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In Wisconsin, Obama Touts Clean-Energy Jobs, Says Economy Is Rebounding

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Touring the ZBB manufacturing plant in Menomonee Falls, Wis., on Monday, President Obama continued to make the case that the economy is on the rebound and that his administration's actions in the last 18 months to boost growth and create jobs have been the right ones. Highlighting advances afforded by the Recovery Act in the manufacturing sector -- specifically in clean-energy technology -- Obama said jobs created at the battery plant to store electricity from solar cells and wind turbines were "pointing the country towards a brighter economic future."

As evidence of progress, the president cited a $1.3 million Recovery Act State Energy Program loan to ZBB to expand operations, retain and hire new workers, as well as a special tax credit that will allow for the opening of a second factory that will, in turn, create additional jobs. "We expect our commitment to clean energy to lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012," he said. "And this isn't just creating work in the short term -- it's helping to lay a new foundation for lasting growth."

"What's clear," Obama continued, "is that we are heading in the right direction. Just a year and a half ago, the economy was shrinking rapidly. Now the economy is growing. We were bleeding 750,000 jobs each month. Now the economy has added private-sector jobs for seven months in a row."

But despite positive signs in the manufacturing sector, the White House has found itself at odds with continued high unemployment rates and anemic job growth, and the shadow of an uncertain future hung low over the event. In what has become a refrain in nearly all of the president's remarks on the economy, Obama made clear his understanding that the progress thus far is not enough, and reiterated a promise that his administration "will not rest until every American who is able and willing to work can find a job, and a job that pays a decent wage with decent benefits to support a family."

And if the president's trip to Wisconsin was to highlight how the country is "jump-starting a homegrown, clean-energy industry," it was also to make clear the choice voters will face in the midterm elections this November. In that regard, it was a call for them to reject Republican candidates as obstructionists more concerned with playing politics that working for the American people. "They said no to small-business tax cuts, no to rebuilding infrastructure, no to clean-energy projects," said Obama. "They even voted against getting rid of tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas."

Echoing remarks made several weeks ago at the GM, Chrysler and Ford auto plants, Obama encouraged naysayers to come and visit those plants that would have otherwise been shuttered without government intervention and that have now rebounded -- proof positive that his administration's moves were the right ones to make. "Come to this plant," said Obama. "I want [critics] to explain why they think these clean-energy jobs are better off in other countries instead of right here in the United States."

The president then returned to a now-familiar message about the difficulty of the task at hand, praising the resilience of the American worker: "These have been a very hard couple of years for America. And there will be some more difficult days ahead. It would a mistake to pretend otherwise," he warned. "But this nation is home to the most skilled and industrious people on this earth. There is nothing we cannot achieve when we set our minds to it."

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i wonder what country he's living in. it sure isnt the same one im in !

August 17 2010 at 9:59 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

It seems that if we were rebounding, really rebounding, that the voter/taxpayer would be seeing it for themselves, not because our president had gone around the country campaigning to get the voter/taxpayer to like all his spending programs.

August 16 2010 at 9:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Maybe someone will come up with another slogan for obama because "recovery summer" is almost over. Someone should also tell obama that there were almost 500,000 jobs lost last month.

August 16 2010 at 5:15 PM Report abuse +21 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to tnickerson08's comment

just curious but what is "rebuilding infrastructure"?

August 16 2010 at 5:10 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply

Unemployment is up, bankruptcies are up, forclosures are up, the real estate market is in the toliet, construction is down, banks are not lending,college grads can't get a job, teens can't get a job because the seniors had to go back to work when their retirement money crashed, schools are cutting teachers and programs, the stock market is shakey at best,tourism is down and "we are headed in the right direction"? Are we talking about the same country?

August 16 2010 at 3:52 PM Report abuse +27 rate up rate down Reply

Even Obama can't stop ZBB stock from falling. Down to 69 cents down 20cents. From a Year high of 2 dollars.
Sure must be a great investment. Better then that bridge for sale in Brooklyn?

August 16 2010 at 3:43 PM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply

Touting clean jobs means public sector jobs only, higher taxes on the horizon and years and years before any of it is realized. The economy is horrible and he candy coats it by revisiting his familiar safe haven of reminding the American people about how special we are and that we live in the strongest nation in the world. That would be true if he and his congress of know it all, be it all liberals would stop spending on useless, economy ruining, and freedom snatching legislation. When will people stop believing that liberals know it all? They don't.

August 16 2010 at 3:05 PM Report abuse +21 rate up rate down Reply

yep, the economy is rebounding, yep, tell that to us in Ohio Obama.

August 16 2010 at 2:52 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply

He won't rest until every American who wants a job has one? Did he not just return from a vacation yesterday? But I guess that was a "working" vacation and not a resting one, eh?

August 16 2010 at 2:43 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply

We need someone in the white house that is going to correct the problems already in place that caused this mess. We need regulations back on the banking and oil industries. We need strong legislation to force those companies that farm work overseas to move back on US soil. Our government has been worrying help all the other countries in the world build an economy while they destroy ours. Old saying charity starts at home!! We even import more then we export WHY? Make it here sell it here.

August 16 2010 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kenneth's comment

You don't get it. A government can't force a company to have factories here. This is not a communist dictatorship. The banking and oil industries had regulations, they just weren't being enforced, like immigration law. They have to do things to entice manufacturers to bring jobs back and raising the corporate tax to 39%, the highest in the world, is not enticement.

August 16 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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