From the New York Times to Politico.com, the president’s speech to students at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, on Wednesday was headline news. More than an hour long, it contained enough platitudes, sound bites, and falsehoods to keep pundits busy and prevent them from talking more about Benghazi, IRS and NSA scandals, and ObamaCare fallouts, which have caused the president’s poll numbers to plummet. It was time to get out of Dodge and take the media with him.
In the first of three scheduled talks on the economy, he reviewed a little history:
In the period after World War II, a growing middle class was the engine of our prosperity. Whether you owned a company, or swept its floors, or worked anywhere in between, this country offered you a basic bargain — a sense that your hard work would be rewarded with fair wages and decent benefits, the chance to buy a home, to save for retirement, and most of all, a chance to hand down a better life for your kids.
But then, according to the president, something happened:
Over time, that engine began to stall — and a lot of folks here [in Galesburg] saw it — that bargain began to fray. Technology made some jobs obsolete. Global competition sent a lot of jobs overseas. It became harder for unions to fight for the middle class. Washington doled out bigger tax cuts to the very wealthy and smaller minimum wage increases for the working poor.
And then he was elected president and the light began to shine once again:
We fought our way back. Together, we saved the auto industry; took on a broken health care system. (Applause.) We invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil. We doubled wind and solar power. (Applause.)
Together, we put in place tough new rules on the big banks, and protections to crack down on the worst practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies. (Applause.) We changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest at the expense of working families — so we changed that, and we locked in tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, and we asked those at the top to pay a little bit more. (Applause.)
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Photo of President Barack Obama speaking at Knox College: AP Images