Days after his Republican rival Mitt Romney’s surprise debate win, Barack Obama had some good news as unemployment dipped below eight per cent to the lowest point of his first term in the White House, with a relieved President saying today that the U.S. is “moving forward” again.
“Four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, we’re seeing signs that, as a nation, we’re moving forward again. After losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office (in January 2009), our businesses have now added 5.2 million new jobs over the past two and a half years.
“And on Friday, we learned that the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since I took office. More Americans are entering the workforce. More Americans are getting jobs,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly radio address to the nation.
To keep the country moving forward, he said Congress should act on his plan to keep taxes low for 98 per cent of the American people, rather than giving more budget-busting tax cuts to the wealthiest two per cent.
Congress should cut red tape so responsible homeowners can save about USD 3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at lower rates, and act on his proposal to create a veterans jobs corps to help returning heroes find work, the President said.
It is time, Mr. Obama argued, for elected leaders to get back to work to help the middle class and build the economy from the middle-out, not the top down.
“... too many of our friends and neighbours are still looking for work or struggling to pay the bills -- many of them since long before this crisis hit. We owe it to them to keep moving forward. We’ve come too far to turn back now. And we’ve made too much progress to return to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place,” he said.
“Two years ago, we put in place tougher, commonsense rules of the road for Wall Street to make sure that the kind of crisis we’ve been fighting back from never happens again.
These rules mean that big banks are no longer going to be able to make risky bets with your deposits. And if a big bank does make a bad decision, they pay for it -- not taxpayers,” Mr. Obama said.
“We also put in place the strongest consumer protections in our history to crack down on the worst practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders. But for some reason, some Republicans in Congress are still waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these commonsense new rules.”
Republicans need to stop “trying to refight the battles of the past few years, and finally start doing something to actually help the middle class get ahead,” Mr. Obama said.
According to the latest report by the Bureau of labour Statistics, the unemployment rate in the US dropped to 7.8 per cent in September during which the economy added 114,000 jobs.
“The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 per cent in September. For the first eight months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 per cent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September,” it said.
This news “should give us some encouragement,” Mr. Obama said at an election campaign meeting in Ohio on Friday.
“It shouldn’t be an excuse for the other side to try to talk down the economy just to try to score a few political points. It’s a reminder that this country’s come too far to turn back now. Because the strength and the resilience of the American people, we’ve made too much progress to return to the policies that led to this crisis in the first place.
“We can’t allow that to happen. We won’t allow that to happen. And that is why I’m running to be your president for four more years,” said the U.S. President.
Mr. Obama alleged that Mr. Romney wants to roll back those rules which he put in place to prevent the economic crisis.
In the first of the three debates ahead of the November 6 Presidential polls on Wednesday, Mr. Romney had a surprisingly strong showing as he called into question Mr. Obama’s track record on economy, health care, jobs and fiscal deficit.