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"Time to step on the gas" to bolster U.S. economy: Obama

(Xinhua)

11:16, December 04, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United States should step up efforts to revive its economy even after the private sector has been creating jobs over the past 21 months in a row, President Barack Obama said Saturday.

The nation needed to keep the job creation momentum and strengthen it by efforts including passing a series of jobs bills by Congress to grow the economy faster, Obama said in his weekly address on the heels of the release of the latest job market report.

"Now is the time to step on the gas, not slam on the brakes," Obama stressed.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent in November, the lowest since March 2009, the Labor Department said Friday, with the private sector adding 140,000 jobs and all levels of governments slashing 20,000 jobs. However, the administration's proposals to pass jobs bills and the extension of payroll tax cuts expiring at the end of this year have been blocked by Republican lawmakers.

Obama said U.S. legislators should not go home for the Christmas until they pass the payroll tax cuts extension to put more money back in the pockets of working Americans.

A typical U.S. family with annual income of 50,000 dollars would pay 1,000 dollars more in payroll taxes if Congress does not act by the end of this year to extend that reduction, according to the White House.

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