The president will officially unveil his plan to create jobs and rescue the economy at a joint session of Congress on Thursday, but he offered a sneak peek Monday to union workers in Detroit. It comes down to bridges and taxes.

“We’ve got roads and bridges across this country that need rebuilding. We’ve got private companies with the equipment and the manpower to do the building. We’ve got more than 1 million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now. There is work to be done and there are workers ready to do it,” said President Obama to a friendly crowd gathered in the parking lot of a GM plant.

Obama also said he would pursue an extension of a payroll tax cut that he predicted would be popular among Republicans, who belong to what he described as “the party of tax cuts.”

Speaking of the other side, Obama was tough on his opponents. He promised to continue efforts to cross the aisle (insert sigh here), but framed Republican obstructionism as unpatriotic:

So I’m going to propose ways to put America back to work that both parties can agree to, because I still believe both parties can work together to solve our problems. And given the urgency of this moment, given the hardship that many people are facing, folks have got to get together.

But we’re not going to wait for them. (Applause.) We’re going to see if we’ve got some straight shooters in Congress. We’re going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party.

The president did a fairly good job outlining his administration’s achievements, though he sometimes exaggerated. For example: “we passed tough financial reforms that ended the days of taxpayer bailouts.” Perhaps he meant that sarcastically.

The low point for this blogger came when Obama said that in America “we don’t give up our dreams and settle for something less,” though that seems to be the hallmark of his presidency.

Still, Obama is back in campaign mode and he is clearly a much more effective communicator in that capacity. Perhaps something good will come of that political reality. Or maybe we’ll all end up living with our parents, provided they aren’t homeless. Happy labor day! — PZS


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