Washington : US President Barack Obama assured Americans Tuesday that there were “signs of progress” towards recovery, while pleaded for more time and patience.
“We will recover from this recession,” Obama said at a prime-time news conference here. “But it will take time, it will take patience.”
He noted that “there are no quick fixes, and there are no silver bullets”.
“It’s important to remember that this crisis didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t result from any one action or decision. It took many years and many failures to lead us here. And it will take many months and many different solutions to lead us out,” he explained.
Obama, seeking to rally support for his economic plan at the conference, the second he has held since taking office in January, said his administration has put in place “a comprehensive strategy” to attack the current crisis on all fronts.
“It’s a strategy to create jobs, to help responsible homeowners, to restart lending and to grow our economy over the long term. And we are beginning to see signs of progress,” Obama said.
He promoted his $3.6 trillion budget, which has been assailed by Republicans for being too costly. “That’s why this budget is inseparable from this recovery — because it is what lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity,” said the president.
He said the first step his administration took was to pass a recovery plan to jump-start job creation and put money in people’s pockets.
“This plan’s already saved the jobs of teachers and police officers. It’s creating construction jobs to rebuild roads and bridges,” said Obama, referring to the $787 billion stimulus package passed last month.
The second step the administration took was to launch a plan to stabilize the housing market and help responsible homeowners stay in their homes.
“This plan’s one reason that mortgage interest rates are now at near historic lows,” Obama said. “We’ve already seen a jump in refinancing of some mortgages, as homeowners take advantage of lower rates. And every American should know that up to 40 percent of all mortgages are now eligible for refinancing.”
“This is the equivalent of another tax cut, and we’re also beginning to see signs of increased sales and stabilising home prices for the first time in a very long time,” the president added.
Obama’s appearance comes on the heels of the unveiling of the Treasury Department’s long-awaited toxic asset plan, which Obama said was one part of the third step to tackle the financial crisis and revive the ailing economy.
“The third part of our strategy is to restart the flow of credit to families and businesses,” said Obama, adding his government will “continue to do whatever is necessary in the weeks ahead to ensure the banks Americans depend on have the money they need to lend, even if the economy gets worse”.
“Finally, the most critical part of our strategy is to ensure that we do not return to an economic cycle of bubble and bust in this country,” he stressed.