From Sarah Tobianski and Sunlen Miller
After a week of foreign travel President Obama uses his weekly address to refocus on the domestic agenda, launching into a strong defense of the success of the recovery act, and shoots down the notion that there is a need for a second stimulus.
"Even as we make progress on these challenges abroad, my thoughts are on the state of our economy at home," Obama said in his weekly address taped in L’Aquila Italy where the President was earlier in the week for the G8 summit.
The address responds to a growing chorus of criticism that the $787 billion recovery plan isn’t working as unemployment soars still to astounding levels.
“I realize that when we passed this Recovery Act, there were those who felt that doing nothing was somehow an answer,” the President will say. “Today, some of those same critics are already judging the effort a failure although they have yet to offer a plausible alternative.”
The President says the recovery act was not designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall.
The President tries to halt calls for a second stimulus, saying that the recovery plan wasn’t designed to work in four months, but two years, and that it will continue to accelerate as time passes.
“Part of what makes our current economic situation so challenging is that we already had massive deficits as the recession gathered force,” the President will say. “And although the Recovery Act represents just a small fraction of our long term debt, people have legitimate questions as to whether we can afford reform without making our deficits much worse.”
The stimulus is working as it should, the President says and adds that the country is moving in the right direction.
“I am confident that the United States of America will weather this economic storm,” the President will say. “But once we clear away the wreckage, the real question is what we will build in its place. Even as we rescue this economy from a full blown crisis, I have insisted that we must rebuild it better than before.”
- Sarah Tobianski and Sunlen Miller