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OBAMA Jobs Speech 1208

OBAMA Jobs Speech 1208

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Obama jobs speech, 12/08
Obama jobs speech, 12/08

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Published by: Environmental Capital on Dec 09, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary _____________________________________________________  ___________________________________ For Immediate ReleaseDecember 8, 2009 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENTON JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH  The Brookings InstitutionWashington, D.C. 11:23 A.M. EST  THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much, Strobe, foryour extraordinary leadership here at Brookings, andthanks to all of you in attendance.Almost exactly one year ago, on a frigidwinter's day, I met with my new economic team atthe headquarters of my presidential transition officesin Chicago. And over the course of four hours, myadvisors presented an analysis of where theeconomy at that time stood, accompanied by achilling set of charts and graphs, predicting where wemight end up. It was an unforgettable series of presentations. Christy Romer -- who's here today -- tapped tohead the Council of Economic Advisers, as well as
Larry Summers, who I'd chosen to head the NationalEconomic Council, described an imminent downturncomparable in its severity to almost nothing sincethe 1930s. Tim Geithner, my incoming TreasurySecretary, reported that the financial system, shakenby the subprime crisis, had halted almost all lending,which in turn threatened to pull the broader economyin a downward spiral. Peter Orszag, my incomingBudget Director, closed out the proceedings with anentirely dismal report on the fiscal health of thecountry, with growing deficits and debt stretching tothe horizon. Having concluded that it was too latefor me to request a recount -- (laughter) -- I taskedmy team with mapping out a plan to tackle the crisison all fronts.It wasn't long after that meeting, as we shapedthis economic plan, that we began to see some of these forecasts materialize. Over the previous year,it was obvious that folks were facing hard times. As Itraveled across the country during the longcampaign, I would meet men and women bearing thebrunt of not only a deepening recession, but alsoyears -- even decades -- of growing strains on middleclass families. But now the country was experiencingsomething far worse. Our gross domestic product --the sum total of all that our economy produces -- fellat the fastest rate in a quarter century. Five trilliondollars of Americans' household wealth evaporated in just 12 weeks as stocks, pensions, and home valuesplummeted. We were losing an average of 700,000 jobs each month, equivalent to the population of thestate of Vermont. That was true in December, January, February, March. The fear among
economists across the political spectrum that was --was that we were rapidly plummeting towards asecond Great Depression. So, in the weeks and months that followed, weundertook a series of difficult steps to prevent thatoutcome. And we were forced to take those stepslargely without the help of an opposition party,which, unfortunately, after having presided over thedecision-making that had led to the crisis, decided tohand it over to others to solve. We acted to get lending flowing again sobusinesses could get loans to buy equipment, andordinary Americans could get financing to buy homesand cars, to go to college, and to start or runbusinesses. We enacted measures to stem the tideof foreclosures in our housing market, helpingresponsible homeowners stay in their homes andhelping to stop the broader decline in home valueswhich was eating away at what tends to be a family'slargest asset. To achieve this, and to prevent economiccollapse, we were forced to extend assistance tosome of the very banks and financial institutionswhose actions had helped precipitate the turmoil.We also took steps to prevent the rapid dissolution of the American auto industry -- which faced a crisispartly of its own making -- to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs during an alreadyfragile, shaky time. These were not decisions thatwere popular or satisfying; these were decisions thatwere necessary.

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