Tags: Obama!, president's weekly address, video economy
I was shocked to see that so few people are watching President Obama’s Weekly Addresses. Today’s numbers are embarrassing.
Come on, people! You finally have a President who can and does speak. Spending four to five minutes listening to what he’s got to say is the least you can do.
I have put a link to the WhiteHouse@Youtube in the side bar under “News & Information.”
Tags: Economy, federal government, Obama!, president's weekly address
In his Saturday, January 24, 2009 video address, President Obama talks about his administration’s intentions with respect to rescuing the national economy. The transcript is available here.
As President Obama mentions in his address, Recovery.gov will be the go-to website for information about implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act once it has passed the House and Senate and is signed into law.
Right now the website has essentially an “opening soon” sign up and says, “An oversight board will routinely update this site as part of an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government.”
When I saw that link to USA.gov I laughed. A gentle reminder from our good president that he is not doing this all by himself? Subtle encouragement for us to look to wider resources for answers than just the White House?
It’s a small thing to put up those additional links but it’s in the small things that we see that someone is paying attention.
Whoever is in charge of putting together these websites, they’re doing a swell job so far.
Tags: government, HUD, Obama!, Weekly Radio Address
President-Elect Obama, focusing on a key component of getting our economy back on track — ending the mortgage crisis — announces Shaun Donovan, a former Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development in New York City, to be his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Radio Address on the Economy
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Earlier this week, we learned that the number of Americans filing their first claim for unemployment insurance rose to a nearly 30-year high. This news reflects the pain that’s been rippling across our entire economy. Jobs are being cut. Wages are being slashed. Credit is tight and people can’t get loans. In cities and towns all across this country, families enter a holiday season with unease and uncertainty.
To end this economic crisis, we must end the mortgage crisis where it began. This all started when Americans took out mortgages they couldn’t afford. Some were reckless, aware of the risks they were accepting, but many were innocent, tricked by lenders out to make a quick buck. With banks creating securities they could not value, and regulators looking the other way, the problem began infecting the whole economy, leading to the crisis we’re now facing.
One in ten families who owns a home is now in some form of distress, the most ever recorded. This is deeply troubling. It not only shakes the foundation of our economy, but the foundation of the American Dream. There is nothing more fundamental than having a home to call your own. It’s not just a place to live or raise your children or return after a hard day’s work — it’s the cornerstone of a family’s financial security.
To stem the rising tide of foreclosures and strengthen our economy, I’ve asked my economic team to develop a bold plan that will dramatically increase the number of families who can stay in their homes. But this plan will only work with a comprehensive, coordinated federal effort to make it a reality. We need every part of our government working together — from the Treasury Department to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the agency that protects the money you’ve put in the bank. And few will be more essential to this effort than the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
From providing shelter to those displaced by Katrina to giving help to those facing the loss of a home to revitalizing our cities and communities, HUD’s role has never been more important. Since its founding, HUD has been dedicated to tearing down barriers in access to affordable housing — in an effort to make America more equal and more just. Too often, these efforts have had mixed results.
That is why we cannot keep doing things the old Washington way. We cannot keep throwing money at the problem, hoping for a different result. We need to approach the old challenge of affordable housing with new energy, new ideas, and a new, efficient style of leadership. We need to understand that the old ways of looking at our cities just won’t do. That means promoting cities as the backbone of regional growth by not only solving the problems in our cities, but seizing the opportunities in our growing suburbs, exurbs, and metropolitan areas. No one knows this better than the outstanding public servant I am announcing today as our next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — Shaun Donovan.
As Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development in New York City, Shaun has led the effort to create the largest housing plan in the nation, helping hundreds of thousands of our citizens buy or rent their homes. Prior to joining Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, Shaun worked both in business, where he was responsible for affordable housing investments, and at one of our nation’s top universities, where he researched and wrote about housing issues. This appointment represents something of a homecoming for Shaun, who worked at HUD in the Clinton administration, leading an effort to help make housing affordable for nearly two million Americans. Trained as an architect, Shaun understands housing down to how homes are designed, built, and wired.
With experience that stretches from the public sector to the private sector to academia, Shaun will bring to this important post fresh thinking, unencumbered by old ideology and outdated ideas. He understands that we need to move past the stale arguments that say low-income Americans shouldn’t even try to own a home or that our mortgage crisis is due solely to a few greedy lenders. He knows that we can put the dream of owning a home within reach for more families, so long as we’re making loans in the right way, and so long as those who buy a home are prepared for the responsibilities of homeownership.
In the end, expanding access to affordable housing isn’t just about caring for the least fortunate among us and strengthening our middle class — it’s about ending our housing mess, climbing out of our financial crisis, and putting our economy on the path to long-term growth and prosperity. And that is what Shaun and I will work to do together when I am President of the United States.
Tags: government, Obama!, radio address
Go here for the transcript if you can’t watch video or if you like to read along, be sure you’re hearing what you’re hearing.
President-Elect Obama lays out “a few key parts” of his plan:
First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.
Second, we will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.
Third, my economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen. We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.
As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.