the world on behalf of the administration — some of you do have an idea — but it has a profound impact on our ability to do business around the world.
But, folks, there’s a lot left to do. We got to put this last piece in place. We don’t have the credit rolling like we should yet. That’s a push, but we’re on our way. We’ve got a stimulus package in place that’s actually beginning to impact on people’s lives. Every major economist in the nation has said that if we did nothing, we’d lose another 4 to 5 million jobs.
This President inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any President, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt. Let me explain what I mean about that. It was clear the problem that Roosevelt inherited. This is a more complicated economic calculus. We’ve never, ever, ever been here before, here or in the world. Never have we been here before — banks leverage 30 to 1, or us being in a position where derivatives — we’re just trying — most Americans are trying to figure out what that means.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to do this. We’re going to get this straight. And I’ve watched this guy, with a sense of relish, take on these responsibilities, and take them on head on. But there’s one more piece, and we need your help — we need your help on — not about money; it’s about your influence, it’s about your voice. And that’s this budget.
Our friends in the right talk about we can’t afford this budget. Well, I can say without equivocation, and I speak for Barack Obama when I say we can’t afford not to have this budget. There’s four pieces in this budget. (Applause.) Let’s get it straight. If we do not gain control of health care costs, there is not a single, solitary thing we can do to gain control of our fiscal house.
When you have health care costs rising 53 percent and wages for the middle class 3 percent over the last eight years, it is fundamentally unsustainable. So this is not about — this is not about a moral imperative; this is about economic stability. Tell me, if anyone believes we can lay a foundation for the 21st century without gaining control of an energy policy — any possibility? Any? There is none — none.
And if we don’t become, once again, the best educated country in the world — which we are not — as my wife is fond of saying, if a country out-educates us, they will out-compete us. (Applause.)
And lastly, if we don’t tie in — if we don’t tie into this budget the economic discipline to gain control — because we pay for everything we ask for; this is the first honest budget in 20 years. We list the cost of the war — hasn’t been done. We list the probable cost of natural disasters, which you know are coming and no President has. We list every single reasonable cost we will incur, and we state forthrightly how