February 7th, 2009
11:10 AM ET
14 years ago

President Obama works to sell stimulus in weekly address


Watch Obama give his weekly address.

(CNN) - President Obama called for immediate action on the economic stimulus plan in this week’s radio and Internet address.

The president said Democrats and Republicans “responded appropriately to the urgency this moment demands” by reaching a tentative agreement on the economic package late Friday.

“The scale and scope of this plan is right. And the time for action is now,” the president said.

(Full text after jump)



February 7, 2009

Yesterday began with some devastating news with regard to our economic crisis. But I'm pleased to say it ended on a more positive note.

In the morning, we received yet another round of alarming employment figures – the worst in more than 30 years. Another 600,000 jobs were lost in January. We've now lost more than 3.6 million jobs since this recession began.

But by the evening, Democrats and Republicans came together in the Senate and responded appropriately to the urgency this moment demands.

In the midst of our greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people were hoping that Congress would begin to confront the great challenges we face. That was, after all, what last November's election was all about.

Legislation of such magnitude deserves the scrutiny that it's received over the last month, and it will receive more in the days to come. But we can't afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary. The scale and scope of this plan is right. And the time for action is now.

Because if we don't move swiftly to put this plan in motion, our economic crisis could become a national catastrophe. Millions of Americans will lose their jobs, their homes, and their health care. Millions more will have to put their dreams on hold.

Let's be clear: We can't expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led us into this mess in the first place. We can't rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges – the crushing cost of health care or the inadequate state of so many schools; our addiction to foreign oil or our crumbling roads, bridges, and levees.

The American people know that our challenges are great. They don't expect Democratic solutions or Republican solutions – they expect American solutions.

From the beginning, this recovery plan has had at its core a simple idea: Let's put Americans to work doing the work America needs done. It will save or create more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, all across the country – 16,000 in Maine, nearly 80,000 in Indiana – almost all of them in the private sector, and all of them jobs that help us recover today, and prosper tomorrow.

Jobs that upgrade classrooms and laboratories in 10,000 schools nationwide – at least 485 in Florida alone – and train an army of teachers in math and science.

Jobs that modernize our health care system, not only saving us billions of dollars, but countless lives.

Jobs that construct a smart electric grid, connect every corner of the country to the information superhighway, double our capacity to generate renewable energy, and grow the economy of tomorrow.

Jobs that rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and levees and dams, so that the tragedies of New Orleans and Minneapolis never happen again.

It includes immediate tax relief for our struggling middle class in places like Ohio, where 4.5 million workers will receive a tax cut of up to $1,000. It protects health insurance and provides unemployment insurance for those who've lost their jobs. And it helps our states and communities avoid painful tax hikes or layoffs for our teachers, nurses, and first responders.

That's what is at stake with this plan: putting Americans back to work, creating transformative economic change, and making a down payment on the American Dream that serves our children and our children's children for generations to come.

Americans across this country are struggling, and they are watching to see if we're equal to the task before us. Let's show them that we are. And let's do whatever it takes to keep the promise of America alive in our time.

Thank you.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Lunez32

    Tax cuts isn't change, it's more of the same.

    You gotta spend money to get the economy moving again. I'm all for it Mr. President. I stand with you and most of America does too. If the republicans want to cut something, it should be themselves out of the picture.

    February 7, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. M. Taylor

    Why do these bloggers seem to ignorant. Read the document and proposals rather than listening to Rush Limbaugh and the sound bites from the TV. It is the Republicans that want the cuts in education, etc. because their children do not have to worry about going to substandard schools. Wake up America. This is a global crisis and was not of Mr. Obama's making. He is trying to work towards a solution but the Republicans are focusing on the 2010 elections. Wake up before it is too late. The republicans do not realize this yet, but they will come out at the worst end of the stick because most American people realize that they are mostly thinking of themselves and how they will factor in the 2010 elections.

    February 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Minnesota cool

    Here and elsewhere I see the ditto-heads are out on the weekend, feebly attempting to spead the Limbaugh doctrine. Too bad, guys, but few are listening. Even less will be pursuaded by Hatespeak.

    The republicans have zero ideas on how to get us out of the mess they got us into. As a party they are bankrupt—yet they cling to their failed ideology.

    And now, suddenly, after putting this nation into historically deep debt, they act like they are born-again spend-thrifts and are asking the American people to put their faith in them.

    Uh, I don't think that's gonna happen, dudes.

    February 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. RANDY

    Don't forget about green energy in this stimulus package. Don't just give big business the tax breaks. Give home owns big tax breaks on solar and wind energy they don't need big transmission lines to bring the power to the cities. Those wind and solar farms are a eye sore to our land scape. And that goes for the atuomobile less fuel consumption the bigger the tax break.

    February 7, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. D O

    Why don't you call RNC and EX BUSH pork ??? Idoits

    February 7, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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