Rather than looking for quick fixes and easy answers people should look to the administration for steady progress, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
Speaking at his second televised news conference from the White House, Obama said he was a big believer in persistence.
When it comes to domestic affairs, if we keep on working at it . we can pass health care. We can find better solutions to our energy challenges. We can teach our children more effectively, he said. When to the banking system . today there is a plan. I'm sure there will be more criticism and we'll have to make adjustments but we're moving in the right direction.
He added, How are we going to get this economy moving? How are we going to put Americans back to work? How are we going to make that sure our people are safe and how we are going to create not just prosperity here but more and more countries to global peace and prosperity? We are going to stick with it as long as I'm in this office.
Obama also said he was confident that the people would have patience and recognize that the ship of state is more like an ocean liner than a speedboat and takes time to change course.
Facing criticism from Capitol Hill that his proposed spending plans are too ambitious for a time of economic crisis, Obama sought to portray his budget proposal as a key element of the nation's economic recovery.
Obama said his budget sought to bring about broad economic growth by moving from an era in which we borrow and spend to one of saving and investing.
That's what a highly skilled workforce will do all across America. That's what an efficient health care system that controls costs and entitlements under Medicare and Medicaid will do, he said. That's why this budget is inseparable from this recovery because it is what lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity.
He added, The road to that prosperity is still long and we will hit our share of bumps and setbacks before the end. But we must remember that we can get there if we travel that road as one nation.
Turning to answer Republican criticism that his proposals do too much to drive up the national debt, Obama said the key to reducing the deficit is bringing about stronger economic growth.
It is going to be an impossible task to balance our budget . if we are not increasing our growth rates, he said. And that's why our budget focuses on the investments we need to make that happen.
He added, Lets make an investment today to ensure that we meet our growth targets as opposed to a situation where we're not making those investments and we still have trillion dollar deficits.
Obama also took aim at Republicans who have criticized his proposals, frequently repeating the claim that his budget spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.
There's an interesting reason why some of these critics haven't put out their own budget, he said. They know that, in fact, the biggest drivers of long term deficits are the huge healthcare costs that we've got out there that we're going to have to pay.
Still, Obama acknowledged that his administration would need to do more in coming years to bring the budget deficit down even further.
Am I completely satisfied with all the work that needs to be done on deficits? No, he said. That's why I convened a fiscal responsibility summit.
He added that in the short term, What we have to do is bend the curve on these deficit pressures.
Obama also used the event as an opportunity to reassure the public that the nation's economic recovery is showing progress.
Obama said the multi-part strategy will take time to be reverse the economic problems that developed over a number of years. There will be no quick fixes. There are no silver bullets, Obama said.
We will recover from this recession, Obama said. But it will take time, it will take patience, and it will take an understanding that when we all work together; when each of us looks beyond our own short-term interests to the wider set of obligations we have to each other -- that's when we succeed, he said.
Speaking specifically about the controversy over the government's bailout of troubled insurance giant American International Group (AiG) and the company's awarding of bonuses to many of its executives, the president said the government lacked the authority to intervene in ways similar to those effecting the banking industry.
We will press for that intervention authority, Obama said. We don't have the tools right now.
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