Obama: 2012 'Make or Break' Year For Middle Class

With the New Year just around the corner, President Obama said there will be "difficult debates" and "tough fights" ahead but that he's hopeful the American people will come together to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class.

"There's no doubt that 2012 will bring even more change," the president said in his weekly address from Hawaii, where he's vacationing with his family. "As we head into the New Year, I'm hopeful that we have what it takes to face that change and come out even stronger - to grow our economy, create more jobs, and strengthen the middle class."

Obama continued to describe the year to come as a "make-or-break" moment for the middle class, explaining "the actions we take in the months ahead will help determine what kind of country we want to be, and what kind of world we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in."

The president said he's optimistic about the upcoming year, in part because of the way lawmakers came together to extend the payroll tax cut and because the American public got involved. "It was good to see members of Congress do the right thing for millions of working Americans. But it was only possible because you added your voices to the debate," he said as he enlisted Americans' help in the challenges ahead. "You had the courage to believe that your voices could make a difference. And at the end of the day, they made all the difference."

"I'm confident that if we work together, and if you keep reminding folks in Washington what's at stake, then we will move this country forward and guarantee every American the opportunities they deserve," Obama said as he wished Americans a "happy new year."

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