Obama chooses San Francisco Women's Building
to discuss economic plan
While the US economy continues to show signs of recession, Democratic
presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) returned
to San Francisco today to discuss his economic stimulus plan which
includes a tax cut to middle-class families and working mothers.
Photos by Luke
By Ari Burack
January 17, 2008
Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama took time
from campaigning in Nevada for a visit to San Francisco's Mission
District today to trumpet his plan to assist middle-class families
and working mothers.
On the heels of a visit
to Oakland on Wednesday by former President Bill Clinton -- in
support of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's proposal to address the
foreclosure crisis, particularly among urban and minority homeowners
-- Obama today delivered a message aimed primarily toward women.
Obama spoke at a roundtable discussion with four Northern California
working mothers at the San Francisco Women's Building, a multicultural
community center offering social services and activities.
"The price of the American dream has gone up," Obama
told the women and a packed audience of media members, adding
that working women in particular are "facing increasing uncertainty,"
with rising costs for health care, education, and gasoline.
"The burden on ordinary families has never been higher,"
Obama listened attentively as the women -- some single mothers
-- spoke about their struggles to pay for childcare, health care
and mortgages while maintaining their jobs.
"The burdens of juggling family, and work and medical leave,
etc., are everybody's responsibility," Obama commented. "The
burden should be placed on the entire family, the entire community,"
including government, he said.
Obama promoted his plan to provide a $500 tax cut for working
families, and to expand a current tax credit for child and dependent
care. In addition, he would increase funding for after school
programs to offer relief to working parents, he said.
His plan also includes proposals to offer sick pay to all fulltime
employees, expand the Family and Medical Leave Act, prevent caregiver
discrimination in the workplace, and promote flexible workplace
arrangements for working parents.
Obama said he intends to invest billions more in education, with
an emphasis on early childhood education, and encourage high school
curricula that are "relevant to these kids and to the future
job market," including apprenticeship opportunities. Once
they graduate, Obama said he would offer a $4,000 college tuition
credit each year for every student provided they engage in either
community or national service programs.
Obama indicated to reporters that his long-term goal to help
pay for the programs amidst a weakening economy was to change
the tax code to eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy and close
loopholes for corporations.
"The most important step is just a short-term stimulus that
gets money in people's pockets," he said.
He said his proposal offers $35 billion in tax rebates to middle-income
families, as well as a $10 billion supplement to Social Security.
"I think what the American people are looking for,"
Obama said, "is somebody who can bring Democrats, independents
and Republicans together around a long-term strategy for economic
growth, and share prosperity."
Obama's next stop was a fundraiser in San Francisco, before returning
to Nevada for Saturday's primary, a member of his campaign staff
Recent polls show a close race between Obama and Clinton in Nevada.
Polls in California still indicate Clinton has a significant lead
among Democrats, though the gap has narrowed in recent weeks.
"I think the contest between myself and Sen. Clinton really
does have to do with the past and the future," Obama told
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