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Ahead of Labor Day, Obama vows to rebuild American middle class

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, September 4, 2010 12:54 EDT
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President Barack Obama on Saturday vowed to expand a prosperous middle class and help his compatriots achieve the American Dream as the country prepared to celebrate Labor Day.

“This Labor Day, we should recommit ourselves to our time-honored values and to this fundamental truth: to heal our economy, we need more than a healthy stock market; we need bustling main streets and a growing, thriving middle class,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

“That’s why I will keep working day-by-day to restore opportunity, economic security, and that basic American Dream for our families and future generations,” he said.

The comments came after a new Labor Department report released Friday showed the economy lost 54,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.6 percent.

Although the job losses were much less than the 120,000 slump expected by Wall Street economists, hiring was not substantial enough to help millions of crisis-hit Americans to return to work.

Obama said his administration was doing everything it can to accelerate job creation and added he was pushing for a law that would provide tax breaks to businesses that create jobs in America.

“But strengthening our economy means more than that,” he said.

“We’re fighting to build an economy in which middle class families can afford to send their kids to college, buy a home, save for retirement, and achieve some measure of economic security when their working days are done.”

Obama stressed that the United States did not become the world’s most prosperous nation “by rewarding greed and recklessness,” but rather “by rewarding hard work and responsibility.”

The president is expected to tout the new policies in a heavy slate of economy-themed events next week, including travel to the hard-hit Midwest and in a major press conference next Friday.

This video was published to the Web by the White House on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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