Tonight, President Obama presented a vision to the American people of a stronger Union, a foundation for prosperity, and a thriving middle class. Working together, we will adopt a bold agenda for our economic growth - founded on good-paying manufacturing jobs, greater access to education, critical investment in our nation's infrastructure and a future of clean energy.
Despite signs of progress in our economy, too many Americans are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. Sustaining a secure and prosperous middle class is the defining challenge of our time. To rebuild the middle class, we must make America a magnet for good-paying manufacturing jobs, provide access to the skills needed for all Americans to compete in today's global economy and make sure that hard work produces a good standard of living and long-term financial security.
Education is the greatest investment we can make in our country and is key to rebuilding our middle class. It's critical that we provide greater access to early childhood education and that we open doors to collegiate opportunities for all Americans. Education is the crown jewel of our nation's economic infrastructure. We cannot sacrifice our children's future.
Immediate investment must also be made in improving our nation's crumbling transportation infrastructure. There is no such thing as a Republican bridge or a Democratic bridge: only the bridge we all travel over together. Investing in our infrastructure, allowing us to compete with countries across the world and providing jobs today, is imperative and is something we can and should all agree on. But, we need to invest in the technologies and economic strategies of the future.
Clean energy creates jobs that you can't ship overseas, and in turn boosts the economy. We must continue toward becoming fully energy independent and we need to lower energy costs to keep more money in the pockets of middle class families.
Every step along the way, we must demand fiscal discipline - examining all unnecessary spending, but an indiscriminate across-the-board cut is the wrong approach. We can't just cut our way to prosperity or a strong middle class. Both sides need to work together with President Obama to provide a plan for a stable financial future.
With his powerful words tonight, the President demanded that we fulfill our promise to fight for the interests of America's families, rebuild the keystones of progress, and restore opportunity to every American. Working together, we can realize a vision of growth, security and economic success for all Americans.