President Obama feels the love in Midtown


At the Uptown Theater today, President Barack Obama spoke of a revived economy and said it would be stronger still if Congress did its job.

He took the stage to chants of “we love you” and more cheers followed, combined with jeers for Republicans.

(See a slideshow of the scene inside and outside the Uptown as the President spoke today at the end of this post)

He sidestepped one touchy political issue. After eating at Arthur Bryant’s Wednesday, he said,

“I am not going to decide who makes the best barbeque in Kansas City.”

Among his other comments:

As for the economy, “Sometimes you wouldn’t know it if you watch the news – there is a lot of reason to be optimistic about America.”

Protestors and people with messages for the President  lined Broadway Boulevard.

Protestors and people with messages for the President lined Broadway Boulevard.

The number of new jobs is huge and industry,  technology and automobile companies are booming.

“The world’s number one oil and gas producer – it’s not Saudi Arabia, it’s not Russia – it’s the United States of America.”

Also, high school and college graduation rates are at record levels

But the challenge of our time is how to make the economy work for everyone.

“Imagine how much stronger our economy would be if Congress was doing its job, too.”

It could be creating jobs fixing and building roads and infrastructure, working to advance manufacturing and investing in education, he said.

But instead of helping the middle class, Congress passed another tax cut for the rich.

“Get rid of them,” shouted some in crowd.

obama-9Congress should also have acted to raise the minimum wage for the first time in five years but did not, Obama said.

He raised it to $10.10 on his own for people who work on federal contracts.

“The states that have increased the minimum wage see higher job growth,” he said. “America deserves a raise – it’s good for everyone.”

Workers have more money to spend, which means more money for businesses that then hire more workers, he said.

With just two days left before recess, he said, Congress now is not addressing key issues like the dwindling highway trust fund, the need for firefighters to attack wildfires or money to deal with a surge of child illegal immigrants.

Instead they are scheduled to vote on whether to sue him.

‘They’re going to sue me for taking executive actions to help people – they’re mad because I’m doing my job.”

That point brought boos from the crowd and Obama said, “Do not boo –vote.”

He also attacked a loophole in the tax law that allows companies to move corporate headquarters out of the country to pay less in taxes.

“They shouldn’t turn their backs on the country that made their success possible,” he said. “Not only is that not right; it ain’t right.”

He urged people not to get cynical and give up and stop voting.

“We don’t have time for cynicism,” he said.


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