What’s the President Doing Today to Help Create Jobs?: Today’s Q’s for O’s WH – 8/4/2011

Aug 4, 2011 1:23pm

TAPPER:  Larry Summers in The Washington Post yesterday suggested that the economy had a 1-in-3 chance of heading back into a recession. Does the president share that view?

CARNEY:  I was asked about this yesterday and —

TAPPER: Sorry, I wasn’t here yesterday.

CARNEY:  No, that's OK.  I don't — again, he's — that's a piece of economic analysis.  We believe that — the president believes that the economy will continue to grow, that the economy will continue to create jobs and that we need to do everything we can to enhance that growth and enhance that job creation.

TAPPER:  Well, one of the things –

CARNEY:  I pointed out yesterday that it's certainly the case, and this is an observation about outside analysts that – who continue to believe that the economy will grow the second half of this year and then we need to just focus on the things we can focus on, which is to take the measures necessary to spur economic growth and job creation.

TAPPER:  I believe the Dow has gone down — obviously, the day is not over — but I believe the Dow's gone down now more than during that controversial TARP vote.  And analysts are saying that the reason that this is happening is because of uncertainty about the American economy, that we are entering a double-dip recession, or at the very least, a period of real softness and weakness for the U.S. economy. What is the administration doing about that?

CARNEY:  Well, the analysis I saw today did not — was not about the American economy, particularly, in terms of what's happening.

TAPPER: I’m talking about analysis from the last 20 minutes.

CARNEY:  But there are obviously — there are a lot of global issues that affect the global economy and that obviously affect the American economy. We strongly believe, as I've said, that we will continue to grow and we will continue to create jobs, and we need to take the measures necessary to do that. 

We have encountered in this calendar year a number of economic headwinds that could not have been foreseen:  the tsunami — earthquake and tsunami in Japan that disrupted global supply chains; the unrest in the Middle East, which has an impact on oil prices; and the situation in Europe.  So, you know, obviously that has hurt the economy globally and has slowed growth and job creation, but we believe that growth and job creation will continue.

TAPPER:  Well, what is the president doing?  We know that he went to a — – he went to fundraisers last night.  What's he doing today?

CARNEY:  Jake, that is —

TAPPER:  What is he doing –

CARNEY:  The president — as the president has worked —

TAPPER:  We hear him hectoring Congress about all the stuff that needs to be done to help create jobs –

CARNEY:  That's right.  And Congress —

TAPPER: — and then he flew off to Chicago.  What is he doing today?

CARNEY:  The president is having meetings with his senior staff.  The president has called on Congress to move quickly on things that have bipartisan support and are in Congress's lap, the trade –

TAPPER:  The same stuff he was doing a couple months ago, calling on Congress to pass things.

CARNEY:  Congress has the power to pass legislation that the president can sign.  The actions that it can take could create more jobs right now, if it passed the patent reform, if it passed the free trade agreements.  And as you know, there are other issues that the president encourages and will push hard for the Congress to take up when it returns from its recess, including extension of the payroll tax cut, which would put — which has this year put an additional $1,000 in the pockets of every American, or typical American family.

And he believes we need to do that again next year, because that assists those families in having them — you know, giving them the ability to make ends meet, and puts money back into the economy, which in turn sustains businesses and creates jobs.  And he will continue to come up with and propose measures that we in Washington together can take to spur further economic growth and job creation.

TAPPER:  Has he called Mitch McConnell?  Has he called John Boehner? Has — is he working on things that they can do?  If every –

CARNEY:  Jake, I don't — I know you weren't here yesterday, but I know you were here for most of the days before that, when this president and those leaders and others worked seven days a week to avert a major economic crisis in this country that would have made –

TAPPER: You’re the one always saying the president can walk and chew gum at the same time.  I'm asking you –

CARNEY:  Well, what are — are you asking me what — he is — he is focused —

TAPPER:  Other than calling on Congress to pass things you've been calling on Congress to pass for months, what is he doing to help the economy?

CARNEY:  He is working very closely with his senior economic advisers to come up with new proposals to help advance growth and job creation.  He is working with members of Congress to help advance growth and job creation.  And he will continue to do that.  There are things that Congress can do now to create jobs, and they should.  There are things that Congress will be able to do when they return from recess to help create jobs and spur growth, and they should.  And he looks forward to working with Congress to do that.

-Jake Tapper (@jaketapper)

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