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Obama: Economy improving, but work needed


May 18, 2010

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (UPI) -- The U.S. economy is coming back but more must be done to improve long-term job growth and economic development, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

"We've got a long way to go before this recovery is felt in the lives of all our neighbors and in all the communities that have lost so much ground in this recession and for years before," Obama told employees of V&M Star, a steel tube manufacturer in Youngstown, Ohio, after touring the facility. "But despite that sobering reality, and despite the naysayers in Washington ... the fact is that our economy is growing again."

He used the facility as an example of how the 2009 economic stimulus plan provided success. The plant has begun a $650 million expansion expected to create 350 new jobs.

"If the just-say-no crowd had won out," Obama said, "we'd be in a deeper world of hurt. ... The steady progress we are beginning to see across America just wouldn't exist."

Obama pledged "not to rest until that future begins to brighten," saying he was "absolutely convinced" that the steps his administration has taken will bring about a better economic future.

Seeking new markets for exports and enforcing the rules of fair trade is "the right thing to do for our workers and companies," Obama said.

Investing in a clean energy economy will help create good jobs while helping the environment, the president said. Also, raising standards in schools, making college more affordable and upgrading our community colleges "is the right thing to do for our kids and their future."

Obama said reforming the healthcare system to crack down on "the worst practices of the insurance industry and lifting the burden of skyrocketing premium increases" was the right thing to do for businesses and families.

"So we're going to keep up every effort to rebuild our economy and restore some security to the middle class," he said, "so that places like Youngstown don't just survive year after year, but thrive year after year."


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