Columbus Dispatch, Brooke LaValley/AP Photo
Continuing to cast himself as an activist president defying slim odds for election-year legislative compromises, President Obama in his weekly address pushes "a few common-sense policies that would make a difference" with the economy.
"There are things we can do - right now - to help create jobs and restore some of the financial security that so many families have lost," Obama says.
The list of initiatives - which the White House has billed as Congress' "To-Do list" - includes elimination of tax breaks for companies that outsource; a mandated expansion of mortgage refinancing eligibility; tax credits for clean energy companies and small businesses that hire new workers; and creation of a new veterans job corps.
The Democratic proposals have received little or only lukewarm support from Republicans. But Obama has continued to tout them at a series of official events in an attempt to appeal to voters.
"The other side isn't so optimistic," Obama said. "They think all we can do is cut taxes - especially for the wealthiest Americans - and go back to letting banks and corporations write their own rules again. That's their plan."
"But I think they're wrong. We tried their ideas for nearly a decade, and it didn't work out so well. We can't go back to the same policies that got us into this mess. We've got to move forward," he said, echoing what has become a major theme of his re-election campaign.
Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., delivering the Republicans' weekly address, said Obama "is ignoring the tough choices and trying to distract from the real issues" by his proposals, which fail to tackle skyrocketing debts and deficits and boost job growth.
"In the House, we've passed several 'all of the above' energy bills to address high gas prices and help create jobs. We've passed a budget to lift the crushing burden of debt that's hurting our economy and is threatening our future. We've passed small business tax cuts and bills reining in red tape so we can get government out of the private sector's way," Noem says.
"If the president is truly serious about doing what's best for women, young people - and all Americans - working on these jobs bills should be our focus."