Obama on the Record: State of the Economy

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. (Applause.) It’s good to be back. Thank you so much. Please, everybody be seated. (Applause.) Well, to President DeGioia, thank you so much for the gracious introduction, and thanks for bringing your family — including JT — appreciate you. We’re going to invite him over, hang out with the girls. (Laughter.) He’s a pretty good-looking young man. (Laughter.)

To Mayor Adrian Fenty, who’s doing such a great job in this city, thank you so much for your attendance. (Applause.) To Representative Donna Edwards, who is here and represents Maryland’s 4th District, thank you. (Applause.)

To Georgetown University students, it is great to be here. (Applause.) Well, it is good to be back. I appeared in this room during the campaign and had a wonderful reception then, and it’s wonderful to be back and be with all of you.

We’re going to talk about the economy today. And I was telling President DeGioia this may be a slightly longer speech than I usually give, but it’s a slightly bigger topic, and that is how we are going to deal with so many of our economic challenges.

You know, it’s been 12 weeks now since my administration began. And I think that even our critics would agree that at the very least, we’ve been busy. (Laughter.) In just under three months, we’ve responded to an extraordinary set of economic challenges with extraordinary action — action that’s been unprecedented both in terms of its scale and its speed.

And I know that some have accused us of taking on too much at once. Others believe we haven’t done enough. And many Americans are simply wondering how all of our different programs and policies fit together in a single, overarching strategy that will move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity.

So today, I want to step back for a moment and explain our strategy as clearly as I can. This is going to be prose, and not poetry. I want to talk about what we’ve done, why we’ve done it, and what we have left to do. I want to update you on the progress we’ve made, but I also want to be honest about the pitfalls that may still lie ahead.

Most of all, I want every American to know that each action we take and each policy we pursue is driven by a larger vision of America’s future — a future where sustained economic growth creates good jobs and rising incomes; a future where prosperity is fueled not by excessive debt, or reckless speculation, or fleeting profits, but is instead built by skilled, productive workers, by sound investments that will spread opportunity at home and allow this nation to lead the world in the technologies and the innovation and discoveries that will shape the 21st century. That’s the America I see. That’s the America that Georgetown is preparing so many of you for. That is the future that I know that we can have.

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