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President Obama on the American Jobs Act: Let's Be Ambitious

The American Jobs Act can restore the things that made America the envy of the world

Watch the President's speech on the American Jobs Act here.

President Obama today said that he is "an eternal optimist" who believes in America, and in our democracy and that Congress will do the right thing, and pass the American Jobs Act,

Speaking to students at the University of Richmond, the President discussed why the actions he laid out last night in a joint address to Congress need to be taken quickly:

It will create more jobs for construction workers.  More jobs for teachers.  More jobs for veterans.  More jobs for young people. More jobs for the long-term unemployed.  It will provide a tax break to companies if they hire new workers.  It will cut payroll taxes in half for every small business owner and every working American. It will jumpstart an economy that has stalled, and it will give companies the confidence that, if they hire new workers and they invest in their businesses, then there are going to be customers there who can afford to actually buy the things they’re selling.

Passing this jobs bill will put people to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and our crumbling bridges.  And it will also help us rebuild our schools.  I just -- in the back, I was taking some photos with folks who had helped out to organize this event, and there was a young lady who is a teacher.  And she said, “I heard your speech last night.  I really appreciate it.  I’m teaching eighth grade English, and I teach in a trailer.”  We shouldn’t have people teaching in trailers.  We shouldn’t have kids learning in trailers.  They should have classrooms with Internet and science labs. 

You’ve got aging bridges on I-95 -- need to replace them.  You’ve got schools... that need to be upgraded.  There are millions of unemployed construction workers across America ready to put on their tool belt and get dirty. I don’t know about you -- I don’t want the newest airports, the fastest railroads, to be built in China.  I want them to build -- I want them to be built right here in the Unites States of America. 

He also discussed how the American Jobs Act can help us return to the days when America was a world leader in educating our children: 

I don’t want any of our kids to study in sub-par schools. I want all our kids to study in great schools. So there’s work to be done; there are workers ready to do it. Let’s pass this jobs bill right away.   

Passing this jobs bill will put thousands of teachers in Virginia and across America back to work when we need them most. This is a new age.  Everybody here knows that.  If you want a good job, a good career, if we want America to succeed, then we’ve got to have the best-trained, most highly skilled workers in the world.  You’ve got places like South Korea that are adding teachers to prepare their kids for a global economy.  We’re laying off our teachers in droves.  It’s unfair to our kids.  It undermines their future; it undermines our future.  It has to stop.  Let’s pass this bill and put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong.

 Find out more about the American Jobs Act