Obama: No 'Easy Out' for Wall Street

And so, you know, I think it's important to recognize we've still got enormous assets, we've got the same workforce that we did that's as productive as it's ever been, we've still got some of the best universities in the country and, you know, a wonderful infrastructure and some great companies.

You know, I spoke with the CEO of International yesterday, who's investing billions of dollars in opening up new plants in the face of this recession. And so some of what we need is just a restoration of confidence and people's belief that in fact, we can harness all these resources to continue to be the most dynamic economy on earth.

But we're not going to get there by pretending that we don't have some very big problems and I think the American people understand that.

Obama on Stimulus Bill

MORAN: The stimulus bill -- one of the things the Republicans are arguing, they look at this stimulus bill, they see a lot of spending in there ...The Republican argument is that you and Nancy Pelosi are using the need for a stimulus bill as an excuse to jack up spending under a traditional liberal Democratic agenda.

OBAMA: Let me, first of all, point out, I -- I think there are a number of different arguments that have been leveled at, at this recovery package. There are a set of folks who just don't believe in government intervening in the marketplace, period. I mean, they're still fighting FDR and the New Deal and you have -- these are the same folks who think we should be privatizing Social Security and you know, we -- there's no room for government to help people get health care and on and on and on.

So there's a big ideological battle that they want to fight. Frankly, I think that fight's already been won, the American people certainly think so. That's not the argument that makes much sense to them. There are then people who I think are making a sincere argument that if you look at the stimulus package, that maybe some things are more stimulative and some things are not.

Now, the only problem I've got is, you're actually getting a bunch of contradictory arguments from some of the same people. You've got some folks who say, "well, it doesn't spend out fast enough. That's why it's not stimulative. But by the way, we'd like to see more infrastructure spending." Well, it turns out that infrastructure spending provides terrific stimulus to an economy but most infrastructure projects may take three, four, five years to move forward.

There's some folks who complain that, you know, things like investing in energy efficiency for federal buildings or automobile fleets is a, you know, government program. Well, actually, there's no reason why if you're creating jobs, we might not as well save taxpayers $2 billion in potential energy costs every year.

You know, the, the idea that we're making -- the fact that they're federal buildings that we're making more energy-efficient or federal fleets that we're making more energy-efficient doesn't make it less stimulative. That's still creating jobs and requiring services.

So some of these arguments just haven't been real coherent. And you know, where there are good ideas for very effective job creation, I've adopted them. When the govern -- when the Republicans make suggestions about certain tax cuts that they think will work, some of them, you know, the evidence shows that they may be right.

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