we are going to pay for it.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I want to be absolutely clear with you, everybody has to give at the office in this budget. There isn’t any easy way out. The American people understand this better than many of us do. They’re tougher, as you’ve heard me say in the campaign, than we give them credit for. They understand what we’ve inherited, and they know there are no small-bore answers to really significant problems.
But, folks, the last two recoveries, the last two spurts of economic growth have been based on bubbles: the dot.com bubble, unsustainable, as we all learned; and the housing bubble, unsustainable. The kind of growth pattern we need to lay down — and I’ll end with this — is what happened from 1947 to 1972: We grew and we dominated the world because it was based upon a solid, fundamental foundation that had to do with productivity. And as that bridge as you go over, on Amtrak, into New York, through Newark, says, “Newark makes what the world takes.” We ain’t making what the world takes.
And so, folks, this is about the change — and I know some of you are holding your breath with what we’re doing — but this is about the change we meant — we meant fundamental foundational change. We cannot sustain this nation’s prowess in the 21st century without dealing with health, energy, education and fiscal discipline. And they are not inconsistent. This is not about ideology. This is out of economic necessity.
So, please — please — you’re all really bright people, and I’m not being solicitous to state the obvious — look at what we’re talking about. Turn off the cable news networks; look at what we’re talking about. And if you have any ideas that — how we can not deal with building the 21st century economy on health, education and energy, let me know — let me know. We don’t have any pride of authorship. We absolutely think this is absolutely fundamentally essential, and that we level with the American people.
So we’ve done it. We’ve done that. And I want to tell you one last thing, and this is a political point, which I probably shouldn’t make with the press here, but I’m going to make it anyway. I said the American people aren’t afraid. And look at what they reward. The American people reward hard effort that they think paints a picture of the possibility of success. The Congress’ approval rating has doubled since we’ve been in office. (Applause.) Why? Not merely because we’re fairly popular right now. It doubled because they took action. They actually moved and acted. They stepped up and made some hard decisions.
People are smart, and this budget is the last building block to be able to not only change — as the Governor knows better than I do, being a Governor — change our economic circumstance medium-term and long-term; it also will change the political climate — because you will have every single pundit out there, including the ones who are