President Barack Obama says when it comes to fixing the economy, Washington has "taken its eye off the ball." Obama returned to the Knox College campus where he gave his first major economic address as a U.S. senator, and he chided Congress for being less concerned about the economy and more about "an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals."
"If Washington will just shake off its complacency and set aside the kind of slash and burn partisanship that we have just seen way too long. If we just make some common sense decisions, our economy will be stronger a year from now."
Obama is pledging a stronger second-term commitment to tackling the economic woes that still strain many in the middle class. He says growing inequality threatens the nation's economic recovery.
Obama says the nation has already made it through the worst of yesterday's economic winds. Mr. Obama called for an investment in the middle class, saying the country needs to have the courage to keep moving forward to new businesses, new jobs, and more home ownership.
"And in the end isn't that what makes us special. It's not the ability to generate incredible wealth for the few. It's the ability to give everybody the change to pursue their own true measure of happiness. We haven't just wanted success for our selves. We want it for our neighbors too."
Obama is promising to fight for the middle class with policies that also promote educational opportunities, secure retirement, and health care. The president is trying to refocus debate on pocketbook concerns after months that have been dominated by what he calls "phony scandals" and "stale debates."
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