By David Bennett, Senior Editor
Boasting one of the most diverse manufacturing bases in the country, the city of Cleveland served as a suitable backdrop for President Obama who arrived Wednesday to promote proposals for more federal investment to help American businesses.
While the president didn’t address the convenience store industry directly in his presentation to the City Club of Cleveland, he explained that “middle-class economics,” is taking hold in the form of lower unemployment, a booming stock market, higher wages and more disposable income for Americans.
Other economic factors are combining to aid America’s wallet, including lower gas prices that last year saved each American household an average of $700 at the pump.
While more disposable income is assisting the average person’s budget, more employment opportunities are providing higher income potential.
“Today, there are more job openings in the United States than at any time since 2001,” the president said.
Different from the workings of “trickledown economics,” Obama said to keep the nation’s economy in line, his administration is stepping up its commitment to public education, workforce development and training, and commercial innovation.
PROMOTING THE ACA
Boosters to the U.S. economy is coming in many—perhaps the most unexpected is the Patient Care and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, which was enacted in 2010 to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance in the country.
Obama told the crowd of local business people and government officials that not only in the ACA helping corral runaway healthcare costs, but is putting more money in consumers’ pockets by lowering health insurance rates across the board.
“More than 16 million more Americans today have healthcare coverage,” Obama said. The president explained that not only has the ACA boosted insurance rolls, but if premiums had kept growing at the rate they did in the last decade, the average premium for family coverage in the U.S. today would be $1,800 higher than they are.
Still, the ACA has come under fire from many factions, including Republicans and some retail groups, that assert the health insurance reform law has slowed the creation of new retail jobs and limited the hours available to part-time employees.
Near the end of his presentation and before leaving Cleveland, Obama asserted that because of soaring tuition costs, a college education is out of reach for many. The president proposed that educational policy should be established making the first two years of community college free for all Americans.