Sen Obama to Announce Plan to Reclaim the American Dream

MANCHESTER ,NH —Senator Barack Obama is scheduled to announce his plan to change Washington and reclaim the American Dream for working families across the country in a major policy address today in Bettendorf, IA.

At a time when costs are rising and Americans are working harder just to keep up, Obama’s comprehensive plan will provide relief for the middle class and support for working people. In addition to the policies he has rolled out previously on health care and tax relief, Obama is expected to detail new proposals to make college affordable, to reform our bankruptcy laws, to protect the balance between work and family, and to put a secure and dignified retirement within the reach of all Americans.

Obama, who has fought for working Americans his entire public life - first as a community organizer in a neighborhood devastated by plant closings and then through his work as a state Senator and U.S. Senator - will discuss how, as President, he will stand up to special interests, fight for working Americans when the fight gets hard, and bring America together to reclaim the American dream.

Barack Obama’s comprehensive plan tohelp working families reclaim the American dream will:

  • Provide a middle class tax cut of up to $1,000 for working families, and eliminate the income tax for retirees making less than $50,000 per year.
  • Address the challenge of balancing work and family by guaranteeing workers paidsick days, expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), supportingpaid FMLA, and doubling funding for after-school programs.
  • HelpAmericans buy and keep their homes.
  • Protect American families by reforming bankruptcy laws, predatory credit card policies, and abusive payday lending practices.
  • Reduce health care costs by $2,500 for a typical family.
  • Strengthen retirement security by automatically enrolling workers in portable retirement accounts and providing additional incentives for Americans to save.
  • Put the cost of college in reach by providing a $4,000 refundable tax credit available at the time of enrollment, and create a Community College Partnership Program to strengthen this vital resource for American students.

Reclaimingthe American Dream

Wednesday,November 7, 2007

Bettendorf ,IA

Speech Excerpts

“When our fellow Americans are denied the American dream, our own dreams are diminished. And today, the cost of that dream is rising faster than ever before. While some have prospered beyond imagination in this global economy, middle-class Americans – as well as those working hard to become middle class – are seeing the American dream slip further and further away.”

“We’re not going to reclaim that dream unless we put an end to the politics of polarization and division that is holding this country back; unless we stand up to the corporate lobbyists that have stood in the way of progress; unless we have leadership that doesn’t just tell people what they want to hear – but tells everyone what they need to know. That’s the change we need.”

“That’s why I’m running for President of the United States.It’s the same reason I packed up my car and moved to Chicago. Because in this country, that dream is worth fighting for – not just for ourselves, but for each other. And that’s why I don’t think you should settle for a President who is only there for you when it’s easy or convenient or popular – I think you deserve a President who you can trust will fight for your dreams every hour of every day for the next four years.”

“Americans don’t expect government to solve all our problems. But you’re tired of a government that works for special interests, and not for you. It’s time that we had leadership that worried as much about Main Street as it does about Wall Street. That’s why I’m introducing an American Dream agenda – to put some wind at the backs of working people, to lower the cost of getting ahead, and to protect and extend opportunity for the middle class.”

“We know that the cost of the American dream must never come at the expense of the American family… That’s why I’ll double spending on quality after-school programs – so that you can know your kids are safe and secure. And that’s why I’ll expand the Family Medical Leave Act to include more businesses and millions more workers; to let parents participate in school activities with their kids; and to cover elderly care. And we’ll finally put federal support behind state efforts to provide paid Family and Medical Leave.”

“For far too long, the same politicians in Washington who have been cutting back the safety net for working people have been protecting golden parachutes for the well-off …I’ll continue the fight for good bankruptcy laws as President. No more bonuses for executives while pensions disappear. We’ll press firms to put more money into their pension funds,and require firms to disclose their pension fund investments. And we’ll increase the amount of wages and benefits that workers can claim in bankruptcycourt. That’s the change we need in our bankruptcy laws.”

“Personal saving is at an all-time low. A part of the American dream is at risk. That’s why I’ll establish an automatic workplace pension policy. Employers will be required to enroll workers in a direct deposit retirement account that places a small percentage of each paycheck into the account. Then you’ll have the choice of opting out, matching, or adding to this account. When you change jobs, your savings will roll over into your new employer’s system, or into a system that you control if you leave the workplace or become self-employed. And the federal government will match savings for working families.”

“There has been a lot of talk in this campaign about the politics of hope. But the politics of hope doesn’t mean hoping that things come easy. It’s a politics of believing in things unseen; of believing in what this country might be; and of standing up for that belief and fighting for it when it’s hard. Americais the sum of our dreams. And what binds us together, what makes us one American family, is that we stand up and fight for each other’s dreams,that we reaffirm that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper – through our politics, our policies, and in our daily lives.”