The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon February 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM EDT
Unless Congress takes action, over the next few weeks our economy will be hit with harmful automatic cuts that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs. These cuts will slash vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and health care for our troops and military families.
President Obama strongly believes we need to replace these arbitrary cuts with balanced deficit reduction, and today he was at a shipyard in Newport News, VA to talk about what these cuts -- which are known as the sequester -- will mean for middle class families.
While the full damage of these cuts will spread to nearly every corner of our economy over the next few months, some workers will receive layoff or furlough notices within days. Many of the 5,000 companies and small businesses from across the country that supply Newport News Shipbuilding with parts and equipment will be impacted, which will affect the firm's productivity. And down the road at the Norfolk Naval Station, the threat of these cuts has already forced the Navy to cancel the deployment and delay the repair of certain aircraft carriers, and postpone building on additional vessels. If the cuts are implemented, about 90,000 Virginians who work for the Department of Defense will be forced to take unpaid leave from their jobs, creating a ripple effect on thousands of other jobs, businesses, and services throughout the Commonwealth – and not just in the defense industry.
- Posted byon February 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM EDT
In a meeting with the National Governors Association today at the White House, President Obama stressed the need for bipartisan cooperation, and pressed the leaders in attendance to work together with their partners in Washington to put the focus back on the next generation, rather than the next election.
All of us are elected officials. All of us are concerned about our politics, both in our own party’s as well as the other party’s. But at some point, we've got to do some governing. And certainly what we can't do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. As I said in the State of the Union, the American people have worked hard and long to dig themselves out of one crisis; they don't need us creating another one. And unfortunately, that's what we've been seeing too much out there.
The American people are out there every single day, meeting their responsibilities, giving it their all to provide for their families and their communities. A lot of you are doing the same things in your respective states. Well, we need that same kind of attitude here in Washington. At the very least, the American people have a right to expect that from their representatives.
- Posted byon February 23, 2013 at 6:35 AM EDT
President Obama urges Congress to stop the sequester -- the harmful automatic cuts that threaten thousands of jobs and affect our national security from taking effect on March 1.
- Posted byon February 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM EDT
Ed. note: To see state-by-state effects of the sequester on jobs and middle-class families, click here.
In less than a week, harmful automatic cuts — known as the sequester — take effect, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cutting vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.
To prevent a costly, self-inflicted wound to our economy and middle class families, President Obama put forward a plan to avoid these cuts and reduce the deficit by cutting spending and closing tax loopholes. Now it's up to Congress to act. Learn more about President Obama's plan here.
Still have questions about what the sequester is, and why American famillies and our national economy face this threat? We've put together the explainer below using some helpful background information President Obama laid out in a statement on Tuesday. Check it out:
$2.5 Trillion in Deficit Reduction
"Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion. More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts. The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances."
So What's the Sequester? Why Now?
"Now, Congress, back in 2011, also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach that $4 trillion goal, about a trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year. And by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing taxloopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can't do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration."
"Unfortunately, Congress didn’t compromise. They haven't come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we've got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday."
- Posted byon February 22, 2013 at 4:45 PM EDT
Today, President Obama held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. "The U.S.-Japan alliance is the central foundation for our regional security and so much of what we do in the Pacific region," President Obama said.
In the meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of security issues in the Asia Pacific region, and over lunch, talked about the close economic cooperation between our two countries.
"I know that Prime Minister Abe and I both agree that our number-one priority has to be making sure that we are increasing growth and making sure that people have the opportunity to prosper if they're willing to work hard in both our countries."
- Posted byon February 21, 2013 at 6:39 PM EDT
This week, the President visited his old neighborhood in Chicago, conferred one of the nation's highest civilian honors, met with the President of Italy, and continued to urge Republicans to close tax loopholes for the wealthy to prevent dangerous across-the-board budget cuts that are slated to take effect on March 1st.
- Posted byon February 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM EDT
The White House Photo Office just released a set of behind the scenes photos from January 2013. Images include scenes from the Inaugural swearing-in and festivities, meetings around the White House and more.
Check out the gallery below, and see all the images on Flickr.
- Posted byon February 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM EDT
Just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of severe and automatic budget cuts to take place that will hurt our economic growth, add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls, and threaten military readiness.
But, as President Obama said this morning, these cuts don’t have to happen -- Congress has the power to stop them.
- Posted byon February 16, 2013 at 11:19 AM EDT
President Barack Obama delivers remarks to discuss proposals unveiled in the State of the Union Address that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and those striving to get there, at Hyde Park Academy, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 15, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama was in Chicago on Friday to talk about the importance of making sure every child in America has every chance in life to succeed. Speaking at the Hyde Park Career Academy, which is less than a mile from the Obama's home in that city, the President discussed the recent death of Hadiyah Pendleton, a Chicago teenager who was shot just days after attending the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC.
Hadiyah's parents were guests of First Lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address on Tuesday, where President Obama discussed the need to prevent this kind of senseless violence and protect American children. But the important goal of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is not enough to ensure a bright future for all of our children, and the President also laid out a plan to rebuild ladders of opportunity for every American who is willing to work hard and climb them. This includes making sure every child in America has access to high-quality pre-K, and raising the minimum wage so that no family that works hard and relies on a minimum wage is living in poverty. But creating a path into the middle class also means transforming high-poverty communities into places of opportunity that can attract private investment, improve education, and create jobs, and President Obama talked about his plan to make that happen:
- Posted byon February 16, 2013 at 6:40 AM EDT
In this week’s address, President Obama calls for quick action on the proposals he made during the State of the Union to grow our economy and create jobs, including making America a magnet for manufacturing, strengthening our education system through high-quality preschool for every child, and raising the minimum wage.