President Barack Obama addressed Congress and the nation tonight, warning that although it will take a long time for the flailing economy to mend, with courage and hard work, better economic times are on the horizon. Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress which was nationally televised. He gave a message of hope, but the President was clear he did not want to raise false expectations.
“If you haven’t been personally affected by this recession, you probably know someone who has,” Obama began.
“While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before,” Obama said to a rousing standing ovation.
“The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.”
Obama spoke about how we lived in an era where short-term gains became a priority. He warned that now is the time to act boldly and to invest in energy, education and health care. He hopes to create 3.5 million jobs in the private sector which includes constructing wind turbines and solar panels.
In the next few days, Obama said he will submit a budget to congress, which he sees as a vision for America. The budget will focus on three areas: renewable energy, health care and education. He added that to truly transform our planet, we need to make the energy that is profitable. To support that, Obama stressed that he would invest $15 billion a year on renewable energy technologies including biofuels, solar energy and wind energy. He also promised to double the nation’s supply of renewable energy within two years.
“That is why I will be asking Congress for a market based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of clean, renewable energy in Amercia,” Obama said.
Obama told Americans that if they have questions about the stimulus plan, they can go to Recovery.gov where they’ll be able to see how every penny is being spent. If you weren’t watching, Obama’s speech was met with multiple standing ovations.