1:14 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, good afternoon. Today, we received another outstanding jobs report: 528,000 jobs were added just last month to this country’s employment. 528,000 jobs.
We have now nearly doubled what we — we’re almost to 10 million jobs — almost to 10 million jobs since I took office. And that’s the fastest job growth in history.
Today, we also matched the lowest unemployment rate in America in the last 50 years: 3.5 percent. Yes, 3.5 percent.
Today, there are more people working in America than before the pandemic began. In fact, there are more people working in America than at any point in American history.
You know, what we’re also seeing is something that just a few years ago many experts said was literally impossible: the revitalization of American manufacturing.
Since I took office, we’ve created 642,000 American manufacturing jobs in America. We’ve seen the biggest and the fastest job recovery in American manufacturing history since the ‘50s.
And some people may have given up on American manufacturing. But the American people didn’t, and I know I never did. That’s why I made it “Make it in America” — that phrase — “Make it in America — the cornerstone of my economic plan.
And today’s report proves “Make it in America” isn’t just a slogan, it’s [in] my administration. It’s a reality.
I’ve also made it a priority to bring down the federal deficit. After watching my predecessor every single year increase the debt — the federal deficit — every year, for the four years he was in office, I said, “No more.” The days of exploding federal deficits are over.
And I’ve kept my word. Just take a look at the facts. The deficit is down a record of $1.7 trillion this year. That’s right — $1.7 trillion, with a “T”.
And that’s on top of a $350 billion reduction to the deficit my first year in office.
Now, I know people will hear today’s extraordinary jobs report and say they don’t see it, they don’t feel it in their own lives. I know how hard it is. I know it’s hard to feel good about job creation when you already have a job and you’re dealing with rising prices, food and gas, and so much more. I get it.
I literally can remember sitting at my mom and dad’s dining room table and watching them choose which bills they’re going to this — that month because there wasn’t enough money to pay all the bills. I get it. That’s why I’m doing everything in my power to lower the costs for families.
You know, we’ve seen some progress. Gas prices are coming down. They’re down almost a dollar a gallon where — from where they were just a month ago. And, you know, we’re making progress.
We now have more than 50 straight days of falling gas prices in this country.
The price at the pump is now less than $3.99 a gallon at more than half of the gas stations in America.
In fact, $3.79 a gallon is now the most common price paid at the pump in the country — $3.79.
While — while we’re not there yet, we’re on the cusp of passing the most important step we can pass to take Con- — help Congress — to help us lower inflation: the Inflation Reduction Act.
That bill will lower prescription drug costs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. Lower drug prices. That’s something the American people have pro- — been promised for years, for decades, and we’re on the verge of finally getting that done.
The bill also keeps down healthcare insurance costs by keeping healthcare premiums, for the — those on the Affordable Care Act down $2,400 a year.
It will make historic investments in clean energy — clean energy, security. The security of the country is at stake. We’re going to save American families hundreds of dollars a year on paying their energy bills by allowing them to have money to invest by getting — allowing them to put in new windows and doors and solar panels and the like, and get tax credits for that.
It also is going to restore some fairness to the tax code by imposing corporate minimum tax of 15 percent on billion-dollar companies. That will put an end to what we’ve seen in the recent years, where 55 of the largest companies in America — the Fortune 500 — paid zero federal taxes on income over $40 billion combined in profit.
This bill is going to reduce the deficit by another $300 billion.
And one more point. This bill will not — let me repeat this: This bill will not — will not raise taxes on anybody making less than $400,000 a year.
When it comes to the benefits of this bill, you don’t have to take my word for it. Nearly 130 economists; 7 Nobel laureates in econ- — on the economists — on economics, I should say; former Secretaries of Treasury; Federal Reserve — former Federal Reserve Vice Chair; former director of the Congressional Budget Office wrote that this bill will, quote, combine — they wr- — signed, quote, will “fight inflation and lower costs for American families while setting the stage for strong, stable, and broadly shared long-term economic growth.”
In short, this bill is a gamechanger for working families
and our economy.
I look forward to the Senate taking up this legislation and passing it as soon as possible.
You know, I know most families are focused on just putting three meals on the table, taking care of their kids, and paying their bills. Helping you do that is my job. That’s a President’s job as well.
I have one more job, which is not only to focus on getting America through the economic challenges we’re facing, but to look to the future to make sure we’re building an economy that — that meets the needs of American families to be able to succeed and for America to win the future.
When you step back, today’s jobs report is part of a broader story.
For decades, the American economy has been struggling even before the pandemic. Middle-class Americans were working harder, but they were falling further behind. All the rewards in the economy seemed to be going to those at the very top.
When I came to office, I was determined to change that.
I ran for President saying I was going to restore the backbone of America — the middle class — and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down. Because when the middle class does well, everybody does well. Everybody. The wealthy do very well, and the poor have a way up.
My economic plan rests on five pillars:
Get America back to work at a record pace. All Americans. All Americans, leaving no one behind. And we’re doing just that.
In the process, for the first time in a long time, workers are being empowered. Instead of workers begging employers for work, we’re seeing employers have to compete for American workers.
And we’re seeing a resurgence of working organiz- — worker organizations and unionization. When I — where I come from, that’s a good thing, and it’s long overdue.
Two, we’re literally rebuilding this nation — our roads, our bridges, our ports, our airports, clean water, high-speed Internet for all Americans. For too long, America has failed to invest in itself. We changed that this year with the biggest investment in America since Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System.
We’re now committing to rebuild America not just for tomorrow, but for the next decade. And that includes not only investments in things like roads and bridges, but investments in research and development, the next-generation technologies from artificial intelligence, to quantum computing, to semiconductors that are all going to remake the world.
As I said earlier, we’re going to build it in Amer- — build it here in America.
Let me be clear: We are going to invest it in America. We’re going to make it in America. We’re going to win the economic competition of the 21st century in America.
Three, give working people and the middle class a fighting chance — more than just a little breathing room, a real chance to get ahead — by making their everyday things more affordable and accessible, like healthcare, prescription drug costs, energy, childcare, education, housing, and so much more, because when we lower those costs of all the necessary things, we improve their standard of living.
Four, make our economy more competitive and less concentrated. When too few companies dominate a market, it — that reduces competition, drives up the costs for American consumers.
That’s been going on for too long. We need to give small businesses and entrepreneurs more opportunities and consumers more choices at the afford- — at affordable prices.
The fifth thing — five — the fifth pillar: We’re going to reward work, not just wealth, in America so that everyone pays their fair share in taxes.
I’m a capitalist. I’m not trying to punish anybody. But I’m saying everyone — everyone should pay their fair share. Just their fair share.
America is a nation that was built on work. We can never lose sight of that. That’s why the strength and pace of our job recovery is so important.
In the past, it has taken years for Americans to recover from an economic crisis that we inherited. And when that’s happened, millions of people suffered for years and years just trying to get back to where they were before — just trying to get back on their feet. But that didn’t happen this time.
You know, my dad used to say that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in the community. And it’s about being able to look your child in the eye and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay,” and mean it.
That’s the economy I’m determined to build today. That’s the economy I’m looking at.
Now, part of changing the way things have been done in the past is by restoring the faith of the American people in their government.
Today, I’m going to be signing, very shortly, two bipartisan bills — bipartisan bills that begin to restore that faith.
A key driver of our economic recovery is the resurgence of American small business. Small businesses hire as many people as the — as the major corporations. We just learned last week that small businesses with less than 50 employees created nearly 3 million jobs in 2021. Three million. That’s the most ever in a single year.
And more Americans applied to start new businesses than ever before in our history. And part of our plan is making sure that when we commit funds to help America’s small businesses, it actually goes to those small businesses they’re supposed to go to.
We know that the last administration, that’s not what happened.
Too much of small business relief funding, which was passed by the Congress, ended up in the hands of those who either didn’t need it or criminal syndicates who outright stole the money.
Not only did the Trump administration let the biggest businesses with the teams of lawyers and accountants skip to the front of the line, my predecessor undermined the watchdogs who are supposed to be on the job to make sure relief went to mom-and-pop businesses who were supposed to get it in the first place.
In my State of the Union address, I made it clear the watchdogs are back. And that’s why the Justice Department named a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud who got to work right away.
In June of this year, the chief prosecutor told Congress that it was essential — essential — to extend the statute of limitations for certain pandemic fraud to extend to 10 years to make sure fraudsters can’t run out the clock.
Congress acted. And today, I’m signing two bipartisan bills that will give the federal and local prosecutors more time to hold criminals accountable for defrauding the American people during a once-in-a-century pandemic.
Look, the American people deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent as intended.
My message to those cheats out there is this: You can’t hide. We’re going to find you. We’re going to make you pay back what you stole and hold you accountable under the law.
I want to thank the members of both parties in the House and Senate for getting these bills to my desk.
And now, I’m going to sign them into law as proof of another piece of my economic plan: the belief that in the United States of America, there is nothing beyond our capacity — nothing — when we work together as the United States of America. That’s what these bills represent: We work together.
God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.
(The bill is signed.)
I just signed the Paycheck Protection Program — the PPP — and Bank Fraud Enforcement Harmonization Act.
Now I’m going to sign the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Fraud Statute of Limitations.
(The bill is signed.)
Yeah, thank you very much. I know it’s hot out here for you all, but thank you.
Q Can you give us a comment on Brittney Griner, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m hopeful. We’re working hard.
END 1:28 P.M. EDT