Fair play, a fair shot, and a fair share

President Barack Obama delivers remarks in Osawatomie, Kansas. (White House Photo, Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama delivers remarks in Osawatomie, Kansas. (White House Photo, Pete Souza)

Like President Teddy Roosevelt more than 100 years ago, President Obama went to the small town of Osawatomie, Kansas on December 6 to speak out about the choices our country faces at an important crossroads in history:

“This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those fighting to get into the middle class. At stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, and secure their retirement. …

“I’m here to reaffirm my deep conviction that we are greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules. Those aren’t Democratic or Republican values; 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values, and we have to reclaim them.”

The President laid out his plan to do just that—to rebuild a strong American middle class—and it starts with working together as a nation to achieve our goals.

This nation needs to make education a national mission, the President told the supporters gathered at the Osawatomie high school, and it’s a collaboration among parents, teachers, businesses, and government. President Obama also noted that we also need to make a “world-class commitment” to science, research, and the next generation of high-tech manufacturing.

Much of the responsibility falls among the business community. The President said, “Business leaders need to understand that their obligations don’t just end with their shareholders.” As the primary generator of American jobs, they play a critical role in lifting people into the middle class and keeping them there, and their practices need to reflect this responsibility.

Building a solid middle class also requires a tax code that is fair. Calling it “the height of unfairness” that a teacher or nurse making $50,000 pays a higher tax rate than someone making $50 million, the President said as a nation we must decide what our priorities are and make tough choices necessary to getting our fiscal house in order. And that means asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share:

“This isn’t about class warfare. This is about the nation’s welfare. It’s about making choices that benefit not just the people who’ve done fantastically well over the last few decades, but that benefit the middle class, those fighting to get to the middle class, and the economy as a whole” President Obama said.

Read the full remarks by President Obama here, or watch the speech below:

December 7: News Roundup

President Barack Obama takes a stand on the “bully pulpit” of President Teddy Roosevelt to fight for the middle class at Osawatomie, Kansas. There’s more at the Washington Post.

In a White House memorandum, and a speech by Secretary of State Clinton on Tuesday, the Obama Administration puts LGBT human rights abroad on the foreign policy agenda. There’s more at the New York Times.

Karl Rove appears to have signed on with Mitt Romney. There’s more at TPM.

Romney spent $100,000 to hide his records as Governor of Massachusetts. There’s more at the Washington Post.

Newt Gingrich surges in Iowa Republican caucus poll. There’s more in the New York Times.

Newt Gingrich takes a commanding lead in South Carolina poll. There’s more at ABC News.

Gingrich campaign is already in a state of massive debt. There’s more at the Washington Post.

Gingrich may have violated Federal campaign finance laws. There’s more at TPM.

Despite gains against Republican field, Gingrich falls in matchup with President Obama, PPP Poll shows. There’s more at Daily Kos.

Exposure in Republican debates is hurting the GOP presidential field, polling shows. There’s more at TPM.

Republicans say that the 2012 presidential choices are “less acceptable” than the 2008 field. There’s more at the Washington Post.

Right wing Koch brothers-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) says kids eating rat poison is “an acceptable risk.” There’s more at ThinkProgress.

Mitt Romney says he’s not a career politician because he kept losing.” There’s more at TPM.

Rick Santorum says nobody dies because they are uninsured. There’s more at ThinkProgress.

John Huntsman caves to right-wing extremists and caves on climate change. There’s more at the Los Angeles Times.

Republicans block Medicare physician payment “fix.” There’s more at The Hill.

Republican voter suppression law in Wisconsin may cost an 84 year old woman $200.00 for an ID. There’s more at ThinkProgress.

NAACP takes up the fight against voter suppression. There’s more at the South Carolina Post-Courier.

In an editorial today the New York Times offers high praise for “Obama at Osawatomie.” There’s more at the New York Times.