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Weekly remarks: Obama warns no quick fix on the economy; GOP's Kinzinger asks where the jobs are

June 11, 2011 |  3:00 am

Democrat president barack Obama enjoys an Oval Office phone call

Weekly remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House

Hello, everyone. I want to spend a couple minutes talking with you about our economy. We’ve just come through the worst recession since the Great Depression, and while our economy as a whole has been growing and adding private sector jobs, too many folks are still struggling to get back on their feet.

I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems. But the truth is, we didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight. It’s going to take time.

The good news is, when it comes to job-creation and economic growth, there are certain things we know we can do. Now, government is not – and should not be – the main engine of job-creation in....

...this country. That’s the role of the private sector. But one thing government can do is partner with the private sector to make sure that every worker has the necessary skills for the jobs they’re applying for.

On Wednesday, I announced commitments by the private sector, colleges, and the National Association of Manufacturers that will make it possible for 500,000 community college students to get a manufacturing credential that has the industry’s stamp of approval.Obama watches a Chrysler worker in Toledo 6-3-11

If you’re a company that’s hiring, you’ll know that anyone who has this degree has the skills you’re looking for. If you’re a student considering community college, you’ll know that your diploma will give you a leg up in the job market.

On Monday, I’ll travel to North Carolina, where I’ll meet with my Jobs Council and talk about additional steps we can take to spur private sector hiring in the short-term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need in this economy.

There are also a few other things we know will help grow our economy, and give people good jobs that support a middle-class lifestyle. We know that a quality education is a prerequisite for success, so we’re challenging states and school districts to improve teaching and learning, and making it a national goal to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

We know that more and more jobs are being created in the clean energy sector, so we’re investing in wind power, solar power, and biofuels that will make us less dependent on foreign oil and clean up our planet for our children. These are steps we know will make a difference in people’s lives – not just twenty years from now, or ten years from now, but now, and in the months to come.

In the end, the folks I hear from in letters or meet when I travel across the country – they aren’t asking for much. They’re just looking for a job that covers their bills. They’re just looking for a little financial security. They want to know that if they work hard and live within their means, everything will be all right. They’ll be able to get ahead, and give their kids a better life.

That’s the dream each of us has for ourselves and our families. And so long as I have the privilege of serving as President, I’ll keep fighting to put that dream within reach for all Americans. Have a great weekend, everybody.     ####


Capitol Hill

Weekly remarks by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, as provided by Republican Party leadership

Hi, I’m Congressman Adam Kinzinger. I’m humbled by the opportunity to speak to you today as the representative of Illinois’ 11th Congressional District.

There’s been a lot of talk this week about how our economy isn’t creating enough jobs. I can tell you that here in the president’s home state, every day, we hear about a company that’s looking at leaving or is already on its way out the door. And why?  Because taxes are too high, regulations are too burdensome, and the government won’t stop spending money it doesn’t have.

My constituents have the same questions many Americans do: where are the jobs?  What happened to the ‘stimulus’ we heard so much about?

Like you, I remember the chart the president’s economic team put out, you know, the one projecting that - with the ‘stimulus’ - unemployment would never go higher than eight percent. Illinois Republican representative Adam Kinzinger

I remember the press conference where the president said 90 percent of the jobs created by the ‘stimulus’ would be private sector jobs. And there was that interview on CNN where one of the president’s top economic advisers said that  jobs would be created ‘immediately.’

None of those promises panned out. If anything, things have gotten worse. Unemployment is over nine percent.  And the share of Americans out of work for more than six months has surpassed Great Depression levels. 

These broken promises speak to a much bigger problem, and that is a government arrogant enough to think it can simply spend, borrow and tax our nation back to prosperity and job growth. 

We can’t continue to follow the same failed agenda that has driven job creators further into doubt and uncertainty.  The road to refueling our economy and creating jobs means tackling our debt head on, simplifying the tax code, reining in Washington's red tape factory, passing pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, and increasing domestic energy production, making our nation more energy secure, which would help lower costs at the pump and create jobs here at home.

These are some of the steps we need to take to get government out of the way and let our economy grow and get back to producing jobs.

All these solutions are contained in a job creation plan Republicans put forth not too long ago.  This blueprint, which we’re calling ‘A Plan for America’s Job Creators,’ builds on the Pledge to America, a jobs-focused governing agenda that Republicans in the House have been working to implement since Americans entrusted us with the majority.   You can check our jobs plan out for yourself at

When House Republicans met with President Obama at the White House last week, we invited him to work with us to enact our job creation plan. Today, we are renewing that invitation. 

We've also made clear to the president that under no circumstances will Republicans support irresponsible legislation which increases the federal government's credit limit without any spending cuts or budgetary reforms.

It is high time that we cut up the government's credit cards and draw a hard line to stop the government from overspending, which is hampering our economy's ability to grow and thrive. We must get the government to stop spending more money than we take in and focus our efforts toward growing the private sector, where jobs are created.

We live in the greatest country in the world and we refuse to accept second best. That’s what our jobs plan is all about.  Again, you can learn more at Thank you for listening.    ####


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Photos: Pete Souza / White House; Jeff Kowalsky / European Pressphoto Agency (Obama watches a Chrysler worker); Alex Wong / Getty Images; Kinzinger's office.