News / USA

    Obama: Fight for a Stronger Middle Class

    FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama.
    FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama.
    VOA News

    Americans have to keep fighting to build a "stronger middle class in today's changing economy," U.S. President Barack Obama said in his weekly address Saturday. 

    That fight includes the right to have affordable health insurance, fair pay, family leave and workplace flexibility, Obama said in a worker-focused address tailored for the Labor Day weekend.

    Raising the minimum wage would be one of the "best ways to give a boost to working families," the president said. He noted that 13 states and the nation's capital have raised their minimum wages in the last 18 months.

    Obama said the states where the minimum wage was raised have experienced higher job growth than those that did not raise the minimum.

    As of August 1, the District of Columbia and 23 states had minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which offers a state-by-state breakout.

    America "built the greatest middle class the world has ever known" by making sure that everyone who is" willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead," Obama said.

    Representative Larry Bucshon, from the Midwestern state of Indiana, said in the Republican address that the Obama administration's policies "continue to harm" the nation's economy and families struggling "to make ends meet." 

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Frank from: Quinn
    August 30, 2014 5:31 PM
    Stronger but shrinking middle class.

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    August 30, 2014 3:08 PM
    How about this to stimulate job growth and the economy...STOP OUTSOURCING JOBS. Bring those jobs back the U.S., stop letting foreign countries with poor to dismal quality control, using unsafe (read, deadly) materials, forced labor and terrible work environments and human rights abuses do the work that Americans can do here. Oh, and pull the plug on Obamacare.. the program stinks, it places a greater burden on the Middle Class and creates more uninsured because their rates skyrocketed to pay for a namesake health care that works worse than your Administration. Just to name a few things, of course.
    Kind of late to try to 'fix' something you helped break, and continue to break. The Middle Class is shrinking, creating a wide gulf between the filthy rich and the stinking poor. Like the deficit, its going beyond the band aids now to a point where only an act of God could fix it. Congress could care less for the working Americans... they only want to fatten their pockets before they leave their cushy jobs for an early retirement. They have it made with free health care no other American can hope to enjoy and a pension that will keep them comfortable for the rest of their greedy lives.

    This is not how the Founding Fathers intended things to work. Working for the government, ie. Congress and playing at President was seen as a honorable thing, an act of Service to the country and when a few terms were over, they returned to civilian life with very little, if any, 'perks' to show for it. They re-integrated back into society as productive members of society. Not fat cats as they are now. Congress was never meant to be a career choice.
    Oh, and one other thing...close the danged border in the South, keep illegals out and send those illegals now inside the U.S. packing their trash with a one-way ticket back to their home country. It would do no good generating jobs when illegal immigrants snatch them up and send their money earned out of country, untaxed.
    Just another Lame-Duck presidential attempt to 'make nice' with the Country after screwing them over for 6 years.

    (Oh, and VOA, much worse has been said of the President and been allowed on your forums of Public Debate-just saying)

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora