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While those at the top are doing better than ever, too many Americans are working harder than ever, but feel like they can’t get ahead.
President Obama provided a nuts-and-bolts budget discussion this morning in his weekly address, slamming Paul Ryan's joke of a budget presented this week, and extolling his own "Opportunity for All" budget he presented earlier this year.

He outlined the four-point approach in his own plan—job creation, job training, quality education and raising the minimum wage—and then let loose on Ryan's April Fools Day proposal:

The Republican budget begins by handing out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year. Then, to keep from blowing a hole in the deficit, they’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids. Next, their budget forces deep cuts to investments that help our economy create jobs, like education and scientific research.

Now, they won’t tell you where these cuts will fall. But compared to my budget, if they cut everything evenly, then within a few years, about 170,000 kids will be cut from early education programs. About 200,000 new mothers and kids will be cut off from programs to help them get healthy food. Schools across the country will lose funding that supports 21,000 special education teachers. And if they want to make smaller cuts to one of these areas, that means larger cuts in others.

He pointed out that the Ryan plan also—of course—wants to take health insurance away from the 7 million (and still counting!) now covered under Obamacare, and is full of deregulation of the financial industry: "Their budget guts the rules we put in place to protect the middle class from another financial crisis like the one we’ve had to fight so hard to recover from."

He closed, highlighting the ultimate contrasts between the two budget proposals:

Policies that benefit a fortunate few while making it harder for working Americans to succeed are not what we need right now. Our economy doesn’t grow best from the top-down; it grows best from the middle-out. That’s what my opportunity agenda does – and it’s what I’ll keep fighting for.
To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
April 5, 2014

Hi, everybody.

Today, our economy is growing and our businesses are consistently generating new jobs. But decades-long trends still threaten the middle class. While those at the top are doing better than ever, too many Americans are working harder than ever, but feel like they can’t get ahead.

That’s why the budget I sent Congress earlier this year is built on the idea of opportunity for all. It will grow the middle class and shrink the deficits we’ve already cut in half since I took office.

It’s an opportunity agenda with four goals. Number one is creating more good jobs that pay good wages. Number two is training more Americans with the skills to fill those jobs. Number three is guaranteeing every child access to a great education. And number four is making work pay – with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, and health care that’s there for you when you need it.

This week, the Republicans in Congress put forward a very different budget. And it does just the opposite: it shrinks opportunity and makes it harder for Americans who work hard to get ahead.

The Republican budget begins by handing out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year. Then, to keep from blowing a hole in the deficit, they’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids. Next, their budget forces deep cuts to investments that help our economy create jobs, like education and scientific research.

Now, they won’t tell you where these cuts will fall. But compared to my budget, if they cut everything evenly, then within a few years, about 170,000 kids will be cut from early education programs. About 200,000 new mothers and kids will be cut off from programs to help them get healthy food. Schools across the country will lose funding that supports 21,000 special education teachers. And if they want to make smaller cuts to one of these areas, that means larger cuts in others.

Unsurprisingly, the Republican budget also tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act – even though that would take away health coverage from the more than seven million Americans who’ve done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance. And for good measure, their budget guts the rules we put in place to protect the middle class from another financial crisis like the one we’ve had to fight so hard to recover from.

Policies that benefit a fortunate few while making it harder for working Americans to succeed are not what we need right now. Our economy doesn’t grow best from the top-down; it grows best from the middle-out. That’s what my opportunity agenda does – and it’s what I’ll keep fighting for. Thanks. And have a great weekend.

###

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Take Medicare Means Testing Out of Your Budget (4+ / 0-)

    I notice you aren't bragging about that this morning.  But we do read the fine print and it would be shame for anyone to be conned into paying a higher Medicare premium just because you didn't mention it.  

  •  good for you Mr. President. Slam frequently (8+ / 0-)

    and often sir. They deserve it!! Their budget is a joke. All they care about is stripping away all government programs, and embolden the Pentagon and millionaires, and thats it!!

  •  How many voters pay attention to these speeches... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaddyO, Oh Mary Oh

    ...by either President Obama OR various GOP spokespersons (e.g. Paul Ryan, Boehner, Cantor, et. al.) ?  I suspect that except for the core activist base of either party and other political junkies...very little most of the time.  To whatever extent the competing messages reach beyond that audience, it is more by second and third-hand osmosis from scanning media articles related to politics and current events.  It's hard to effectively convey accurate communication in that sort of environment, especially any point that requires any degree of subtlety, complexity, or technical understanding.

    •  Kos is the only place I know of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Rikon Snow, Jesse Douglas

      ...where they report and comment on the President's Saturday speeches.

      That's it. No one else cares about these weekly video speeches, people. But it's Front Page material right here.

      I stopped listening to President Obama speak a long, long time ago. Right about when I realized there was a distinct difference between what he SAYS and what he DOES. And the reason I stopped listening was this: I realized I had the same goddamned problem listening to George W. Bush do the same goddamned thing. Talk. Not a dribble of action to follow it up with.

      When Bill Clinton made a speech as President, he usually began with a long list of ACCOMPLISHMENTS, most of which were pretty goddamned impressive, especially fiscally. Then he wrapped it up with another long list of GOALS. And by the time the next speech came around...

      Fuck speeches--unless there's something genuine, hard, goal-oriented, groundbreaking in them. Otherwise, they're just hot air.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:50:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What did Bill Clinton ever accomplish? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fabienne, NedSparks

        And the Presidential weekly radio address is a tradition. It is certainly given minor note on CNN and MSNBC, regardless of who is President.


        ODS results in Obama's amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

        by NoFortunateSon on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:06:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Balancing the budget? (nt) (0+ / 0-)

          Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

          by Rikon Snow on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:11:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Push gays in the closet. (0+ / 0-)

            http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

            by DAISHI on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:28:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you're looking for perfection in a man, (4+ / 0-)

              whether president or fool, you'll be disappointed.  Every presidency is a mix . . . after all, Medicare and Voting Rights Act were products of the same presidency that brought us VietNam.  

              Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

              by Rikon Snow on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:37:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  When I say Bill Clinton was the best president (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rikon Snow

                ...of my lifetime, that is NOT THE SAME THING as saying he's perfect or the best President ever or any other red herring that usually comes flying my way.

                But it's true. No other President got the results he did, and in the face of nearly identically insane GOP obstruction we have today.

                Naturally, like most Americans, I look forward to Hillary Clinton's term as President, if for no other reason than curiosity. We will suffer mediocrity and stalling progressive values until then (and maybe even after--I am not a prophet). Obama is great at winning elections...but not so much at GOVERNING.

                "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

                by DaddyO on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:01:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What results? (0+ / 0-)

                  NAFTA?
                  DOMA?
                  Don't Ask Don't Tell?
                  Repeal of Glass Steagall?

                  Really, I'm trying to think of one good legislative accomplishment here, and I'm coming up short.

                  Can you name one?

                  And no, the Republicans weren't nearly as oppositional.


                  ODS results in Obama's amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

                  by NoFortunateSon on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:43:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Because he hated them so much (0+ / 0-)

              Don't be trapped in the amber of your own times when looking into the amber of ANOTHER time. Make it real. Make it honest.

              This response is anything but that.

              I remember thinking that Kerry should use the new SCOTUS ruling legalizing gay sex and the Massachusetts law legalizing gay marriage in 2004. I remember the realists saying "It's too early." A lot of those realists were gay.

              Bill Clinton was stuck in his time when he was President. So is Obama. I give Obama as much leeway as I can, but he is no Bill Clinton. Why?

              The results are all that matter, and there have been far too many disappointments to make the ACA something to SOLELY judge him by. We can argue all day and night, but more Americans have been disappointed by him than anything else. And it doesn't look like anything will happen to change that.

              "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

              by DaddyO on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 01:57:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Balanced the budget? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stewarjt

          Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

          by Rikon Snow on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:14:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you even have to ask the question... (0+ / 0-)

          Here you go: Under his terms, 25% of all African Americans were lifted out of poverty and into the middle class.

          And they were lifted right back out of it under George W. Bush.

          How's that going for Obama? How many people have been lifted out of poverty? From what I've seen, it's a wash. And we're still deep in a hole that wasn't there when Bill Clinton was President. What did Bill Clinton ever accomplish? What a ridiculous and asinine question you have asked.

          You got nothin'. Bill Clinton is the best President of my lifetime, regardless of any character assassination attempts. Obama WISHES he had Clinton's numbers. He WISHES. Why are Obama's numbers where George W. Bush's were eight months ago (until September, when Katrina hit)?

          Because Americans do not approve of the job he's doing. They most certainly could and CAN see a President who got RESULTS when they saw one.

          "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

          by DaddyO on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 01:54:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bill Clinton lifted no one out of poverty. (0+ / 0-)

            A bubble economy did. Perhaps a Republican House helped too. But if we want to try and give Clinton credit, then we must surely give him blame: between the dot com bubble and NAFTA, Clinton just left a ticking time bomb to go off on George W. Bush.


            ODS results in Obama's amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

            by NoFortunateSon on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:40:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I have problems w/ Obama BUT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pale Jenova, Oh Mary Oh

        he's had a much better presidency than Clinton in terms of accomplishments.  Obamacare alone is bigger than everything clinton did. Add on repealing DADT, Dodd-Frank, ARRA and it isn't even close.

        Clinton is so overrated. Take away the great economy and what you're left with is Welfare "reform", Wall St deregulation, DOMA, DADT, and Nafta. Terrible record.

        •  Wonder if Randi Rhodes still has her Bill Clinton (0+ / 0-)

          crush.

          I think she is a big Obama supporter though, so maybe not.

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 09:10:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good points... (0+ / 0-)

          and all Obama has so far is:

          - Deficit Commissions

          - Anti-worker "Free Trade" w/ Columbia, Panama, and S. Korea

          - Pushing through the odious 1% wet dream Trans Pacific Partnership (I think "Free Trade" must be part of the Democratic Platform, if not, it should be)

          - Monsanto @ the FDA (Michael Taylor)

          - Anti-public education Arne Dunan as Sec. of Education

          - Three Wall Street Predators as Chief of Staff

          - Geithner and then the vile Jack Lew as Treasury Sec

          - 0 Wall Street Predators in Jail

          - Faux Financial Reform that means nothing to Wall Street

          - Rebranded the GOP's "NCLB" as "Race To The Top" (all better now! New name!)

          - A nice friendly "conversation" about the NSA with Democrat Power Broker Diane Feinstein performing excellently as a bulwark against even the hint of reforming the NSA.

          - Exerting the power of a President to maintain secret kill lists

          - Protecting Cheney / Bush & other members of the "opposition" from being held to account for war crimes (and why wouldn't the D's protect them? They need the R's as much as the R's need the D's - it's a brand thing)

          And on it goes.

          There's a reason the country has headed in one direction for 30 years.  Only the Predator Elite demand accountability, therefore, they get results while the working class gets Rhetoric They Can Starve On.

          PS: Hillary would be neither better nor worse - she would continue the same policies and Kabuki Act as Clinton & Obama.  Only the marketing would be slightly different.

          The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

          by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 10:36:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think the biggest issue (0+ / 0-)

          is that Obama squandered the opportunity to be a truly transformative president by his insistence in pursuing bipartisanship. If you're going to run on a platform of change, don't go out of your way to include the very people who would resist that change.

          Obama Derangement Syndrome goes both directions. Overall, he's been a solid president and has quite a few accomplishments to hang his hat on. But he's also been a disappointment in his handling of the economy, and Republican obstructionism is more scapegoat than reality on this front. It's hardly a surprise that this speech would be met by indifference by some liberals. He chose to endorse Republican-lite economic programs when the country really needed a progressive voice on the matter (and even now he's still wasting time talking about deficit reduction). That doesn't erase the good he's done, but it will always be a stain on his record.

          "The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities" - Adam Smith

          by Jesse Douglas on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:03:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing else compares with job creation (0+ / 0-)

          Ask any American. Nothing.

          Obama should have pivoted on the economy--as Clinton did in 1993--instead of health care. But Teddy Kennedy was dying of brain cancer, so...

          I'm not saying he was perfect. But you are arguing with some huge polling numbers, not me. 67% approval for Clinton; sub-50% or lower for Obama.

          Results. The ACA is big, but it's still a REPUBLICAN POLICY...and it's all Obama's.

          "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

          by DaddyO on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:03:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't Ask Don't Tell was pretty awesome amirite (0+ / 0-)

        http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

        by DAISHI on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:29:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be fair, he got pushed into that one (0+ / 0-)

          by his own party.

          Sam Nunn in Georgia, for instance.

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 09:11:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  So you stopped (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson, vcmvo2, NedSparks

        listening to the President but are more than willing to rip on him on what you are not hearing?

        And you seem to revel in the fact that these Saturday sessions do not get much exposure beyond DKos?

        And you question why DKos, a website dedicated to electing democratic pols,  would feature a democratic Presidents message to the citizens?

        And you pine for the good ole days of Bill Clinton?

        I love how some people are unwilling to listen and yet seem to think he does not follow thru on what he says...how do you even know? You don't listen.

        Go to FactCheck. org....Obama Promises....he has a good record of keeping his campaign promises.

        Bill Clinton did some good things, but he failed on healthcare, whereas this President did not.
        That alone makes President Obama ahead of all presidents proceeding him in that dept.
        Now, go back to not listening, I guess.

  •  A battle of words (0+ / 0-)

    Haven't you heard
    It's a battle of words
    And most of them are lies

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:45:38 AM PDT

  •  Great speech and way to take the fight (5+ / 0-)

    straight to the Republicans.

    Democrats, take note: run on everything Obama just outlined.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:03:08 AM PDT

  •  But Obama and Republicans are the same (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt

    How can there be differences in their budgeting priorities?

    http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

    by DAISHI on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:27:42 AM PDT

    •  They aren't the same on everything (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      Trade, bank bailouts, and NSA spying . . . yes, they are the same.

      And Obama is to the left of many in the Dem leadership. And for this speech, I'll give him credit where credit is due.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 09:14:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And once again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt

    there will be countless voters who will keep the very same republican looters in office that keep them down.

  •  Nancy Pelosi on Ryan's "path to poverty" (0+ / 0-)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And from TPM this morning:
    How The GOP Plan To Kill Medicare And Medicaid Would Work..block-granting Medicaid to lesser amounts over time and since republicans have failed in their goal to privatize Medicare; slash it to the bone.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And from Atrios:
    And Another Reminder  | April 5, 2014
    To any eventheliberals who get tempted by deficit cutting talk because, well, because. Paul Ryan doesn't care about the deficit. Republicans don't care about the deficit. They care about tax cuts for rich people, and some of them are also feudal sadists who want poor people to suffer. But mostly they care about tax cuts for rich people. That's it. Any deficit cutting, real or imagined, is there to pave the way for even more tax cuts for rich people.

     by Atrios   at 08:51

    Thx Susan Gardner for the update on the President this morning.

    P.S. Let's hope the so called "conservatives" keep following Ryan's plans to end Medicare hoping for a 2010 re-dux - it's looks like a dead end for them to me this time around

  •  Mighty fine Chutzpah: (0+ / 0-)
    full of deregulation of the financial industry: "Their budget guts the rules we put in place to protect the middle class from another financial crisis like the one we’ve had to fight so hard to recover from."
    Oh, now that's a real tickler!  Wow!  And said with a straight face?  Good God, Reagan was a professional actor but Obama makes the Gipper look like an amateur.
    Rules?  For Wall Street?  Really?  Faux Reform You Can Believe In and the 1% Can Bank On?

    This from a guy who has had Three different Wall Street Predators as Chief of Staff?

    This from the guy who appointed the odious & vile Wall Street Predator Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary to replace the WS Crook Geithner?

    This from the guy whose White House publicly opposed bringing back Glass Steagal (because it wouldn't really help.. hahaha.. )

    And he's whining that Republicans might gut the D's Faux Financial Reform?

    Remind me again how many Wall Street Predators are in jail?

    Outstanding Performance!  The Kabuki Theater of the Absurd never fails to entertain.

    On a positive note:  At least the Republicans aren't threatening to undo Obama/Democrats' anti-worker "Free Trade" with Columbia, Panama, and S. Korea.  

    Let's Hope the R's don't forget to obstruct when Obama/D's try to shove the odious Trans Pacific Partnership down our throats to further economically flay the working class.

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 10:25:11 AM PDT

  •  Where is the discussion of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Congressional Progressive Caucus's Better Off Budget?

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 01:15:41 PM PDT

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