Authored by United States Government Printing Office
This year’s Economic Report of the President describes how after 5 years of grit and determined effort, the United States is better-positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth. We’ve now experi-enced 4 straight years of economic growth with more than 8 million new private-sector jobs. Our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in more than 5 years. Our deficits have been cut by more than half. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we produce more oil at home than we buy from the rest of the world. The housing market is rebounding, manufacturers are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, and we sell more of what we make to the rest of the world than ever before.
But in many ways, the trends that have threatened the middle class for decades have grown even starker. While those at the top are doing bet-ter than ever, average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Too many Americans are working harder and harder just to get by, and too many still aren’t working at all. Our job is to reverse those trends. It is time to restore opportunity for all-the idea that no matter who you are or how you started out, with hard work and responsibility, you can get ahead.
That’s why this must be a year of action. I’m eager to work with the Congress to speed up economic growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, I will. Because opportunity is who we are. And the defining project of our generation is to restore that promise.
Simply put, this opportunity agenda has four parts. Number one is more new jobs. Number two is training more Americans with the skills to fill those jobs. Number three is guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education. And number four is making sure hard work pays off for every American.
With the economy picking up speed, companies say they intend to hire more people this year. We should make that decision even easier for them by closing wasteful tax loopholes and lowering tax rates for busi-nesses that create jobs here at home, and use the money we save in the process to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, and unclogging our commutes. We should help America win the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs by connecting businesses and universities in hubs for innovation. We should do more to boost exports and fund basic research. We should maintain our commitment to an all-of-the-above-energy strategy that is creating jobs and leading to a safer planet. Finally, we should heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement, and fix our broken immigration sys-tem. Independent economists say this will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. We should get it done this year.
Creating jobs is step one, but in this rapidly-changing economy, we also must make sure every American has the skills to fill those jobs. I’ve asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: training Americans with the skills employers need, and matching them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs.
I’m also convinced we can help Americans return to the workforce faster by reforming unemployment insurance so that it’s more effective in today’s economy. But first, the Congress needs to restore the unemploy-ment insurance it let expire at the end of last year, affecting around 2 mil-lion workers.
Oct 29 2014
1503015122 / 9781503015128
US Trade Paper
7″ x 10″
Black and White
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy