Making 2014 a Year of Action to Expand Opportunities for the Middle Class

Washington, DC - In this week’s address, President Obama said 2014 will be a year of action, and called on both parties to help make this a breakthrough year for the United States by bringing back more good jobs and expanding opportunities for the middle class.

Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address

The White House

January 18, 2014

Hi, everybody.  This week, I visited a company in Raleigh, North Carolina that helps make electric motors that save businesses money on energy costs and cut harmful carbon pollution. 

And I stopped by N.C. State University, where engineers are set to develop the new technology that will make those motors even better.

It’s part of my push not only to make America home to more high-tech manufacturing – but to make America more attractive for the good jobs that a growing middle class requires. 

And increasingly, we are.  Thanks in part to our all-of-the-above strategy for American energy, for the first time in nearly two decades, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world.  We generate more renewable energy than ever, and more natural gas than anybody.  Health care costs are growing at their slowest rate in 50 years – due in part to the Affordable Care Act.  And since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by more than half.

So we are primed to bring back more of the good jobs claimed by the recession, and lost to overseas competition in recent decades.  But that requires a year of action.  And I want to work with Congress this year on proven ways to create jobs, like building infrastructure and fixing our broken immigration system.

Where Congress isn’t acting, I’ll act on my own to put opportunity within reach for anyone who’s willing to work for it. That’s what I did in Raleigh by launching America’s second “manufacturing innovation institute.”  It’s a partnership between companies, colleges, and the federal government focused on making sure American businesses and American workers win the race for high-tech manufacturing and the jobs that come with it – jobs that can help people and communities willing to work hard punch their ticket into the middle class. 

I firmly believe that this can be a breakthrough year for America.  But to make that happen, we’re gonna have to act – to create good jobs that pay good wages, and to offer more Americans a fair shot to get ahead.  That’s what I’m focused on every day that I have the privilege of serving as your president. That’s what I’m going to be focused on every single day of this year.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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