A Pennsylvania Democrat called President Obama’s economic speech yesterday hosted by the Center for American Progress one of the best speeches ever given by an American leader.
Obama called for increasing the minimum wage and decried a wage gap in America, saying reversing the trend is “the defining challenge of our time.”
“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 globe,” he said.
Obama also lauded himself as a great leader for pushing through his healthcare law. “You know, Dr King once said: ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.’ Well, not anymore,” he said. “More people without insurance have gained insurance, more than 3 million young Americans who’ve been able to stay on their parents’ plan, the more than half a million Americans and counting who are poised to get coverage starting on January 1, some for the very first time. It is these numbers, not the ones in any poll, that will ultimately determine the fate of this law.”
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) said it was “the most important speech of all of the speeches in the entire career of Barack Obama.”
“This is the most important speech he has given and will be recorded, I think, as so,” Fattah continued on MSNBC. “It is also one of the most important speeches I think ever given by an American president because he really laid out that our country cannot stand with a circumstances of haves and have-nots, that we have to see things more not about charity, but he was really arguing about an enlightened self-interest on behalf of our country that we need to educate our young people. We need to provide employment and entrepreneur opportunities for those who are in the shadows.”
“He made this argument a very compelling. He wove it together by focusing on two other presidents, one, the son of a very poor person and one the son of a rich, Teddy Roosevelt, but laid it out in the common sense economics that you understand and I understand and I think all of our viewers tonight have to be able to understand that,” Fattah said.
“You have to have a situation where this is not a zero sum game in which everyone can see themselves in a position through their effort and work. He says we’re not trying to guarantee outcomes, but we need to provide an opportunity for every single American.”
Fattah said he thinks the Senate will son take up a minimum wage increase, then dropping it at the feet of the House.
“We have a majority in the House that doesn’t seem to understand that we need to have, if we want to sell cars, the car dealer can’t benefit if people can’t afford to buy the car or sell groceries or Christmas toys,” he said.
“I mean, we, people need to be able to earn a decent living. We’ve seen this effort around minimum wage increases, our fast food workers across the country, but in states that are enlightened, you see action being taken.”