President Obama Advocates for the Middle Class in Galesburg

July  24, 2013

Obama Wrap

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The country has come a long way during the past eight years, but still has a long way to go. That was the message today from President Barack Obama during a speech at Knox College in Galesburg. In 2005, he gave the commencement address as a newly elected U.S. Senator.

Today he focused on the importance of a strong middle class to boost the American economy. He thinks trends that started before he took office have only gotten worse.

"The trend of a 'winner-take-all' economy where a few are doing better and better and better while everybody else just treads water," said the president. "Those trends have been made worse by the recession, and that's a problem. This growing inequality, not just of result, inequality of opportunity, this growing inequality is not just morally wrong. It's bad economics. Because when middle class families have less to spend, guess what, busineses have fewer consumers."

The president laid out five cornerstones to bolster the middle class: job creation, education, home ownership, secure retirement, and healthcare. He did not lay out any new policy proposals, but he said he will take action with the help of Congress, and on his own.

"I do not intend to wait until the next campaign or the next president before tackling the issues that matter," said the president. "I care about one thing and one thing only and that's how to use every minute.... the only thing I care about is how to use every minute of the remaining 1,276 days of my term to make this country work for working Americans again."

President Obama says its time for Republicans to set aside short-term politics, and pass common sense legislation that will help the most people. He's laid out his ideas on how to help the middle class, now it's time for Congress to lay out theirs. The president's speech at Knox College Wednesday is the first of several he'll be giving about the economy around the country.