He’s repeating a lot of what he said earlier in the year, but I still think selling idea of passing health care reform as essential to our long term economic strength is a tough pill to swallow for Independents.
What’s more, if this editorial would have dropped a few weeks ago it would have held a lot more weight because it wouldn’t be seen as a response to criticism. But now it feels defensive, and that’s not where Obama wants to be in this fight.
Nearly six months ago, my administration took office amid the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. At the time, we were losing, on average, 700,000 jobs a month. And many feared that our financial system was on the verge of collapse.
The swift and aggressive action we took in those first few months has helped pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink. We took steps to restart lending to families and businesses, stabilize our major financial institutions, and help homeowners stay in their homes and pay their mortgages. We also passed the most sweeping economic recovery plan in our nation’s history.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was not expected to restore the economy to full health on its own but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall. So far, it has done that. It was, from the start, a two-year program, and it will steadily save and create jobs as it ramps up over this summer and fall. We must let it work the way it’s supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity.
As to his overarching point of rebuilding the economy on more solid footing, he’s right. We’ve built an unsustainable path and it nearly took us down last year. And let’s be clear, it wasn’t just the banks. Soaring health care costs was a big part of why the car companies failed and why numerous big businesses will continue to fail in the coming years if something isn’t done about it. We all know that’s true, but some prefer to kick the can down the road.
Still, do I think he’s taking on too much too soon? Yes. It’s overwhelming and seems too rushed to be reasonable. And my guess is this is why he’s seeing Independent support continue to slip.
More as it develops…