Trust in Obama

February 5, 2009

How many people are paying attention to President Obama now that the hoopla over his election and inauguration has died down? Not enough. Listen to this video clip (requires a scroll down) of what he said today about our stricken economy. Better yet, read the transcript of his speech after the clip. He understands what needs to be done as painful and distasteful as it is.

Republicans apparently find taxes so detestable they’d rather see millions suffer and the country grind to a halt to get their way. Such is their boundless ideological arrogance. But as the president said today:

“The idea that the government should drastically reduce the size of the Stimulus Bill and instead significantly reduce taxes won’t work. I don’t like paying taxes. Who does? In the last few days, we’ve seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read but you’d be very familiar with because you’ve been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer. They’re rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems; that government doesn’t have a role to play; that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough; that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges — the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

“So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They’ve taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars, and they’ve brought our economy to a halt. And that’s precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment. And now is the time to move forward, not back. Now is the time for action.”

I trust President Obama. Not those who have cost the nation millions of jobs and much more. And what they have wrought will become more dire today with the latest jobs report, says former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who makes more sense of the economy for my simple mind than just about anyone:

“This isn’t a matter of more or less government, however much Republicans and conservatives would like to wedge it in that old ideological box. The issue is how to revive the economy. When consumers and businesses can’t or won’t spend enough to keep the economy going, government has to be the spender of last resort. Period.”

UPDATE: 598,000 more Americans lost work last month, far more than economists expected.