Obama on the Record: News Conference on the Economy

That I don’t think is the better option. Now, have — am I completely satisfied with all the work that needs to be done on deficits? No. That’s why I convened a fiscal responsibility summit, started in this room, to start looking at entitlements and to start looking at the big drivers of costs over the long term. Not all of those are reflected in our budget, partly because the savings we anticipate would be coming in years outside of the 10-year budget cycle that we’re talking about. Okay?

Q On AIG, why did you wait — why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the Attorney General’s Office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, look, we’re outraged. Why did it take so long?

THE PRESIDENT: It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak, you know? (Laughter.)

Major.

Q Good evening, Mr. President. Thank you. Taking this economic debate a bit globally, senior Chinese officials have publically expressed an interest in international currency. This is described by Chinese specialists as a sign that they are less confident than they used to be in the value and the reliability of the U.S. dollar. European countries have resisted your calls to spend more on economic stimulus. I wonder, sir, as a candidate who ran concerned about the image of the United States globally, how comfortable you are with the Chinese government, run by Communists, less confident than they used to be in the U.S. dollar, and European governments, some of them center-left, some of them Socialist, who say you’re asking them to spend too much.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I haven’t asked them to do anything. What I’ve suggested is, is that all of us are going to have to take steps in order to lift the economy. We don’t want a situation in which some countries are making extraordinary efforts, and other countries aren’t, with the hope that somehow the countries that are making those important steps lift everybody up. And so somebody has got to take leadership.

It’s not just me, by the way. I was with Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, today, who was very forceful in suggesting that countries around the world, those with the capacity to do so, take the steps that are needed to fill this enormous hole in global demand. Gordon Brown, when he came to visit me, said the exact same thing.

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