Yes, our families believed in the American values of self-reliance and individual responsibility, and they instilled those values in their children. But they also believed in a country that rewards responsibility. A country that rewards hard work. A country built upon the promise of opportunity and upward mobility.
They believed in an America that gave my grandfather the chance to go to college because of the GI Bill. An America that gave my grandparents the chance to buy a home because of the Federal Housing Authority. An America that gave their children and grandchildren the chance to fulfill our dreams thanks to college loans and college scholarships.
It was an America where you didn’t buy things you couldn’t afford; where we didn’t just think about today – we thought about tomorrow. An America that took pride in the goods it made, not just in the things it consumed. An America where a rising tide really did lift all boats, from the company CEO to the guy on the assembly line.
That’s the America I believe in. That’s what led me to work in the shadow of a shuttered steel plant on the South Side of Chicago when I was a community organizer. It’s what led me to fight for factory workers at manufacturing plants that were closing across Illinois when I was a Senator. It’s what led me to run for President – because I don’t believe we can have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle-class.
President Barack Obama, 9-8-2010