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Wharton: President's speech on economy has impact on Memphis

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Many people around the Mid-South spent their lunch break listening to the speech. Many people around the Mid-South spent their lunch break listening to the speech.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton was at the president's speech in person. He walked away optimistic. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton was at the president's speech in person. He walked away optimistic.

(WMC-TV) - President Obama spoke in Chattanooga, Tennessee Tuesday pitching a plan to improve the economy.

He spoke around lunchtime, many people around the Mid-South spent their lunch break listening to the speech.

"Four in five Americans right now have experienced joblessness, homelessness, poverty," said Memphis author John Pritchard, Sr at Barksdale's Restaurant in Midtown. "I observe the widening gap between the' haves' and the 'haves nots'."

Some restaurant patrons said the president has many great plans but does not do anything with them that has made a difference.

"He's made a lot of speeches, but there's no real action," said resident Henry Winter.

Others say the economy is growing, but it all takes work and effort.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton was at the president's speech in person. He walked away optimistic.

"If labor is saying, 'Man, we need jobs.' We need jobs. I don't see why we cannot come together in a bipartisan spirit and accomplish something like that," said Wharton.

The mayor says the president's speech on the economy has a direct impact on Memphis.

Wharton spoke to the president for a moment and told him that Memphis was doing the work to carry his plan the improve the local economy.

"We cannot cut our way into prosperity nor can we tax out way into prosperity, but, by George, we can work and grow our way into prosperity. That's precisely what he said," said Wharton.

Wharton believes some of the ideas the president pointed out are in the works here in Memphis. Wharton specifically pointed out infrastructure improvements, including the need to widen Lamar Avenue.

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