bob Obama must convince Dems on budget (NECN/ABC) - A confident President Obama used Tuesday night's news conference to tell the American people that the stalled economy is back on the road to recovery. "We will recover from this recession. But it will take time, it will...
By Michael Kranish
Globe Staff / March 25, 2009
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WASHINGTON - President Obama, addressing public outrage over executive bonuses and anxiety about continued economic uncertainty, urged the nation last night to be patient, pledging a presidency of perseverance that he said will eventually result in recovery from the recession.
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Obama defended his latest proposal, unveiled yesterday by his administration, under which the government would gain the authority to take over troubled corporations such as AIG, similar to the way that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. can take over failed banks.
"It is precisely because of the lack of this authority that the AIG situation has gotten worse," Obama said.
House Republican leader John Boehner called the plan "an unprecedented grab of power" yesterday. But Obama said that gaining such authority earlier would have enabled the government to stop the millions of dollars in bonuses from being paid to AIG executives before they evoked public outrage.
Much of the press conference focused on the impact of Obama's $3.6 trillion budget on the deficit. Addressing criticism from Republicans that his budget is "irresponsible" due to the large deficit that it creates, Obama pushed back.
"I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory," Obama said. "I am inheriting a $1.3 trillion . . . annual deficit from them." He said his budget, if approved by Congress, would put the nation on a path to reducing the deficit by half at the end of this presidential term.
Renewing his push for a major healthcare overhaul, Obama said that fixing the system would reduce costs over the long term and help trim the deficit further. "I'm not going to lie to you," Obama said. "It is tough. That is why the critics criticize but they don't offer an alternative budget."
However, some of the criticism of the budget has come from within Obama's own party. Yesterday, Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota said he would try to cut back Obama's plans for tax cuts after 2010 and to reduce domestic spending in order to decrease the deficit.
After a week that included TV appearances on "The Tonight Show" and "60 Minutes" - leading to some criticism about Obama's offhand remarks - the president put forward a resolute approach last night, delivering a short speech extolling his confidence about his plans before taking questions from a preselected list of reporters.Continued...