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President Obama's remarks from Ft. Myers, Florida

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For that same reason, the plan includes $1,000 of badly-needed tax relief for middle class workers and families, putting money back in the pockets of nearly 6.9 million workers and their families here in Florida. And we’ll also provide a partially refundable $2,500 per-student tax credit to help 195,000 Florida families send their kids to college, relieving your household budgets in the short run, and rewarding America in the long run.

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Most importantly, this plan will put people to work right now by making direct investments in areas like health care, energy, education, and infrastructure; investments that save jobs, create new jobs and new businesses, and help our economy grow again.

More than 90 percent of the jobs created by this plan will be in the private sector – 90 percent. And they won’t be make-work jobs; they’ll be jobs that lay the groundwork for our lasting economic growth – jobs that put people to work today preparing America for tomorrow.

Jobs building wind turbines and solar panels and fuel efficient cars; doubling our investment in clean energy, and helping end our dependence on foreign oil.

Jobs upgrading our schools, creating 21st century classrooms, libraries, and labs for millions of children across America.

Jobs computerizing our health care system, saving billions of dollars and countless lives.

Jobs constructing broadband internet lines that reach Florida’s rural schools and small businesses, so they can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.

Jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, and repairing our dangerously deficient dams and levees so we don’t face another Katrina.

And the jobs of firefighters, teachers, nurses, and police officers that would otherwise be eliminated if we don’t provide states with some relief.

Of course, there are critics who say we can’t afford to take on these priorities. But we have postponed and neglected them for too long. And because we have, our health care still costs too much. Our schools still fail our children. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens our economy and our security. And we’ve seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail.

They say we can’t afford to take on these tasks. But Florida, you know we can’t afford not to.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that this plan is perfect. No plan is. I also can’t tell you with one hundred percent certainty that everything in this plan will work exactly as we hope. But I can tell you with complete confidence that a failure to act in the face of this crisis will bring only deepening disaster. Doing nothing is not an option.

We’ve had a good debate, but the time for talking is over. Folks here in Fort Myers and across America need help, and the time for action is now. The Americans I’ve met understand that even with this plan, our recovery will likely be measured in years, not weeks or months – but what they don’t have patience for is more waiting on folks in Washington to get this done.

I know people are struggling. But I also know that folks here are good workers and good neighbors who step up, who help each other out, who make sacrifices when times are tough. I know that all folks are asking for is a chance to work hard – and to have that work translate into a decent life for you and your family. You’re doing your part down here – and it’s time the government did its part too.

This is a responsibility we did not ask for. But it is one we must accept for the sake of our future and our children’s. And being here in Fort Myers with all of you, I am more confident than ever before that we can and will set our differences aside, commit ourselves to the work ahead, and come together to meet the great test of our time.

Thank you. And now I’d like to open this up for questions and hear from you.

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