president obama

Obama pushes 'made in America' agenda to students in Raleigh

President Obama spoke to students at North Carolina State University in Raleigh today to promote the new American Jobs Act, which he says will alleviate chronic unemployment for auto workers, teachers and others. He also pressed forward the idea that Americans must be known again for the quality of their manufacturing skills.

What follows is the full speech the president gave, unedited, provided to by the White House.

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, North Carolina! (Applause.) Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you. Thank you so much. How’s it going, Raleigh? (Applause.) It is good to be back at N.C. State! (Applause.) Good to have all these Wolves in my wolfpack. (Applause.) I just hope none of the students here are skipping class on account of me. (Laughter and applause.) Your professors can see you on TV, you know.

I want to thank so many people who helped to set this up, but a couple of folks in particular I want to acknowledge. First of all, the outstanding governor of the great state of North Carolina, Bev Perdue is in the house. (Applause.) Bev has been working tirelessly on behalf of the state, and obviously helped to guide so much of the emergency efforts that were taking place after the hurricane. So we’re grateful to her. And we also have one of the finest public servants I know, the former governor of the great state of North Carolina, Jim Hunt is in the house. (Applause.)

I want to thank Chancellor William Woodson, chancellor of North Carolina State University -- (applause) -- as well as Thomas Ross, president of North Carolina State University. And I want to thank the power sound of the South for their outstanding performance. (Applause.) Thank you.

Now, everybody can sit down if you want. You all have seats. (Laughter.) That’s fine. I got -- except folks in the front. (Applause.) See, this is the hardcore right here. (Applause.) I want to thank Erv for the introduction. Now, as he mentioned, I just visited his small business, which is called WestStar Precision; it’s down the road in Apex. And like Erv said, what they do is what a lot of companies here in the Research Triangle do so well: They hire smart people; they give them the best technology; they create something of lasting value. And that’s how this country built a strong and growing economy and a strong, expanding middle class. That’s our history. And that’s what we’ve got to get back to. And that’s why I came to Raleigh here today. (Applause.)

I came to talk about how America can get back to a place where we’re creating good middle-class jobs again -– jobs that pay well; jobs that offer some security; jobs that are available for all the young people who are going to be graduating from N.C. State. (Applause.) Because I know that’s what the students are thinking about. And we can do that if we can finally get Washington to act -– if we can get folks to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying a little more about your jobs. (Applause.)

Now, on Monday, I sent Congress this piece of legislation -- it’s called the American Jobs Act. It’s a plan that does two things: It puts more people back to work, and it puts more money back into the pockets of working Americans. (Applause.) Everything in this proposal, everything in this legislation, everything in the American Jobs Act is the kind of proposal that in the past, at least, has been supported by Democrats and Republicans. Everything in it will be paid for. (Applause.) Anybody who wants to know more about it, you can read it on (Laughter.) I know you guys don’t have enough to read. And every single one of you can help make this bill a reality by telling Congress to pass this bill. Pass this jobs bill. (Applause.)

Now, let me tell you why you need to pass this bill. Tell them to pass this bill so we can help the people who create most of the new jobs in this country, and that’s small business owners like Erv. (Applause.) Because while corporate profits have come roaring back, smaller companies haven’t. So what this jobs bill does is it cuts taxes for small businesses that hire new employees. It cuts taxes for small businesses that raise the salaries of their current employees. (Applause.) It cuts small businesses’ payroll taxes in half, and that would help 170,000 small business owners in North Carolina alone. (Applause.) And if they choose to make new investments next year, it lets them write off those investments. And for small business owners who have contracts with the federal government, we’re going to do more than that. Today I’m ordering all federal agencies to make sure those small business owners get paid a lot faster than they do now. (Applause.) In many cases, it will be twice as fast. So that puts more money in their pockets quicker, which means they can hire folks quicker. (Applause.)

Now, we’ve got to tell Congress to do their part. You’ve got some Republicans in Congress, they like to talk about how “We’re in favor of America’s job creators.” Well, you know what, if you’re in favor of America’s job creators, this is your bill. This will actually help America’s job creators. So we need to pass this jobs bill right away. (Applause.)

But that’s not all this bill does. Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get new tax credits for hiring America’s veterans. (Applause.) Now, we ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, risk their lives to fight for us, to fight for our freedoms. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home. (Applause.) That’s why Congress needs to pass this bill.


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