Obama: 'If Congress Won't Act, I Will'

The president addresses the nation about passing the jobs act.
3:34 | 10/29/11

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Transcript for Obama: 'If Congress Won't Act, I Will'
This week a new economic report confirmed what most Americans already believe to be true. Over the past three decades the middle class has lost ground while the wealthiest few -- become even wealthier. In fact the average income for the top 1% of Americans has risen almost seven times faster than the income of the average middle class family. This has happened during a period where the cost of everything from health care to college has skyrocketed. Now in this country we don't begrudge anyone wealth -- success we purchased. We celebrated. But America is better off what everyone had the chance to get -- not just those at the very top of the income scale. The more Americans prosper the more America prospers. Rebuilding an economy where everyone has the chance to succeed will take time. Our economic problems we're decades in the making and they won't be solved over night. But there are steps we can take right now to put people back to work and restore some of the security that middle class Americans have lost over the last few decades. Right now congress can pass a sort of common sense jobs proposals that independent economists tell us will boost the economy right away. Proposals that would put more teachers veterans construction workers and first responders back on the job. Proposals that will cut taxes for virtually every middle class family and small business in America. These are the same kinds of proposals to both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past. And they should stop playing politics and act on them now. -- -- proposals are also paid for by asking folks were making more than a million dollars a year to contribute a little more taxes. These are the same folks who's seen their incomes go up so much and I believe this is -- contribution. They're willing to make. One survey found that nearly seven in ten millionaires are willing to step up and -- a little more in order to help the unfortunately Republicans in congress are paying attention. They haven't gotten the message. Over and over they have refused to even debate the same kinds of jobs proposals that Republicans have supported in the past. Proposal but today are supported not just by Democrats but by independent and Republican voters all across America. Somehow though they found time this week to debate things like whether or not we should make recordings to celebrate the baseball whole thing. And meanwhile -- only scheduled to work three more weeks between now and the end of the year. The truth is we can no longer wait for congress to do with mr. The middle class families who have been struggling for years are tired of we. Need help now. -- congress won't act I would. This week we announced a new policy will help families whose home values have fallen to refinance the mortgages and save thousands of dollars. We're making it easier for veterans to get jobs putting their skills to work in hospitals and community health settlers. We reformed the student loan process so more young people can get out of debt faster. I'm gonna keep announcing more changes like these on a regular basis. These steps will make a difference. But it won't take place of the bold action we need from congress to get this economy moving again. And that's why need all of these major voices. Tell congress to stop playing politics and start taking action on jobs. We want to rebuild an economy where every American has the chance to get ahead and wanted to -- every American to get people. That's how real change is always happen and that's -- happened today. --

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

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