Obama: Stimulus Helped, But Rebuilding Economy Will Take Innovation, Too
By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama cited new economic statistics showing that the recession is easing as evidence that the oft-criticized $787 billion stimulus bill is working, but he said that for the nation's economy to prosper, it must develop new industry and better educated workers.
Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to tout the impact of the stimulus bill and highlight the important connections between his administration's initiatives to rebuild the economy for the future.
While Obama argued that his administration's policies have "put the brakes on this recession," he acknowledged that the nation is likely to continue shedding jobs for some time to come.
"When we receive our monthly job report next week, it is likely to show that we are continuing to lose far too many jobs in this country," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, we will not have a recovery as long as we keep losing jobs. And I won't rest until every American who wants a job can find one."
For the nation to write a new chapter of prosperity, it will require workers to be better educated and new, cutting-edge industries to emerge, he said.
"Even as we rescue this economy, we must work to rebuild it stronger than before," Obama said. "We've got to build a new foundation strong enough to withstand future economic storms and support lasting prosy around renewable energy."
Obama said next week he would travel to Elkhart, Ind., to talk about his ideas for rebuilding the economy. It will be Obama's second visit as president to Elkhart, a city that has suffered one of the sharpest spikes in unemployment in the nation since the recession began.
Obama added that his plans for restructuring the nation's health care system to broaden coverage and lower future cost increases is at the center of his long-term economic blueprint.
He said health care reform would make "it possible for entrepreneurs to innovate and businesses to compete without being saddled with skyrocketing insurance costs."
Posted at 7:27 AM ET on Aug 1, 2009
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