In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president acknowledged the recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression is taking longer than "any of us would like," but he said "there are plenty of steps we can take to speed up the recovery."
"Now, the other side isn't so optimistic," the president said, referring to congressional Republicans. "They think all we can do is cut taxes -- especially for the wealthiest Americans -- and go back to letting banks and corporations write their own rules again. That's their plan.
"But I think they're wrong," Obama said. "We tried their ideas for nearly a decade, and it didn't work out so well. We can't go back to the same policies that got us into this mess."
The president said America needs to "build an economy where hard work and responsibility are rewarded -- where you can find a good job, own your own home, maybe start a businesses, and give your kids the chance to do even better."
"And I've been pushing Congress to help us get there by passing a few common-sense policies that would make a difference," he said. "Democrats and Republicans have already done some important work together -- from passing tax cuts for workers, to opening up new markets for American products, to reforming our patent system. But now we need to do more.
"That's why we made Congress a handy 'To-Do' list -- just like the kind I get from Michelle," Obama said. "It's short, but each of the ideas on this list will help create jobs and build a stronger economy right now."
The president called on Congress to "stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that bring jobs back to America." He said Congress should help homeowners refinance mortgages at lower rates and help small business owners "by giving them a tax break for hiring more workers and paying them higher wages."
He said Congress should extend tax credits for clean energy companies and help military veterans "by creating a Veterans Job Corps. Our men and women in uniform have served this country with honor. Now it's our turn to serve them."