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Obama: 'I Have a Strong Inclination' Against Second Stimulus

In an interview with CNBC concluded moments ago, President Obama said, "I have a strong inclination not to do" a second stimulus.

He said the White House is "monitoring the situation," but as of now does not see a need for a second one.

The first stimulus was approved in February with a price tag of $787 billion.

Obama was interviewed by CNBC's John Harwood on the same day that the president delivered a speech on Wall Street, telling financial executives that while he is pro-market, it's time to address problems that led to the current crisis, calling for a range of new regulations and programs.

Harwood noted that, unlike President Bush and President Clinton, Obama did not pay a visit to the traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday before or after his speech.

Obama answered that there was "nothing symbolic" about the shun, saying "these days I create a disruption wherever I go."

Harwood asked about the escalating trade tensions with China: last Friday, the administration enforced a trade treaty by slapping tariffs on imported Chinese tires. Monday, the Chinese called for the World Trade Organization to mediate the dispute.

Obama said he is "absolutely" certain he can avoid a trade war with the Chinese, who are a huge trading partner of the United States.and who hold the majority of U.S. debt. The Chinese will come to Pittsburgh later this month for the G-20 meeting.

Obama repeated his claim that he will be able to insure 30 million uninsured Americans without added to the deficit or debt, saying that two-thirds of the cost will come from cleaning up waste in the current system.

Where will the additional one-third will come from? Well, I'll just quote the president verbatim: "In addition, what we're going to be able to say to hospitals is, for example, you know what, now since everybody's covered, you don't have to get all this extra uncompensated extra care that's costing every family about $900 a year in higher premiums than they otherwise would have had to pay. But, what we are absolutely clear about is that it's not just paying for the 30 million that's important, it's reducing the increases in healthcare inflation every year that's so important for families, businesses and reducing the deficit and that is something we can't accomplish without healthcare reform."

I'm glad the president is "absolutely clear" about that, because I still have no idea where the additional one-third is going to come from to pay for the uninsured.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  September 14, 2009; 6:30 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, healthcare reform, stimulus  
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