Obama: 'Big opportunity' for U.S. economy

Feb. 18, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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EVERETT, Wash., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday "we have a big opportunity right now" to build the economy and improve economic security for the middle class.

In his weekly radio and Internet address -- taped Friday at the Boeing Co. plant in Everett, Wash. -- the president called the aviation giant's Dreamliner "a great example of how we can bring jobs and manufacturing back to America."

Obama said job outsourcing and technology that has "made businesses more efficient and productive" has also resulted in the loss of jobs that "provided a decent living" for U.S. families.

"And the hard truth is that a lot of those jobs aren't coming back," he said.

"But that doesn't mean we have to settle for a lesser future," the president said. "I don't accept that idea. In America, there's always something we can do to create new jobs and new manufacturing and new security for the middle class. In America, we don't give up, we get up."

The president noted U.S. businesses have added 3.7 million new jobs during the past 23 months, "and manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990s."

"It's now getting more expensive to do business in places like China," he said. "Meanwhile, America is more productive than ever.

"We have a big opportunity right now to build not only an economy that will help us succeed today, but an economy that will help our kids and their kids succeed tomorrow. We know what we need to do. We need to strengthen American manufacturing. We need to invest in American-made energy and new skills for American workers. And above all, we need to renew the values that have always made this country great: Hard work. Fair play. Shared responsibility."

The president repeated his argument for eliminating tax breaks for companies for outsourcing jobs and called for tax breaks for manufacturers "who set up shop here at home."

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