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In the stimulus battle, Barack Obama uncorks his secret weapon: himself

Barack Obama

Barack Obama used his best weapon today to sell the mega-billion-dollar stimulus package -- himself.

In a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind., where 8,000 jobs were lost and unemployment tripled in the last year alone, the Barack Obama who charmed voters last year returned to the campaign trail.

Leaving the cauldron of Washington D.C.'s backbiting, hard-hitting, wonk-heavy tactics for the plain-speaking candor of Midwest voters, Obama engaged in nearly an hour of back and forth with the people who sent him to Washington in the first place.

His basic pitch:

I'm not going to tell you that this bill is perfect. It isn't. But it is the right size, the right scope and has the right priorities to create jobs that will jump start our economy and transform it for the 21st century.

One questioner wanted to know how the president made sure that the jobs and the tax breaks and the spending gets to "we the people, not the fat cats." Replied the president: "You are exactly right. When you give a tax break to working families, they will spend it. When you give it to the wealthier families, they just put it away somewhere, so it’s not circulating in the economy.

Another questioner asked how Americans can trust Obama to get the stimulus money to working-class people when some in his administration -- notably Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner -- failed to pay taxes. Obama quieted the boos -- “No, this is a good question,” he said -- and answered that he had publicly admitted his own mistake in nominating some officials (read former Sen. Tom Daschle) and put others on notice with the strictest anti-lobbying policy on record.

As the Senate prepared to debated the bill, and House Democrats prepared to restore some Senate cuts in conference committee, Obama made clear that the Republican policies of trickle-down stimulus won't work anymore.

We can no longer posture and bicker and resort to the same failed ideas that got us into this mess in the first place -- and that the American people rejected at the polls this past November. You didn't send us to Washington because you were hoping for more of the same. You sent us there with a mandate for change, and the expectation that we would act quickly and boldly to carry it out -- and that is exactly what I intend to do.

Read the president's speech below.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Getty Images

President Obama Promises 3-4 Million New Jobs in 2 Years, Most in Private Sector

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                          February 9, 2009

Remarks of President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama traveled today to Elkhart, Indiana for a town hall on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.  The President spoke directly with Elkhart residents about the impact the plan will have on their lives, and answered questions about the challenges that they face.

In Elkhart, where 8,000 jobs were lost and unemployment tripled in the last year alone, the President shared his specific plans to bring jobs back to the community, provide tax relief, and help lower the cost of health care and college for working families.

The President was joined today by Secretary Ray LaHood, Senator Evan Bayh, Representatives Joe Donnelly, Baron Hill, Brad Ellsworth, Fred Upton, and Andre Carson, and former Representatives Tim Roemer and Lee Hamilton.

Below are the remarks of President Barack Obama –

AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY

I want to start by thanking Ed for coming here today and sharing his family’s story with all of us.

You know, we tend to take the measure of the economic crisis we face in numbers and statistics.  But when we say we’ve lost 3.6 million jobs since this recession began – nearly 600,000 in the past month alone; when we say that this area has lost jobs faster than anywhere else in America, with an unemployment rate over 15 percent; when we talk about layoffs at companies like Monaco Coach, Keystone RV, and Pilgrim International – companies that have sustained this community for years – we’re talking about Ed Neufeldt and people like him all across this country.

We’re talking about folks who’ve lost their livelihood and don’t know what will take its place.  Parents who’ve lost their health care and lie awake nights praying the kids don’t get sick.  Families who’ve lost the home that was their corner of the American dream.  Young people who put that college acceptance letter back in the envelope because they just can’t afford it.

That’s what those numbers and statistics mean.  That is the true measure of this economic crisis.  Those are the stories I heard when I came here to Elkhart six months ago and that I have carried with me every day since.

I promised you back then that if elected President, I would do everything I could to help this community recover.  And that’s why I’ve come back today – to tell you how I intend to keep that promise.   

The situation we face could not be more serious.  We have inherited an economic crisis as deep and as dire as any since the Great Depression.  Economists from across the spectrum have warned that if we don’t act immediately, millions more jobs will be lost, and national unemployment rates will approach double digits.  More people will lose their homes and their health care.  And our nation will sink into a crisis that, at some point, we may be unable to reverse.

So we can no longer afford to wait and see and hope for the best.  We can no longer posture and bicker and resort to the same failed ideas that got us into this mess in the first place – and that the American people rejected at the polls this past November.  You didn’t send us to Washington because you were hoping for more of the same.  You sent us there with a mandate for change, and the expectation that we would act quickly and boldly to carry it out – and that is exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States.

That is why I put forth a Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that is now before Congress.  At its core is a very simple idea: to put Americans back to work doing the work America needs done.

The plan will save or create three to four million jobs over the next two years.  But not just any jobs – jobs that meet the needs we’ve neglected for far too long and lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth: jobs fixing our schools; computerizing medical records to save costs and save lives; repairing our infrastructure; and investing in renewable energy to help us move toward energy independence.  The plan also calls for immediate tax relief for 95 percent of American workers.

Now I know that some of you might be thinking, well that all sounds good, but when are we going to see any of that here in Elkhart?  What does all that mean for our families and our community?  Those are exactly the kind of questions you should be asking of your President and your government, and today, I want to provide some answers – and I want to be as specific as I can.

First, this plan will provide for extended unemployment insurance, health care and other assistance for workers and families who have lost their jobs in this recession.

That will mean an additional $100 per month in unemployment benefits to more than 450,000 Indiana workers, extended unemployment benefits for another 89,000 folks who’ve been laid off and can’t find work, and job training assistance to help more than 51,000 people here get back on their feet.

That is not only our moral responsibility – to lend a helping hand to our fellow Americans in times of emergency – but it also makes good economic sense.  If you don’t have money, you can’t spend it.  And if people don’t spend, our economy will continue to decline.

For that same reason, the plan includes badly needed tax relief for middle class workers and families.  The middle class is under siege, and we need to give you more of the money you’ve earned, so you can spend it and pay your bills.  Under our plan, individuals get $500 – families, $1,000 – providing relief for nearly 2.5 million workers and their families here in Indiana.

The plan will also provide a partially refundable $2,500 per-student tax credit to help 76,000 Hoosier families send their kids to college.  This will benefit your household budgets in the short run, and will benefit America in the long run.

But providing tax relief, and college assistance and help to folks who’ve lost their jobs is not enough.  A real recovery plan helps create more jobs and put people back to work.

That’s why, between the investments our plan makes – and the tax relief for small businesses it provides – we’ll create or save nearly 80,000 badly needed jobs for Indiana in the next two years.  Now, you may have heard some of the critics of our plan saying that it would create mostly government jobs.  That’s simply not true.  More than 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector.  More than 90 percent.

But it’s not just the jobs that will benefit Indiana and the rest of America.  It’s the work people will be doing: Rebuilding our roads, bridges, dams and levees.  Roads like US 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on, and that connect small towns and rural communities to opportunities for economic growth.  And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart.

We’ll also put people to work rebuilding our schools so all our kids can have the world-class classrooms, labs and libraries they need to compete in today’s global economy.

Investing in clean alternative sources of energy and the electric grid we need to transport it from coast to coast, helping make Indiana an energy-producing state, not just an energy-consuming state.  Weatherizing homes across this state, and installing state of the art equipment to help you control your energy costs.

Building new high-speed broadband lines, reaching schools and small businesses in rural Indiana so they can connect and compete with their counterparts in any city in any country in the world.

And there is much, much more.

Now I’m not going to tell you that this bill is perfect.  It isn’t.  But it is the right size, the right scope, and has the right priorities to create jobs that will jumpstart our economy and transform it for the twenty-first century.

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 endless delay or paralysis in Washington in the face of this crisis will bring only deepening disaster.

We’ve had a good debate.  Now it’s time to act.  That’s why I am calling on Congress to pass this bill immediately.  Folks here in Elkhart and across America need help right now, and they can’t afford to keep on waiting for folks in Washington to get this done.

We know that even with this plan, the road ahead won’t be easy.  This crisis has been a long time in the making, and we know that we cannot turn it around overnight.  Recovery will likely be measured in years, not weeks or months.  But we also know that our economy will be stronger for generations to come if we commit ourselves to the work that needs to be done today.  And being here in Elkhart, I am more confident than ever before that we will get where we need to be.   

Because while I know people are struggling, I also know that folks here are good workers and good neighbors who step up, help each other out, and make sacrifices when times are tough.  I know that all folks here are asking for is a chance to work hard – and to have that work translate into a decent life for you and your family.

So I know you all are doing your part out here – and I think it’s about time the government did its part too.  That’s what the recovery plan before Congress is about.  And that is why I hope Congress passes it as soon as humanly possible, so we can get to work creating jobs, helping families and turning our economy around.

Thank you, and I’d now like to open this up for questions.

 
Comments () | Archives (8)

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Folks...take the time to read all 35 national polls on this piece of crap being forced on the american taxpayers...they all say the same thing...which is quite unusual....average, 68 percent of TAXPAYERS say NO way Jose....they know it is not right for this country....please take the time to look at them yourselves...

From His Most Beloved and Exalted Excellency Barack Hussein Obama, JD, the FIBPOTUS (9 January 2009):

"There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy."

Public response from over 300 economists:

“With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.”

“Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's "lost decade" in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policy makers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

Signed by economists:

Burton Abrams, Univ. of Delaware
Douglas Adie, Ohio University
Ryan Amacher, Univ. of Texas at Arlington
J.J. Arias, Georgia College & State University
Howard Baetjer, Jr., Towson University
Stacie Beck, Univ. of Delaware
Don Bellante, Univ. of South Florida
James Bennett, George Mason University
Bruce Benson, Florida State University
Sanjai Bhagat, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder
Mark Bils, Univ. of Rochester
Alberto Bisin, New York University
Walter Block, Loyola University New Orleans
Cecil Bohanon, Ball State University
Michele Boldrin, Washington University in St. Louis
Donald Booth, Chapman University
Michael Bordo, Rutgers University
Samuel Bostaph, Univ. of Dallas
Scott Bradford, Brigham Young University
Genevieve Briand, Eastern Washington University
George Brower, Moravian College
James Buchanan, Nobel laureate
Richard Burdekin, Claremont McKenna College
Henry Butler, Northwestern University
William Butos, Trinity College
Peter Calcagno, College of Charleston
Bryan Caplan, George Mason University
Art Carden, Rhodes College
James Cardon, Brigham Young University
Dustin Chambers, Salisbury University
Emily Chamlee-Wright, Beloit College
V.V. Chari, Univ. of Minnesota
Barry Chiswick, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
Lawrence Cima, John Carroll University
J.R. Clark, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Gian Luca Clementi, New York University
R. Morris Coats, Nicholls State University
John Cochran, Metropolitan State College
John Cochrane, Univ. of Chicago
John Cogan, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
John Coleman, Duke University
Boyd Collier, Tarleton State University
Robert Collinge, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio
Lee Coppock, Univ. of Virginia
Mario Crucini, Vanderbilt University
Christopher Culp, Univ. of Chicago
Kirby Cundiff, Northeastern State University
Antony Davies, Duquesne University
John Dawson, Appalachian State University
Clarence Deitsch, Ball State University
Arthur Diamond, Jr., Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha
John Dobra, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
James Dorn, Towson University
Christopher Douglas, Univ. of Michigan, Flint
Floyd Duncan, Virginia Military Institute
Francis Egan, Trinity College
John Egger, Towson University
Kenneth Elzinga, Univ. of Virginia
Paul Evans, Ohio State University
Eugene Fama, Univ. of Chicago
W. Ken Farr, Georgia College & State University
Hartmut Fischer, Univ. of San Francisco
Fred Foldvary, Santa Clara University
Murray Frank, Univ. of Minnesota
Peter Frank, Wingate University
Timothy Fuerst, Bowling Green State University
B. Delworth Gardner, Brigham Young University
John Garen, Univ. of Kentucky
Rick Geddes, Cornell University
Aaron Gellman, Northwestern University
William Gerdes, Clarke College
Michael Gibbs, Univ. of Chicago
Stephan Gohmann, Univ. of Louisville
Rodolfo Gonzalez, San Jose State University
Richard Gordon, Penn State University
Peter Gordon, Univ. of Southern California
Ernie Goss, Creighton University
Paul Gregory, Univ. of Houston
Earl Grinols, Baylor University
Daniel Gropper, Auburn University
R.W. Hafer, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Arthur Hall, Univ. of Kansas
Steve Hanke, Johns Hopkins
Stephen Happel, Arizona State University
Frank Hefner, College of Charleston
Ronald Heiner, George Mason University
David Henderson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Robert Herren, North Dakota State University
Gailen Hite, Columbia University
Steven Horwitz, St. Lawrence University
John Howe, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia
Jeffrey Hummel, San Jose State University
Bruce Hutchinson, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Brian Jacobsen, Wisconsin Lutheran College
Jason Johnston, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Boyan Jovanovic, New York University
Jonathan Karpoff, Univ. of Washington
Barry Keating, Univ. of Notre Dame
Naveen Khanna, Michigan State University
Nicholas Kiefer, Cornell University
Daniel Klein, George Mason University
Paul Koch, Univ. of Kansas
Narayana Kocherlakota, Univ. of Minnesota
Marek Kolar, Delta College
Roger Koppl, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Kishore Kulkarni, Metropolitan State College of Denver
Deepak Lal, UCLA
George Langelett, South Dakota State University
James Larriviere, Spring Hill College
Robert Lawson, Auburn University
John Levendis, Loyola University New Orleans
David Levine, Washington University in St. Louis
Peter Lewin, Univ. of Texas at Dallas
Dean Lillard, Cornell University
Zheng Liu, Emory University
Alan Lockard, Binghampton University
Edward Lopez, San Jose State University
John Lunn, Hope College
Glenn MacDonald, Washington
University in St. Louis
Michael Marlow, California
Polytechnic State University
Deryl Martin, Tennessee Tech University
Dale Matcheck, Northwood University
Deirdre McCloskey, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
John McDermott, Univ. of South Carolina
Joseph McGarrity, Univ. of Central Arkansas
Roger Meiners, Univ. of Texas at Arlington
Allan Meltzer, Carnegie Mellon University
John Merrifield, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio
James Miller III, George Mason University
Jeffrey Miron, Harvard University
Thomas Moeller, Texas Christian University
John Moorhouse, Wake Forest University
Andrea Moro, Vanderbilt University
Andrew Morriss, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael Munger, Duke University
Kevin Murphy, Univ. of Southern California
Richard Muth, Emory University
Charles Nelson, Univ. of Washington
Seth Norton, Wheaton College
Lee Ohanian, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Lydia Ortega, San Jose State University
Evan Osborne, Wright State University
Randall Parker, East Carolina University
Donald Parsons, George Washington University
Sam Peltzman, Univ. of Chicago
Mark Perry, Univ. of Michigan, Flint
Christopher Phelan, Univ. of Minnesota
Gordon Phillips, Univ. of Maryland
Michael Pippenger, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks
Tomasz Piskorski, Columbia University
Brennan Platt, Brigham Young University
Joseph Pomykala, Towson University
William Poole, Univ. of Delaware
Barry Poulson, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder
Benjamin Powell, Suffolk University
Edward Prescott, Nobel laureate
Gary Quinlivan, Saint Vincent College
Reza Ramazani, Saint Michael's College
Adriano Rampini, Duke University
Eric Rasmusen, Indiana University
Mario Rizzo, New York University
Richard Roll, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Robert Rossana, Wayne State University
James Roumasset, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa
John Rowe, Univ. of South Florida
Charles Rowley, George Mason University
Juan Rubio-Ramirez, Duke University
Roy Ruffin, Univ. of Houston
Kevin Salyer, Univ. of California, Davis
Pavel Savor, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Ronald Schmidt, Univ. of Rochester
Carlos Seiglie, Rutgers University
William Shughart II, Univ. of Mississippi
Charles Skipton, Univ. of Tampa
James Smith, Western Carolina University
Vernon Smith, Nobel laureate
Lawrence Southwick, Jr., Univ. at Buffalo
Dean Stansel, Florida Gulf Coast University
Houston Stokes, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
Brian Strow, Western Kentucky University
Shirley Svorny, California State
University, Northridge
John Tatom, Indiana State University
Wade Thomas, State University of New York at Oneonta
Henry Thompson, Auburn University
Alex Tokarev, The King's College
Edward Tower, Duke University
Leo Troy, Rutgers University
David Tuerck, Suffolk University
Charlotte Twight, Boise State University
Kamal Upadhyaya, Univ. of New Haven
Charles Upton, Kent State University
T. Norman Van Cott, Ball State University
Richard Vedder, Ohio University
Richard Wagner, George Mason University
Douglas M. Walker, College of Charleston
Douglas O. Walker, Regent University
Christopher Westley, Jacksonville State University
Lawrence White, Univ. of Missouri at St. Louis
Walter Williams, George Mason University
Doug Wills, Univ. of Washington Tacoma
Dennis Wilson, Western Kentucky University
Gary Wolfram, Hillsdale College
Huizhong Zhou, Western Michigan University
Lee Adkins, Oklahoma State University
William Albrecht, Univ. of Iowa
Donald Alexander, Western Michigan University
Geoffrey Andron, Austin Community College
Nathan Ashby, Univ. of Texas at El Paso
George Averitt, Purdue North Central University
Charles Baird, California State University, East Bay
Timothy Bastian, Creighton University
John Bethune, Barton College
Robert Bise, Orange Coast College
Karl Borden, University of Nebraska
Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University
Ivan Brick, Rutgers University
Phil Bryson, Brigham Young University
Richard Burkhauser, Cornell University
Jim Butkiewicz, Univ. of Delaware
Richard Cebula, Armstrong Atlantic State University
Don Chance, Louisiana State University
Robert Chatfield, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas
Lloyd Cohen, George Mason University
Peter Colwell, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael Connolly, Univ. of Miami
Jim Couch, Univ. of North Alabama
Eleanor Craig, Univ. of Delaware
Michael Daniels, Columbus State University
A. Edward Day, Univ. of Texas at Dallas
Stephen Dempsey, Univ. of Vermont
Allan DeSerpa, Arizona State University
William Dewald, Ohio State University
Jeff Dorfman, Univ. of Georgia
Lanny Ebenstein, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
Michael Erickson, The College of Idaho
Jack Estill, San Jose State University
Dorla Evans, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville
Frank Falero, California State University, Bakersfield
Daniel Feenberg, National Bureau of Economic Research
Eric Fisher, California Polytechnic State University
William Ford, Middle Tennessee State University
Ralph Frasca, Univ. of Dayton
Joseph Giacalone, St. John's University
Adam Gifford, California State Unviersity, Northridge
Otis Gilley, Louisiana Tech University
J. Edward Graham, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Richard Grant, Lipscomb University
Gauri-Shankar Guha, Arkansas State University
Darren Gulla, Univ. of Kentucky
Dennis Halcoussis, California State University, Northridge
Richard Hart, Miami University
James Hartley, Mount Holyoke College
Thomas Hazlett, George Mason University
Scott Hein, Texas Tech University
John Hoehn, Michigan State University
Daniel Houser, George Mason University
Thomas Howard, University of Denver
Chris Hughen, Univ. of Denver
Marcus Ingram, Univ. of Tampa
Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State University
Sherry Jarrell, Wake Forest University
Robert Krol, California State University, Northridge
James Kurre, Penn State Erie
Tom Lehman, Indiana Wesleyan University
W. Cris Lewis, Utah State University
Stan Liebowitz, Univ. of Texas at Dallas
Anthony Losasso, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
John Lott, Jr., Univ. of Maryland
Keith Malone, Univ. of North Alabama
Henry Manne, George Mason University
Richard Marcus, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Timothy Mathews, Kennesaw State University
John Matsusaka, Univ. of Southern California
Thomas Mayor, Univ. of Houston
W. Douglas McMillin, Louisiana State University
Mario Miranda, The Ohio State University
Ed Miseta, Penn State Erie
James Moncur, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa
Charles Moss, Univ. of Florida
Tim Muris, George Mason University
John Murray, Univ. of Toledo
David Mustard, Univ. of Georgia
Steven Myers, Univ. of Akron
Dhananjay Nanda, University of Miami
Stephen Parente, Univ. of Minnesota
Douglas Patterson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University
Timothy Perri, Appalachian State University
Mark Pingle, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
Richard Rawlins, Missouri Southern State University
Thomas Rhee, California State University, Long Beach
Christine Ries, Georgia Institute of Technology
Nancy Roberts, Arizona State University
Larry Ross, Univ. of Alaska Anchorage
Timothy Roth, Univ. of Texas at El Paso
Atulya Sarin, Santa Clara University
Thomas Saving, Texas A&M University
Eric Schansberg, Indiana University Southeast
Alan Shapiro, Univ. of Southern California
Frank Spreng, McKendree University
Judith Staley Brenneke, John Carroll University
John E. Stapleford, Eastern University
Courtenay Stone, Ball State University
Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, UCLA
Scott Sumner, Bentley University
Clifford Thies, Shenandoah University
William Trumbull, West Virginia University
Gustavo Ventura, Univ. of Iowa
Marc Weidenmier, Claremont McKenna College
Robert Whaples, Wake Forest University
Gene Wunder, Washburn University
John Zdanowicz, Florida International University
Jerry Zimmerman, Univ. of Rochester
Joseph Zoric, Franciscan University of Steubenville

http://www.cato.org/special/stimulus09/

“I call upon all responsible, productive people to work hard and sacrifice so that we can redistribute their incomes to those who will never be able to find a decent job because they refuse to buy into bourgeois middle class values like staying in school or learning a trade or finding a husband before starting a family but are, nevertheless, the Ones We Have Been Waiting For because they will get on a bus and go vote for me whenever and wherever I need to send them.”

His Most Beloved and Exalted Excellency Barack Hussein Obama, JD, the FIBPOTUS

Everyone seems to fear the "D" word. This country is in the throes of the worst Depression we've ever seen. I suppose we can take heart that it's effects will be pandemic and we won't suffer alone. Judicious practice of sound economic principles could have prevented this catastrophe but unfortunately corporate greed predicated by unscrupulous and deceitful management put us where we are.

Banks and other lending institutions that have been given "bailout" funds must start lending that money to people who need it and not people who want it. Hoarding that money and keeping it from circulation is only adding fuel to the fire. Jobs cannot be created by stagflation. The lending rules need to be modified to accommodate the situation before it gets worse.

Even though he's talking about dismal stuff - he's still hopey.

I heart Barack Obama!

Go Hopey!

Why is Obama Campaigning? He is President and he has public support so I don't even understand why he has to go to a town style meeting to sell his plan. Go back to DC, and meet with the Republicans. They are the ones that need to be sold on your plan not a bunch of Americans in Indiana. I voted for Obama but I am starting to think this man is a FRAUD!

Oh it will create jobs all right. Government jobs. You want to stimulate an economy, leave more of the people's money in their hands. You want to shut down an economy, tax the daylights out of the people. They will hang onto whatever is left and won't spend a dime. Except of course those who will get a wealth redistribution check. God help us.

The nerve of the Republicans. If they wanted to help out the working class Jane and Joe Blows, they had 8 years in which to do it. Instead they gave tax breaks to wealthy and handed out more corporate welfare to "trickle down to the rest of us." They need to stop blocking the bill and try to some new ideas other than a few tax breaks. Sheesh.


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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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