It's a two-way street to prosperity, President Obama told U.S. businesses on Saturday. Government has an obligation "to make sure that America is the best place on Earth to do business," but companies in turn "should make their mark" in this country.
"They should set up shop here, and hire our workers, and pay decent wages, and invest in the future of this nation," the president said in his weekly address. "That's their obligation."
Obama, echoing pro-business themes from his State of the Union speech, said the federal government will offer tax credits and financing opportunities, while also helping to maintain first-rate schools, incentives for innovation and a strong infrastructure.
Obama is expected to keep promoting more innovation and development of new skills for American workers in a speech next week to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and later during a trip to Marquette, Mich.
He said the drop in the January jobless rate was a sign that "we're continuing to move in the right direction," but "we need to get there faster."
"We have to realize that in today's global economy, the best jobs and newest industries will take root in countries with the most skilled workers, the strongest commitment to research and technology and the fastest ways to move people, goods and information," he said. "To win the future, America needs to out-educate, out-innovate and out-build the rest of the world."
Republicans also focused on the economy -- and Obama's plans for it -- in their weekly message. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the president wanted to extend a "spending binge" in Washington. Hensarling said he appreciated Obama's "can-do" rhetoric, but "my questions for the president are these: Mr. President, how does spending us down the road to national bankruptcy help us 'win the future?' And Mr. President, how does borrowing even more money from the Chinese make us more competitive?"
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