Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The State of Our Union; President's Vision; Build a Thriving Middle Class That Will Create Economic Growth; OTHER VIEWS

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The State of Our Union; President's Vision; Build a Thriving Middle Class That Will Create Economic Growth; OTHER VIEWS

Article excerpt

In my State of the Union address, I laid out ways Democrats and Republicans can work together to reignite the true engine of Americas economic growth a rising, thriving middle class.

We should ask ourselves three questions every day: How do we bring good jobs to America? How do we equip people with the skills those jobs require? And how do we make sure hard work leads to a decent living?

We can begin by making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Now we need to accelerate this trend, by launching more manufacturing hubs that transform hard-hit regions of the country into global centers of high-tech jobs and manufacturing. We need to make our tax code more competitive, by ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and rewarding companies that create jobs here at home. We need to invest in the research and technology that will allow us to harness more of our own energy and put more people back to work repairing our crumbling roads and bridges.

These steps will help entrepreneurs and small-business owners expand and create new jobs. But we also need to provide every American with the skills and training they need to fill those jobs. We should start in the earliest years by offering high-quality preschool to every child in America, because we know kids in programs like these do better throughout their academic lives. We should redesign Americas high schools to better prepare our students with skills that employers are looking for right now. And because taxpayers cant continue subsidizing the soaring cost of higher education, Ive called on Congress to take affordability and value into account when determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid.

We also need to reward hard work and determination with wages that allow working families to raise their children and get ahead by raising the minimum wage so that its a wage you can live on. And its time to harness the talents and ingenuity of hardworking immigrants by finally passing comprehensive immigration reform securing our borders, establishing a responsible path to earned citizenship, and attracting the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy. …

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