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Obama Reacts to Debt Downgrade, Trades Chiding for Reassurance

Monday, August 08, 2011

As the stock market shed value on Monday afternoon, President Obama offered sweeping remarks designed to sure up confidence and to appeal to the patriotism of his colleagues in Washington.

In a break from the chiding tone that characterized many of his public statements during the debt ceiling debate, Obama sought to create a sense of calm by emphasizing the fundamental soundness of the American economy. 

He made three key points, which taken together, came down to one message: We are better than this. 

 

1. Don't panic. America is still America:

"Our problems are imminently solvable and we know what we need to do to solve them," Obama stressed as he took to the podium. With Congress on recess and out of Washington, the president turned his eye to the big picture, and the tenacity of the American people. 

"Ultimately the reason I am so hopeful about our future, the reason I have faith in these United States of America, is because of the American people. It's because of their perseverance and their courage and their willingness to shoulder the burdens we face together as one nation."

2. Patriotism demands a different approach:  

During an afternoon that saw economic anxiety shift to real monetary losses, Obama's tone was somber and serious. In making his case for a more solutions-driven approach in Washington, he invoked the memory of the Navy SEALs killed in action over the weekend.  

"No matter what differences they had as individuals, they served this nation as a team. They meet their responsibilities together. And some of them, like the 30 Americans who were lost this weekend, give their lives for their country. Our responsibility is to ensure that their legacy is an America that reflects their courage, their commitment, and their sense of common purpose."  

3. We have all the answers we need:

All this partisan wrangling might has set us up for some action, Obama argued. Whether the gang of six, the deficit commission, his talks with House Speaker John Boehner and the super committee that is to begin work soon to lay out specifics on cutting the debt, there's been a lot of talk. The moment is now right, Obama argued, to make some decisions. He repeated his calls for higher tax rates from for the wealthy and what he called "modest adjustments" to health care programs like Medicare.

"Making these reforms doesn't require any radical steps. What is does require is common sense and compromise," he said.

Obama also underscored that all the debt talk is not the same as stoking the economy and hiring. For that, Obama said it's time to extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut to give more spending power for consumers and businesses. 

"It's not a lack of plans or policies that's the problem here. It's a lack of political will in Washington," President Obama said. "It's the insistence on drawing lines in the sand. A refusal to put what's best for hte coutnry ahead of self-interest or party or ideology, and that's what we need to change."   

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Comments [9]

V L W

I find that I am not the only one that is commenting on the improper usage of "sure up" instead of the proper "shore up". Please have someone check her work.

Aug. 09 2011 03:23 PM
michele

I regularly find errors in this reporter's writing, such as here "sure up" where clearly the appropriate phrase is "shore up".

Ms. Sale should not be permitted to publish without strict proofreading by a competent editor!!

Aug. 09 2011 12:24 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Bush and the GOP irresponsibly ran up the public debt - $6T top $11T. AND THEN once these policies had turned the economy into a pile of dung, they left Obama and the Democrats the task of cleaning up their mess. BHO has added $3T to the debt. Projecting this rate of spending out to the future is super-scary and this is what the GOP does best. Scare people.

The early stimulus program was undersized and too much of it was tax cuts. We need a jobs program -- infrastructure, green energy transition and education are my votes. If the private sector cannot hire people to juice demand, the government needs to do it.

The only magic is how many people are buying the GOP hogwash about how Obama is to blame.

Aug. 09 2011 09:09 AM
markrealsolutions

Obama shouldn't be running any business in America. He needs to get out of the way at this point since he hasn't been willing to adress enttlements or any cuts that affect his voting base. I would set up individual commitees to address major government costs. A commitee each for medicare, social security & defense. Medicare should be addressed in multiple ways. One natural health care should be forced onto system to provide real health including nutritional testing and diet and nutrition. protocals for all conditions should be established similar to how antibiotics are administered in Europe with pharmaceuticals limited due to the fact they vast majority are harmful. Most doctors in this country have less than 10 hours of nutritional training and hence don't understand nutritional deficiencies are causing the health problems. Again they don't understand what makes the body function correctly. Correct diet and supplement and health is restored. Also more responsibility for health must be placed on individual. This means insurance rates based on health of individual. Also maybe tax on harmful foods paid directly to medicare. sorry but they cause the health problems and it may limit our decline in health. Fda needs to be gutted because is biased by pharma, suppresses natural health and has suppressed many alternative treatments superior to existing orthodox treatment. Example is cancer treatment were high cost and poisonous chemo used insted of test alternative methods that have shown total recovery. Social security addressed by tweaking retirement age, pay ins and payouts. Defense needs to be addressed in open forum to determine basis for our involvement in all conflicts vs economic and personnel costs. The costs of present wars far exceed the benefit. I believe we're safer the less we intrude in most regions. There are many methods to protect this country without direct military involvement. These wars are driven more to support defense contractors and miltary personal. The economic cost/fallout from these wars could be major contributor to collapse of our financial system. Thats the 60% on non-discretionary spending that hasn't been cut.

Aug. 09 2011 03:29 AM
Sonny from Houston

This comment is to: rem mills from Westfield, N.J.

This proves that most people who comment on online articles are uneducated and jump to conclusions without thinking (my first comment after over a year, since I just thought his comment was laughable, really, laughable).

If you put $100 in a bank at the beginning of the year, and inflation is calculated at 50% for that given year, your bank balance is still $100, and you get your $100 back when you withdraw. Thus, the bank does not take any loss. Your $100 is now has the purchasing power of what $50 had a year ago.

I'll tell you what, you give me $100, and even if hyper-inflation occurs and it's over 1,000%, I'll give you back $75. Will that work for you?

Really, rem mills? Really?

Aug. 09 2011 03:02 AM
Sonny from Houston

This comment is to: rem mills from Westfield, N.J.

This proves that most people who comment on online articles are uneducated and jump to conclusions without thinking (my first comment after over a year, since I just thought his comment was laughable, really, laughable).

If you put $100 in a bank at the beginning of the year, and inflation is calculated at 50% for that given year, your bank balance is still $100, and you get your $100 back when you withdraw. Thus, the bank does not take any loss. Your $100 is now has the purchasing power of what $50 had a year ago.

I'll tell you what, you give me $100, and even if hyper-inflation occurs and it's over 1,000%, I'll give you back $75. Will that work for you?

Really, rem mills? Really?

Aug. 09 2011 02:48 AM
jared from anderson, indiana

REM, the people now known as tea baggers were the crazy ones back in 2008 saying that this was exactly what was going to happen when bush and Obama announced the first round of bail-outs.

Regarding the article, seriously...does Obama actually say anything that makes sense? Obama will never approve anything that cuts federal spending. They have no way to pay the debt because it is now unpayable. If the USA was an actual person they would be in jail for the rest of their lives for writing bad checks. Obama is an idiot and if we re-elect him as president I will officially lose hope in this country.

Aug. 09 2011 01:12 AM
rem mills from Westfield, N.J.

For all President Obama's assurances, something ominous is happening. Many banks started charging larger depositors to put money in their banks---in effect charging negative interest. To my knowledge, this is the first time this has happened in banking history.

Are they preparing for hyper inflation? If you put $100 in the bank today and inflation wipes out 50% of its value in a year, the bank loses $50 when it gives you your money back.

Banks can now raise their negative interest rates to recoup their losses. Perhaps they will raise these rates so high you will take your money out, thus hedging against inflation losses.

Does this notion seem paranoid? As the old saying goes, "Just because you're paranoid doesn"t mean they're not out to get you."

Tea Bagger extremism has driven us into uncharted territory. These times feel like The Sorcerer's Apprentice in Disney's Fantasia. A naive and arrogant apprentice has caused utter chaos, but now we have no Sorcerer to save us from ruin.

Or perhaps we have the "lights out" scene from the Jane Fonda movie, The China Syndrome". A group of people are in a nuclear plant about to melt down when the lights suddenly go out. In the movie, they go back on again, but we don't know if that will happen in the current situation.

Aug. 09 2011 01:05 AM
Dick Bodyfelt

Yeah, you betcha' Barack, "Blah, blah,blah & even more blah, blah,blah,blah, blah,blah".What the hell, this can't be real can it? It is but another exercise in bush league polemics!

Aug. 09 2011 12:57 AM

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