President Barack Obama began a national bid to promote his jobs plan on Tuesday, telling an audience at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in Columbus, Ohio that it would put America back on the path to global competitiveness.
Sticking to a similar script to the address he gave to Congress, Obama repeatedly told the audience to pressure Congress to pass this bill, at times prompting the audience to begin chanting the phrase. He urged lawmakers to rise above ideological divides, pointing out several times that members of both parties have supported proposals in the legislation.
Obama: There's Infrastructure Work That Needs To Be Done
Obama chose the backdrop of Fort Hayes because the school had undergone a recent series of renovations, allowing the president to tout his plan to allocate infrastructure improvement funding.
All over the country there are roads and bridges and schools just like at Ft. Hayes in need of repair, Obama said, noting that new projects would mean tens of thousands of construction workers will have a job again in Ohio alone.
The president also underscored that his plan would send federal relief to state and local governments, a provision that he said could save up to 14,000 jobs for Ohio teachers, police officers and firefighters.
You've seen it here in Ohio -- budget cuts are forcing superintendents here in Columbus and all over the state to make layoffs they don't want to make, Obama said.
Emphasizes Shared Sacrifice
Throughout the address, Obama espoused a populist message of shared sacrifice. A central component of his jobs plan would reduce the amount of their income workers making under $106,800 would have to pay into Social Security, a measure that he said would save the average family about $1,500 a year. He challenged Republicans who have fought to keep tax cuts for affluent Americans to also support a tax cut whose effects would be spread over a larger segment of society.
Some people have been working pretty hard to keep tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, they need to fight as hard - they need to fight even harder for middle class families, he said.
On Monday, Obama revealed that he planned to offset the costs of the bill by capping itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000, closing oil and gas loopholes, taxing the interest earned by hedge fund managers as regular income rather than at lower capital gains rates, and changing tax rules on corporate jet depreciation. He alluded to those proposals in reassuring the Fort Hayes crowd his plan would not add to the deficit.
We've got to make sure everyone pays their fair share, including the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, Obama said.