Obama lands in Kansas, pitches jobs plan

To Serve and Protest Osawatomie police designated a protest area near the high school where Obama gave his speach. Westboro Baptist Church and a small group of Republicans protested the event.

Rob Burkett / Washburn Review

Tuesday, President Barack Obama made a trip to the heartland, coming to speak in Osawatomie, Kan., about his plans for economic growth.

The last time the small Kansas town was visited by a speaker of the importance of Obama was just over a century ago, when President Theodore Roosevelt spoke about “New Nationalism” in 1910.

With an opening introduction that spoke to his Kansas roots, Obama talked about how his mother grew up in Wichita and her parents hailed from Augusta and El Dorado. Alluding to the challenges that the World War II generation had to overcome, the president launched into a speech about his vision for the domestic economy.

Retelling the circumstances of the economic collapse in 2008, Obama called it a collapsing house of cards. The resulting economic hardships spurred movements that according to the president, “sparked protests and political movements” around the nation.

Holding up Roosevelt’s speech more than 100 years ago, the president used his predecessor’s juxtaposition of being the son of a rich republican while still believing that some “rules of the road” have to be in place to “ensure that competition is fair, open and honest.”

To that end, the president called for a policy that works on several different fronts. Specifically, Obama announced his desire to see a soon to expire payroll tax cut extended to keep nearly 160 million Americans from having their taxes raised on them starting next year.

The president also called for a return to tax rates for the wealthy that were in effect under the Clinton administration during the decade of the 1990s.

According to the president, many of today’s millionaires pay less taxes than do middle-class families. In some cases, only one percent of their income was taxed.

While calling for an increase in reform of the taxation situation in the United States, the president also spoke about obligations on the parts of many segments of society.

Obama asked parents to become more involved in their children’s educations, while also giving praise to the domestic automobile industry for their pledge to create more jobs in the United States and thus build more vehicles domestically.

The president also spoke about the need for innovation in the economy while working on improving long term infrastructure.

Finally, Obama ended his speech with a quotation of Roosevelt’s speech that “we are all Americans” and that the “nation’s common interests are as broad as the continent.”