President Obama's jobs speech to Congress: The full text

Please note that any comments not on the actual content of the speech will not be retained–thank you–KSH.

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

22 comments on “President Obama's jobs speech to Congress: The full text

  1. Tomb01 says:

    “So we can reduce this deficit, pay down our debt, and pay for this jobs plan in the process.”

    Um, did he forget that over the the next 12 years (HIS timeframe) the average deficit would exceed $600 Billion? There is NO debt reduction in his plan, anywhere….

    “Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea”

    Um, did he forget that trade agreements have BEEN ON HIS DESK since he took office? Simply waiting for him to take action?

  2. Brian from T19 says:

    There is NO debt reduction in his plan, anywhere….

    Do you have a copy of the plan? It is not supposed to be released until next week.

  3. Karen B. says:

    I found [url=]this AP article[/url] fact checking the speech to be helpful in evaluating some of Obama’s rhetoric.

    key excerpt:
    [blockquote]OBAMA: “Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.”

    THE FACTS: Obama did not spell out exactly how he would pay for the measures contained in his nearly $450 billion American Jobs Act, but said he would send his proposed specifics in a week to the new congressional supercommittee charged with finding budget savings. White House aides suggested that new deficit spending in the near-term to try to promote job creation would be paid for in the future – the “out years,” in legislative jargon – but they did not specify what would be cut or what revenues they would use.

    Essentially, the jobs plan is an IOU from a president and lawmakers who may not even be in office down the road when the bills come due. [/blockquote]

  4. Nikolaus says:

    [blockquote] OBAMA: “It will not add to the deficit.”

    THE FACTS: It’s hard to see how the program would not raise the deficit over the next year or two because most of the envisioned spending cuts and tax increases are designed to come later rather than now, when they could jeopardize the fragile recovery. Deficits are calculated for individual years. The accumulation of years of deficit spending has produced a national debt headed toward $15 trillion. Perhaps Obama meant to say that, in the long run, his hoped-for programs would not further increase the national debt, not annual deficits.[/blockquote]
    Perhaps Obama doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  5. Br. Michael says:

    We have been there before. Spending reductions, never any actual cuts, in the “out years” never never happen.

    This is just more spending in the hope that something good will happen.

  6. APB says:

    5. For the Left, secular or religious, if it feels good, saying it makes it so.

    This OT posting will self destruct in three, two, o..

  7. Tomb01 says:

    #2 Brian, please go look at Mr. Obama’s 12 year projections. At no time in his 12 year horizon of spending does the annual DEFICIT (that is increased borrowing, you knew that, right?) ever get into positive territory. In fact, the LOWEST deficit in the CBO’s projection of his budget (see link here: ) was in the $600 Billion range…. Most of the years in that projection were much higher. Nothing he has done shows any change in that. For him to actually reduce the debt, he would actually have to have no deficit spending…. Not possible under this man.

    In case you weren’t aware of it, THIS year we will pay more in interest on the national debt than this ‘stimulus 2’ bill spends over its lifetime. Here’s the US Treasury site that documents what we are paying:

    So far this year we have paid $434 Billion in interest, but the final payment of the year (September is the end of the US Government fiscal year) will be at least $20 Billion. Imagine if you will 3 or 4 years from now when interest rates are up (say to double the very low rates we are now paying) and our national debt has increased from $14 Trillion to $18 Trillion?

  8. Capt. Father Warren says:

    1. 2.5 years of Fed Govt spending to stimulate the economy have done just the opposite. Why should we believe >$400B spending this time will be the magic bullet?

    2. The President accuses Congress of being the impediment to job creation. Yet for 2 years he had a veto proof Congress.

    3. Temporary tax cuts do not inspire certainty about the future. When making capital investment decisions, no one will factor a temporary tax cut in to determine a rate of return.

    4. Keynesian’s love infrastructure projects. We take money out of the private sector with a hubris that says Govt knows better where to spend it. Laughable.

    5. Best line of the night: ” “Government and business working side-by-side”. Maybe Jeff Immelt of GE likes that model, but the everyday hard working business owner HATES the thought of Govt lurking somewhere around. Because every business owner is thinking “what are they going to do to me next?”

    There is nothing bold, nothing that unleashes the innovative power of America in this speech. The three things he could have done to ignite the Stock market and the economy (and secure his positive place in history) are;

    1. I am asking Congress to repeal Obamacare

    2. I am asking Congress to repeal Dodd-Frank

    3. I am directing all Adminstrative agencies do everything they can to promote our energy industries, to allow drilling where proven reserves are found, to cancel restrictive policies on Coal, and to slash power plant permit times (including nuclear) by 90%, and for the EPA to scrap all fuel mileage restrictions for automobiles and trucks.

    Didn’t happen. Won’t happen short of January 2013. If you are unemployed, that’s a long time to wait in limbo.

  9. Cennydd13 says:

    The only thing we’re even remotely interested in where I live is the creation of new jobs. We have a 21.5%…..and rising……unemployment rate in Merced County, California. We’ve had our share of promises from Congress over the years, and it’s gotten us nowhere. Now, we do like the idea of promoting real job growth, to be sure…..who wouldn’t? I personally would rather see that job growth in two stages: 1. The highest-paying jobs should go to the areas which demonstrate the greatest need….the poorest areas, and to the people most qualified for those jobs. 2. The rest should be equally distributed across the country.

    I favor increased tariffs on all imported commodities and goods in order to stimulate American job growth. I believe in protectionism…..America first, to be specific, and Canadian jobs need protection, too. I am in favor of the elimination of subsidies to farmers, and to the elimination of foreign aid except for humanitarian reasons.

  10. David Keller says:

    #3-Kendall–I saw this erlier today and it sent me into a minor rage. The Congress passed a bill whcih the President signed into law. Now the President is asking Congress to break the law he signed because it is expedient to his re-election bid. This speaks volumes to me about his view of our Constitutional democracy.

  11. Br. Michael says:

    Then there is this bit of unconstitutionality:

    [blockquote] The U.S. Senate, in an unusual procedure, cleared the way Thursday for the U.S. to lift its borrowing authority by $500 billion to $15.19 trillion, enough to keep the support federal government borrowing through late January or early February.

    The action came under an unusual legislative procedure spelled out under the August agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a U.S. credit default. In a 52-45 vote, the Senate blocked an attempt by Republicans to slow down the process that will result in the $500 billion debt-ceiling increase.

    The increase stems from a deal between Congress and the White House, finalized last month, that spells out how the borrowing limit would be increased by $500 billion. Under the process, lawmakers in both the House and Senate must vote on a resolution of disapproval against the increase in the borrowing limit. President Barack Obama would then have to veto the resolution of disapproval, and Congress would then vote to try and override that veto.[/blockquote]

    The US debt always up up and up. Never down. But the Republicans bear a large part of the blame for this.

    Neither party really cares about honoring their oaths to the Constitution.

  12. jkc1945 says:

    President Obama is an artistic, stylish orator who clearly is able to move an audience.
    However, he has little, if any, substance to present, even with his considerable oratorical ability.
    Result: All hat, no cattle.

  13. Cennydd13 says:

    All talk and no action. Smoke and mirrors.

  14. Alta Californian says:

    As one of the President’s supporters I can honestly say the “this is all paid for” part was the weakest part of the speech. It is incredibly gimmicky to say, “this is paid for, because I’m going to ask the supercommittee to pay for it.” On this point I’m going to wait to see what his supposed deficit reduction plan is next week. I for one believe he should have embraced Bowles-Simpson from the get go. I increasingly believe that to truly solve our deficit problem we all will have to agree to things we don’t like (entitlement cuts and restructuring for the left, and certain tax increases and reforms for the right), if it means solving the greatest problem our country faces.

    I do think it is partisan nonsense to say there were no specifics in the speech. It was loaded with specifics, and the exact specifics are supposedly being presented to Congress to consider.

    I also continue to be puzzled by conservative attacks on infrastructure spending, as if it is perfectly fine for our roads and bridges to continue crumbling and that such deterioration will have no impact on the economy. Unless you’re proposing (as you well may be) that we completely privatize our entire road and highway system (i.e. pay a turnpike toll even to get to the grocery store) I don’t see how this makes any sense at all. You can certainly quibble with how the money is spent and accounted for, how projects are chosen, which projects are deemed worthy, etc…, but I don’t see how you can argue that infrastructure work is not beneficial and needed. I really would be interested in the reasoning you conservatives have for this. “We don’t have the money” does not seem sufficient, as deferred maintenance almost always costs more in the long run. As the construction sector has been the most hard hit by the collapse of the housing bubble, it seems to me that infrastructure spending would be stimulative of that sector, but I realize that is more debatable.

  15. Capt. Father Warren says:

    AC,,,,,,just to offer a little peak under the conservative tent…….

    1. Hi Speed Rail
    2. Boston Tunnel

    I do not recall every reading on this blog about conservatives being against the prudent maintainence of our roads, bridges, etc. In fact, we all [those that drive automobiles, RV’s, etc] contribute everyday to this effort [ie, fuel tax].

    What politicians and Washington have proven over and over again is that so called “infrastructure projects” do nothing to stimulate the econcomy. And that brings up a question I have for liberals:

    If one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result, then why are liberals so excited about yet another Obama mulit-billion dollar stimulus? I can only conclude that they are either insane or not actually interested in stimulating the economy and putting people back to work again in sustainable private sector jobs.

  16. Capt. Father Warren says:

    #12, after I read your post it sounded so convoluted. Then I read the whole story. Then it made perfect sense. Only in Washington. The convoluted process was specifically designed so that…….

    [i]The complicated procedure, designed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), would allow an increase of the borrowing limit while allowing most Republicans to vote against such an increase[/i]

    And Congress wonders (do they care?) why they have a snake-belly low approval rating?

    This is the grunge that has to be cleaned up and tossed out with the trash.

  17. clayton says:

    My city, a second-tier suburb, is full of people doing infrastructure jobs thanks to the last stimulus. Our local government jumped on all the grants they could get, and as a result every school is being modernized, roads are being widened, the library is being upgraded, etc.. The PRIVATE COMPANIES who bid on those jobs came in 20-30% below bids collected during the boom, so the city is getting the work done at a bargain rate. When things pick up again (and they will) we will have easy freeway access and desirable schools, which are the main drivers of housing prices around here.

    Meanwhile, there are lots of people in hard hats, lots of equipment out on the job (as the parent of a small boy, I’m obliged to comment on every backhoe, grader, and concrete truck we pass, so believe me when I say they are everywhere), and somewhere there’s a business owner happy for the work and happy to be able to hire people and buy more equipment. So maybe people a few hours away aren’t feeling the stimulus from our projects, but around here it feels pretty good. Plus I’m going to shave at least 10 minutes off my commute when this is all done.

    So while my overall sanity is an open question (see above re: having a small child), I am interested in putting people back to work in sustainable private sector jobs, like all those construction workers in my town who do not work for the government but for a private company that won a contract. They’re doing a good job and making my city better and more competitive. Yes, I’m excited about more infrastructure.

  18. Br. Michael says:

    And I hate to say it was the Tea Party Republicans that went along with this. Basically it allowed the President to raise spending with a Congressional veto. It stands the spending power on its head.

    Totally unconstitutional. But I guess who cares.

  19. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) says:

    [i]As the construction sector has been the most hard hit by the collapse of the housing bubble, it seems to me that infrastructure spending would be stimulative of that sector, but I realize that is more debatable. [/i]

    As one who has earned his living as a trim carpenter, I have to tell you that heavy construction — highways, bridges, ports, large buildings, etc — is a totally different occupation from light construction, which has indeed been clobbered.

    The best current hope for light construction is retro-fitting, upgrading, and otherwise modifying homes in which people are stuck for the foreseeable future because they’re badly upside-down on their mortgages. Government can’t stimulate that stuff.

    What’s worse, much of the post-1985 housing stock is of such poor quality — lots of particle board and composites, even for “beams” — that they can’t really be upgraded because there’s nothing solid to which you can attach your new work. Many such houses are already beginning to fall apart around their occupants.

    As we emerge from this larger crisis in 15 or 20 years our society and economy will have returned to the solid, the valuable, and the well-made. No government “jobs” program will ever get us there, and may well delay a painful-but-essential process, much to the detriment of millions of people.

  20. Capt. Father Warren says:

    [i]I am interested in putting people back to work in sustainable private sector jobs[/i]

    So am I, but apparantly the President isn’t. What we have seen after every “stimulus” is that all the “created” jobs end because the underlying economy has not gone anywhere. Since last fall, there has essentially been ZERO GDP growth in this country. In August NO new net private sector jobs have been created.

    So, I am happy for you that your suburban area will be all nice and new in a few months. That 40% of the cost of all that work is borrowed from China and elsewhere (or printed money by the FED) I guess doesn’t bother your area, you have all new stuff.

    Part of the President’s reason for this new stimulus is to “put teachers back to work”, but didn’t that happen in stimulus #1. Oh yeah, the money ran out so the teachers had to be fired.

    Point is, he (and Congress!) are doing nothing to get the engine of the economy moving so that real, new, wealth is being created to spur demand so that private sector jobs are TRULY sustainable.

    And that gets down to the nut of the whole thing: Government does not create sustainable jobs because Government does not create wealth. Only the private sector can create wealth by the production of goods and services that others want. Until we unleash the power of the private sector, get Government out of the way, we are going to have this mushy stagnation, or worse.


  21. robroy says:

    We must urgently pass this despite Obama could wait till after his Martha’s Vineyard golf vacation…despite the problems are the same for the past 2.5 years. No, we must pass it tomorrow despite we must believe the line about “everything will be paid for.” Obama presidency modus operandi: create a “crisis” then take advantage of it.