Archive for November 17th, 2012

Weekly Address of President Obama: Working Together to Extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts

Posted on November 17, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Hello, everybody.

On Tuesday, America went to the polls. And the message you sent was clear: you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.

That’s why I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week, so we can start to build consensus around challenges we can only solve together. I also intend to bring in business, labor and civic leaders from outside Washington to get their ideas and input as well.

At a time when our economy is still recovering from the Great Recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan I talked about during the campaign. It’s a plan to reward businesses that create jobs here in America, and give people access to the education and training that those businesses are looking for. It’s a plan to rebuild our infrastructure and keep us on the cutting edge of innovation and clean energy. And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

This is even more important because at the end of this year, we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay down our deficit – decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy and the middle class, now and in the future.

Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending, and I intend to work with both parties to do more. But as I said over and over again on the campaign trail, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue – and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes. That’s how we did it when Bill Clinton was President. And that’s the only way we can afford to invest in education and job training and manufacturing – all the ingredients of a strong middle class and a strong economy.

Already, I’ve put forward a detailed plan that allows us to make these investments while reducing our deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. Now, I’m open to compromise and new ideas. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach – that includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

Now we need a majority in Congress to listen – and they should start by making sure taxes don’t go up on the 98% of Americans making under $250,000 a year starting January 1. This is something we all agree on. Even as we negotiate a broader deficit reduction package, Congress should extend middle-class tax cuts right now. It’s a step that would give millions of families and 97% of small businesses the peace of mind that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. There’s no reason to wait.

We know there will be differences and disagreements in the months to come. That’s part of what makes our political system work. But on Tuesday, you said loud and clear that you won’t tolerate dysfunction, or politicians who see compromise as a dirty word. Not when so many of your families are still struggling.

Instead, you want cooperation. You want action. That’s what I plan to deliver in my second term, and I expect to find leaders from both parties willing to join me.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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Weekly Democratic Address by Rep. Seth Berry (Bowdoinham): Maine needs strong economy – built from the middle out not from the top down

Posted on November 17, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Audio link here.

Good morning, I’m State Rep. Seth Berry, the new Democratic Majority Leader for the Maine House.

Thank you for listening on this Saturday morning before the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what we have — and to remember to help those who may not be as fortunate.

Maine people have a tradition of generosity — Many of us open our tables to our families, friends and neighbors. We donate food and supplies to local food drives. Over the past few weeks, Governor LePage and the First Lady opened the Blaine House and collected and donated more than 1,568 pounds of nonperishable food items to the Good Shepherd Food Banks.

That’s something to be proud of. We can all do our part to help our neighbors.

In Maine, more and more families are struggling. We’ve seen the income gap between the poor and the wealthy grow, while the middle class shrinks. We are now dead last for personal income growth in the country and we are losing jobs, while other states around us are emerging from the recession.

Just this morning, I met with workers who are fighting for their jobs at the Hostess bakery in Biddeford, where they have been picketing for days. They are standing up for their jobs, their families, and the families everywhere who are facing the same struggle.

They simply want what we all want: A good day’s pay and benefits for a hard day’s work. During the last few months, Democratic candidates knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors and spoke to Mainers across the state and the message was the same:

Maine people want a real chance to succeed, and to build from our state’s strengths and from our middle class. They want a strong economy – built from the middle out not from the top down.

Maine people want good schools for our children, they want to be able to keep their house warm in the winter, and they want to be able to put food on the table and be able to afford to see their doctor when they are sick.
This is the right thing to do both morally and economically.

Policies that support lower health care costs, stronger schools, and more energy efficiency help to create jobs and put more money in the pockets of middle class families.
It’s a tall order but Maine lawmakers must work together to deliver.

We are up to the task. We are here to strengthen our economy.

After serving as a teacher for two-decades, I can tell you this is a group assignment, not an individual one; Wherever our Republican friends, colleagues and the Governor are willing to work with us, to seek common ground and common-sense solutions, we’re ready to get to work with them. Because if it helps Maine people, then every party and every leader should want to help.

Thank you for listening. Happy Thanksgiving. I’m Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham.

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Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: Thanksgiving Reflections and the Heart of Maine

Posted on November 17, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Audio link here.

Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.

When Mainers say grace at the Thanksgiving table Thursday, we will offer thanks to the family, friends and community who surround and support us.

Maine people have a tradition of caring for their neighbors as they care for themselves and their own families.
I’ve seen that spirit of goodwill during the recent recession as many Mainers kindly stepped-up to help those less fortunate.

This fall, the First Lady and I had the honor to open our own doors for three donation days as part of our second annual Blaine House Food Drive. Our friends at the Good Shepherd Food Bank will help distribute that food to those who need it most. We were humbled by the hundreds of Mainers who came from across the state to give thousands of pounds of non-perishable foods.

A group of Girl Scouts traveled all the way from Washington County on a Saturday, simply because they wanted to help others. They learned – as so many Mainers have – that when we give, we also receive.

It was important for Ann and me to instill in our children the gift of service to others. It has been a tradition for our family to help the less fortunate in our community. I know how difficult it can be to swallow your pride and ask for help. But it was a privilege for our family to give grace and the dignity deserved to those who had fallen on tough times.

I know first-hand they can get back up.

As I reflect on what I am most appreciative of this Thanksgiving, it is not a government policy or program, but the great and generous spirit of the people of Maine.

As someone who has been without, I know it is not government hand-outs but the commitment and love of Maine people and community organizations that improves lives and strengthens our State.

I sincerely believe more in the heart of people, than in the soul of government.

Government certainly should and must safeguard our most vulnerable, but government cannot provide what we need most.

The care and compassion in each of us – shared with others especially this time of year – will make the most difference in people’s lives. We are all in this together.

In that spirit, I want to recognize that many of our own neighbors to the south are spending Thanksgiving away from homes and towns that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. And our thanks go to those – including the many Mainers – assisting with the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Thank you for listening. Ann and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

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