Contrary to the cries of gloom and doom from the same people who took eight (8) years to drive the economy into the ditch, President Obama reports that the first phase of the Recovery Act is actually working.
This week, we’ve made important progress toward the goal of bringing about change abroad and change at home. During my visit to Russia, we began the process of resetting relations so that we can address key national priorities like the threat of nuclear weapons and extremism. At the G8 summit, leaders from nearly thirty nations met to discuss how we will collectively confront the urgent challenges of our time, from managing the global recession to fighting global warming to addressing global hunger and poverty. And in Ghana, I laid out my agenda for supporting democracy and development in Africa and around the world.
But even as we make progress on these challenges abroad, my thoughts are on the state of our economy at home. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
We came into office facing the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. At the time, we were losing, on average 700,000 jobs a month. And many feared that our financial system was on the verge of collapse.
As a result of the swift and aggressive action we took in the first few months of this year, we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink. We took steps to re-start lending to families and businesses, stabilize our major financial institutions, and help homeowners stay in their homes and pay their mortgages. We also passed the largest and most sweeping economic recovery plan in our nation’s history.
The Recovery Act wasn’t designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall. It was designed to spur demand and get people spending again and cushion those who had borne the brunt of the crisis. And it was designed to save jobs and create new ones.
In a little over one hundred days, this Recovery Act has worked as intended. It has already extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs in this recession. It has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working ...
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