Tag Archives: economy

Remarks by the President on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, 6/10/13

“Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work. Now, that’s wrong. I don’t want that for Malia and Sasha. I don’t want that for your daughters. I don’t want that to be an example that any child growing up ends up accepting as somehow the norm. I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman’s hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man’s.

Now, what’s important to realize also, though, is this is not just an issue of fairness. This is a family issue. This is a middle-class issue. This is an economic issue. Just last week, a report confirmed what we already know: that women are increasingly the breadwinners for American families. Women are now the primary source of income for nearly 40 percent of American families. Forty percent — almost half.

That’s not something to panic about, or to be afraid about -– that’s a sign of the progress and the strides that we’ve made. But what it does mean is that when more women are bringing home the bacon, they shouldn’t just be getting a little bit of bacon. (Laughter.) If they’re bringing home more of the income and that income is less than a fair share, that means that families have less to get by on for childcare or health care, or gas or groceries. It makes it harder for middle-class families to save and retire. It leaves small businesses with customers who have less money in their pockets — which is not good for the economy. That’s not a good example to set for our sons and daughters, but it’s also not a good recipe for long-term, stable economic growth.

So to anyone who says 77 cents on the dollar sounds pretty close to equal, I say, your math is bad….

That’s why, as Valerie mentioned, I created the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls, which is working to close that gap….

It’s why I established a National Equal Pay Task Force to help crack down on violations of equal pay laws, which, by the way, they’re doing at a record rate. And, through education and outreach, they’re also helping employers develop tools to comply with the nation’s equal pay laws on their own. And that’s why, earlier this year, I signed a presidential memorandum directing the federal government to close that gap for good for its employees. (Applause.) We have to set an example.

It’s also why we’re using the latest technology to help workers get the information they need to figure out if they’re underpaid….

Now is the time for Congress to step up and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so women have better tools to fight for equal pay for equal work. (Applause.)

Now is the time for us to encourage more young women to pursue math and science education. Now is the time for us to hire more STEM teachers so all our children are prepared for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of tomorrow.

Now is the time to make sure businesses offer men and women the flexibility to be good employees and good parents. And I really want to commend Deloitte and SumAll, and the CEOs who are with us here today, they are creating exactly the kinds of innovative workplaces that help hard-working Americans thrive, and they’re committed to pay equity. And so when you have a chance to talk to Joe, say thank you. And the CEOs who are out there, if you want a first-class company that is tapping into the talents and resources of all your employees, make sure that you’re putting in place systems so that they all feel like they’re being treated fairly and equally. It’s a simple principle and it’s a powerful one.

And now is the time to make sure that we are putting in place a minimum wage that you can live on — (applause) — because 60 percent of those making the minimum wage are women.

If we do all this — and this will be part of our broader agenda to create good jobs and to strengthen middle-class security, to keep rebuilding an economy that works for everybody, that gives every American the chance to get ahead, no matter who you are or what you look like, or what your last name is and who you love.”

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/19hFmS1

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President’s Weekly Address, 6/1/13: Congress Should Take Action to Continue Growing the Economy

In this week’s address, President Obama says that the economy is moving in the right direction, but there is still more work to do. He called on Congress to act to give every responsible homeowner the chance to save money on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low interest rates, put more Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and fix our broken immigration system, so that we can continue to grow our economy and create good middle class jobs.

“Hi, everybody. Over the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from an economic crisis and punishing recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, and the sense of security they’d worked so hard to build.

And thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, our businesses have now created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 38 months.

An auto industry that was flatlining is once again the heartbeat of American manufacturing – with Americans buying more cars than we have in five years.

Within the next few months, we’re projected to begin producing more of our own crude oil at home than we buy from other countries – the first time that’s happened in 16 years.

Deficits that were growing for years are now shrinking at the fastest rate in decades. The rise of health care costs is slowing, too.

And a housing market that was in tatters is showing new signs of real strength. Sales are rising. Foreclosures are declining. Construction is expanding. And home prices that are rising at the fastest rate in nearly seven years are helping a lot of families breathe a lot easier.

Now we need to do more.

This week, my administration announced that we’re extending a program to help more responsible families modify their mortgages so they can stay in their homes.

But to keep our housing market and our economy growing, Congress needs to step up and do its part. Members of Congress will be coming back next week for an important month of work. We’ve got to keep this progress going until middle-class families start regaining that sense of security. And we can’t let partisan politics get in the way.

Congress should pass a law giving every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low interest rates.

Congress should put more Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, like the one that collapsed last week in Washington state. We’d all be safer, and the unemployment rate would fall faster.

And Congress should fix our broken immigration system by passing commonsense reform that continues to strengthen our borders; holds employers accountable; provides a pathway to earned citizenship; and also modernizes our legal immigration system so that we’re reuniting families and attracting the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help our economy grow.

So there are a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about where we’re headed as a country – especially after all we’ve fought through together. We’ve just got to keep going. Because we’ve got more good jobs to create. We’ve got more kids to educate. We’ve got more doors of opportunity to open for anyone who’s willing to work hard enough to walk through those doors.

And if we work together, I’m as confident as I’ve ever been that we’ll get to where we need to be.

Thanks and have a great weekend.”

Source: http://1.usa.gov/15nT2H4

Weekly Address: The President Talks About How to Build a Rising, Thriving Middle Class, 5/18/13

President Obama talks about his belief that a rising, thriving middle class is the true engine of economic growth, and that to reignite that engine and continue to build on the progress we’ve made over the last four years, we need to invest in three areas: jobs, skills and opportunity.

“More than anything, the American people make me optimistic about where we’re headed as a nation. Especially after all we’ve been through the past several years. And that should encourage us to work even harder on the issues that matter to you.

In a little over three years, our businesses have created more than 6.5 million new jobs. And while our unemployment rate is still too high, it’s the lowest it’s been since 2008. But now we need to create even more good, middle-class jobs, and we need to do it faster.

Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs. But now we need to get middle-class wages and incomes rising too.

Our housing market is healing. But we still need to help a lot more families stay in their homes, or refinance to take advantage of historically low rates.

And our deficits are shrinking at the fastest rate in decades. But now we need to budget in a smarter way that doesn’t hurt middle-class families or harm critical investments in our future.

So in a lot of sectors, things are looking up. The American auto industry is thriving. American energy is booming. And American ingenuity in our tech sector has the potential to change the way we do almost everything.”

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/19JA79I

White House Video Roundup, Part 2

President Obama Speaks in Chicago, Illinois on Strengthening the Economy for the Middle Class

President Obama discusses the plan he laid out in the State of the Union to strengthen communities and families, and make sure every American and every community willing to do the work has the opportunity to lift themselves up.

President Obama Presents the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medals

We are a nation of 315 million people. Out of all these folks, around 6,000 were nominated for this medal. And today, you’re the ones receiving it not just for what you do, but for what you represent — for the shining example that you set every single day and the inspiration that you give each of us as fellow citizens, including your President….

The Presidential Citizens Medal is awarded to Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto for dedicating themselves to their students and to the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Some had been at Sandy Hook Elementary School for only weeks; others were preparing to retire after decades of service. All worked long past the school bell to give the children in their care a future worth their talents. On December 14, 2012, unthinkable tragedy swept through Newtown, etching the names of these six courageous women into the heart of our nation forever. The United States honors Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto for their extraordinary commitment to the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School. http://1.usa.gov/12REKzy

President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with President Napolitano of Italy

I want to thank the people of Italy for their enormous contributions to the NATO Alliance. Italy is one of our biggest contributors in Afghanistan, and makes enormous sacrifices. They welcome and host our troops on Italian soil. The economic bonds between our two countries are very significant. And in all this, President Napolitano has shown himself to be a visionary leader who has helped to guide and steer Europe towards greater unification, but always with a strong transatlantic relationship in mind. http://1.usa.gov/WvvLz1

 

 

White House Video Roundup, Part 1

West Wing Week: 02/15/13 or “You’re a Hero

This week, the President delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term, and then brought his proposals to factories in North Carolina and a school in Georgia, presided over a Medal of Honor ceremony, honored the outgoing Secretary of Defense and hung out on Google Plus.

President Obama participates in a fireside hangout on Google+

President Obama answers questions during a virtual interview with Google+ and Americans from around the country to discuss his State of the Union Address. February 14, 2013.

President Obama in Decatur, Georgia, speaking on early childhood education

…I don’t think you’ll find a working parent in America who wouldn’t appreciate the peace of mind that their child is in a safe, high-quality learning environment every single day…. The size of your paycheck, though, shouldn’t determine your child’s future. So let’s fix this. Let’s make sure none of our kids start out the race of life already a step behind. Let’s make it a national priority to give every child access to a high-quality early education….

Now, in the end, that’s what this is all about — giving our kids the best possible shot at life; equipping them with the skills, education that a 21st century economy demands; giving them every chance to go as far as their hard work and God-given potential will take them.

Because if their generation prospers, if they’ve got the skills they need to get a good job, that means businesses want to locate here. And it also means, by the way, they’re well-equipped as citizens with the critical thinking skills that they need in order to help guide our democracy. We’ll all prosper that way. That’s what we’re fighting for. They’re the ones who are going to write that next great chapter in the American story, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re providing that investment. http://1.usa.gov/12lEHMp

President Obama Speaks on the Economy in Asheville, North Carolina

And as I said [in the State of the Union Address], we should be asking ourselves three questions every single day. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in North Carolina or Texas or California or Oregon. It doesn’t matter. Wherever we are, three things we should be asking. Number one — how do we bring more jobs to America? Number two — how do we equip people with the skills they need to do those jobs? And number three — how do we make sure that once they have a job, it leads to a decent living?

I believe we reward effort and determination with wages that allow working families to raise their kids and get ahead. And that’s part of the reason why I said last night that it’s time for an increase in the minimum wage, because if you work full-time, you shouldn’t be in poverty.

I also believe we provide our people skills and training by investing in education, and that has to start early. It has to start early. So I talked about making sure that kids are getting an early childhood education, making sure that our high schools are preparing our children for a high-tech economy, and making sure that colleges are affordable and accessible to every single American. And I believe we attract new jobs to America by investing in new sources of energy and new infrastructure and the next generation of high-wage, high-tech American manufacturing. I believe in manufacturing. I think it makes our country stronger. http://1.usa.gov/VUYcUO