And so I would ask people to be confident about their own futures. And that may mean, in some cases, spending now as investments for the future. There’s been a debate back home about our budget: In the midst of this crisis, should we deal with health care? Should we deal with energy? Should we deal with education? And one of the analogies I’ve used is a family who is having a difficult time — and I actually get letters like this occasionally from voters — one of our parents has lost their job, savings have declined, and so I’m wrestling with whether or not I should go to college because that will require me taking out a lot of debt, and maybe it would be more responsible for me to go find any job that I can to help the family.
And, you know, when I write back to those families or those individuals I say, well, you’ve obviously got to make these decisions yourself, but don’t shortchange the future because of fear in the present. That I think is the most important message that we can send not just in the United States but around the world.
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Barack is absolutely right. Surely the most important thing is that people, by the decisions that are made, can have confidence in the future — confidence to be able to make decisions about whether to save or to spend. And all the measures that we are taking — restructuring the banks, putting money into the economy, the public works, and of course the low-carbon activities that we’re encouraging as well — are designed to give people the confidence that their savings are safe, that we’ve sorted out the problems and are sorting out the problems in the banking system, that we have put resources into economic activity in the economy so that jobs can be solved and jobs can be created. And then people, as consumers, can make their own decisions about what they want to do.
And I think that’s the key to the future, that people can see that the problems are being addressed and they, themselves, can have the confidence either to save or to spend or to invest — have confidence in the future. And I believe that we can make a big step towards creating that confidence by some of the decisions that we can make together.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: All right?
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: George. Fine.
Q Thank you. George Pascoe-Watson from The Sun. Mr. President, as President you won with a landslide. Have you got any advice for Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister? (Laughter.) Secondly, what are your things you like most about Great Britain and London? And lastly, England are playing in a World Cup qualifying match in soccer, a game you love. Have you got any good — good luck message for the England team tonight?