Pensacola Discussion Forum
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

This is a forum based out of Pensacola Florida.

You are not connected. Please login or register

Dan Pfeiffer: "The pen and the Phone"

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1Dan Pfeiffer: "The pen and the Phone" Empty Dan Pfeiffer: "The pen and the Phone" Wed May 21, 2014 9:05 pm



You don't need NateSilver or fivethirtyeight.comto tell you what the Americanpeoplewant their elected representativesto focuson -- it'sthe economy, plain and simple. Put another way and to steal a phrase--it's theeconomy, stupid. That'swhat President Obama is focused on, because despitetremendousprogress over the last five and a half years, we have more work to do to expand opportunity to all Americans who are willing to work hard and play by the rules.

However, we have a RepublicanCongress focused on virtually anything but the middleclass-- obsessively tryingto repeal the AffordableCare Act, ginning up politically motivated investigations, and reflexively blocking any proposal that would grow the economy and create jobs.

Given this dynamic, President Obama hasonly one option -- useevery ounceof hisauthority to unilaterally improveeconomicsecurity. He ismore than willingto work with congressional Republicans, but heis certainly not going to wait for them.

Around the White House werefer to this strategy as "the Pen and thePhone" -- thePenis the use of executive orders, presidential memorandums, and other authorities; the Phoneisthe 21st century version of Teddy Roosevelt's Bully Pulpit -- using the power of the Oval Officeand social media to get businesses, local communities, nonprofits, and ordinary citizensto take steps to improvethe country.

President Obama isputting hispenand hisphone to work, makingmeasurable progress onthe Opportunity Agenda laid out in theState of theUnion. Since thestart of 2014, he'staken more than20 executive actions -- fromlaunchinghigh-tech manufacturing hubsto creating retirement programs that makes it easier to save -- that will help create jobs, whilebroadening opportunity for millionsof Americans. And there are more on theway. None by itself isa moonshot, but taken together these executive actions represent concrete, meaningful steps to help the middleclassand everyone who wantsto join it.

Thebest example of the president'sphilosophy for governing in a divided Washington ishiseffort to raise theminimum wage. Last year the president called for raising the minimumwage in the State of the Union. Thiscaught a lot of punditsin Washington by surprise because there hadn't been much discussion of theissue inrecent years. The president wanted to put it on the table eventhoughheknew the legislativepath wasdifficult, to say theleast. What has happened since that speech is pretty remarkable: The president haslaunched a national movement to raise wagesinthiscountry. To begin with, he signed an executive order to raise wagesfor peopleworkingon new federal contracts. He hasalso hascalled on states, citiesand businessesto do their part in the absenceof Congressional action. And thething is, folksare listening: From Maryland to Hawaii, states areraising their wages, and from theGap to Punch Pizza, businessesare doing their part too. The actions that havebeentaken in just five statesthisyear --Maryland, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Hawaii -- mean that more than a million workerswill seea raise.

Next week, as congressional Republicans spend their energy on yet another partisaninvestigation, we'll be picking up the paceon the executive actions to help the economy.

America isstill the best place to invest, and this week the president ishighlighting effortsto bringjobsback to our shores. Three years ago, President Obama created a team dedicated to helping businesses insource jobs. Today, SelectUSA ishelping companies around the globe createjobsright here in America. On Tuesday, businesses heeding the president's call to do their part will meet at the White House to announce new American jobs.

And on Thursday, building onhis 2012 executiveorder promoting travel and tourism, the President will visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, to highlight effortsto make it easier for foreign touriststo see more and spend moremoney in our country. (And, no, this not just an excuse to go the Baseball Hall of Fame.)

When 2014 comesto anend and we get together in the White House to analyze our progress, thequestion won't be "How many bills did the president sign?" (although he would like to sign many). The question will be, "How many people's livesdid we improve?" And on that measure we are off to a pretty good start, and we're going to keep pushingforward. We have many moreexecutive actionsto come, and every day the president hascharged us with looking for additional ways to expand opportunity.

Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum