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Obama presses jobs plan passage to bridge yawning income gap

(Xinhua)

14:30, October 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday urged Congress to pass the administration's stalled jobs plan to speed up U.S. economic growth and reduce the widening income gap.

Obama cited a latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report to show that the U.S. middle class has lost ground while the wealthiest few have become even wealthier over the past three decades.

A report released earlier this week by the non-partisan CBO revealed that average after-tax income for the top 1 percent of the nation's super-rich surged 275 percent from 1979 to 2007, while middle-income households saw a 40 percent increase in their post-tax income. Those at the bottom 20 percent of the U.S. income scale saw their income grow by a mere 18 percent.

"America is better off when everyone has had the chance to get ahead, not just those at the top of the income scale. The more Americans who prosper, the more America prospers," Obama said in his weekly address.

He stressed that Congress could pass a set of common-sense jobs proposals and put more teachers, veterans and construction workers back on the job, Obama's latest pitch to win support for the 447- billion-dollars jobs plan unveiled last month.

Facing a sluggish economic growth and stubbornly high unemployment rate, Obama rolled out the jobs plan on Sept. 8, which includes measures like payroll tax cuts for employers and employees as well as new investment in infrastructure projects.

However, Republican Senators scuttled the jobs package on Oct. 11, and a portion of the bill, which provided 35 billion U.S. dollars to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters, failed to advance in the Senate on Oct. 20.

Obama stressed that Congress should take bold action to help get the U.S. economy moving again.

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