Obama: 2014 'can be a breakthrough year' for economy

Jan. 18, 2014 at 6:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said once again Saturday he will act if Congress doesn't "to bring back more of the good jobs" lost during the Great Recession.

During his weekly radio and Internet address, the president spoke of his visit this week to a Raleigh, N.C., company "that helps make electric motors that save businesses money on energy costs and cut harmful carbon pollution."

He said the visit, coupled with a stop at North Carolina State University, is "part of my push not only to make America home to more high-tech manufacturing -- but to make America more attractive for the good jobs that a growing middle class requires."

"And increasingly, we are," Obama said. "Thanks in part to our all-of-the-above strategy for American energy, for the first time in nearly two decades, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world. We generate more renewable energy than ever, and more natural gas than anybody. Healthcare costs are growing at their slowest rate in 50 years -- due in part to the Affordable Care Act. And since I took office, we've cut our deficits by more than half."

The president said the economy is "primed to bring back more of the good jobs claimed by the recession, and lost to overseas competition in recent decades," and repeated that he is willing "to work with Congress this year on proven ways to create jobs, like building infrastructure and fixing our broken immigration system."

"Where Congress isn't acting, I'll act on my own to put opportunity within reach for anyone who's willing to work for it," Obama said.

"I firmly believe that this can be a breakthrough year for America. But to make that happen, we're gonna have to act -- to create good jobs that pay good wages, and to offer more Americans a fair shot to get ahead."

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