Obama on Economy: 'Government Can't Stand on the Sidelines in Our Efforts'

U.S. president pushes Republicans in Congress to offer solid ideas to help implement Obamacare
3:00 | 12/04/13

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Transcript for Obama on Economy: 'Government Can't Stand on the Sidelines in Our Efforts'
Thank. You everybody pulled some old. Thank. Everybody quickly. -- this. Thank. You so much wolf thank you and Arab. Four of the wonderful introduction and sharing a story that resonated with me there -- lot of parallels and in my life and prior resonated with some of you. It over the past ten years the Center for American Progress has done incredible work to shape the debate. Over expanding opportunity for all Americans. And I could not be more grateful to -- Not only for giving me a lot of good policy ideas but also give me a lot of staff. My friend -- -- -- around my transition. My chief of staff Denis McDonough. Did a -- -- -- so you guys are obviously doing a good job training folks. I also want to thank. All the members of congress. And my administration word here today for the wonderful work that they do. I want to thank mayor -- and ever won here at the -- for having me. This -- which I've been to quite a bit and have had a chance to see some of the great work that's done here. And all the nonprofits that that -- the -- home offer access to everything from education to help here. A safe shelter from the streets. Which means for your. -- harnessing the power community. To expand opportunity for folks here in DC. In your work reflects a tradition. That runs through our history. The belief that we're greater together than we are rural. And and that's where I've come here to talk about today. Over the last two months Washington's been dominated by some pretty contentious debates I think it's fair to say. And between erect was shut down by congressional Republicans in an effort. Repeal the Affordable Care Act. And admittedly -- fusion -- my administration's part and implementing. The latest stage of new law nobody is acquitted themselves very well these past few months. So it's not surprising that. The American people's frustrations with Washington -- At an all time high. We know the people's frustrations. Run deeper. -- these most recent political -- Their frustrations rooted in their own daily -- To make ends meet. To pay for college. By -- home. -- -- It's rooted in the nagging sense that no matter how hard they work. The deck -- stacked against. And it's rooted in the fear that their kids won't be better off the -- -- They may not follow that constant. Back and forth in Washington are all the policy details but they experience in a very personal way. The relentless. Decades long trend. That I want to spend some time talking about today and that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility. That has jeopardized. Middle class Americans basic -- That if you work hard you have a chance to get ahead. I believe this is the defining challenge of our time. Making sure our economy works for every. Working America. That's why ran for president. It was the senator. Of last year's campaign to drives everything I do in this office. I know I've raised this issue before. And some -- wives raise. The issue again right now. -- do it because the outcomes of the debates we're having right now whether it's health care for the budget. Will reform our housing and financial systems all these things will have real practical implications for every American and I am convinced. The decisions we make on these issues over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in America. Opportunity is real. The premise. That were all created. And while we don't promise equal outcomes. We've strived to deliver equal opportunity. -- -- did -- good success doesn't depend on being born into wealth or privilege. It depends on effort and -- With -- every chapter we've added to that story. We've worked hard to put those words into practice. There was Abraham Lincoln a self described poor man's son. Who -- system of land grant colleges all over this country so that any poor man's son could go learn something new. When farms gave way to factories are rich man's son named Teddy Roosevelt. Fought for an eight hour work day. Protections for workers. And busted monopolies the kept prices high -- wages -- When millions lived in poverty FDR fought for social security and insurance for the unemployed. And a minimum white. When millions died without health insurance LBJ fought for Medicare and Medicaid. Together we -- a new deal. Declared. A war on poverty and a great society we built a ladder of opportunity to -- and stretched out a safety net beneath. So that if we fell it would be too far and we could bounce back. And as a result America built the largest middle class the world was -- And for the three decades after World War II it was the engine of our prosperity. Now we we can't look at the past two rose colored glasses. The economy didn't always work for every one. Racial discrimination -- millions out of poverty. Or out of opportunity. Women were too often confined to a handful of often poorly paid professions. And it was only through. Pain -- struggle that more women and minorities and Americans with disabilities began to win the right to more fairly and and fully participate in the a -- Nevertheless during the post World War II years. Economic ground felt stable and secure for most Americans. And the future looked brighter than the past. And for some that meant following year old man's footsteps. That the local plan. And you knew that a blue collar job would let you buy a home at a car. Maybe a vacation once -- Health care. A reliable pension. For others -- meg going to college in some cases. Maybe the person your family go to college. And many graduating without taking on loads of debt. And be able to count on advancement through a vibrant job market. Now it's true that those of the top even in those years. Claimed a much larger share of income than the rest. The top 10% consistently took home about 13. Of our national -- But that kind of inequality took place in a dynamic market economy where everyone's wages and incomes. -- -- And because of upward mobility the guy on the factory floor could picture this -- run the company Sunday. But starting in the late seventies. This social compact began to -- Technology made it easier for companies to do more with less. Eliminating. Certain job -- occupations. A more competitive world let companies. Should jobs anyway. And is good manufacturing jobs automated or -- offshore. Workers lost their leverage. Jobs paid less and offered fewer benefits. -- values of community broke back and competitive pressure increase. Businesses lobbied Washington weakened unions the value of the minimum wage. As a trickle down ideology became more prominent taxes were slashed. For the wealthiest while investments in things that make us all richer like schools and infrastructure. Were allowed to -- And for a certain period of time we couldn't ignore. This weakening economic foundation. In part because more families were relying on. Two orders. As women entered the workforce. We took on more debt financed by -- up housing market. But when the music stopped in the crisis hit. Millions of families were stripped of whatever question they have -- The result. Is an economy that's become. Profoundly -- And families that are more insecure. There's -- -- -- a few statistics since 1979. What I graduated from high school. Our productivity is up by more than 90%. But the income of the typical family has increased by less than 8%. Since 1979. Our economy. Has more than doubled in science. But most of our growth -- -- to a fortunate few. The top 10% no longer. Takes and 13. Of our income and now takes half. Whereas in the past the average CEO made about twenty to thirty times the income of the average worker. Today CEO now makes 273. Times more. Meanwhile family in the top 1% has a net worth 288. Times higher than the typical -- Which is a record for this country. So the basic bargain at the heart of our economy. That's right. In fact this trend towards growing inequality is not unique. To America's market economy. Across the developed world it inequality has increased. Some some you may have seen just last week the Pope. Himself spoke. About this at eloquent like. How can -- be he wrote. That it's not a news item when an elderly almost person doesn't exposure. But it is news when the stock market loses two -- But this increasing inequality is most pronounced. In our country. And it challenges the very essence of who we are -- people. Understand we've never begrudge success in America we aspire to we admire. Folks who start new businesses create jobs and invent the products that enrich our lives and we expect them to be rewarded handsomely for. In fact we've often accepted more income inequality than many other nations. 41 big reason because we were convinced that America's place were even after more -- -- with a -- hard work. You can improve your own situation overtime and build something better to -- markets. As Lincoln once said. While we do not propose any war upon capital we do wish. To allow the homeless man an equal chance to get rich -- everybody else. The problem is that alongside increased inequality. We've seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years. The child born in the top. 40%. -- -- The two in three chance of staying at or near the top. The child born into the bottom 20% has a less than one in when he shot at making it took to. He's ten times likelier. To stay worry us. The facts statistics show not only there -- levels of income inequality rank near countries like Jamaica. In Argentina. But that it is harder today for a child born here in America. To improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy -- countries like Canada or Germany or France they have greater. -- -- -- -- -- And the idea that so many children -- born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that. The child may never be able to escape -- poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care. Or community the views for future says the wrong that should offend all of us. And it should compel us to action we are a better country than us. So let me repeat. The combined trends of increased inequality. And decreasing mobility. Pose a fundamental threat to the American dream our way of life and what we stand for around the -- And it is not simply -- moral claim that I'm making here. There are -- practical consequences. To rising inequality and reduced mobility. For one thing these trends are bad for our economy. One study finds that growth is more fragile and recessions are more frequent. In countries -- greater inequality. And that makes sense here when families have less to spend. And means businesses have -- customers. And households racked up greater mortgage and credit card debt. Meanwhile concentrated wealth of the top is less likely to result in the kind of broadly based consumer spending that drives our economy. And together with lax regulation may contribute to risky speculative bubbles. Rising inequality and declining mobility are also bad for -- families and social group cohesion. Not just because we tend to trust our institutions -- But studies show we actually tend to trust each other less. When there's greater inequality. And greater equality is associated with -- less mobility between generations that means it's not. Just tempering the effects -- it creates a vicious cycle. For example by the time. She turns three years old a child born into a low income home. Here's thirty million fewer words. Than a child for well -- -- Which means by the -- she -- school she started behind. And that deficit can -- itself over time. And finally rising inequality in declining mobility or bad for our democracy. Ordinary folks can't write massive campaign checks are higher high priced lobbyists and lawyers to secure policies. That tilt the playing field in their favorite -- one else's expense. And so people got. The bad taste that the systems ranked. That increase -- cynicism and polarization. And it decreases the political participation that is a requisite part of our system of self got. So business. An issue that we have to tackle head on. And if in fact the majority of Americans agree that. Our number one priority is to restore opportunity and broad based growth for all Americans. The question is why -- -- Washington consistently fail to act. I think a big reason. Is the -- that have developed around the issue of inequality. First there's the myth that this is a problem restricted to a small share of predominately minority -- This is the broad based problem as a black proper aesthetic problem or native American -- -- it's true that the painful legacy of discrimination means -- African Americans Latinos native Americans. Are far more likely to suffer from a lack of opportunity. Higher unemployment. Higher poverty rates. It's also true that women still make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. So were gonna need. Strong application of anti discrimination laws we're gonna need immigration reform the grocery economy and takes people out of the shadows we're gonna. Need targeted initiatives to close. Those -- a. But but here's an important point. The decades long shifts in the economy have heard all groups. Poor and middle class. Inner city and rural folks. Men and women. And Americans. All races. And as a consequence some of the social patterns. That. Contribute to declining -- built. There were once attributed to the urban poor and that's that's a particular problem for the inner city. -- single parent households -- Drug abuse. It turns out now we're seeing that. Pop up everywhere. The new study shows that disparities in education mental health obesity. Absent fathers isolation from church isolation from community groups. These gaps are now. As much about -- temperature -- as -- -- about anything else. The gap in test scores between poor kids and wealthy kids. Is not nearly twice. What it is between white kids and -- it's. -- -- Working class parents are ten times likelier than kids -- middle or upper class -- To go to a time when their parents have no income. -- the fact is -- the opportunity gap in America is now. As much about class as it is about race and that gap is growing. So we're gonna take -- growing inequality and try to improve upward mobility for all people. We've got to move beyond the false notion that this is an issue X exclusively of minority concern. And we have to reject a politics. That suggests any effort to address any meaningful way somehow pits the interests of a deserving middle class against those of an undeserving poor in search of handouts. Second. Need to dispel the myth of the goals of growing the economy and reducing inequality are necessarily in conflict. When they should actually work in concert. We know from our history -- our economy grows best. From the middle out when growth is more widely share. And we know that beyond a certain level of inequality. Growth actually slows altogether. Third we need to set aside the belief that government. Cannot do anything about reducing and -- call. It's true the government cannot prevent all the -- sides of the technological change global competition. That are out there right now. And some of those forces are also. Some things that are helping us grow. And it's also true that some programs in the past like welfare before was reforms were sometimes poorly designed. Created disincentives to work. We've also seen how government action time and again. Can make an enormous difference in increasing opportunity and bolstering letters into the middle class. Investments in education. Laws establishing collective bargaining and a minimum wage. Is all contributed to rising standards of living for massive numbers of Americans. Likewise one previous generations declared that every citizen of this country deserved a basic measure of secured. The floor for which they could not fall. We helped millions of Americans live in dignity. And gave millions more the confidence. To aspire to something better by taking. A -- on a great idea. And without Social Security nearly half of seniors would be living in power. -- Today fewer -- one -- -- Before Medicare. Only half of all seniors had some form of health insurance. Today virtually all the and because we strengthen that safety net and expanded pro work and pro family tax credits like the earned income tax credit. A recent study found that the poverty rate has fallen by 40% since the 1960s. And these endeavors than just make us a better country they reaffirmed that we are a great country. So we can make a difference on this. In fact that's our generation's task. To rebuild America's economic and civic foundation. To continue the expansion of opportunity for this generation and the next generation. And like. Had to have been like -- I take this personal. I'm only here because this country educated my grandfather. On the GI bill. When my father left in my mom hit hard times trying to raise my sister and me while she was going to school this country. Help make sure we didn't go -- When Michelle. The daughter of shift worker -- a water plant and a secretary. Want to go to college. Just like me this country help to support. Until we compared that. So what drives me is a grandson a son a father. As an American. Is to make sure that every striving hard working optimistic kid in America has the same incredible. Chance that this country gave me. Yeah. And the driving force between everything we've done these past five years. And over the course of the next year and for the rest of my presidency that's where you should expect my administration. To focus all our efforts. How you'll be pleased to know this is not a -- the union address. And many of the ideas that can make the biggest difference and expanding opportunity -- presented before. But let me offer few key principles just -- that I believe should guide us in both -- legislative agenda and -- administrative -- To begin what we have to continue to relentlessly push. A growth agenda. May be true that in today's economy growth alone does not guarantee higher wages and -- -- we've seen that. But what's also true as we can't tackle inequality if the economic pie is shrinking or stagnant. The fact is if you're progressive and you want to help the middle class and the working poor. You've still got to be concerned about competitiveness. And productivity. And business confidence that -- private sector investment. And that's why from day one we worked to get the economy growing and help our businesses hire. And thanks to their. Resilience and -- that created nearly eight million new jobs over the past 44 months. And now we've got to grow the economy even faster. We got to keep working to make America a magnet for good middle class jobs to replace the ones that we've lost in recent veterans. Jobs in manufacturing and energy and infrastructure and technology. That means simplifying our corporate tax code -- way to closes wasteful loopholes and -- incentives to ship jobs overseas. By broadening the base we can actually lower rates to encourage more companies to hire. And use some of the money we -- to create good jobs rebuilding our roads our bridges and our airports and all the infrastructure businesses -- It means -- traded under the grows exports and worked for the middle class. It means streamlining regulations that are outdated or unnecessary or too costly. -- coming together around a responsible budget. One -- -- are coming faster right now and shrinks our long term deficits. One that unwinds the harmful sequester cuts. That haven't made a lot of sense. And -- frees up resources to invest in things like. The -- terrific resource that's always unleashed new innovation and new industries. When it comes -- our budget we should not be stuck in -- stale debate from two years ago or three years ago. They relentlessly. Growing deficit of opportunity. Is a bigger threat to our future of them are rapidly shrinking. But as a he. Felt -- that's step one towards restoring mobility making sure our economy is growing fast. Step two is making sure we empower more Americans with the skills and education they need to compete in a highly competitive global -- We know that education is the most important predictor of income today. So we launched a race to the top in our schools we're supporting states that have raised standards for teaching and learning. We're pushing for re designed high schools for graduate more kids with. The technical training and apprenticeships and in demand high tech skills the can lead directly to a good job in the middle class life. We know it's harder. To find a job today without some higher education so -- help more students go to college with grants and loans the go farther than before. We made it more practical to repay those loans and today more students are graduating from college than ever before. Were also pursuing an aggressive strategy to promote innovation that -- in tuition costs. Got a lower cost -- that young people are not burdened by enormous debt. When they make the right decision. To get higher education. And next week Michelle and I will bring together college presidents. And -- profits to lead a campaign to help more low income students attend and succeed in college. But they won't. While higher education may be the surest path to middle class it's the only. We should -- for -- people the best technical education in the world. That's why we've worked to connect local businesses with community columnists of the workers young and old. Can -- in the new skills that they -- them more money. And I've also embraced the idea that an all of you at the Center for American Progress has championed. And by the way Republican governors and a couple of states -- it. That's making high quality preschool available to every child in -- You know. The kids -- these programs grow up likelier to get more education -- higher wages. For more stable families of their -- It's sort of virtuous cycle. Not a vicious. We should invest -- that. We should give all of our children. That chance. And as we empower our young people for future success. The third part of this. Middle class economics is empower our workers. It's time ensure our collective bargaining laws function -- this -- so you. A level playing field for the. Organize for a better deal for workers and better wages for middle class. It's time to pass the paycheck fairness act so the women will have more tools to fight paid -- -- Each time -- pastor not him. Employment nondiscrimination axle workers can't be fired for who they are -- And even though we're bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. We're creating more good paying jobs and education health care and business services. We know that we're gonna have. And greater and greater portion of our people in. The service sector. And we know that there are airport workers and fast food workers and nurse assistants and retail salespeople who work their tails off. And are still living at or barely above poverty. And that's why it's well past the time to raise a minimum wage that in real power. That this shouldn't be an ideological question. No it was Adam Smith. The father of free market economic us. Who once said. -- who've been. Clothed and watch the whole body of the people. Should have such a share of the programs. Their own labor has to be themselves taller -- well fed clothed and -- And for those of you who don't speak old English. -- -- -- -- That means if you work hard you should make this -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- We all know the arguments that have been used against a higher minimum wage some say it. Actually hurts. Low wage workers business won't be less like wanted to hire. There's no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage cost jobs and research shows it raises -- comes for low wage workers and boosts short term economic growth. Others argue that if we raise the minimum wage companies we'll just pass those costs on to consumers. But a growing chorus of businesses small and large. Argued differently. -- -- there are extraordinary companies in America that provide. Decent wages salaries and benefits and training for the workers and deliverables great product. To consumers. And SAS and North Carolina offers child care -- sickly. REI -- company -- sector manager used to run offers retirement plans strives to cultivate. A good work balance there -- companies out there that do right by -- workers may recognize the paying a decent wage. Actually helps their bottom one reduces turnover. Means workers have more might -- spent to say. Maybe eventually start a business of their -- A broad majority of Americans agree we should raise the minimum -- That's why last month voters in New Jersey decide to become the twentieth state to raise -- even higher that's why yesterday DC council vote due to higher agree -- I agree with those voters not -- to keep pushing until we get a higher minimum wage for hardworking Americans across the entire country it will be good for our economy. You'll be good -- France. -- -- As I alluded to earlier. We still need targeted programs. For the communities and workers that have been hit hardest by economic change in the Great Recession. These communities are no longer limited to the inner city. They're found in neighborhoods hammered by the housing prices. Manufacturing towns hit hard by years of plants back it up. Landlocked Reuters word young folks. Oftentimes feel like they've got to leave justify and a job. Their communities that just aren't generating. Enough jobs anymore. So we put forward new plans to help these communities and the residents. Because we've watched cities like Pittsburgh. Or my hometown of Chicago revamp themselves in if we give more cities the tools to do it. Not handouts but a hand up cities like Detroit can do it -- -- -- a few weeks will announce the first of these promises owns. Urban and rural communities where we're gonna support local efforts focused on the national role in matters a -- course in life should not be determined by the zip code -- morning. But by the strength of America. And the school -- And we're also -- to gonna do more for the long term unemployed. You know for people who've been out of work for more than six months often through no fault of their own life is a catch 42. Companies won't give their -- out of luck because we've been laid -- along. But they've been laid -- so long because companies won't give the ResMed onslaught. And that's why earlier this year I challenge CEOs from some America's best companies. To give these Americans a fair shot and next month many of them. We'll join us at the White House for an announcement about us. -- We've got to revamp retirement to protect Americans and their golden years to make sure another housing collapse doesn't steal the savings in their homes. We've also got to strengthen our safety net for a new age so it doesn't just protect people. Who hit a run of bad -- from falling into poverty but also propels them back out of -- Today nearly half of full time workers and 80% of part time workers. Don't have a pension or retirement account of their job. But half of all households don't have any retirement six. So -- do more to encourage private savings and shore up the promise of Social Security for future generations. And remember these are promises we make to one another we we we don't do it replace the free market but we do it to reduce risk and -- aside. By giving people the ability to take a chance. And catch them if they fall. One study shows that more than half of Americans. Will experience probably at some point during their adult lives but about the is not an isolated situation more than half of Americans at some point in their lives. Will experience poverty. That's why we have nutrition assistance. Or the program -- -- -- because it makes a difference for a mother whose work. But is just having a hard time putting food on the table for kids. That's why we have unemployment insurance because it makes a difference for a father who lost his job and is up there looking for a -- one. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- By the way Christmas time is no time for congress itself. More than one million of these American -- have lost their unemployment insurance which is what will happen -- congress. The point is these programs are are not typically. Hammocks for people to just lie back and relax. These programs are almost always temporary means for hard working people to stay afloat while they try to find a new job. Are going to school to re at retrain themselves for the jobs that are out there. Or sometimes just -- -- what about a bad luck. A progressive should be open to reforms that actually strengthen these programs and make them more responsive to a 21 century economy. For example we should be willing to look -- fresh ideas to revamp. Unemployment disability programs to encourage faster and higher rates re employment. Without cutting benefits we we shouldn't we can fund -- protections built over generations. Because given their constant -- in today's economy. And the disabilities that many of our friends and neighbors -- where they're needed more than ever. We should strength from an -- to new circumstances so they work even better. But understand that these programs of social insurance benefit all of us. Because we don't know when we might have run a battle. We don't know when we might -- Of course for decades there was one yawning gap in the safety net that did more than anything else to expose working families. To the insecurities. Of today's a -- Namely our broken health care system. That's why we fought for the affordable care. Because 141000. Because Ford. 181000 Americans lost their health insurance every single day. And even more died each year because they didn't have health insurance -- -- we did it because millions of families who thought -- coverage were driven in the bankruptcy but. Out of pocket costs -- they'd been realized would be there. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens could get any coverage all. The Doctor King once -- of all the forms of inequality injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. Well not anymore. -- The in the three years since we passed this law. The share of Americans -- insurance is up. The growth of health care costs are down to their slowest rate in fifty years. More people have insurance. More have new benefits and protections. Hundred million Americans who -- in the right for free preventive care like mammograms and contraception. The more than seven million Americans who saved an average of 12100 dollars on the prescription medicine. Every American won't go broke when they get sick because their insurance. Can't limit their care anymore. More people without insurance -- gain insurance more than three million young Americans it's been able to stay on the parents plan. The more than half a million Americans and counting -- poised to get coverage starting on January 1 some for the very first time. And it is these numbers. Not the ones of any poll. The -- -- determine the -- of this law. He. Is the -- But -- and reduce bankruptcies and reduced hours have been lost because somebody could make it to work and help your kids -- better performance in schools and young -- the -- throughout the freedom to go out there and try a new idea. Those -- things it will not only reduce -- major source of inequality. And help insure more Americans get the start they need to succeed in the future. Not a knowledge more than once -- -- roll up parts of those laws won't we sure should but. The walls. Already working in major ways that benefit millions of Americans right now. Even as we've begun to slow the rise in health care costs which is good -- family budgets -- for federal and state budgets. And good for the budgets of businesses small and large. That's laws don't work and for the sake of our economic security it needs to work. And as people in states as different as California and Kentucky. Sign up every single day for health insurance signing up in droves. Are proving they want that economic secure. -- -- that this senate Republican leaders still thinks he's going to be able to repeal this someday. I wanna check with the more than 60000 people in his home state -- sent to finally have coverage the freeze them. And welcome afford. To take their kids to see about. -- Let me -- by addressing the elephant in the room here. Which is the seeming inability. To get anything done in Washington these days. I realize we are not gonna resolve all of our political debates over the best ways to reduce inequality. An increase upward mobility. This year. Or next year. Or in the next five years. But it is important we have a serious debate about. These issues. For the longer the current trends are allowed to continue the more it will feed the cynicism and fear that many Americans are feeling right now. That they'll never be able to repay the debt they took come to go to college. I'll never be able to save enough to retire. We'll never see their own children -- a good job its -- of -- And that's why even as I will keep on offering my own ideas for expanding opportunity. I'll also keep challenging and welcoming those who oppose my ideas to offer their own. If Republicans have concrete plans will actually reduce inequality. Build the middle class provide more lot ladders of opportunity to -- Let's hear them. I want to know what they are. If you don't think we should raise the minimum wage let's hear your idea of increased peoples arts. If you don't think every child should have access to preschool. Tell us what you do differently to give them -- better -- If -- still don't like Obama and I know you don't. Even though it's built on market based ideas of choice and competition private sector then you should explain how exactly. You'd cut costs and cover more people and make insurance more secure. You all what to the American people to tell us what you are four. Not just what your -- What yeah. A vigorous and meaningful debate. That's what the American people deserve. That's what the times demand. It's not enough anymore to just say we should get our government out of the way and let the unfettered market take care. For our experience tells us that's just not true. But I've never believe that government can solve every prop -- -- And neither do. We know that. Ultimately our strength this is grounded -- our people. Individuals out -- -- worker. Making things happen. Depends on community. A rich and generous that's a community that's of the core of what happened -- -- -- here every day. You understand the turning back rising inequality of expanding opportunity requires parents taking responsibility for their kids. Kids taking responsibility to work -- It requires religious leaders who mobilize their congregations to rebuild neighborhoods block by block. Require civic organizations that can help train the unemployed link them with businesses. For the jobs of the future. It requires. Companies. And CEOs. To set an example -- providing decent wages and salaries and benefits for their workers. And shot -- somebody who's downer on his or her lot. We know that's our strength our people our communities. Our businesses. But government can't stand on the sidelines in our efforts. Because government of loss. It can and should reflect our deepest values and commitments. And if we refocus our energies. On building an economy. That -- for everybody. And gives every child in this country fair chance of success. That I remain confident. That the future still looks brighter than in the past and the best days for this country we love Philip. But nobody got let's go about month.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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