Obama struggles to push ‘Better Bargain’ economic campaign

President Obama has laid out a new set of economic priorities heavily focused on protecting American workers from companies outsourcing their jobs overseas.

The president is refocusing on the economy as the federal government, in the absence of a fiscal year 2014 budget, survives on a temporary continuing budget resolution that expires September 30. Republican House Speaker John Boehner hopes merely to pass another continuing resolution after returning from congressional recess in September, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other Senate Republicans are pushing to block all continuing-resolution budget bills and potentially force a government shutdown until Obamacare is defunded.

The White House released a promotional video for Obama’s “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class” campaign last Wednesday, and Obama devoted his weekly address Saturday to his “better bargain.” The official White House website currently lays out his campaign’s central talking points.

Obama pledges to “simplify the tax code for business,” borrowing terminology often used by conservative Republican politicians.

Obama offers four components of this plan, proposing to “End incentives to ship jobs overseas,” “Lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs in the U.S.,” “Lower tax rates for manufacturers” and “Cut taxes for small businesses.”

Obama’s four strategies to “Create good jobs,” however, includes more traditionally progressive talking points.

Obama wants to “Put construction workers on the job rebuilding our infrastructure,” “Expand our network of high-tech manufacturing hubs,” “Strengthen job training at community colleges,” and “Raise the minimum wage.”

Obama’s economic push has gotten off to a rocky start.

A jobs report released Friday showed that the U.S. added only 162,000 jobs in July, leading to a national unemployment rate of 7.4 percent.

Though Obama is willing to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent and install a 25 percent tax rate for manufacturers, Boehner’s office has already criticized Obama’s new economic proposals, even complaining last week that the White House did not contact him before designing its new proposals. The White House claimed that it called Boehner’s office but no one returned the call.

Obama’s speech at an Amazon.com distribution center in Chattanooga, Tennessee last week was criticized by the American Booksellers Association, which pointed out in an open letter to Obama that Amazon’s underpricing of competitors actually hurts small booksellers.

“The simple fact is that Amazon’s practices are detrimental to the nation’s economy,” the American Booksellers Association wrote.

The White House did not return a request for comment.

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