President Barack Obama continued outlining his support for taxing the wealthy and the Republican’s opposition to it, telling a group of unemployed workers, that in November they faced a choice of whether to continue receiving governmental support for education or allow that money to be used to give tax breaks to the richest Americans.
“Businesses are having trouble finding people who have the new technological skills needed for the jobs of today. We’ve got to do a better job training more people for the skills that businesses are looking for,” he said. He later said “all that starts with community colleges like this one.”
Obama strongly pitched for government spending for job-training and research saying, “These investments aren’t part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth.” However, he said, the Republicans propose to “gut” the budget, to enable the wealthiest in US to get tax benefits.
“We have two competing visions of our future. We keep having the same argument with folks who don’t seem to remember how America was built.” Obama told an audience at a community college in Elyria, Ohio, that gets federal funds for job training.
Obama said that Republican economic policies had created “rampant, phony profits” which pushed America into its worst economic crisis since 1930. “Our entire financial system almost collapsed and we have spent the last three-and-a-half years cleaning up after that mess.”
On the campaign trail, Obama’s speech is an indication that economy will be the overriding and foremost issue for the Presidential elections in November. Obama continually stressed on his administration’s enterprise to train workers for new jobs but censured Republican budget proposals, which he said will cut such programs.
Mitt Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has accused Obama that his wanting to tax the wealthiest Americans, is a populist measure to “divert from his failures.”
Republican spokesman, Ryan Williams, said in an e-mailed statement, “After more than three years of broken promises and disastrous economic policies, the only thing President Obama has delivered for Ohio is a record of fewer jobs, skyrocketing gas prices, and a housing market that remains among the worst in the nation.”
Obama is pushing himself as someone who would look out for the interests of middle-income Americans. He, without directly mentioning Romney, drew a contrast with himself and his likely opponent, leaving nothing to the imagination about who he was referring to, by saying that he helped form the private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC in Boston and is the son of a former auto industry executive.
I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” the president said. “Michelle wasn’t, but someone gave us a chance,” an obvious reference that everyone, irrespective of class and status, deserved a fair chance.
Ohio is an important battleground for both Romney and Obama as it has 18 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. It was amongst the hardest hit by the economy decline and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it lost 556,700 jobs between 2000 and 2010.
However, since then the state’s economy has been improving, 91,100 new jobs have been added and its unemployment rate has dropped to 7.6 percent. Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of states ranked it 7th.
In 2008, Ohio had given Obama 51.5 percent of the votes. It’s a legacy the President would not want to lose.