Obama embarks on jobs tour

President hopes to convince Americans economy is recovering.
Associated Press
May 10, 2013

Aiming to show he's still focused on creating jobs, President Barack Obama is beginning a series of quick trips around the country to resurrect ideas from his State of the Union address that became overshadowed by the intense debates over gun control, immigration and automatic spending cuts.

Obama on Thursday was dropping in on Austin, Texas, and using that bustling state capital as a backdrop to talk about attracting jobs, providing skills training and ensuring that hard work begets a decent living.

The president argued in February's State of the Union address that an economy that is growing and creating well-paying middle-class jobs must be the guiding principle for Washington policymakers. He proposed a broad expansion of pre-kindergarten to accommodate every 4-year-old, calling it a smart investment that will help improve educational outcomes, along with raising the federal minimum wage to $9 to help working families. Both ideas faced almost immediate resistance from some lawmakers who said the proposals cost too much and could stunt the economy, and Obama has barely discussed either proposal since then.

At the time of the speech, the debate over gun-control legislation was heating up following the December massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators at a Connecticut elementary school. A bipartisan group of senators was drafting a sweeping immigration bill desired by both political parties, and Congress and the White House were blaming each other for $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that would kick in March 1.

The series of field trips Obama begins Thursday marks an attempt by the president to remind the public that he hasn't forgotten about the issue that concerns them the most: the economy and jobs. The outing also comes amid questions about whether the second-term president has enough sway to get his agenda through a divided Congress before attention turns to the November 2014 midterm elections.

Since his second inauguration, Obama has lost a bid to expand background checks for gun buyers and was similarly unsuccessful at getting lawmakers to undo the spending cuts. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin considering and voting on scores of proposed changes to the immigration bill, which is facing opposition from conservatives, religious leaders and others.

His jobs proposals have stalled in Congress, with Republicans showing no interest in job-creation plans based on new federal spending. They also argue that Obama's regulatory regime and new health care law — the president's signature domestic policy achievement to date — are hindering more robust job growth.

"The president doesn't seem to understand that it's his policies that are undermining economic growth and job creation," House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday as the president departed.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ridiculed Obama's trip as mere image-building.

"If you're someone who's all about the visual, then of course putting on a pair of goggles or showing up at a factory is a great way to at least look like you're doing something about job creation," he said.

By traveling to Texas to begin this renewed attention to his jobs initiatives, Obama is choosing a state represented by two of the most conservative Republican members of the U.S. Senate — John Cornyn and tea party hero Ted Cruz. Texas also has the second-highest Hispanic population in the country, an attractive demographic group for Democrats and a key audience for Obama as he also pushes for an overhaul of immigration laws.

Obama's effort to highlight jobs and the economy is buoyed by last Friday's positive jobs report, which found that the unemployment rate had dipped to a four-year low of 7.5 percent in April and employers had added 165,000 jobs — and that far more jobs were added in in February and March than previously thought.

"He's focusing on economic issues that are at the core of his agenda, and have always been at the core of his agenda," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

But the slowly improving economy masks the stagnant wages and fewer working hours that strike directly at the president's base of support — young people, racial minorities and the less affluent. The average unemployment rate in the first three months of the year was 7.7 percent, but the rate was 13.6 percent for blacks and 9.5 percent for Latinos.

Before Obama departed Washington for a stay of about five hours in Texas, the White House announced a pair of initiatives it said would help the economy in the absence of action by Congress.

The administration announced the launch of a competition to create three new Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, partnerships among businesses, universities and government to help U.S.-based manufacturers and workers create good jobs. Five federal agencies — Defense, Energy, Commerce, NASA and the National Science Foundation — are putting $200 million toward the effort. The president also will ask Congress for a one-time investment of $1 billion to create a nationwide network of 15 such institutes.

The White House also announced an executive order and other steps to make government data more easily available to entrepreneurs, researchers and others who can then use the information to create new products and services, build businesses and create jobs.

Obama planned to visit Manor New Tech High School near Austin, where the curriculum is based on science, technology, engineering and math. He'll hold separate meetings with middle-class workers and technology entrepreneurs, and visit Applied Materials, a high-tech company whose products help make goods like smartphones, flat-screen TVs and solar panels more affordable, according to its website.

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Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervil...

 

Comments

mrite

Found a very interesting article:

"California City to Buy Chinese Electric Buses Financed by Taxpayers"

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/c...

Basically the city of Long Beach, CA will be buying 10 electric buses at a tune of $12 million and US taxpayers will be footing a mjority of the bill.

Mr President wouldn't it be better to use our own tax dollars to buy products made right here in America which could promote job creation??

The Chinese company is BYD. Oh wait this explains it. One of BYD's major investors is none other than Warren Buffett, a major Obama supporter. Like they say it's all in who you know.

WiseManOnceSaid

The elected people of Long Beach had to make a decision for their tax payers. They chose the Chinese company because it was a cheaper deal and better for the tax payers of that city. Buying American means a lot less bang for your buck. Wages are higher. Regulations are stricter and the list goes on. You can complain about that as much as you want, but i'm fairly certain that Long Beach will still feel like they made the right choice.

I'm certain that Obama had no input over the decision, so the whole Warren Buffett made it happen, is once again a logical fallacy that you are so prone to make. Try a straw man argument. And the Oracle of Omaha probably invested in the company based on financials and because he is very good at what he does. Not because Obama would help him..

mrite

On the outside your post makes sense. But, once you digest it it makes no sense at all! One must figure in the trickle down effect which you have apparently failed to consider. Buying those buses sends all of the money overseas in which our gov't will not recoup. However, if you buy those buses made here in America one must put a value on recouping payroll taxes, increased sales tax on items the employees might purchase. After all the more money the employees make the more they spend. If it would have created lets just say 10 jobs those individuals could potentially come off of unemployment or welfare rolls. What price do we put on those intangibles?

Wiseman, please continue to purchase your foreign made products. I hope that you don't lose your job to a foreign competitor.

Wiseman, you also complain about tighter regulations. Do you advocate loosening the restrictions lets say on lead paint that the Chinese use? Very nice. It is a proven killer. But hey, if you can get that toy for a nickel cheaper go right ahead.

Fromthe419

Yes and no. The money that goes to China will be re-invested in America's enormous debt. We spend the money on Chinese junk and they lend it back to the US in the form of Treasury Notes. Unfortunately, this looks like a jobless recovery if you can really call it a recovery.

mrite

I do agree that the US could potentially get that money back in the form of the Chinese buying Treasury notes. However, I think it would be much better for this money to go through the hands of american employees vs. the gov't

WiseManOnceSaid

Trickle down economics hasn't worked since it was implemented

Contango

So you don't believe in low taxes and sm. govt.?

KnuckleDragger

He is a liberal claiming to be liberatarian.

WiseManOnceSaid

I'm libertarian, but do not follow many Libertarians and Repub beliefs of getting rid of the EPA. Look up the fertilizer explosion in Texas. They lied about the chemicals they owned to escape the EPA and other agnecies.

I buy many things American. But it's truly hard to be frugal when prices are cheaper elsewhere. My car is not American. I know it will last longer than a GM. You can fact check me on this, but i believe (at least a year or two ago) that the CR-V and then maybe the Camry were the "most american-made" car. The Liberty if i recall was third.

My argument is that Long Beach probably doesn't build the buses they were going to buy. For their taxpayers (municipal level) they were getting a better deal buying foreign than midwestern. When many cities in CA are filing bankruptcy i'm guessing they were more concerned with their own bottom line. Whether thats right or wrong can be debated.

mrite

You must have missed the part that talks about the fed gov't subsidizing the cost of the buses. Therefore, Long Beach has little to lose when it comes to spending their money.

However, I do agree on the automobile comment you make. I would just like to know what is an "american made" auto. Most of the foreign owned companies that make cars here have actually invested more dollars in America than the "American" companies.

Unassumer

What the country needs are better paying jobs so people can support themselves and not have to depend on 'welfare' (although I doubt many can even get it unless they have little kids). Some can get foodstamps but that don't last forever. Minimum wage jobs do not pay the rent and are great for young people still living at home, but no one can support themselves on one. I would find it hard to support myself on $12 an hour full time.

grandmasgirl

And that's before taxes! Between local, state, federal taxes,gas to get to work, etc, there is nothing left over. I was so lucky to be able to get a decent paying job. However, there are still some people whom are on welfare because they want to be. To all of you who truly try and pay your own way,,,,,thank you.

KnuckleDragger

There are plenty of good paying jobs for those who educate themselves in a needed skill. The days of making $25/hr for an unskilled labor job are over. That seems to be the problem with Ohio, too many people sitting on their backside waiting for the good ole days to return. You want success? Put some effort into it.

Really are you ...

Send Obama towards Sandusky, Ohio. I have a proposal for him, to create jobs that will revolutionize modern day living. Jobs that will start to change our children's future for the better, by not leaving them with the undaunting task of trying to break free of the consumption fossil fuels. Immediately opening new doors of opportunity, ultimately creating more jobs. A win, win, win situation creating new family wage jobs/ careers in the counties surrounding Huron and Erie Counties. Maybe or maybe not because that 3D printing seems to be making quite a stir right now. And not everyone will accept something that is not what they are comfortable with right now. When I started driving gasoline was under one dollar a gallon, and my parents paid for their electrical consumption to the electric company, as we still do. This will start to change all of that.

In his State Of The Union Address, he had a focal point on energy. New technologies... Ok, here it is. There will be more, but this is a step in the right direction.

The US military is looking for ways to ween themselves off of fossil fuels also. Going with solar panels to power their radios, I had seen an article in the USA Today. Our military might is hampered with its thirst for fossil fuels to keep moving. Solar panels get dusty or covered with whatever need cleaning, and need sunlight to produce electricity. Wind turbines supply power to electrical grids, if our military were stationary that would be fine. With what I can produce, power would be produced and readily available where ever and when ever it is needed for a very long time, without any external forces required to maintain its operation.

Bluto

So , What is it then ? You have claimed to have this wonderful plan before . If it's so great , why haven't you implemented it ,and saved us with your brilliance already ? Or are you just another snake oil salesman ?

Darwin's choice

"Or are you just another snake oil salesman", You mean, like Obama? Hope and Change??

Bluto

A lot of people claim to have all the answers to solving the financial crisis . I believe there can be more then one way out of it , under the right circumstances , but that is the tricky part for those who would take up the reins of the presidency . Promoting an agenda with a congress like the one we currently have would be difficult for any president . And unfortunately , I see this as becoming the norm in the future of politics .

shucks

Darwin's choice is trolling again.

thinkagain

You remind me of FST and his water powered car…

shucks

what's FST mean?

Contango

@ 4shizzle:

Poster who has been MIA for some time. He often wrote about using a hydrogen adaptor to improve the MPG of his vehicles.

http://answers.yahoo.com/questio...

FYI: In principle, it violates the First Law of Thermodynamics and is therefore a scam.

shucks

Thank you for your effort.

Unfamiliar abbreviations, unless previously explained, are a turn-off.

Contango

"Unfamiliar abbreviations, unless previously explained, are a turn-off."

Then why did you ask? SHEESH!

Use Google the next time: "FST Sandusky Register."

shucks

My apologies- now I see.

Contango

Here's one for ya:

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

You woulda liked him.

shucks

.

Contango

Better educated and well-read than you. :)

Have a fun day of bitchin' lil' buddy.

shucks

.

thinkagain

Long time posters remember FST…short time trolls do not. :)

I followed your link and saw another name from the past…Taxpayer. He could chew up and spit out a liberal crybaby like no one else!

shucks

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