Today, in a live address in Albany, New York, President Barack Obama outlined his plan for economic success, creating a 5 point plan for Congress to follow in order to restore economic prosperity in America. Streamed live on the White House official website, here are his five main talking points:
1. Lower Mortgage Rates for Responsible Homeowners: Congress needs to help the millions of Americans who have worked hard but haven’t been able to re-finance their mortgages because rates are so high, Obama argued. He estimates that families could save around $3,000 if they had the option to re-finance at a lower rate, meaning they would have more money in their pockets.
2. Extend Tax Breaks for Clean Energy Companies: If Congress doesn’t act, Obama warned, taxes on clean energy companies will force employers to lay off workers. Congress has yet to renew tax breaks on this industry, an industry that Obama has openly favored in the past.
3. Help Small Businesses Succeed: Obama outlined the need for Congress to help small business owners by giving them a tax break. Small businesses are the “engine of our economic growth in this country,” he argued, and we must make it easier for them to succeed in this economic climate.
4. Help Veterans Find Jobs: Congress must help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan find good jobs upon returning home. “Men and women in uniform have served our country with honor and distinction, now it’s our turn to serve them,” he said in his address. A Veterans Job Core would help place veterans in jobs as police officers, firefighters, etc.
5. Bring Jobs Back Home: Obama points out that right now, companies are getting tax breaks for moving jobs overseas. Instead, Congress needs to make is easier for companies to do the “right thing” and move jobs back into the United States. He encouraged Congress to create more opportunities for hard working Americans to start making things proudly stamed with the words “Made in America.” He adds, “Everybody benefits when manufacturing is going strong.”
He ended off his speech by emphasizing the need for Congress to keep student loan rates from doubling, an issue that Obama has been focusing on throughout his re-election campaign. Lastly, he added that Congress needs to pass a transportation bill that will enable construction workers to stay at their jobs. Technically, his to-do list for Congress consisted of 7 items, but according to Obama, the last two items are “old business.”
He encouraged citizens to call, email, and tweet their representatives in Congress, reminding them to act on these economic issues.
What do you think of Obama’s economic to-do list? Will this pave the way for economic recovery?