“Don’t let anybody tell you that the challenges we face right now are beyond our ability to solve.”
President Barack Obama visited Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio yesterday to talk about the two completely different views he and Romney have about how to create jobs and grow the economy.
Click HERE for read the entire speech or watch the video.
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So, Ohio, over the next five months, this election will take many twists and many turns. Polls will go up and polls will go down. There will be no shortage of gaffes and controversies that keep both campaigns busy and give the press something to write about. You may have heard I recently made my own unique contribution to that process. It wasn’t the first time; it won’t be the last.
Now, this isn’t some abstract debate. This is not another trivial Washington argument. I have said that this is the defining issue of our time — and I mean it. I said that this is a make-or-break moment for America’s middle class — and I believe it. The decisions we make in the next few years on everything from debt and taxes to energy and education will have an enormous impact on this country and on the country we pass on to our children.
At stake is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two paths for our country. And while there are many things to discuss in this campaign, nothing is more important than an honest debate about where these two paths would lead us.
But here in the United States, Americans showed their grit and showed their determination. We acted fast. Our economy started growing again six months after I took office and it has continued to grow for the last three years.
Our businesses have gone back to basics and created over 4 million jobs in the last 27 months — more private sector jobs than were created during the entire seven years before this crisis — in a little over two years.
Manufacturers have started investing in America again — including right here in Ohio. And across America, we’ve seen them create almost 500,000 jobs in the last 27 months — the strongest period of manufacturing job growth since 1995.
And when my opponent and others were arguing that we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we made a bet on American workers and the ingenuity of American companies — and today our auto industry is back on top of the world.
So the debate in this election is not about whether we need to grow faster, or whether we need to create more jobs, or whether we need to pay down our debt. Of course the economy isn’t where it needs to be. Of course we have a lot more work to do. Everybody knows that. The debate in this election is about how we grow faster, and how we create more jobs, and how we pay down our debt. That’s the question facing the American voter. And in this election, you have two very different visions to choose from.
From now until then, both sides will spend tons of money on TV ads. The other side will spend over a billion dollars on ads that tell you the economy is bad, that it’s all my fault, that I can’t fix it because I think government is always the answer, or because I didn’t make a lot of money in the private sector and don’t understand it, or because I’m in over my head, or because I think everything and everybody is doing just fine. That’s what the scary voice in the ads will say. That’s what Mr. Romney will say. That’s what the Republicans in Congress will say.
Well, that may be their plan to win the election, but it’s not a plan to create jobs. It’s not a plan to grow the economy. It’s not a plan to pay down the debt. And it’s sure not a plan to revive the middle class and secure our future.
I think you deserve better than that.
Governor Romney and his allies in Congress believe deeply in the theory that we tried during the last decade — the theory that the best way to grow the economy is from the top down. So they maintain that if we eliminate most regulations, if we cut taxes by trillions of dollars, if we strip down government to national security and a few other basic functions, then the power of businesses to create jobs and prosperity will be unleashed, and that will automatically benefit us all.
That’s what they believe. This is their economic plan. It has been placed before Congress. Governor Romney has given speeches about it, and it’s on his website. So if they win the election, their agenda will be simple and straightforward. They have spelled it out: They promise to roll back regulations on banks and polluters, on insurance companies and oil companies. They’ll roll back regulations designed to protect consumers and workers. They promise to not only keep all of the Bush tax cuts in place, but add another $5 trillion in tax cuts on top of that.
As for the long term, remember that the economic vision of Mr. Romney and his allies in Congress was tested just a few years ago. We tried this. Their policies did not grow the economy. They did not grow the middle class. They did not reduce our debt. Why would we think that they would work better this time?
We can’t afford to jeopardize our future by repeating the mistakes of the past — not now, not when there’s so much at stake.
I’ve got a different vision for America. I believe that you can’t bring down the debt without a strong and growing economy. And I believe you can’t have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class.
This has to be our North Star — an economy that’s built not from the top down, but from a growing middle class, that provides ladders of opportunity for folks who aren’t yet in the middle class.
And what’s lacking is not the capacity to meet our challenges. What is lacking is our politics. And that’s something entirely within your power to solve. So this November, you can remind the world how a strong economy is built — not from the top down, but from a growing, thriving middle class.
This November, you can remind the world how it is that we’ve traveled this far as a country — not by telling everybody to fend for themselves, but by coming together as one American family, all of us pitching in, all of us pulling our own weight.
This November, you can provide a mandate for the change we need right now. You can move this nation forward. And you can remind the world once again why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth.