met their goal of hiring 300 veterans, so they’re aiming to hire 150 more by December. Microsoft is helping more than 10,000 veterans get IT certified over the next two years. And today, groups from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Accenture to Lockheed Martin have all agreed to do their part to help veterans get back in the workforce.

The bottom line is this. We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to give folks the economic security and opportunity they deserve. And that begins with connecting Americans looking for work, including our veterans, with employers looking to hire.

Over the last few years, another generation of young veterans has learned that the challenges don’t end in Kandahar or Baghdad. They continue right here at home. Today, we’re saying to our veterans, you fought for us, and now we’re fighting for you -- for the jobs and opportunities that you need to keep your families strong and to keep America competitive in the 21st century. And at a time when there is so much work to be done in this country, we need everyone’s help to do it.

So thank you, God bless you, God bless all our services, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)