Today President Obama returned to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois to kick off a series of speeches about his vision for rebuilding an economy that puts the middle class — and those fighting to join it – front and center.
In his remarks, President Obama laid out the progress we’ve made together in the five years since the start of the recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, and their savings
“Thanks to the grit and resilience and determination of the American people — of folks like you — we’ve been able to clear away the rubble from the financial crisis. We started to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.
“As a country, we’ve recovered faster and gone further than most other advanced nations in the world. With new American revolutions in energy and technology and manufacturing and health care, we’re actually poised to reverse the forces that battered the middle class for so long, and start building an economy where everyone who works hard can get ahead.”
But, he said, “I’m here to tell you today that we’re not there yet.”
“As Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class and everybody who is fighting to get into the middle class could not be higher,” he said.
“And that’s why, over the next several weeks, in towns across this country, I will be engaging the American people in this debate.”
“I’ll lay out my ideas for how we build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America, and what it takes to work your way into the middle class in America: Job security, with good wages and durable industries. A good education. A home to call your own. Affordable health care when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you’re not rich. Reducing poverty. Reducing inequality. Growing opportunity. That’s what we need.”
A better bargain for the middle class — an economy that grows from the middle out, not the top down, the President explained. “That’s where I will focus my energies not just for the next few months, but for the remainder of my presidency.”