Obama Urges Patience on Economic Recovery


Kent Klein

President Barack Obama says his economic recovery plan is working as intended.  But the president cautions that it will take more time for the stimulus to have its full effect.  

President Obama says that his administration's swift and aggressive action early this year has helped pull the U.S. economy and financial system "back from the brink."

While traveling overseas, the president is focusing his weekly address on the domestic economy.

He says the Recovery Act was not intended to restore the economy alone, but to help stop its free fall.

"It was designed to spur demand and get people spending again and cushion those who had borne the brunt of the crisis.  And it was designed to save jobs and create new ones.  In a little over 100 days, this Recovery Act has worked as intended," he said.

Mr. Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan took effect in February.  He says it has prevented further job losses, extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs, and given $43 billion in tax relief.

In Saturday's address, the president says the plan's critics are being proven wrong, and there are no plans for another stimulus package.

"Today, some of those same critics are already judging the effort a failure, although they have not yet offered a plausible alternative," he said. "Others believed that the recovery plan should have been even larger, and are already calling for a second recovery plan."

One of most vocal critics of the president's Recovery Act is Republican Congressman Eric Cantor of the Eastern state of Virginia.  

"But the plain truth is that President Obama's economic decisions have not produced jobs, have not produced prosperity, and simply have not worked," he said.

In the weekly Republican message, Cantor says the Recovery Act is full of irresponsible spending, government waste and massive borrowing, and is causing trillions of dollars in new debt.

He says Mr. Obama can no longer blame former President George W. Bush for America's economic woes.

"Simply put, this is now President Obama's economy, and the American people are beginning to question whether his policies are working," he said.

Mr. Obama says despite the plan's early successes, it will take some time for the stimulus money to be spent and for unemployment to recede.

"But as I made clear at the time it was passed, the Recovery Act was not designed to work in four months.  It was designed to work over two years."

Mr. Obama returns to the White House on Sunday, after a week-long trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana.

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