Obama on Jobs: 'Things Will Get Better'

President espouses hope, admonishes Congress in address to veterans

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After Friday morning's not-terrible federal employment report, President Barack Obama echoed Dan Savage's anti-bullying "It Gets Better" campaign, saying that after a "tumultuous year" of persistently high unemployment, "things will get better and we are going to get through this together." The president spoke to veterans at the Washington Navy Yard about three hours after the monthly federal employment report said the nation had added 117,000 jobs in July, bringing employment down to 9.1 percent. That news came after Wall Street's worst fall of the year, when the Dow plunged 500 points. "My singular focus is the American people. Getting the unemployed back on the job," the president said. He called for extending payroll credits and unemployment benefits, as well as getting construction workers back on the job. Forbes has a good synopsis of the speech:

“There is no contradiction to put people to work right now and get our long term fiscal house in order,” Obama said. “The more we grow, the easier it will be to reduce our deficits. The bipartisan debt deal was important, but let’s be honest, the process was divisive and delayed and if we want our economy to grow we have to do better than that,” he said in a slight to Congress.

At one point, the president admonished lawmakers directly. National Journal had this quote: "If we want our businesses to have the confidence they have to get cash off the sidelines and invest and hire, we have to do better than that. We've got to be able to work together to grow the economy right now, and strengthen our long term finances. That's what the American people expect of us."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.