U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States must do better to secure a "better bargain for the middle class" to lay a foundation for stronger economic growth.
In his weekly address Saturday, the president said even before the economic crisis hit several years ago, wealth was unfairly concentrated among the rich, while most families were working harder and harder just to get by. He said reversing that trend must be Washington's highest priority.
Obama said he is proposing a "grand bargain" for the middle class. He said he will work with Republicans on simplifying the tax code, but only if the savings are used to make a significant investment in creating good middle-class jobs. He said he wants to put construction workers back to work and help community colleges educate students for a global economy, all without adding to the deficit.
Watch President Obama's weekly address:
Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins also addressed the economy in her party's weekly address. She said Obama's health care reforms, known as "Obamacare," are actually discouraging small businesses from creating jobs and hiring new employees. She said she is introducing a bill that would redefine the Obamacare definition of "full-time employee" in order to protect jobs.
Watch weekly Republican address: