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With the U.S. economy growing for the first time in a year, President
Barack Obama says the country is moving in the right direction. But the president admits
that prosperity still lies far ahead.
This week's report that
the U.S. gross domestic product grew by 3.5 percent from July to
September shows encouraging prospects for the nation's economy. For
President Obama, it's a welcome relief from months of bad economic news.
today, I am pleased to offer some better news that, while not cause for
celebration, is certainly reason to believe that we are moving in the
right direction," he said.
In his weekly Internet and radio
address, the president says some signs of a turnaround are due to his
$787 billion economic stimulus plan, which he says has saved or created
more than one million jobs.
"While we have a long way to go
before we return to prosperity, and there will undoubtedly be ups and
downs along the road, it is also true that we have come a long way,"
said Mr. Obama. "It is easy to forget that it was only several months
ago that the economy was shrinking rapidly and many economists feared
another Great Depression."
The president's optimism is tempered
by a 9.8 percent unemployment rate in September, the highest in 26
years. And the October report due next week could show joblessness
above 10 percent. Mr. Obama acknowledges that many Americans are still
hurting, but says progress has been made.
"We will not create
the jobs we need unless the economy is growing; that is why this GDP
report is a good sign," said the president. "And we can see clearly
now that the steps my administration is taking are making a difference,
blunting the worst of this recession and helping to bring about its
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One aspect of the president's economic plan, a
proposal to reform the way Americans pay for health care, is drawing
more criticism from opposition Republicans. In the party's weekly
message, House of Representatives Minority Leader John Boehner says the
bill being advocated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi will do more harm than
"Speaker Pelosi's health bill will raise the costs of
Americans' health insurance premiums, it will kill jobs with tax hikes
and new mandates, and it will cut seniors' Medicare benefits," he said.
Boehner says the Republicans' alternate plan for health reform would have several benefits the Democrats' plan does not.
one: Let families and businesses buy health insurance across state
lines," he said. "Number two: Allow individuals, small businesses and
trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at
lower prices, the same way large corporations and unions do today."
Boehner is also calling for limiting malpractice suits against doctors and hospitals.