Senator Brown Op-Ed: Remember to keep your eyes on Main Street, Mr. President

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Senator Brown Op-Ed: Remember to keep your eyes on Main Street, Mr. President

The Hill – Whose side are you on?

That’s the question middle-class households are asking. And that’s what President Obama needs to answer during his State of the Union address.

In Ohio and across the nation, people are anxious. They have a right to be. The previous administration’s eight years of economic policies turned a solid budget surplus into a record budget deficit, shipped good-paying jobs overseas, and turned a blind eye when Americans lost their jobs, their health insurance, or their pensions. These failed policies encouraged big banks to run roughshod over consumers, breeding a mortgage crisis and financial meltdown that continues to reverberate throughout our nation.

When President Obama took office in January 2009, the economy was shedding nearly 600,000 jobs a month. He took immediate and necessary action to stop the bleeding by passing the Recovery Act, which has provided middle-class tax relief, shored up state budget shortfalls, and saved thousands of jobs.

Americans know it will take more than one year to turn things around. And they know that we’re not going to get there unless federal policies focus on Main Street, not Wall Street.

The president laid the foundation for an economy that produces stable, middle-class jobs and a government that reports to Main Street, not Wall Street.

We need to build on that foundation together and turn this economy around.

Last week, President Obama traveled to my home county of Lorain, Ohio — where middle-class families have been hit hard over the last decade. We should look to the economic challenges and opportunities faced by communities like Lorain as we consider next steps for job creation and economic development.

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