By JIM KUHNHENN
President Barack Obama says his goal of defeating al-Qaida is within reach and that it’s time to turn the country’s attention to domestic concerns.
Just four days after his trip to Afghanistan, Obama said that money saved from ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should help pay down the national debt and go to health care, education and infrastructure.
The president took note of the agreement he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that shifts security to the Afghan people. He reminded the American public, once again, of the military raid that killed Osama bin Laden a year ago.
But he said the nation now should concentrate on economic issues such as tax disparities and government spending. Without mentioning Republicans, he cast the GOP view as one that promotes more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting spending “that built a strong middle class.”
The partisan subtext of the address was clear. Obama is portraying Republicans as the party of the wealthy as he seeks to demonstrate action in the face of a slow economic recovery.
The address came as he went out on his first official campaign trip Saturday, visiting college campuses in Ohio and Virginia.
In the Republican address, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) accused the administration and the Senate’s Democratic leadership of fiscal mismanagement, saying they have put off difficult decisions that would tame government spending.
The Senate’s failure to adopt a budget has helped create an atmosphere of uncertainty that is hurting businesses and impeding job creation, the Tennessee Republican said. He called for an overhaul of the tax code that eliminates most of the $1.2 trillion in loopholes and tax breaks, and lowers rates and broadens the tax base.
Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov
GOP address: www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress