"The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities, the question tonight is whether we'll meet ours," Obama said.
"The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy."
Obama said the initiative, called the American Jobs Act, would put people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.
"It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed," he said.
"It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business.
"It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away."
$447 billion in jobs boosting, including some $240 billion in payroll tax cuts and tax breaks for small businesses based on the number of people they hire. As I hoped for last week, the President delivered on a substantial program in Congress, plus plenty of things that the executive branch can do without Congress. The White House fact sheet on the plan spells out the specifics.
Sadly, the Republicans will block every dime of it, because they want the economy to disintegrate so they can blame the President. It's too bad this plan won't pass with even one tenth of the jobs boosting dollars in it...but I'm still glad the President said what he said. It was a logical, moving, sensible speech about governing.
It will promptly be destroyed by Republicans who don't want to spend one dollar, and Useful Idiots who will threaten to stay home and let Republicans win in 2012 because the President didn't propose to spend three trillion.
Sad, but there you are.