President Obama used Saturday’s weekly address to make a case for the budget he will unveil on Wednesday, arguing that his plan was the best way to grow the economy after a dismal monthly jobs report indicated that millions of Americans are still struggling to find work.
Calling the revitalization of the middle class the government’s “North Star,” Obama reiterated a commitment to creating jobs a day after March’s employment data showed a drop in overall labor force participation and a much smaller increase in job creation than experts had predicted.
The president also made reference to his lengthy standoff with House Speaker John Boehner over how to reduce deficit spending, one that Boehner seems determined to continue. Obama cited the need for Congress to “move beyond a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making” and made an appeal for Democrats and Republicans to compromise in order to jump start the nation’s still fragile economy.
One part of the president’s budget notably omitted from this week’s address was the proposal to change the way Social Security benefits are calculated, something that has faced vociferous opposition from progressives and could significantly reduce the income of some of the nation’s most vulnerable senior citizens, particularly women.
Calling it “a budget that doesn’t spend beyond our means,” the president struck an optimistic if vague note as he ended his address, insisting that the government would “keep our promise” to both the older and younger generations through his plan.