Since our nation's founding, America has promoted personal responsibility, the dignity of work, and the value of education. Those values made our nation the hope of the earth and our economy the envy of the world.
Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency make America strong. When the economy is growing and Americans are working, everyone involved has a shared sense of achievement, not to mention the basic sense of pride that comes with the paycheck they earn.
Over the last four years, however, these kinds of opportunities have been in short supply. We're experiencing the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Unemployment has been above 8 percent for 43 straight months. Almost 47 million Americans are on food stamps. And nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty.
Under President Obama, we have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency. My policies will create a growing economy that fosters upward mobility.
Government has a role to play here. Right now our nation's citizens do need help from government. But it is a very different kind of help than what President Obama wants to provide.
This week, the House of Representatives voted to block an Obama Administration rule that would have for the first time permitted waivers of the work requirement at the heart of the bipartisan 1996 welfare reform act. The House's action follows the confirmation of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office that the Obama Administration's action was unprecedented since the passage of welfare reform.
As many of the original proponents of welfare reform have made clear, the Obama Administration's actions were not in keeping with the spirit or the letter of the law. President Obama opposed the 1996 welfare reforms, and it is no surprise that his administration is trying to dilute them now. When it comes to strengthening the middle class and enabling upward mobility, President Obama's policies have failed. As president, I will keep the work requirements in welfare and get our economy growing again, creating good jobs, higher take-home pay, and more opportunity for all Americans.
My experience has taught me that government works best when it creates the space for individuals and families to pursue success and achieve great things. Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in creating sustained prosperity and lifting people out of poverty. It is why our economy rose to rival those of the world's leading powers -- and has long since surpassed them all.
The dreamers and the entrepreneurs, not government, built this economy, and they can once again make it strong. My course for the American economy will support their efforts. It will encourage private investment and personal freedom. Instead of creating a web of dependency, I will pursue policies that grow our economy and lift Americans out of poverty. My five-point plan will deliver the economic recovery we've all been waiting for and the jobs that millions of Americans still need.
This can be more than our hope; it can be our future. And it can start this November with your vote.