Tuesday, April 14, 2009

President Obama: “We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand.”

Today President Barack Obama gave what The White House described as a “major speech on the economy.” In what can be described as a tempered response to the recent run of good news on Wall Street, Obama spoke with careful language, warning that America “is not out of the woods,” but that better days are around the corner.

While the President made his world debut last week in Europe, the American economy began to show a little life as the Dow Jones jumped 300 points in one day. This was partly due to news that the G-20 will inject $5 trillion dollars into the world’s economy.

However, Obama changed his language a bit with his speech at Georgetown. Instead of stating that the economy was in its worst shape since the depression; the President chose to angle his speech on middle ground.

President Obama was sure to accentuate that his administration was not responsible for the current run of economic bad luck, but was instead thrust into this position.

But like “no drama Obama,” the President chose to speak about reasons. Reasons why the economic state is so dire, how we arrived at our current location, and how he plans to dig us out of the ditch that we put ourselves in.

“It is simply not sustainable to have a 21st century financial system that is governed by 20th century rules and regulations that allowed the recklessness of a few to threaten the entire economy. It is not sustainable to have an economy where in one year, 40% of our corporate profits came from a financial sector that was based too much on inflated home prices, maxed out credit cards, overleveraged banks and overvalued assets; or an economy where the incomes of the top 1% have skyrocketed while the typical working household has seen their income decline by nearly $2,000,” stated the President.

This was tough talk from the President who just days ago stated that the economy was showing “glimmers of hope.”

Toward the latter part of his speech, President Obama gave his current assessment of where we currently stand.

“2009 will continue to be a difficult year for America's economy. The severity of this recession will cause more job loss, more foreclosures, and more pain before it ends. The market will continue to rise and fall. Credit is still not flowing nearly as easily as it should. The process for restructuring AIG and the auto companies will involve difficult and sometimes unpopular choices. All of this means that there is much more work to be done. And all of this means that you can continue to expect an unrelenting, unyielding, day-by-day effort from this administration to fight for economic recovery on all fronts.”

Though the President remains guarded in his hopes, he did lay out his administration’s plan to fix the economy.

There will be new rules for Wall Street, investments in education, healthcare, and energy, and cuts in the federal budget to outdated programs and plans that are no longer needed.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how the President will deal with Wall Street over the next three years of his Presidency. He has stated that deregulation is partly to blame for this crisis and has had tough talk for irresponsible banks.

All in all, the President’s speech serves further proof that the American people trust and believe in his plan for our economic future.

In a CNN/Opinion poll released today, 58% of Americans believe that Obama has a clear-cut plan to improve the economy.

His speech was tough, his speech was cautious, but most of all; the President’s speech was fearless.


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