Obama’s speech emphasized economy, jobs and taxes, barely mentioned growth and debt. In the 2008 election, growth was the mantra.
President Barack Obama Speech, Edited Transcript
Democratic National Convention
Hope has been tested by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic crises in history, and by political gridlock. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace. Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers, the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity that the world’s ever known. I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy.
I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. And by 2008, we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising; folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition, put gas in the car or food on the table. And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings. I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs.
We can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America. We can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. I’ve worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to America. And after a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years.
Help give 2 million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job.
No one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job.
I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. We can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. We have doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.
I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 -- the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President; the same rate when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs.
Governor Romney and his friends tell us we can lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy. We’ve been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way. I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut. Now, I’ve cut taxes for those who need it -- middle-class families, small businesses. But I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores or pay down our deficit.
I will use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back. I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission.