News / USA

    Obama: Economic Fairness is 'The Defining Issue of Our Time'

    President Barack Obama visits patrons at We B Smokin' bar-b-que on the outskirts of Osawatomie, Kansas, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
    President Barack Obama visits patrons at We B Smokin' bar-b-que on the outskirts of Osawatomie, Kansas, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
    Kent Klein

    President Barack Obama says restoring America’s prosperity and economic fairness is the defining issue of our time. The president went to the Midwestern state of Kansas Tuesday to restate his economic goals.

    In a nearly hour-long speech, President Obama stressed the importance of reforming the nation's economy to give middle class Americans what he called a “fair shot.” “This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and all those who are fighting to get into the middle class because at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement," he said.

    The president spoke in the small town of Osawatomie, Kansas, where President Theodore Roosevelt called for similar economic reforms in 1910.

    Mr. Obama talked about finding ways to help middle class workers and restore fairness to America's economic system, points, analysts say, he will likely make again in his reelection campaign.

    The president criticized Republicans in Congress for opposing greater regulation of financial markets and higher taxes on wealthy Americans.  He repeated calls for reforms in the nation’s economic system, although he offered few details about how he would implement them.

    Mr. Obama also called for reform of the U.S. tax code, in which he said tax rates for the wealthiest citizens have dropped dramatically in recent decades. “A quarter of all millionaires now pay lower tax rates than millions of you, millions of middle class families.  Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as one percent.  One percent.  That is the height of unfairness," he said.

    Mr. Obama noted that the average corporate chief executive officer earns about 110 times more than his or her workers.

    The president again called on Congress to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut that is set to expire at the end of the month.  He also said regulation of Wall Street banks and financial institutions needs to be strengthened. “Does anybody here think that the problem that led to our financial crisis was too much oversight of mortgage lenders or debt collectors?  Of course not," he said.

    Congressional Republicans say excessive government regulation is costly to businesses and keeps them from hiring more people.

    In addition, Mr. Obama repeated his call for a greater emphasis on education, science, research and high-technology manufacturing.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora