The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



On Economy, Obama Sees Glimmers of Hope and Signs of Progress

By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama said today that the nation's economy is showing signs of progress as a series of his policies begin to come on line, despite mounting unemployment and other problems that continue to plague the country.

In brief remarks to reporters after a meeting with his economic advisers at the White House, Obama said there are signs of hope appearing amid the gloomy economic landscape. "What you're starting to see is glimmers of hope across the economy," Obama said, adding that it is too soon to make any firm pronouncements.

"Now, we have always been very cautious about prognosticating and that's not going to change just because it's Easter," the president said. "The economy is still under severe stress and obviously during these holidays we have to keep in mind whatever we do ultimately has to translate into economic growth and jobs and rising incomes for the American people."

Citing continuing problems in the labor market, which has seen unemployment rise to 8.5 percent as the economy has shed more than 3.3 million jobs over the past five months, Obama said, "We've still got a lot of work to do."

Still, he said, the signs of progress are unmistakable. With mortgage interest rates at historic lows, refinancing is up. Obama said that his administration is working out the details of a public-private investment mechanism aimed at buying toxic assets, allowing banks to clear them from their balance sheets, which should facilitate more lending. Also, he said, efforts to increase small business loans are apparently paying dividends: in the past month, there has been a 20 percent increase in the largest Small Business Administration loan program, the president said.

"We're starting to see progress," he said. "And if we stick with it, if we don't flinch in the face of some difficulties, then I feel absolutely convinced that we are going to get this economy back on track."

The president's meeting with his economic advisers came after his trip to Europe, Turkey and Iraq, which focused largely on efforts to revive the global economy. Joining him at the White House were Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, top economic adviser Larry Summers, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Schapiro and Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan.

Obama's upbeat remarks about the economy are his second in as many days. Yesterday, the president held an event at the White House where he touted the nation's low mortgage interest rates.

Posted at 2:51 PM ET on Apr 10, 2009  | Category:  Economy
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Check out the new video on Obama and the economy:

Posted by: cuajitoloco | April 13, 2009 4:52 PM

The glimmer is the light at the end of the tunnel going out.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 12, 2009 4:00 PM

Obama is a joke.

Continuing to grow government spending has been roundly rejected by the international community and should be rejected by the United States as well.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | April 11, 2009 4:30 PM

E-Verify is simple, free, Web-based system that works by electronically comparing new employee information taken from the Form I-9. It works, and maybe that’s why the open border zealots have amassed against the application ? Opponents of E-Verify have resorted to charges that it is full of errors, when in truth it has an average a 99.5 success rate. More than 425 million records in the Social Security Administration’s database and more than 60 million records in the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration data base can then be verified.

In March E-verify was further enhanced by using a picture tool that helps patriotic businesses to identify citizens and legal residents workers. It allows an employer to compare identical photos – the worker's photograph on the EAD or green card against the image stored in USCIS’ databases, which contains nearly 15 million images of individual documents. The tool is designed to help an employer determine whether the document presented reasonably relates to the individual presenting it and contains a valid photo.

Typos and similar problems are cured on line, so legal workers usually only have problem only if they changed their names or citizenship status--but failed to inform Social Security of the change. Others have to do something more to establish that they are lawfully authorized to work by approaching the SSA. While certain individuals do nothing--disappearing into the woodwork. It works! So--THE PEOPLE--should make it a permanent addition to our arsenal against illegal aliens stealing jobs of Americans. If a business hires illegal labor and have not used E-verify, they should be subject to severe penalties. Two legislators have remained instrumental in trying to dismantle E-Verify, the REAL ID act, police enforcement (247(g) and ICE raids. Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Remind your Senators and Congressman--who they work for? Washington switchboard. 202-224-3121 Reid's Carson Office: 775-882-7343/ Vegas: 702-388-5020
House Speaker Pelosi: 202-225-0100 / San Francisco: 415 556-4862

Posted by: infinity555 | April 11, 2009 3:15 PM

He has the audacity of hope. Just try being an American for a change Mr. Obamba.

Posted by: robinhood2 | April 10, 2009 11:05 PM

Obama. Try starting with, a glimmer of patriotism, for once.

Posted by: dashriprock | April 10, 2009 10:56 PM

"On Economy, Obama Sees Glimmers of Hope and Signs of Progress"

Translation: The Koolaid is starting to kick in.

Posted by: johnboorman | April 10, 2009 9:46 PM

We can only hope there is a glimmer out there. Giethner's plan is so muddled he doesn't know whats going on.

Posted by: jpmccn | April 10, 2009 9:26 PM

Our only hope would be for Hillary to hit the reset button on this loser.

Posted by: georgejones5 | April 10, 2009 9:02 PM

When I see Comrade Obama, I see glimmers of bullsh-t.

Posted by: birvin9999 | April 10, 2009 8:28 PM

Glimmers of hope? I am ecstatic about how quickly the new administration has been able to move mountains. No one can deny the turnaround in the stock market. All of our 401k's have been been revived.

The U.S. dollar is actually gaining on the Euro ($1.00 = 0.76 Euro) for the first time since 2001. When Bush left office in utter disgrace, the U.S. dollar was only worth 0.62 Euros.

Posted by: free-donny | April 10, 2009 8:24 PM

Here's some hope to chew on...

Despite surveys showing that 75 percent of U.S. citizens are against providing amnesty, President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled House will push a system to make 12 million illegal aliens residing in the United States legal.

Posted by: FraudObama | April 10, 2009 7:40 PM

"A glimmer of hope" but, don't get your hopes up to high. There will be a mild recovery numerically but, I predict another jobless recovery. In my area a wave of job cuts were just announced to take effect in 3 months, shutdowns, jobs never to return. You name it schools, factories, retail, etc. On top of that, wage cuts or no raises. Less money, less recovery. Obama didn't cause this mess but he and his cast of REDS, are not going to fix it, either.

Posted by: nonneocon | April 10, 2009 7:22 PM

Dear President Obama and Secretary Geithner,

If you want to fix the banks and the economy, first fix the real estate market. Once that happens the banks will fix themselves. The toxic assets will detoxify themselves due to increased value.The fastest way to solve this crisis is to get investors involved in some fashion. They have the cash on the sidelines to get us out of this crisis. If we give them an incentive to purchase property they will and that will stabilize prices saving families and jobs.

There should be a zero % capital gains tax on any property purchased during the next year no matter when you sell it. This should only be on new purchases to help absorb some of the high housing inventory. Investors will buy properties and make things happen. This is a win win situation because no homes are selling anyway so there is no capital gains tax lost. Also there should be a rapid depreciation for tax purposes of 2 years on investment property. This was done after Katrina for counties in MS, AL, and LS. (called the GOZONE ACT) and should be done nationwide to stimulate demand and reduce supply which will help save the economy.
Once home prices are stabilized the jobs will return and the economy will recover. It might be difficult to get the republicans to go along with this because they know it will be extremely effective and therefore will result in the Dems gaining seats in 2010 And You Mr. President being re-elected in 2012

Posted by: chuchu1248 | April 10, 2009 6:54 PM

HELLO!! Obama. 13.2 million Americans are unemployed. The economy is in the toilet. Is now the time to legalize 40 million illegals?

Posted by: buzzm1 | April 10, 2009 5:26 PM

When I read a post like that I have to throw up, not because I am drunk or sick, but because of the utter ignorance and stupidity voiced by some of the posters.

Tired of hearing Rush Limbaugh, Haniotty, O'Reilley and Beck BS.

You guys stay happy in your trailer parks with out houses and a view of 20 rusted down vehicles and trash bags.

Posted by: mackiejw | April 10, 2009 6:53 PM

Exactly, buzzm1. Unfortunately, the Obama cult members continue to deny reality:

Obama says he is seeing "glimmers of hope" in the economy. Do you agree?

Yes 67% 54380

No 33% 27082

Total Votes: 81462

Posted by: JakeD | April 10, 2009 6:23 PM

The rate of layoffs is highly likely to slow.....however, if it gets down to only 200,000 a month, that's still 200,000 more unemployed, than during the preceding month.

Jan., 2008 - 76,000 4.9%
Feb., 2008 - 83,000 4.8%
Mar., 2008 - 88,000 5.1%
Apr., 2008 - 67.000 5.0%
May, 2008 - 47,000 5.5%
June, 2008 - 100,000 - 5.5%
July, 2008 - 67,000 - 5.7%
Aug., 2008 - 127,000 - 6.1%
Sept., 2008 - 403,000 - 6.1%
Oct., 2008 - 320,000 - 6.5%
Nov., 2008 - 533,000 - 6.8%
Dec., 2008 - 681,000 - 7.2% - 11.1 million (R)
Jan., 2009 - 741,000 - 7.6% - 11.6 million (R)
Feb., 2009 - 651,000 - 8.1% - 12.5 million
Mar., 2009 - 663,000 - 8.5% - 13.2 million

Posted by: buzzm1 | April 10, 2009 6:19 PM

Watching Mr. Obama and his Administration trying to save the Economy by creating yet more disastrous "bubbles" is like watching a remedial adult "driver's ed" class trying to inflate a flat tire by blowing in the valve stem. You want to laugh but it is too damn sad! Now the gentleman sees "glimmers of hope and signs of progress" because the Economic Tsunami has destroyed mortgage rates to record low levels. Of course, underwater properties and unemployed borrowers still can not be helped, but at least the rates are low! You HAVE to believe Mr. Obama is doing drugs...or hoping that the Electorate is!

Posted by: kondrek | April 10, 2009 6:17 PM

GLIMMERS OF HOPE..more like "SHADES OF DISASTER" How bad do things have to get before we admit that things are highly likely to get worse.

So much for transparency..

Posted by: buzzm1 | April 10, 2009 6:11 PM

Obama had better hope that the economy rebounds and people are back to work and housing prices come up before the mid terms. Either that or he has to start talking to and compromising with republicans or we will stop the federal government in committee in 2011. Personally, I hope for both and expect neither. The unemployed have no trouble finding time to vote and rarely support incumbents.

Posted by: XLiberalJack | April 10, 2009 5:59 PM

How about taking all the hot air generated by Obama's critics who want America to fail just to prove their point and to improve hate TV and radio ratings and harness it as alternative energy?

Posted by: coloradodog | April 10, 2009 5:38 PM

The main problem with the article's focus and many of the comments on it is their short-term focus. Spending $787 billion dollars can't help but have some positive impact on the economy, but such an outcome will be essentially ephemeral, being based almost entirely on the profigate expenditure of borrowed money, which is disastrous as a strategy beyond the short-term. The President, like most other politicians from both parties, is clearly out of his depth in terms of understanding how the real world economy works, and is evidently being given very bad advice if his goal is, as he says repeatedly, substantive, long term improvement in economic conditions. The fatal lure of illusory - even if short-term - prosperity is at work again. The American people want desperately to belive that there's an easy, relatively painless way to deal with our deep-rooted structural problems, one that would allow us - without admitting that ugly truth frankly - to go back to the free and easy ways that got us into this mess in the first place. The President's program, for all its rhetoric about sacrifice by all, at bottom make no such demands, probably because he realizes that much of his support would indeed melt away at that point. However, when the national deficit triples over the next decade, and the annual interest payments on said debt approach $1 trillion, the time of reckoning will be hard and disillusioning indeed. The evidently wilfull reluctance to recognize the gravely mistaken assumptions in the President's "stimulus" measures - again, as seen in the economic blinders clearly donned by many of the preceding commenters and elsewhere by news media figures who overwhelmingly supported him throughout the campaign - is tragic and promises a bitter economic harvest for the nation in the not-distant future. Again, that great American philosopher, Pogo, had it right: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Posted by: wtrowan | April 10, 2009 5:31 PM

HELLO!! Obama. 13.2 million Americans are unemployed. The economy is in the toilet. Is now the time to legalize 40 million illegals?

Posted by: buzzm1 | April 10, 2009 5:26 PM

In 1986, Reagan granted Amnesty to allegedly 1.3 million illegal immigrants that turned out to well over 3 million.

Obama says 12 million

Posted by: buzzm1 | April 10, 2009 5:23 PM

Amazing that he can see anything with his head in rectal defilade.

Posted by: LarryG62 | April 10, 2009 5:16 PM

Of course Obama sees light in the economic recovery, all of his rich banker friends and criminals continue to get more rich! This left-wing free thinking Republican has always believed that this Obama guy is nothing more than a deception. Just to think, he has fooled more than half of our once great country into voting for him believing things would actually "change". My, what an uninformed citizenry we have. Obama=Bush and Bush=Obama Wake Up!!!!

The lie tastes sweet in the beginning, but bitter in the end...
The truth tastes bitter in the beginning, but sweet in the end! Buddha

Posted by: stanfordstefan | April 10, 2009 5:01 PM

In the last 22 years, since the 1986, Reagan, one-time amnesty, over 26 million illegals have been apprehended, after they crossed the border into our United States. The problem is Jack, less than 1, out of 4, illegals, crossing into our United States, are estimated to have been apprehended. According to the U.S. Immigration Service another 6 million illegals in our country are visa overstays. Lack of E-verify in the Stimulus Bill only entices even more illegals to enter our country!!

Mandate E-Verify for ALL employees, and let’s get this show started.

Posted by: buzzm1 | April 10, 2009 4:46 PM

Posted by: EarlC | April 10, 2009 4:25 PM
EarlC, you have presented one of the most articulate comments I've seen here. The republicans are grasping for something, really almost anything to gain some sort of momentum. It's a sad thing. If they don't swing back to a more centrist, traditional republican philosophy, I'm certain they will go the way of the Whigs.
And that may be a good thing. Thanks for your excellent posts.

Posted by: douglasstinson | April 10, 2009 4:36 PM

I must say that I have had good news lately. My retirement funds are increasing in value. I refused to panic. I am not saying that I will not bail out of Wall Street in the future. I still believe that it is legalized gambling. I still believe that I have no excuse even if I lose everything invested on Wall Street. I knew the risks. However, there are many investors out there who oversell the idea of retirement investments in mutual funds which invest heavily on Wall Street. I am so thankful that Democrats do not believe in allowing me to invest social security funds on Wall Street. What a disaster this would be!

Posted by: EarlC | April 10, 2009 4:33 PM

Where is this 40 million illegal immigrants number coming from? I have heard for the past year and until recently only the best estimate of 12 million with a possibility that it may be 20 million. But 40 million? This is over 10% of our population. Surely, with a number this large, you could reach out and grab one. Of course, there is nothing like overstating a case to get the "base" aroused. This is what makes President Obama so attractive to me, he uses the best facts that are available without overstatement.

Posted by: EarlC | April 10, 2009 4:25 PM

Unlike the neocons, President Obama recognizes progress when he sees it, even if he did not approve of the program. For example, Pres. Obama recognizes the opportunnity for success in Iraq. It will be a cold day in hell before the neocons ever recognize anything good that President Obama has been involved with.

As hard as it was for me to stomach the war with Iraq, I prayed for the success of the mission there. It is estimated that when the final tally is in for just the first six years of this war, the cost may reach between 1.5 and 3 trillion dollars. This money could have gone a long way to averting the recession that we are in now. As it is, we have been caught up in a war where when we try to rebuild something in Iraq, it is blown up the next week. We cannot seem to construct a water supply there that does not electrocute our servicemen. Literally billions upon billions of dollars have been wasted on Haliburton and their derivative companies.

President Obama is trying hard to avoid a 1930s style depression. He has laid out very clear plans about the present and future outcomes. The naysayers have shown over and over again that they have no historical reference. Perhaps since they lost the election on Nov. 4, it is their time to pray that President Obama succeeds rather than to try everything they can either to try to make him fail or to wish him to fail.

Our country should not be based on a politics of if I win, you lose and vice versa. We sometimes forget that we are in the same boat. It is time for all of us to pick up our oars and row. I guarantee you that all servicemen in Iraq are fighting and working as hard as they can, whether they agreed with the war or not. Our servicemen could teach us a lot about being Americans. I know, I served my country proudly during the Vietnam era. I was opposed to that war. It seems that when the USA refuses to listen to and possibly follow through on the advice that some of our closest allies offer, we manage to get into real messes. Allies means "friends."

At this time, President Obama recognizes the need to fight fire with fire. Yes, this is a proven strategy. The neocons have taught us that the government can borrow and spend without any problems. The conservative Republicans have been doing this very well ever since the mid 1980s. Now, get off the high horse about Obama's spending. If it worked for you, give us a shot at it. You see, "Tax and spend" may not be so bad afterall. It certainly beats "borrow and spend," which is the Republican philosophy. But now, Republicans have left us few options, all of them bad.

Posted by: EarlC | April 10, 2009 4:17 PM

Here we go again....the sob sisters of the right denying any glimmer of hope in the economy. I have no doubt the naysayers want this president to fail. One-term wonders are cited; the catastrophic legacy of the last two-term president is simply an exclamation point on the failure of
Reagonomics and thirty years of partying by the infinitely greedy.

Posted by: jharveinseattle | April 10, 2009 4:17 PM


In elementary school, all American kids know how to count:
(AP) "The Obama administration projects the deficit for the entire year will hit $1.75 trillion." (M.C. Ap.10,2009, 3:01 pm EDT)
-President term lasts four years,
e.g. $1.75 trillion x 4 = $7.00 trillion.
-Where is money that President would spend in His term?

Posted by: huytu-4w_ed | April 10, 2009 4:08 PM

And all he had to do was triple our deficit for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: enaughton27 | April 10, 2009 3:53 PM

No recession, just a pile of stuff from the Dems...What a bunch of crap these politicians are>>>>

Posted by: robinhood2 | April 10, 2009 3:45 PM

Numbers don't lie, but they can easily be manipulated.

How much do you trust everything the government tells you??

Our own government is beginning a PR campaign to sell 40 million illegals to us.

Make sure you put everything they tell you into context.

a few illegals serving in our military doesn't equate to providing citizenship, at a cost of 10 trillion dollars, to more than 40 million illegals.

Demand a headcount!!

Posted by: buzzm1 | April 10, 2009 3:32 PM

Another infamous one-termer failed to address problems that "threatens the economic security of our country" and that "this dangerous situation calls for urgent measures." (Jimmy Carter),9171,921854-1,00.html

Posted by: JakeD | April 10, 2009 3:29 PM

Where have I heard this before . . . . Oh yeah . . a thousand points of light. That was from another famous one-termer.

Posted by: tifoso1 | April 10, 2009 3:18 PM

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