Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Key Points from Obama's Speech to Congress on February 24, 2009

Noticably more uplifting than his Inaugural Address, Obama made some key points about the economic recovery and stimulus package during his speech to congress on February 24, 2009. Met with uproarious applause over and over, it was hard for Obama to get some of his words out without being pummeled with deafening praise.

Also, you'll notice Nancy Pelosi's vigorous, enthuasiastic attitude towards anything Obama had was laughable, really. Yes, some great encouragement and ideas were uttered, but she sprung out of her seat at the end of every point Obama made!

Some of the notable key points of Obama's speach to congress:

" is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.

The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did all of our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank.

We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy, yet we import more oil today than ever before.

The cost of health care eats up more and more of our savings each year, yet we keep delaying reform.

Our children will compete for jobs in a global economy that too many of our schools do not prepare them for.

And though all of these challenges went unsolved, we still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government, than ever before.

In other words, we have lived through an era where too often short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity, where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.

A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future."

Translation: We have overspent too long and now we're paying the price. So, we have to start thinking of practical long-term solutions instead of quick fixes.

"Because of this plan, 95 percent of working households in America will receive a tax cut, a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning on April 1st."

Translation: Money in the form of a tax credit back to most everyone in the United States, but as a reduction of the monthly withholdings.

"...the flow of credit is the lifeblood of our economy. The ability to get a loan is how you finance the purchase of everything from a home to a car to a college education, how stores stock their shelves, farms buy equipment, and businesses make payroll.

But credit has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many banks. And with so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or even to each other.

When there's no lending, families can't afford to buy homes or cars, so businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.

That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to break this destructive cycle, to restore confidence, and restart lending.

And we will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small-business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running."

Translation: Everything is a mess with our banking system, and no one can get a loan. We need to change that, because the economy relies on this system, or things will not change. I plan on changing this by encouraging our banks to give loans again through funding.

"...the average family who refinances today can save nearly $2,000 per year on their mortgage [because of the housing plan that is going to be launched]."

"This time -- this time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks, or buy fancy drapes, or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over."

"It begins with energy.

We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.

Well, I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders, and I know you don't, either. It is time for America to lead again."

Translation: We need to harness clean energy to end our dependence on foreign oil, which can (and has taken part in) ruin our economy.

Earlier in the week, President Bill Clinton offered the advice/critique to President Obama about restoring confidence through his speeches, and how he thought he needed to do so. Apparently, he took the advice.

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