- The Washington Post

Which candidate do you agree with on...

Economy

Issue Position |

The United States was losing more than 700,000 jobs per month when Obama took office. Roughly one month after his inauguration, he signed a stimulus bill that included direct spending for infrastructure, education, health, and energy. The measure also provided federal tax incentives and expanded social welfare provisions, including unemployment benefits.

Obama approved $55 billion for a second round of bailout funding for U.S. automakers GM and Chrysler in March 2009, adding to the $25 billion President George W. Bush signed off on before leaving office. He also appointed a “car czar” who oversaw the post-bankruptcy restructuring of those companies, resulting in management shake-ups, an overhaul of product lines, and large shares of both automakers going to a UAW pension fund.

The U.S. jobs picture has improved in recent years, with the nation experiencing slow but unbroken growth since March 2010. Still, labor force participation remains a deep concern, as the rate has dropped lower this year than any time since Obama took office in 2009 -- and lower overall than any time since 1981.

Endorse

Obama on Economy
0 Comments

Reader Endorsements

There are no comments.

Obama's Statements (1224)

January 17, 2010
Because I don’t need to tell you we're in tough times right now.  We’re still dealing with an economic crisis unlike any that we’ve seen since the Great Depression.  It’s done a lot of damage to so many people.  And even before that storm hit with its full fury, middle-class families were weathering tough economic times, throughout this past decade, working harder and harder just to keep up.  So people are frustrated and they're angry, and they have every right to be.  I understand.  Because progress is slow, and no matter how much progress we make, it can’t come fast enough for the people who need help right now, today. 
Request a Fact Check
January 17, 2010
Let me just say, by the way, because you'll hear a lot of stuff about taxes.  You always do, every election. Last year, I kept a campaign promise to cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans.    Cut taxes.  And these members of Congress right here voted to cut taxes here in the commonwealth not just for individuals, but also for small businesses.  We cut taxes for middle-class families.  That was part of the Recovery Act.    Now, you better check  under the hood -- because from everything I see, Martha’s opponent would have voted against those taxes -- he would have voted against those tax cuts.  Would have voted against those tax cuts.
Request a Fact Check
January 17, 2010
Now, Massachusetts, we have had one year to make up for eight.  It hasn’t been quick.  It hasn’t been easy.  But we've begun to deliver on the change you voted for.  I mean, think about it, what some of these members that I just talked about have done, what we've done just over the last several months.  We've started to see the economy grow again.  We've given tax cuts to small businesses.  We're forcing the banks finally to start lending again on Main Street, and not just worried about profits.  We've made sure that police officers and teachers and critical workers across this commonwealth haven't been laid off. But we've got so much more work to do.  So many families are out there hurting.
Request a Fact Check
January 17, 2010
And if you do that, if you do that, if you are willing not only to cast your vote for Martha Coakley, but if you're willing to get out the vote for Martha Coakley -- then you won’t just win this election.  You will carry on the best, progressive, forward-looking values of this proud commonwealth and send a leader to Washington who is going to work tirelessly every single day to turn this economy around, to move this country forward, and to keep the American Dream alive in our time and for all time. 
Request a Fact Check
January 20, 2010
That's exactly what the memorandum I'm issuing today is meant to do.  I'm directing my budget office, together with the Treasury Department and other federal agencies, to take steps to block contractors who are seriously delinquent in their taxes from receiving new government contracts.  I'm also directing the IRS to conduct a review of the overall accuracy of companies' claims about tax delinquencies.  We need to be sure that when a company says it's paying taxes, that company is, in fact, paying taxes.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
And that's why, even as we worked to rescue our broader economy last year, we took some steps to help.  We cut taxes, as Joe mentioned, for workers and small businesses.  We extended unemployment insurance and health benefits for those who lost their jobs.  We provided aid to local governments so you could keep essential services running and keep cops and firefighters and teachers who make your cities safe places to grow and to learn on your payroll.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
Last month, I announced some additional targeted steps to spur private sector hiring and boost small businesses by building on the tax cuts in the Recovery Act and increasing access to the loans they desperately need to grow.  I said we'd rebuild and modernize even more of our transportation and communication networks across the country, in addition to the infrastructure projects that are already scheduled to come online this year.  I called for the extension of emergency relief to help hurting Americans who've lost their jobs.  And you can expect a continued, sustained and relentless effort to create good jobs for the American people.  I will not rest until we've gotten there. 
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
This economic crisis began as a financial crisis, when banks and financial institutions took huge, reckless risks in pursuit of quick profits and massive bonuses.  When the dust settled, and this binge of irresponsibility was over, several of the world's oldest and largest financial institutions had collapsed, or were on the verge of doing so.  Markets plummeted, credit dried up, and jobs were vanishing by the hundreds of thousands each month. We were on the precipice of a second Great Depression.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
To avoid this calamity, the American people -- who were already struggling in their own right -- were forced to rescue financial firms facing crises largely of their own creation.  And that rescue, undertaken by the previous administration, was deeply offensive but it was a necessary thing to do, and it succeeded in stabilizing the financial system and helping to avert that depression.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
Since that time, over the past year, my administration has recovered most of what the federal government provided to banks. And last week, I proposed a fee to be paid by the largest financial firms in order to recover every last dime.  But that's not all we have to do.  We have to enact common-sense reforms that will protect American taxpayers -– and the American economy -– from future crises as well.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
Now, limits on the risks major financial firms can take are central to the reforms that I've proposed.  They are central to the legislation that has passed the House under the leadership of Chairman Barney Frank, and that we're working to pass in the Senate under the leadership of Chairman Chris Dodd.  As part of these efforts, today I'm proposing two additional reforms that I believe will strengthen the financial system while preventing future crises.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
First, we should no longer allow banks to stray too far from their central mission of serving their customers.  In recent years, too many financial firms have put taxpayer money at risk by operating hedge funds and private equity funds and making riskier investments to reap a quick reward.  And these firms have taken these risks while benefiting from special financial privileges that are reserved only for banks.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
But these privileges were not created to bestow banks operating hedge funds or private equity funds with an unfair advantage.  When banks benefit from the safety net that taxpayers provide –- which includes lower-cost capital –- it is not appropriate for them to turn around and use that cheap money to trade for profit.  And that is especially true when this kind of trading often puts banks in direct conflict with their customers' interests.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
The fact is, these kinds of trading operations can create enormous and costly risks, endangering the entire bank if things go wrong.  We simply cannot accept a system in which hedge funds or private equity firms inside banks can place huge, risky bets that are subsidized by taxpayers and that could pose a conflict of interest.  And we cannot accept a system in which shareholders make money on these operations if the bank wins but taxpayers foot the bill if the bank loses.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
It's for these reasons that I'm proposing a simple and common-sense reform, which we're calling the "Volcker Rule" -- after this tall guy behind me.  Banks will no longer be allowed to own, invest, or sponsor hedge funds, private equity funds, or proprietary trading operations for their own profit, unrelated to serving their customers.  If financial firms want to trade for profit, that's something they're free to do.  Indeed, doing so –- responsibly –- is a good thing for the markets and the economy.  But these firms should not be allowed to run these hedge funds and private equities funds while running a bank backed by the American people.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
My message to members of Congress of both parties is that we have to get this done.  And my message to leaders of the financial industry is to work with us, and not against us, on needed reforms.  I welcome constructive input from folks in the financial sector.  But what we've seen so far, in recent weeks, is an army of industry lobbyists from Wall Street descending on Capitol Hill to try and block basic and common-sense rules of the road that would protect our economy and the American people.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2010
We've come through a terrible crisis.  The American people have paid a very high price.  We simply cannot return to business as usual.  That's why we're going to ensure that Wall Street pays back the American people for the bailout.  That's why we're going to rein in the excess and abuse that nearly brought down our financial system.  That's why we're going to pass these reforms into law.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
I knew it would be unpopular -- and rightly so.  But I also knew that we had to do it because if they went down, your local banks would have gone down.  And if the financial system went down, it would have taken the entire economy and millions more families and businesses with it.  We would have looked -- we would have been looking at a second Great Depression.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
So we said, if you're willing to take some tough and painful steps to make yourself more competitive, we're willing to invest in your future.  And earlier this week, we heard that the auto industry planned to make almost 3 million cars and trucks here in North America in the next three months, which is up 69 percent from the first three months of last year. 
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
We also passed a Recovery Act to pull our economy back from the brink.  Now, there's been a lot of misunderstanding about this Recovery Act.  Sherrod and Marcy and Betty and I were talking about this on the way over here.  If you ask the average person, what was the Recovery Act, the stimulus package, they'd say, "the bank bailout."  So let me just be clear here:  The Recovery Act was cutting taxes for 95 percent of working families -- 15 different tax cuts for working families, seven different tax cuts for small businesses so they can start up and grow and hire.  The Recovery Act was extending and increasing unemployment insurance and making COBRA available at a cheaper rate for people who had lost their jobs so they could keep their health care. 
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
Now, let me tell you why I did it.  I knew that insurance premiums had more than doubled in the past decade.  I knew that out-of-pocket expenses had skyrocketed.  I knew that millions more people had lost their insurance, and I knew that because of that economic crisis that was only going to get worse.  When you lose 7 million jobs, like we lost over the last two years, what do you think happens to those folks' health insurance?  What happens when their COBRA runs out?
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
I took this up because I wanted to ease the burdens on all the families and small businesses that can't afford to pay outrageous rates.  And I wanted to protect mothers and fathers and children by being targeted by some of the worst practices of the insurance industry that I had heard time and time again as I traveled through this country. 
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
So if I was trying to take the path of least resistance, I would have done something a lot easier.  But I'm trying to solve the problems that folks here in Ohio and across this country face every day.  And I'm not going to walk away just because it's hard.  We are going to keep on working to get this done -- with Democrats, I hope with Republicans -- anybody who's willing to step up.  Because I'm not going to watch more people get crushed by costs or denied care they need by insurance company bureaucrats.  I'm not going to have insurance companies click their heels and watch their stocks skyrocket because once again there's no control on what they do.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
So long as I have some breath in me, so long as I have the privilege of serving as your President, I will not stop fighting for you.  I will take my lumps, but I won't stop fighting to bring back jobs here.    I won't stop fighting for an economy where hard work is rewarded.  I won't stop fighting to make sure there's accountability in our financial system.    I'm not going to stop fighting until we have jobs for everybody.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
But it's going to be a fight.  You watch.  I guarantee you when we start on financial regulatory reform, trying to change the rules to prevent what has caused so much heartache all across the country, there are people who are goIng to say, "Why is he meddling in government -- why is meddling in the financial industry?  It's another example of Obama being big government."
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
Now, we're not going to make -- I want to be honest.  Not all the manufacturing jobs that have gone are going to come back.  And if people tell you they are, that's just not true -- because a lot of that has moved to places where the wages are just much lower.  And I know that some people say, well, then we should just set up tariffs so that folks can't ship them in.  But these days the economy, the global economy is so interconnected that that's just not a practical solution.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
So what we've tried to do is to fill some of these gaps in the meantime.  For example, our small business lending through the SBA has actually gone up 70 percent.  And we've been waiving fees, increasing guarantees, and what we're trying to do is streamline the process for SBA loans because right now there's just too much paperwork.  It's typical government not having caught up with the 21st century.  And you can't have a 50-pound application form.  People just -- after a while, it's not worth it, in some cases.  So we're trying to do all those things.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
So you've got all these insurance reforms that we're trying to get passed.  Now, some people ask, well, why don't you just pass that and forget everything else?  Here's the problem.  Let's just take the example of preexisting conditions.  We can't prohibit insurance companies from preventing people with preexisting conditions getting insurance unless everybody essentially has insurance.  And the reason for that is otherwise what would happen is people would just -- just wouldn't get insurance until they were sick and then they'd go and buy insurance and they couldn't be prohibited.  And that would drive everybody else's premiums up.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
So the second thing we've been trying to do is to make sure that we're setting up an exchange, which is just a big pool so that people who are individuals, who are self employed, who are small business owners, they can essentially join a big pool of millions of people all across the country, which means that when you go to negotiate with your insurance company you've got the purchasing power of a Ford or a GM or Wal-Mart or a Xerox or the federal employees.  That's why federal employees have good insurance, and county employees and state employees have good insurance, in part is because they're part of this big pool.
Request a Fact Check
January 22, 2010
You asked about Social Security.  Let me talk about Medicare.  Medicare will be broke in eight years if we do nothing.  Right now we give -- we give about $17 billion in subsidies to insurance companies through the Medicare system -- your tax dollars.  But when we tried to eliminate them, suddenly there were ads on TV -- "Oh, Obama is trying to cut Medicare."  I get all these seniors writing letters:  "Why are you trying to cut my Medicare benefits?"  I'm not trying to cut your Medicare benefits.  I'm trying to stop paying these insurance companies all this money so I can give you a more stable program.
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2010
Well, I wanted to stop by to comment on all the great work that the Middle Class Task Force is doing.  And you've just seen why Joe is the right person to do it.  No one brings to the table the same combination of personal experience and substantive expertise.  He's come a long way, and achieved incredible things along the ride, but he's never forgotten where he came from and his roots as a working-class kid from Scranton.  He's devoted his life to making the American Dream a reality for everyone –- because he's lived it.
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2010
Now, we all know what that American Dream is.  It's the idea that in America we can make of our lives what we will.  It's the idea that if you work hard and live up to your responsibilities, you can get ahead -– and enjoy some of the basic guarantees in life:  A good job that pays a good wage, health care that'll be there when you get sick, a secure retirement even if you're not rich, an education that will give our kids a better life than we had.  They're very simple ideas.  But they're the ideas that are at the heart of our middle class –- the middle class that made the 20th century the American Century.
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2010
For two years, Joe and I traveled this country and we heard stories that are all too familiar:  stories of Americans barely able to stay afloat despite working harder and harder for less; premiums that were doubling, tuition fees that were rising almost as fast; savings being used up, retirements put off, dreams put on hold.  That was all before the middle class got pounded by the full fury of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2010
So we're going to keep fighting to rebuild our economy so that hard work is once again rewarded, wages and incomes are once again rising, and the middle class is once again growing.  And above all, we're going to keep fighting to renew the American Dream and keep it alive -- not just in our time, but for all time.
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2010
Today the average debt of a graduating senior from college -- now, listen -- the average debt -- people of my generation -- the average debt is $23,000.  That is literally $2,000 more than my first house cost.  But in any standard, it's a lot of money -- average debt.  Some are graduating with a great deal more debt than that.
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt.  Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression.  So we acted -– immediately and aggressively.  And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
But when I ran for President, I promised I wouldn't just do what was popular -– I would do what was necessary.  And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today.  More businesses would certainly have closed.  More homes would have surely been lost.
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
Now, let me repeat:  We cut taxes.  We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families.    We cut taxes for small businesses.  We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers.  We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children.  We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. 
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act.    That's right -– the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill.    Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster.  But you don't have to take their word for it.  Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its workforce because of the Recovery Act.  Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created.  Talk to the single teacher raising two kids who was told by her principal in the last week of school that because of the Recovery Act, she wouldn't be laid off after all.
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
We should start where most new jobs do –- in small businesses, companies that begin when -- companies that begin when an entrepreneur -- when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream, or a worker decides it's time she became her own boss.  Through sheer grit and determination, these companies have weathered the recession and they're ready to grow.  But when you talk to small businessowners in places like Allentown, Pennsylvania, or Elyria, Ohio, you find out that even though banks on Wall Street are lending again, they're mostly lending to bigger companies.  Financing remains difficult for small businessowners across the country, even those that are making a profit.
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.   I'm also proposing a new small business tax credit -– one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages.    While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, and provide a tax incentive for all large businesses and all small businesses to invest in new plants and equipment. 
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
We can't afford another so-called economic "expansion" like the one from the last decade –- what some call the "lost decade" -– where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion; where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs; where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation.
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
Now, the House has already passed financial reform with many of these changes.    And the lobbyists are trying to kill it.  But we cannot let them win this fight.    And if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back until we get it right.  We've got to get it right. 
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy.  I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.  But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.  And America must be that nation. 
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
Third, we need to export more of our goods.    Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America.    So tonight, we set a new goal:  We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America.    To help meet this goal, we're launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security. 
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
Now, the price of college tuition is just one of the burdens facing the middle class.  That's why last year I asked Vice President Biden to chair a task force on middle-class families.  That's why we're nearly doubling the child care tax credit, and making it easier to save for retirement by giving access to every worker a retirement account and expanding the tax credit for those who start a nest egg.  That's why we're working to lift the value of a family's single largest investment –- their home.  The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments.
Request a Fact Check
January 27, 2010
After nearly a century of trying -- Democratic administrations, Republican administrations -- we are closer than ever to bringing more security to the lives of so many Americans.  The approach we've taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry.  It would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market.  It would require every insurance plan to cover preventive care.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
And Tampa, like so many communities across our country, has felt the lash of shuttered businesses and lost jobs and home foreclosures and vanished or dwindling savings.  And this storm came at the end of what some call a lost decade -- because what happened between 2000 and now, it was a decade in which paychecks shrank and jobs barely grew, and the costs of everything from health care to college education went up.  Irresponsibility from Wall Street to Washington left good, responsible Americans who did everything right still struggling in ways they never imagined.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
Joe and I took office in the middle of this raging storm.  We ran for office, the highest office, because we had been hearing stories like this day in, day out, for years, even before the financial crisis hit.  So we're not going to rest until we rebuild an economy in which hard work and responsibility are rewarded, and businesses are hiring again, and wages are growing again, and the middle class can get its legs underneath it again.    We will not rest until we build an economy that's ready for America's future.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
Now, to do that, the first thing we had to do was break the back of this recession.  And that required some tough, in some cases unpopular but unnecessary -- all which were necessary steps.  I mean -- I mentioned this last night -- none of us wanted to have to stabilize the banking sector, particularly since they helped create this mess.    But, as I explained last night, if we hadn't, the financial system literally could have melted down and that would have taken our entire economy and millions more families and businesses with it.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
The true engines of job creation here in America are America's businesses.  And there are several steps we can take to help them expand and hire new workers.  Last night I proposed taking $30 billion of the money that went to Wall Street banks but have now been repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.    That will help.  I also proposed a new tax credit for more than 1 million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages.  And while we're at it, I believe that we should eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, and provide a tax incentive for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment. 
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
We won't stop fighting to spark innovation and ignite a clean energy economy where America's workers are building solar panels and wind towers and cutting-edge batteries for automobiles -- because the nation that leads the clean energy revolution will be the nation that leads the global economy.    And, as I said last night, other countries aren't waiting.  They want those jobs.  China wants those jobs.  Germany wants those jobs.  They are going after them hard, making the investments required.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
I just want to be clear here, for the benefit of my friends in the back.    We need a strong financial sector.  Without it, businesses can't get capital to grow and create jobs.  Families can't finance a home loan or education.  So we want a healthy financial sector.  And there are folks all across the country working in banks who are doing great service to their community.  But we also need some rules of the road for Wall Street, so that reckless decisions made by a few don't take our economy over the side.    That's common sense.  There's nothing radical about that.  In fact, the banks should want it because it would create greater stability in the system.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
And, yes, we will not stop fighting for a health care system that works for the American people, not just for the insurance industry.    We won't stop.  We want a system where you can't be denied care if you have a preexisting condition.    You can't get thrown off your insurance right at the time when you get seriously ill.  We want a system where small businesses can get insurance at a price they can afford. 
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
Nobody pays more than small businesses and individuals who are self-employed in the insurance market, because they've got no leverage.  We want to change that by allowing them to be able to set up a pool.  We want to make sure that people who don't have coverage can find an affordable choice in a competitive marketplace.    We want a system in which seniors don't have these huge gaps in their Medicare prescription drug coverage -- and where Medicare itself is on a sounder financial footing.  Those are the things that we're fighting for.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
So that, you know, "you lose, I win" mentality, that mindset may be good for short-term politics, but it's not a mindset that's equal to these times.    It's not worthy of you.  What you deserve is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences, overcome our politics, do what is hard, do what is necessary to advance the American Dream and keep it alive for our time and for all time. 
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
Well, this is a good question.  Look, first of all, you should be aware that we have increased SBA loans during the course of this year by 70 percent in some cases.  So some of the key programs for businesses like yours we have massively increased their lending.  And by the way, we've waived some of the fees and red tape that are associated with you getting a loan from the SBA.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
Keep in mind, a small business loan of any sort, or a large business loan of any sort requires some sense of, all right, what's the business plan, what are your projected earnings, et cetera, et cetera.  And somebody has got to do that.  Now, if the SBA were to suddenly take over that entire function we'd have to stand up a massive bureaucracy -- a huge one.  And we'd have to train all those people and it would take too long, and you'd be frustrated -- why is it that this big government agency can't seem to run anything?
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2010
Look, let me take the example of health care.  Part of the reason why it's so easy to scare people about health care, even if they don't like it the way it is now, is because you've got doctors, you've got nurses, you've got hospitals, you've got insurance systems, you've got Medicaid, you've got Medicare, you've got the VA system -- all these systems constitute several trillion dollars, one-sixth of our economy.  Even if you come up with a great plan that lowers premiums and creates greater competition and ensures freedom for you to choose your doctor and is bringing down the deficit -- all the things that I've claimed -- and prevents insurance companies from abusing customers -- even if we do all that, there's going to be somebody out there in a $2 trillion system who's unhappy with something.  Right?
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
And the fact is we're standing in a very different place than we were just a year ago.  Just last year, businesses were cutting 700,000 jobs per month.  The markets were plummeting.  Many people feared another Great Depression.  Today, we've stopped the flood of job losses, we've stabilized the financial system, and we can safely say that we've avoided that looming depression.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
We cut taxes for college students and first-time homebuyers and small businesses.  We made health insurance cheaper through COBRA.  So some of you know friends or family members who've lost their jobs but they kept their health insurance because COBRA was 65 percent cheaper than it would have otherwise been.  And we extended unemployment insurance for folks who have lost their jobs, including more than 200,000 people here in Maryland.  We've created and saved 2 million jobs.  That's 2 million teachers and firefighters, police officers, builders, manufacturing workers, and others who are on the job today because of some of the steps that we took.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
Now, even though the storms of the past two years are starting to lessen, the wreckage that's been left behind remains.  While the Recovery Act has created and saved 2 million jobs, this recession has cost us 7 million jobs.  So there's still a big gap -- still a big hole that we have to fill.  And it represents a terrible human tragedy, as families are thrown into hardship and uncertainty.  But the good news is, today's report means that we're increasing GDP, we're increasing economic growth.  That means businesses are going to start to see more customers, and hopefully even here at Chesapeake you might start seeing enough orders that you start needing to hire that extra shift.  That could make a big difference.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
Today, I'm proposing what I believe is the best way to cut taxes while promoting hiring by small businesses:  through a tax credit for companies that add workers or increase salaries this year.  Now is the perfect time for this kind of incentive because the economy is growing, but businesses are still hesitant to start hiring again.  The economy is growing, but job growth is lagging.  Companies are recovering but not yet taking that next step and taking on somebody full time.  And while businesses will always be the engines of job creation in this country, government can create the conditions for those businesses to expand and hire more workers.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
So this is a simple, easy to understand mechanism that will cut taxes for more than 1 million small businesses.  It'll give them an incentive to hire more people and a little bit of extra money to pay higher wages, to expand work hours, or invest in their company.  And in order to get this incentive working quickly, employers would actually be able to receive this money every quarter, as opposed to waiting a whole year to see it benefit their taxes.  So the Chesapeake Machine Company is a perfect example.  I understand, Terry, that you may be thinking about hiring a couple of new workers this year.  Well, this tax credit could help you do it and it would mean $5,000 per worker that you hire.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
Now, it's true that in some instances this tax credit will go to businesses that were going to hire folks anyway.  But then, it simply becomes a tax cut for small businesses that will spur investment and expansion.  And that's a good thing, too.  And that's why this type of tax cut is considered by economists -- who rarely agree on anything -- to be one of the most cost-effective ways of accelerating job growth, especially because we will include provisions to prevent people from gaming the system.  So, for example, you won't get a tax credit for doubling your workforce while cutting the hours of each worker in half.  We're not going to let you game the system to take advantage of the tax credit, unless you're doing right by your workers.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
All of this is going to create jobs in the short term, while helping our economy in the long run.  And I've proposed taking some of the money that went to the big banks on Wall Street to help bolster the financial system and give it to smaller community banks that lend to small businesses like Chesapeake, because too many companies that I'm seeing out there  still can't find affordable credit.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
The House of Representatives has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these proposals.  I expect the Senate to do the same.  I'm open to any good ideas from Democrats or Republicans.  In fact, several members of Congress have proposed tax breaks for businesses similar to what I've proposed, and I'm looking forward to working with them.  The key thing is it's time to put America back to work.   We've had two very tough years.  And while these proposals will create jobs all across America, we've got a long way to go to make up for the millions of jobs that we lost in this recession.  And I don’t have to tell folks in Baltimore that even before this recession hit, the middle class was facing real hardships:  stagnant incomes, rising costs, growing economic security [sic].  So rebuilding this economy and rebuilding -- and rebuilding it stronger than before -- will take time and it's going to take hard work and vigilance.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
In good times and bad, through storms and still waters, men like you have gotten up and women like you have gotten up and gone to work and put in long days and headed home.  You're a little tired, but you're glad for the opportunity to make a living, while helping this country become the most productive, innovative economy in the world.  Small businesses have powered our economy in the past.  They are fostering our recovery today.  I have no doubt if we support you that small businesses like this one will lead us to more prosperous days ahead.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
So we have a track record of working together.  It is possible.  But, as John, you mentioned, on some very big things, we've seen party-line votes that, I'm just going to be honest, were disappointing.  Let's start with our efforts to jumpstart the economy last winter, when we were losing 700,000 jobs a month.  Our financial system teetered on the brink of collapse and the threat of a second Great Depression loomed large.  I didn't understand then, and I still don't understand, why we got opposition in this caucus for almost $300 billion in badly needed tax cuts for the American people, or COBRA coverage to help Americans who've lost jobs in this recession to keep the health insurance that they desperately needed, or opposition to putting Americans to work laying broadband and rebuilding roads and bridges and breaking ground on new construction projects.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
So, today, in line with what I stated at the State of the Union, I've proposed a new jobs tax credit for small business.  And here's how it would work.  Employers would get a tax credit of up to $5,000 for every employee they add in 2010.  They'd get a tax break for increases in wages, as well.  So, if you raise wages for employees making under $100,000, we'd refund part of your payroll tax for every dollar you increase those wages faster than inflation.  It's a simple concept.  It's easy to understand.  It would cut taxes for more than 1 million small businesses.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
So I hope you join me.  Let's get this done.  I want to eliminate the capital gains tax for small business investment, and take some of the bailout money the Wall Street banks have returned and use it to help community banks start lending to small businesses again.  So join me.  I am confident that we can do this together for the American people.  And there's nothing in that proposal that runs contrary to the ideological predispositions of this caucus.  The question is:  What's going to keep us from getting this done?
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
I've proposed a modest fee on the nation's largest banks and financial institutions to fully recover for taxpayers' money that they provided to the financial sector when it was teetering on the brink of collapse.  And it's designed to discourage them from taking reckless risks in the future.  If you listen to the American people, John, they'll tell you they want their money back.  Let's do this together, Republicans and Democrats.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
A number of you have suggested creating pools where self-employed and small businesses could buy insurance.  That was a good idea.  I embraced it.  Some of you supported efforts to provide insurance to children and let kids remain covered on their parents' insurance until they're 25 or 26.  I supported that.  That's part of our package.  I supported a number of other ideas, from incentivizing wellness to creating an affordable catastrophic insurance option for young people that came from Republicans like Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe in the Senate, and I'm sure from some of you as well.  So when you say I ought to be willing to accept Republican ideas on health care, let's be clear:  I have.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
So I mean, I think we can score political points on the basis of the fact that we underestimated how severe the job losses were going to be.  But those job losses took place before any stimulus, whether it was the ones that you guys have proposed or the ones that we proposed, could have ever taken into effect.  Now, that's just the fact, Mike, and I don't think anybody would dispute that.  You could not find an economist who would dispute that.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
The package that we put together at the beginning of the year, the truth is, should have reflected -- and I believe reflected what most of you would say are common sense things.  This notion that this was a radical package is just not true.  A third of them were tax cuts, and they weren't -- when you say they were "boutique" tax cuts, Mike, 95 percent of working Americans got tax cuts, small businesses got tax cuts, large businesses got help in terms of their depreciation schedules.  I mean, it was a pretty conventional list of tax cuts.  A third of it was stabilizing state budgets.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
Now, we can -- here's what I know going forward, though.  I mean, we're talking -- we were talking about the past.  We can talk about this going forward.  I have looked at every idea out there in terms of accelerating job growth to match the economic growth that's already taken place.  The jobs credit that I'm discussing right now is one that a lot of people think would be the most cost-effective way for encouraging people to pick up their hiring.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
Here's what I'm going to do, Mike.  What I'm going to do is I'm going to take a look at what you guys are proposing.  And the reason I say this, before you say, "Okay," I think is important to know -- what you may consider across-the-board tax cuts could be, for example, greater tax cuts for people who are making a billion dollars.  I may not agree to a tax cut for Warren Buffet.  You may be calling for an across-the-board tax cut for the banking industry right now.  I may not agree to that.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
With respect to earmarks, we didn't have earmarks in the Recovery Act.  We didn't get a lot of credit for it, but there were no earmarks in that.  I was confronted at the beginning of my term with an omnibus package that did have a lot of earmarks from Republicans and Democrats, and a lot of people in this chamber.  And the question was whether I was going to have a big budget fight, at a time when I was still trying to figure out whether or not the financial system was melting down and we had to make a whole bunch of emergency decisions about the economy.  So what I said was let's keep them to a minimum, but I couldn't excise them all.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
I think one of the proposals that has been focused on by the Republicans as a way to reduce costs is allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines.  We actually include that as part of our approach.  But the caveat is, we've got to do so with some minimum standards, because otherwise what happens is that you could have insurance companies circumvent a whole bunch of state regulations about basic benefits or what have you, making sure that a woman is able to get mammograms as part of preventive care, for example.  Part of what could happen is insurance companies could go into states and cherry-pick and just get those who are healthiest and leave behind those who are least healthy, which would raise everybody's premiums who weren't healthy, right?
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
It's not enough if you say, for example, that we've offered a health care plan and I look up -- this is just under the section that you've just provided me, or the book that you just provided me -- summary of GOP health care reform bill:  The GOP plan will lower health care premiums for American families and small businesses, addressing America's number-one priority for health reform.  I mean, that's an idea that we all embrace.  But specifically it's got to work.  I mean, there's got to be a mechanism in these plans that I can go to an independent health care expert and say, is this something that will actually work, or is it boilerplate?
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
You may not support our overall jobs package, but if you look at the tax credit that we're proposing for small businesses right now, it is consistent with a lot of what you guys have said in the past.  And just the fact that it's my administration that's proposing it shouldn't prevent you from supporting it.  That's my point.
Request a Fact Check
January 29, 2010
Now, I just want to point out -- and this brings me to the second problem -- when we made a very modest proposal as part of our package, our health care reform package, to eliminate the subsidies going to insurance companies for Medicare Advantage, we were attacked across the board, by many on your aisle, for slashing Medicare.  You remember?  We're going to start cutting benefits for seniors.  That was the story that was perpetrated out there -- scared the dickens out of a lot of seniors.
Request a Fact Check
February 18, 2010
One year later, thanks largely to the Recovery Act, we can stand here again and say that a second depression is no longer a possibility.    An economy that was shrinking by 6 percent a year ago is now growing by nearly 6 percent.    According to independent, nonpartisan economists, there are about 2 million Americans who are at work today who would otherwise be unemployed. 
Request a Fact Check
February 18, 2010
The reform before Congress that people like Michael and myself have been working on would help prevent such hikes from happening.  And if we walk away from it, we know that premiums and out-of-pocket expenses will keep rising this decade, just as they did in the last decade.  More small businesses are going to be priced out of the insurance market.  More business -- more big businesses are going to be unable to compete internationally.  More of you will see health care taking a bigger and bigger bite out of your paychecks.  Millions will lose their coverage.  Our deficits will keep on growing because health care costs, by far, is the biggest driver of deficits.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, there are those who suggest that the only way government can promote strong markets is to allow them to operate wholly outside even the most modest rules of the road, even the most sensible reforms.  Many of these same folks also suggest -- whether in regard to proposed consumer protections in the health insurance industry, or proposed rules to prevent another financial crisis -- that these kinds of policies run counter to our economic interests.  And while I respect those who sincerely hold this view, the facts -- and our history -- do not favor this argument.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
We passed tax relief for small businesses and 95 percent of working families, for college students, for first-time homebuyers.  We extended or increased unemployment benefits not just to help those families but also to make sure that there was some demand in the economy at a time when so much demand had been lost.  We made health insurance 65 percent cheaper for families relying on COBRA.  We acted to close state budget gaps to prevent hundreds of thousands of teachers and public school workers and firefighters and police officers from being laid off all across the country, including right here in Nevada.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
So that's why Harry and I are working to provide tax breaks for small businesses to spur hiring.  That's why we're fighting for health insurance reforms to address the crushing cost of health insurance for small businesses and families.  And that's why we've continued to seek ways to address the home mortgage crisis, which has touched all parts of this country, but has hit Las Vegas particularly hard.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, government has a responsibility to help deal with this problem.  I've got to again repeat -- government can't stop every foreclosure.  There's not enough money in the Treasury to stop every foreclosure.  And we shouldn't be using tax dollars to reward the same irresponsible lenders or borrowers who helped precipitate the crisis.  But what government can do -- what government can do is to help responsible homeowners to stay in their homes.  The government can stop preventable foreclosures.  What we can do is stabilize the housing market so home values can begin to rise again.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
So over the course of the past year, we've taken a number of steps to do just that.  We've provided a tax credit for 1.4 million taxpayers to help them buy their first homes.  We've made it possible for more than one million struggling homeowners to reduce monthly payments.  And combined with our broader efforts to spur growth, stem job losses, and stabilize the financial system, we've helped promote recovery in the housing markets.  In fact, in many markets, home values have begun to rebound.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
But we got a ways to go, especially in the hardest hit regions like Las Vegas, where there are just too many blocks littered with brown lawns and "for sale" signs, too many mortgage holders are underwater, and where job losses continue to exact a terrible toll.  So for these communities, recovery depends on continued responsible efforts to stop the downward spiral of defaults, foreclosures, and declining home values.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
That's why earlier today I announced a $1.5 billion investment in housing finance agencies in the states hardest hit by this housing crisis.  And one of those states is Nevada.    So that means that here in Nevada, we're going to be able to help prevent some foreclosures that otherwise would have happened.  It's going to allow lenders to help homeowners who are underwater.  And it will help folks who've taken out a second mortgage modify their loans.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, these are very difficult times for our country -- times that demand we put aside the stale debates and the tired arguments, times that demand of us something more.  The fact is, the economic crisis of the past two years -- indeed the growing economic insecurity of the middle class that's been going for a decade -- was born not just of failures in our economic system.  These challenges were also born of failures in our political system.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
And it's got to stop, because the challenges have been mounting all around us.  A health care system that saddles businesses and families with skyrocketing costs.  An economy powered by fuels -- are fuels of the 20th century instead of the 21st, and endanger our planet and our security.  We've got an education system unsuited for a global era, and a financial system that has been rewarding reckless risks.  And we've got a structural deficit that threatens to leave our children a mountain of debt.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
So we've seen the consequences of this failure of responsibility, and the American people have paid a heavy price.  The question we'll have to answer now is if we're going to learn from the past or if, even in the aftermath of disaster, we're going to repeat it.  Because as the alarm bells fade, and the din of Washington rises, the danger is we just forget what happened and we start thinking we should go back to business as usual.  That won't work.  It will not work in this global economy, not in this environment.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
If businesses -- and nobody understands that more than Las Vegas.  If the MGM is doing well, that means its workers are doing well.  And if its workers are doing well, that means that the housing market is doing well.  And if the housing market is doing well, then that means that small businesses all across the region are doing well, who in turn are hiring more workers.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
You don't need me to tell you that.  All of you in some way have felt this recession.  You felt it in the tourism and hospitality industry.  You felt it in the construction industry.  The unemployment rate here is 13 percent, which is the second highest in the nation.  Foreclosures are also among the highest.  Home values have fallen by more than almost anyplace else.  And this is after a decade when, for most middle-class families, incomes actually shrank and wages flat-lined, and the only thing rising faster was medical costs and the cost of education.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
When my administration took office, our immediate mission was clear.  We needed to stop the great recession from turning into a great depression.  And economists of every stripe were warning that was a real possibility.  And that meant that we had to make some decisions swiftly, boldly, and not always popular, but decisions that were necessary.  It wasn't a time for satisfying the politics of the moment, it wasn't time for just playing to the cameras -- it was time for doing what was right.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
And by the way, I was committed to ensuring that if taxpayers were going to provide temporary assistance to keep our financial system afloat, then it actually had to be temporary.  And I was determined to get back every single dime, and we are well on our way to doing that -- getting back every single dime from those banks. 
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
We helped shore up the American auto industry.  That wasn't popular.  I understood why.  Folks felt like these companies should reap the consequences of bad management decisions in the past, just like any other company would.  But if we had let GM and Chrysler go under, it would have been hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans who paid the price -- not just folks at those companies themselves, but at suppliers and dealers all across the country.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
So it's also why we passed the Recovery Act.  Now, a lot of people think that the stimulus package, the Recovery Act -- if you listen on television, you'd think, well, that's all about giving banks money.  That has nothing to do with the banks.  The other week, I saw a poll that said Americans, they don't like the Recovery Act -- they just like all the individual parts of the Recovery Act. 
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
And the reason is, they think the Recovery Act is for banks and auto companies.  When you ask folks about what was actually in the Recovery Act, they think it's full of good ideas -- like tax cuts, like infrastructure investment, like unemployment relief.  That's what the Recovery Act was.  It was tax cuts for small business owners and 95 percent of you.  You may not have noticed -- 95 percent of you got a tax cut -- because of Harry Reid and because of the Recovery Act.    One million people in the state of Nevada.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, I've said before that the way I measure our economy's strength -- the way you measure it -- is by whether jobs and wages and incomes are growing.  But the other way we measure is by whether families have a roof over their heads and whether folks are living out that American Dream of owning a home.  That dream has been jeopardized in this recession for a lot of people, especially right here in Nevada.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, part of it was -- I've got to be blunt here, I got to be honest -- part of it was because too many lenders were focused on making a quick buck instead of acting responsibly.    And, if we're honest, too many borrowers acted irresponsibly at certain points, taking on mortgages that they knew they couldn't afford.    And what happened was the regulators in Washington and legislators too often turned a blind eye to the excesses and the failures on Wall Street that fed a housing bubble.  And now that that bubble has burst, it's left devastation that we're still grappling with today.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, government has a responsibility to help deal with this problem.  Government can't solve this problem alone.  We got to be honest about that.  Government alone can't solve this problem.  And it shouldn't.  But government can make a difference.  It can't stop every foreclosure, and tax dollars shouldn't be used to reward the very irresponsible lenders and borrowers who helped bring about the housing crisis.  But what we can do is help families who've done everything right stay in their homes whenever possible.    What we can do is stabilize the housing market so that home values can begin rising again.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
And that's why we're buying up vacant homes and converting them into affordable housing -- creating jobs, stemming our housing crisis, growing the local economy.    That's why last year, we put a tax credit worth thousands of dollars into the pocket of 1.4 million Americans to help them buy their first home -- first-time homebuyers credit.    That's why we're offering over one million struggling homeowners lower monthly payments through our loan modification initiative.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
So this fund is going to help out-of-work homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures, and it will help homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth find a way to pay their mortgages that works for both the borrowers and the lenders alike, and will help folks who've taken out a second mortgage modify their loans.            So, yes, we need to strengthen our housing market.  And we need to focus on job creation and getting our economy moving again.  But one last thing I want to be clear about -- we can do all those things, dealing with sort of the emergency crisis, and still fall behind in the 21st century, in this global economy, unless we recommit ourselves to solving some of the long-term problems that have been with us for years.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Because America can't solve our economic problems unless we tackle some of these structural problems.  And America can't lead -- we can't succeed unless we're also getting a handle on our debt.  We've got to confront this fiscal crisis that has been brewing for years.  That's why we're cutting what we don't need to pay for what we do.  That's why I signed a law that says Americans should pay as we go and live within our means.    That's why yesterday I announced a bipartisan fiscal commission that will help us meet our fiscal challenges once and for all.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
I mean, that was the warning.  Plus, because the economy is bad, a lot of people are already feeling kind of anxious, and so they're thinking, gosh, we had to do all that stuff to fix the financial system, we had to do this stuff to fix the autos, we had this big recovery package, the deficits are going up -- partly because tax revenues is not coming in and we're having to spend more on unemployment insurance and things like that -- this is probably not the time to be too ambitious.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Number two, we've got a whole series of cost controls.  So what we're saying is, for example, that every insurer, they've got to spend the vast majority of your premiums on actual care, as opposed to profits and overhead.    We're saying that we've got to get out some of the waste and abuse, including subsidies to insurance companies in the Medicare system that run in the tens of billions of dollars every year.    That's not a good use of your taxpayer dollars.  And we're working to improve wellness and prevention, as I said before, so that people aren't going to the emergency room for care.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, the third thing, and the thing that's most controversial, sadly, is what we're also saying is we've got to make sure that everybody can have access to coverage.  And the way we do that is we set up something called an exchange, where essentially individuals and small businesses who aren't getting a good deal because they don't have the same negotiating power as the big companies when it comes to the insurance market, they can pool just like members of Congress and federal employees do in their health care plan -- they can pool so that now they've got the purchasing power of a million people behind them and they can get a better deal.  That can lower their costs.  And we'll give subsidies for working families who can't afford it even with lower premium costs. 
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, if you were listening to the Republicans, you'd think that last year we weren't paying any attention to jobs, that we were just kind of -- I don't know what we were doing, Harry.  I guess we were just sort of sitting around.    The truth is, is that everything we did last year was designed around how do we break the back of the recession and move the economic recovery forward in order to promote job growth.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
You can't have job growth if the economy is contracting by 6 percent, because businesses look and they say nobody is spending money, we got no customers, we can't hire.  So the first thing we had to do was to make sure that companies were starting to make a profit again, and the economy was growing.  We are now in that position, because of the work that Harry did and a lot of -- and these two outstanding members of Congress did, Congresswoman Berkley and Titus.    The economy is now growing again.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
So we're going to be putting -- Harry and I are working now on a jobs package for this year that's designed not -- it's no longer designed to grow the economy.  Now it's designed to give incentives to businesses who are now making a profit to start hiring again, and to help small businesses get loans.  Because a lot of small businesses are still having trouble getting loans from banks, even if they see an opportunity for business growth, and we want to make sure that they've got access to capital.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Well, how about that?  Let me -- let me -- before you ask your actual question, let me just make this point.  We're not actually eliminating Medicare Advantage.  What Medicare Advantage is, is basically the previous administration had this idea, instead of traditional Medicare, let's contract out to insurance companies to manage the Medicare program.  And the insurance companies can then kind of package and pool providers of dental care or eye wear or what have you, and it's a one-stop shop for seniors.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Now, in theory that sounds like a pretty good idea, except as you might imagine if the insurance companies are involved that means they've got to make a profit.  And what happened was they didn't bid out competitively this Medicare Advantage program.  So these insurance companies were just getting a sweet deal.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Q    Thank you, .  My name is Dr. Herve Misoko (phonetic).  I am originally from France -- actually from Africa, moved to France, and now I'm here in America because I believe -- I still believe that America is the  country of the American Dream.  And I came here -- I'm a scientist, president of a renewable energy startup, and I came here because I really believe that America can become the first country for clean energy. 
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
Okay.  Well, let me just talk about -- this is -- when the conservatives have their conventions and they yell at me and say how terrible I am -- along with health care this is the other thing that they usually point out, which is that "the President wants to create this cap and trade system and it's going to be a job killer and it's one more step in the government takeover of the American economy."  So this is a good place for me to maybe just spend a little time talking about energy and climate change.
Request a Fact Check
February 19, 2010
All right, now, back to what I was saying.    You know, obviously we know that the country is going through a tough time.  But when I was here a year ago, at Mile High, and some of you were probably here -- some of you were there with me -- I made a promise to you not that I was going to tell you what you wanted to hear, not that I was always going to do what was popular.  But I promised you that I would wake up each and every day thinking about how we can make sure that the American Dream is working for everybody, and more importantly, how we can make sure that it's working for the next generation.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2010
And that was just a few days before I signed the Recovery Act into law -- a plan that many of you were instrumental in devising.  That plan cut taxes for small businesses and for 95 percent of working Americans.  It gave direct relief to those hardest hit by the recession, including workers who lost their jobs and families who lost their health care because of it.  It helped most of you close some of those budget gaps that had developed, which kept 300,000 teachers and education workers in your schools and tens of thousands of first responders on your streets.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2010
Overall, the economy is in a better place than it was a year ago.  We were contracting by 6 percent and we're now growing by 6 percent.  But I know that your states are still in a very tough situation, and too many Americans still haven't felt the recovery in their own lives.  So we're working to create jobs by all means necessary, be it by cutting taxes for small businesses that create them, to investing more in infrastructure and in energy efficiency, or giving you more help to close budget shortfalls. And I am not going to rest until we see more progress in each and every one of your states.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2010
My grandpop used to have an expression -- a couple of you heard me say -- when the guy -- he was from Scranton -- when the guy in Oliphant's is out of work it's an economic slowdown -- that's a little town outside of Scranton.  When your brother-in-law is out of work it's a recession.  When you're out of work it's a depression.  It's a depression for a lot of Americans.  You all are right on the front lines trying to deal with the concerns and problems of those people.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
Over the last year, we’ve worked together on a number of issues –- from economic recovery and tax policy to education and to health care.  And more often than not, we’ve found common ground.  This is important, because we meet at a time, as all of you are aware, a time of great economic anxiety and sharp political divisions.  We’re still emerging from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Eight million Americans have lost their jobs over the last two years.  Home values in too many parts of the country have plummeted.  And too many businesses are still reluctant to invest and expand.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
It’s no wonder, then, that people are frustrated.  They’re frustrated with government and they’re frustrated with business. They’re angry at a financial sector that took exorbitant risks by some in pursuit of short-term profits, and they’re angry at a government that failed to catch the problem on time.  They’re angry at the price they paid to prevent a financial meltdown that they didn’t cause, and they’re angry that recovery in their own lives seems to be lagging the recovery of bank profitability.  They’re angry at the lobbyists who use their influence to put their clients’ special interests ahead of the public interest.  And although both parties are predictably scrambling to align themselves with people’s frustrations, neither the usual answers from the left or the right seem to be inspiring much confidence.  So we’ve got some big challenges ahead.  And I think all of us know that we can’t meet them by returning to the pre-crisis status quo -– an economy that was too dependent on a housing bubble, on consumer debt, on financial speculation, and on growing deficits.  That’s not sustainable for American workers, and it’s not sustainable for American businesses.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
Now, contrary to the claims of some of my critics and some of the editorial pages, I am an ardent believer in the free market.  I believe businesses like yours are the engines of economic growth in this country.  You create jobs.  You develop new products and cutting-edge technologies.  And you create the supply chains that make it possible for small businesses to open their doors.  So I want everyone in this room to succeed.  I want your shareholders to do well, I want your workers to do well, I want you to do well -- because I firmly believe that America’s success in large part depends on your success internationally.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
If we don't pass financial reform, we can expect more crises in the future of the sort that we just saw.  On the other hand, if we design the new rules carelessly, they could choke off the supply of capital to businesses and families.  If we allow our safety net to be weakened, or lose a sense of fairness in our tax code, then we can expect more anger and frustration from citizens across the political spectrum.  And at the same time, if an exploding entitlement state is gobbling up more and more of our tax dollars, there's no way we'll retain our competitive edge.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
Now, our first and most immediate task is to complete the economic recovery by taking additional steps to bolster demand and keep credit flowing.  Along with our efforts to unfreeze credit and stabilize the housing market, the Recovery Act helped to do this, and it's one of the main reasons our economy has gone from shrinking by 6 percent to growing by nearly 6 percent.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
But we need to do more.  We should make it easier for small businesses to get loans, and give them a tax credit for hiring new workers or raising wages.  We should invest in infrastructure projects that lead to new jobs in the construction industry and other hard-hit businesses.  And we should provide a tax incentive for large businesses like yours to invest in new plants and equipment.  That would make a difference now.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
One year ago, we were looking at the possible end of General Motors.  Today, GM has increased production, is paying us back ahead of schedule.  Yesterday, we learned they're hiring 1,200 more workers in their Lordstown, Ohio plant.  One year ago, there was a chance we would lose most of the $700 billion we were given to rescue the financial system.  Today, most of that money has been repaid.  The financial fee we’ve proposed would recover the rest and close the books on government’s involvement.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
And let me say a word about compensation here.  Most Americans -- including myself -- do not begrudge reasonable rewards for a job well done.  What's outraged people are outsized bonuses at firms that so recently required massive public assistance.  Once that money is fully repaid, I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the government to be in the business of setting compensation levels.  I do believe that shareholders should have a say in compensation packages given to top executives, and that those packages should be based on long-term performance instead of short-term profits.  And I think that's particularly important in the financial industry, where reckless risks in pursuit of short-term gain helped create a crisis that engulfed the world economy.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
But here's the larger point that I'm trying to make.  The steps we took last year were about saving the economy from collapse, not about expanding government's reach into the economy.  The jobs bill working through Congress right now are similarly designed to be targeted and temporary.  And I'm pleased that a few hours ago the Senate just passed a series of tax cuts for small businesses that hire more workers.  This is an important step forward in putting more Americans back to work as soon as possible.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
That's why, in the State of the Union, I set a goal of doubling our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support 2 million jobs.  And to help me meet this goal, Gary Locke recently announced that we're launching a National Export Initiative where the federal government will significantly ramp up its advocacy on behalf of U.S. exporters.  We're substantially expanding the trade financing available to exporters, including small and medium-sized companies.  And while always keeping our security needs in mind, we're going to reform our export controls to eliminate unnecessary barriers.  So some of the sectors where we have a huge competitive advantage in high-tech areas, we're going to be able to send more of those products to markets overseas.  And we're going to pursue a more strategic and aggressive effort to open up new markets for our goods.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
Now, I know that trade policy has been one of those longstanding divides between business and labor, between Democrats and Republicans.  To those who would reflexively support every and any trade deal, I would say that our competitors have to play fair and our agreements have to be enforced.  We can't simply cede more jobs or markets to unfair trade practices.  At the same time, to those who would reflexively oppose every trade agreement, they need to know that if America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores.  In other countries, whether China or Germany or Brazil, they've been able to align the interests of business, workers, and government around trade agreements that open up new markets for them and create new jobs for them.  We must do the same.  And I'm committed to making that happen.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
Right now we have a financial system with the same vulnerabilities that it had before this crisis began.  And as I said in the State of the Union, my goal is not to punish Wall Street.  I believe that most individuals in the financial sector are looking to make money in an honest and transparent way.  But if there aren't rules in place to guard against the recklessness of a few, and they're allowed to exploit consumers and take on excessive risk, it starts a race to the bottom that results in all of us losing.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
And that's what we need to change.  We can't repeat the mistakes of the past.  We can't allow another AIG or another Lehman to happen again.  We can't allow financial institutions, including those that take your deposits, to make gambles that threaten the whole economy.  What does that mean?  It means we've got to ensure consolidated supervision of all institutions that could pose a risk to the system.  It means we have to close loopholes that allow financial firms to evade oversight and circumvent rules of the road.  It means that we need more robust consumer and investor protections.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
But let's look at the truth, because the truth is just the opposite.  We have not called for the elimination of private insurance.  We have not -- we've been extraordinarily careful not to in any way undermine the employer-based system.  What we’ve called for is an insurance exchange where individuals and small businesses can pool together in order to get a better deal from their insurance companies.  In return for getting more customers, we would require insurance companies not to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions or arbitrarily jack up premiums.
Request a Fact Check
February 24, 2010
During the campaign, I promised a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans.  I kept that promise.  We've provided over $150 billion in tax cuts to small businesses and to families.  We haven't raised anybody's income taxes by a single dime.  This year, I expect to sign into law another $70 billion worth of business tax cuts for 2010 and 2011 -– a more than 10 percent cut in corporate taxes.  Now, that may not jibe with what you're hearing or what you're reading, but those are the facts.  They're indisputable.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
I hear from small businesses who have just opened up their new rates from their insurance company and it turns out that the rates have gone up 20, 30, in some cases 35 percent.  I hear from families who have hit lifetime limits and because somebody in their family is very ill, at a certain point they start having to dig out of pocket and they are having to mortgage their house and in some cases have gone bankrupt because of health care.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
My mother, who was self-employed, didn't have reliable health care, and she died of ovarian cancer.  And there's probably nothing that modern medicine could have done about that.  It was caught late, and that's a hard cancer to diagnose.  But I do remember the last six months of her life -- insurance companies threatening that they would not reimburse her for her costs, and her having to be on the phone in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies when what she should have been doing is spending time with her family.  I do remember that.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
You know, I was looking through some of the past statements that people have made, and I think this concern is bipartisan.  John McCain has talked about how rising health care costs are devastating to middle-class families.  Chuck, you've been working on this a long time.  You've discussed the unsustainable growth in Medicare and Medicaid in our budget.  Mike Enzi, who's worked on this and partnered with Ted Kennedy on a range of health care issues as a chairman of the committee, you said that small businesses in your home state are finding it nearly impossible to afford health care coverage for their employees.   And you said that the current system is in critical condition.  And Mitch, you've said that the need for reform is not in question, and obviously there are comparable studies on the Democratic side as well.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
I've looked very carefully at John Boehner's plan that he put forward.  I've looked at Tom Coburn and Senator Burr's plan that's been put out there.  Paul Ryan has discussed some of the issues surrounding Medicare.  I've looked at those very carefully.  Mike Enzi, in the past you've put forward legislation around small businesses that are very important.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
The basic concept is that we would set up an exchange, meaning a place where individuals and small businesses could go and get choice and competition for private health care plans, the same way that members of Congress get choice and competition for their health care plans.  For people who couldn't afford it, we would provide them some subsidies.  But because people would have some pooling power, the costs overall would be lower because they'd be in a stronger position to negotiate.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
In each of these cases there are corresponding ideas on the Republican side that we should be able to bridge.  So I promise not to make a long speech.  Let me just close by saying this.  My hope in the several hours that we're going to be here today, that in each section that we're going to discuss -- how do we lower costs for families and small businesses, how do we make sure that the insurance market works for people, how do we make sure that we are dealing with the long-term deficits, how do we make sure that people who don't have coverage can get coverage -- in each of these areas what I'm going to do is I'm going to start off by saying, here are some things we agree on.  And then let's talk about some areas where we disagree, and see if we can bridge those gaps.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
And I'd like to just mention those in a sentence or two.  You mentioned Mike Enzi's work on the small business health care plan.  That's a good start.  It came up in the Senate.  He will explain why it covers more people, costs less, and helps small businesses offer insurance, too, helping Americans buy insurance across state lines.  You've mentioned that yourself.  Most of the governors I've talked to think that would be a good way to increase competition.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
You began your remarks, , by saying there was a glimmer of bipartisanship in the Senate for the passage of the jobs bill.  I want you to know there was a blaze of bipartisanship in the House yesterday -- with, what, 406-19, we passed under leadership of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Tom Perriello, Betsy Markey and others the lifting -- repealing the exemption that insurance companies have on health insurance and the antitrust laws for health insurance -- 406-19, a very strong message that, yes, the insurance companies need to be reined in.  So put us down on that side of the ledger.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Last Monday, a week ago Monday, all over America, results were run from a poll done by the Kaiser Foundation.  It was interesting what that poll said:  58 percent of Americans would be disappointed or angry if we did not do health care reform this year -- 58 percent.  Across America, more than 60 percent of Republicans, Democrats, and independents want us to reform the way health care works.  Is it any wonder?  They want it so that businesses can afford health care.  They want to give consumers more choices and insurance companies more competition.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER:  Thank you very much.  This issue of insurance reform is I think where most families intersect with their insurance companies, with the health security of their families.  And let's start out with our commonalities in the bill that REPRESENTATIVE Boehner -- Leader Boehner, offered on the floor.  He agreed that lifetime caps should be abolished, that annual caps should be abolished, that young people should be able to stay on their parents' plan -- I think it was 25, I think, and your suggestion, , it's 26.  So there's that kind of commonality there.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
So, Kathleen, why don't you just address some of the issues related to insurance reform.  There’s some agreement here, but I know that on the Republican side there are a couple of concerns about the issue of rate review.  The issue of setting up some benchmark standards that insurance companies have to abide by -- some people may think that those have been a little bit too aggressive.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
So getting rid of preexisting conditions, getting rid of caps on yearly benefits and longtime benefits, allowing kids to stay on plans are ideas that have been accepted by both -- setting up a new marketplace, giving small business owners and individuals choice and competition in the private sector, but making the private sector operate on a different set of rules, including having some loss-benefit analysis.  How many of those dollars -- you heard Senator Coburn eloquently talk about the 30 cents of every dollar that goes to pay for expenses other than medical costs.  A loss-benefit analysis, a medical ratio, would do just that.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
First of all, the cost, and Jon Kyl laid out the tremendous cost in the nearly trillion dollars of this bill.  And I don't quite know, because CBO said it couldn't assess how much your additions would cost to it, but we do know that there are plenty of taxes on income.  Now, you suggest investment income should be taxed.  We have additional taxes on medical devices and the rest.  What is a consequence of that?  We know there are consequences that small businesses will feel because of the impact on job creation.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Now, on preexisting conditions we've got a similar situation.  The challenge we have -- I'd love to just pass a law that said, insurance companies, you can't exclude people based on preexisting conditions.  The problem is what they'll say to you is, well, what prevents somebody from not preventing insurance until they get sick and then going in and just buying it and just gaming the system?
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
"Because of preexisting conditions, I have been denied access to coverage under more economical insurance plans.  Therefore I am stuck in an expensive pool and have few options.  The best option would be for the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive health care reform resulting in affordable health care for all.  The health of my family and the future of small business depends on it.  Sincerely, Raymond Smith, Buffalo Center, Iowa."
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Now, a lot of the people that I talk to want us to start over in this issue and they want us to give them the ability to hold insurance companies accountable.  One of those ways is through very robust competition.  And when you have a district like mine in Tennessee, where the bulk of our constituents are within 15 miles of the state line, the ability for those individuals -- who have families and live and work and have employees on the other side of the state line who shop for major purchases every day -- is to allow them to be able to make those purchases.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Also, when you talk about holding insurance companies accountable, if you want to empower patients in front of those insurance companies, take the power away from them, then give them the ability to buy a policy that suits their needs.  They are really tired of paying for coverage they don't want.  If you want to prevent premium acceleration, such as the issue in California right now, where the premiums have gone up 39 percent, if you are siding with protecting those insurance companies and not allowing across-state-line competition, then what you're doing is denying Californians the ability to go to Oregon, where they could buy a policy for 25 percent less, or individuals in New Jersey who could go to Pennsylvania and buy a policy and lower their cost 26 percent, or go to Wisconsin and buy one and lower their cost 74 percent.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
There's another important point here.  The bill that you all are proposing would not put these in place until 2016, and quite frankly I think a lot of the American people agree with us that care delayed and access delayed is care and access denied.  And they would like to see those -- basically what you have -- state lines right now basically have stop signs up when it comes to across state line access.  They would like to see that come down, and like to see those access portals opened up so that they can first lower their cost, secondly so that they have greater ability to hold insurance companies accountable.  And then also state legislators, even some of our governors -- many of the governors -- favor approaching this model and allowing our constituents a way to access this, get the cost down.  And I will be brief so that we can move on to other topics.  Thank you.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Number one, with respect to California, for example, the problem, as was presented yesterday, in California, was not that there were a whole bunch of insurance companies from other states who were clamoring in to get into California to sell insurance to those individuals who saw their premiums spike by 39 percent.  There weren't.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
I promise you that the problem that's going on in California is going on in every state.  It's not unique to California.  It's not as if there are insurance companies that are given great deals in Iowa.  That gentleman farmer who just talked about -- these are some structural problems that exist in every state.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
REPRESENTATIVE BOUSTANY:  Thank you, Leader Boehner, and thank you, .  I come at this as a physician, a cardiovascular surgeon with over 20 years of practice doing open-heart surgery, dealing with patients who have come to me with very challenging cases at very difficult times in their lives.  And along with my colleagues, Dr. Coburn and Dr. Barrasso, we bring a wealth of experience in dealing with insurance companies and all these everyday problems that so many American families face.  We all agree -- we all agree -- that we need insurance reform.  There's no question about it.  The question is how do we do it.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Now, we've all been through a long year -- town hall meetings, telephone calls, e-mails -- it goes on and on.  And one thing that has become very clear, the American people have spoken out very loudly and very clearly.  They want us to take a step back, and go step by step with a common-sense plan that really brings the costs down for American families and small business owners.  They want insurance companies to treat them just like they treat big labor unions and large companies.  It's been a resounding message we've heard over and over.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Health savings accounts -- these are very, very popular among small business owners and families.  And I think the one impediment today is the inability to save enough in these.  And I think there are ways that we could promote these health savings accounts and promote real savings that will actually make a difference.  It won't solve all the problems, but it's an important insurance reform that I think small businesses will really, really jump on if we could expand those savings opportunities.  The current bill, as has been stated, adds some restrictions and some additional tax provisions on these, which make them less palatable.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
The other thing we do is we create a way for small business owners to actually shop and compare apples to apples -- transparency -- and this is critical.  Our plan does this without creating the kinds of restrictions that we see with the exchange process.  And we agree that we have to eliminate annual and lifetime caps, so we have broad agreement there.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
So look -- and the source of how we do this is getting rid of waste, making sure that we don't overpay insurance companies for Medicare Advantage.  I want to remind everybody about Medicare Advantage, because some of us around here -- probably all of us around this table were here when it got put in.  What was the rationale for Medicare Advantage?  The rationale for Medicare Advantage a decade ago was that private insurers could provide insurance -- better insurance -- cheaper than the government can do it.  They can do it better.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
And essentially what my proposal would do, and what the House and Senate proposals would do, would say, instead of having the insurance companies get that money, let’s take that money -- the savings are between $400 billion and $500 billion a year -- and let’s devote some of that money to closing the doughnut hole, which has already been talked about.  Seniors who need more prescription drugs than Medicare currently is willing to pay for hit this gap where suddenly they’ve got to use it out of pocket, and they just stop taking the drugs, or they break them in half, or what have you.  Let’s fill that.  That costs around $30 billion a year, or $300 billion.  And let’s make some other changes that would result in actually the 80 percent of seniors who aren’t in Medicare Advantage getting a better deal.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
Well, I think that's a legitimate point.  I would just point out that 80 percent of seniors are helping to pay in extra premiums for the 20 percent who are in this Medicare Advantage.  And it's not means-tested, so it's not as if the people who are in Medicare Advantage are somehow the poor people who can't afford supplementals.  It's pretty random.  And what we also know is, and I just want to point this out, Tom, $180 billion of it is going to insurance companies.  It's not going to seniors.  It's going to insurance companies, including big insurance company profits -- without any appreciable improvement in health care benefits.  That's not a good way for us to spend money.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
So, , I would just say the thing that I would love for us to get into the details of, in terms of those deficit reductions that are made is the fact that we do it while putting the brakes on Medicare overpayments that went to insurance companies, which were getting reimbursed at greater levels than were doctors and hospitals that relied on a traditional Medicare fee for service, to provide services to our seniors.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
SENATOR GRASSLEY:  First of all, to clarify something, if anybody says that Medicare Advantage is a subsidy going to insurance companies, let me say what the statute says.  The statute says that 75 -- with a big differential where it goes -- 75 percent goes to beneficiaries and benefits and 25 percent to the federal government.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
It's a fact that when you do these things, you hurt the economy because small business is the machine that brings employment in America -- 70 percent of new employment.  We've got to be careful of how you treat small business.  And small business can be -- the health care needs of small business can take -- be taken care of with these association health plans and other things that can be done to make it beneficial.  Thirty-five states have high-risk pools.  Most of them, 150 percent is the maximum cost.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
You can make an argument that whatever savings we get out of Medicare Advantage should not go to filling the doughnut hole, for example.  That's a legitimate argument.  You can make an argument that it should go just to deficit reduction.  Those are all legitimate arguments.  But my point is that the savings that are obtained here are from a program in which insurance companies are making a lot of money but seniors who are in these kinds of programs are not better off, and the 80 percent of the people who are [not] in these programs are paying an extra 90 bucks a year to subsidize the folks who are in them.  And that just doesn’t seem like a good deal for them or for the taxpayer.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
The way we tried to do it was not a government-run health care plan, Paul.  I mean, that was some good poll-tested language that has been used quite a bit, but the fact of the matter is, is that, as Dick just alluded to, the way we've structured it through the exchange would be to allow people to pool, allow everybody to join a big group, and for people who can't afford it, to give them subsidies, including small businesses.  And so the question is whether there is a way for us to arrive at an agreement that would reach those people.
Request a Fact Check
February 25, 2010
We can have an honest disagreement as to whether we should try to give some help to those 27 million people who don't have coverage.  And so that's I think the last aspect of this, and this is probably going to be the most contentious because there is no doubt that providing those tax credits to families and small businesses costs money.  And we do raise revenues in order to pay for that.  And it may be that the other side just feels as if, you know what, it's just not worth us doing that.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
And this notion somehow that for them the system was working and that if they just ate a little better and were better health care consumers they could manage is just not the case.  The vast majority of these 27 million people or 30 million people that we're talking about, they work every day.  Some of them work two jobs.  But if they're working for a small business, they can't get health care.  If they are self-employed, they can't get health care.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
Another woman had asthma, and that was considered a preexisting condition.  She was going to face a 39 percent increase, as well.  Now, if they were pooled with everybody else in that small business and individual market, which is what our bill does, then there are more people buying insurance and there's more -- there's more leverage.  It's spreading the cost, not making people have to pay more of these costs.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
The people who we're talking about are people in small businesses where the small business can't get insurance because, well, they got one employee with a real serious medical problem.  So nobody in that group is going to get coverage, the employer can't afford it.  Or women, it costs more for small businesses if they're in that workforce, especially if they're older.  They don't want to get coverage.  They don't want to give them coverage either.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
He went out in my city in Connecticut and organized 19,000 small businesses, and they changed the law in Connecticut regarding pooling in small businesses, because here was a small business guy who wanted to take care of his people and watched tragically day after day what happened to individuals because he could not provide it for them any longer.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
There was a study just out that in the state of California health care premiums would go down 50 percent if Californians could buy insurance from Nevada or Oregon.  If you create a catastrophic high-risk pool and put the cap on it that Leader Boehner did on his alternative on the House floor, and allow small businesses to create the kind of pools that we've talked about, you're going to be able to give those Americans who can't get insurance because of a preexisting condition and want it the ability to get into those things.  And their premiums will not go up catastrophically.  They will not go up astronomically.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
, I've been very pleased that you've constantly been coming back to the system for members of Congress.  Folks, all of us can fire our insurance company, every one of us.  And as far as I'm concerned, we've got to stay in this battle until everybody in the United States has that right to hold the insurance companies accountable and to fire them.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
I'm just going to make this remark, and then I'm going to call on Patty Murray -- I'm going to save the two lions of the House here for the end -- because there's been a lot of comments from every Republican about the polls and what they're hearing from their constituents.  And, as I said, I hear from constituents in every one of your districts and every one of your states.  And what's interesting is actually when you poll people about the individual elements in each of these bills, they're all for them.  So you ask them, do you want to prohibit preexisting conditions?  Yes, I'm for that.  Do you want to make sure that everybody can get basic coverage that's affordable?  Yes, I'm for that.  Do you want to make sure that insurance companies can't take advantage of you and that you've got the ability, as Ron said, to fire an insurance company that's not doing a good job and hire one that is, but also, that you've got some basic consumer protections?  Yes, we like that.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
I think about him every time we talk about this bill.  And what happened to her is happening to so many Americans who when they get sick today don't have any choices.  They have nowhere to go.  Either they don't have insurance or they've been denied insurance because they don't -- because they have a preexisting condition or they're a small business whose premiums have gone up so dramatically that they can no longer afford to provide it for their employees.  Too many Americans today are in a box and they don't have a choice.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
I'm always surprised when I can find somebody that's defending the insurance companies after the things that they do to the ordinary people in this country.  They could cancel your insurance policy while you're on the gurney headed into the operating room.  Somebody would -- if somebody would explain that to me, I would be deeply grateful.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
SPEAKER PELOSI:  Thank you very much, .  As one who has abided by the three and a half minute, I'm going to take a few seconds more now in closing to extend thanks to you, , for bringing us together, for your great leadership, and without it, we would not be so very close to affordability, accountability for the insurance companies, and accessibility for so many more Americans to improve their health care, to lower their cost.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
Well, I bring that up because we come such a long way.  We're talking about how close we are on this, how far apart we are here.  But as a representative of the House of Representatives, I want you to know that we were there that day in support of a public option, which would save $120 billion, keep the insurance companies honest, and increase competition.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
We've come a long way to agreeing to a Republican idea -- the exchanges.  Senator Enzi has been a leader in that.  Senator Snowe, along with Senator Durbin, had legislation to that effect -- bipartisan.  It caused the insurance companies opposed the public option.  They couldn't take the competition.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
We have in our bill market-oriented, encouraging to the private sector, initiatives.  I think the insurance industry, left to its own devices, has behaved shamefully.  And we must act on behalf of the American people.  We have lived on their playing field all this time.  It's time for the insurance companies to exist on the playing field of the American people.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
The second thing I think we agree on is the idea that allowing small businesses and individuals who are right now trapped in the individual market and as a consequence have to buy very expensive insurance and effectively oftentimes just go without insurance could be solved if we allowed them to do what members of Congress do, which is be part of a large group.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
In the credit card market, part of what happened was we ended up allowing people to get credit cards from every other -- whatever state, and there were a few states that decided, you know what, we're going to have the least restrictions on credit card companies that we could have.  And what ended up happening was that every single credit card company suddenly lo and behold started locating in that state which had the absolute worst regulations in consumer protections, and all these fees and practices that people don't like, folks weren't happy about.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
Now, it is absolutely true -- and I think this is important to get on the table, because we dance around this sometime -- in order to help the 30 million, that's going to cost some money.  And the primary way we do it is to say that, for example, people who currently get all their income in capital gains and dividends, they don't pay a Medicare tax, even though the guy who cleans the building for them does on his salary or his wages.
Request a Fact Check
February 26, 2010
And so what we say is, if you make more than $250,000 a year if you're a family and your income is from those sources, then you should do -- you should have to do the same thing that everybody else has to do.  Somebody mentioned the fact that we say to small businesses -- I think Jon Kyl, you said, we're taxing small businesses.  Look, we exempt 95 percent of small businesses from any obligations whatsoever because we understand that small businesses generally have a tough time enough -- they don't need any more government burden.
Request a Fact Check
March 22, 2010
Good evening, everybody.  Tonight, after nearly 100 years of talk and frustration, after decades of trying, and a year of sustained effort and debate, the United States Congress finally declared that America’s workers and America's families and America's small businesses deserve the security of knowing that here, in this country, neither illness nor accident should endanger the dreams they’ve worked a lifetime to achieve.
Request a Fact Check
March 22, 2010
Most importantly, today’s vote answers the prayers of every American who has hoped deeply for something to be done about a health care system that works for insurance companies, but not for ordinary people.  For most Americans, this debate has never been about abstractions, the fight between right and left, Republican and Democrat -- it’s always been about something far more personal.  It’s about every American who knows the shock of opening an envelope to see that their premiums just shot up again when times are already tough enough.  It’s about every parent who knows the desperation of trying to cover a child with a chronic illness only to be told “no” again and again and again.  It’s about every small business owner forced to choose between insuring employees and staying open for business.  They are why we committed ourselves to this cause.
Request a Fact Check
March 22, 2010
If you don’t have insurance, this reform gives you a chance to be a part of a big purchasing pool that will give you choice and competition and cheaper prices for insurance.  And it includes the largest health care tax cut for working families and small businesses in history -- so that if you lose your job and you change jobs, start that new business, you’ll finally be able to purchase quality, affordable care and the security and peace of mind that comes with it.
Request a Fact Check
March 22, 2010
In the end, what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American Dream.  Tonight, we answered the call of history as so many generations of Americans have before us.  When faced with crisis, we did not shrink from our challenge -- we overcame it.  We did not avoid our responsibility -- we embraced it.  We did not fear our future -- we shaped it.
Request a Fact Check
March 23, 2010
I heard from Ryan Smith, who’s here today, and runs a small business with five employees.  He is trying to do the right thing, paying for half of the cost of coverage for his workers.  But as his premiums keep on going up and up and up, he’s worried he’s going to have to stop offering health care for his people.  But because of this bill he is now going to be getting tax credits that allow him to do what he knows is the right thing to do -- and that's going to be true for millions of employers all across America. 
Request a Fact Check
March 23, 2010
This year, we’ll start offering tax credits to about 4 million small businesses to help them cover the cost of coverage.  And that means that folks like Ryan will immediately get a tax break so that he can better afford the coverage he’s already providing for his employees.  And who knows, because of that tax break, he may decide to hire a couple more folks in his small business -- because of this legislation. 
Request a Fact Check
March 23, 2010
This year, insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people’s coverage when they get sick, or place lifetime limits or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care they can receive.  This year, all new insurance plans will be required to offer free preventive care.  And this year, young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ policies until they’re 26 years old.  That all happens this year. 
Request a Fact Check
March 23, 2010
So these are the reforms that take effect right away.  These reforms won’t give the government more control over your health care.  They certainly won’t give the insurance companies more control over your health care.    These reforms give you more control over your health care.  And that’s only the beginning. 
Request a Fact Check
March 23, 2010
Once this reform is implemented, health insurance exchanges will be created, a competitive marketplace where uninsured people and small businesses will finally be able to purchase affordable, quality insurance.  They will be able to be part of a big pool and get the same good deal that members of Congress get.  That’s what’s going to happen under this reform.    And when this exchange is up and running, millions of people will get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history.   That's what this reform is about. 
Request a Fact Check
March 25, 2010
But here’s what the bill does.  It finally tells the insurance companies that in exchange for all the new customers they’re about to get, they’ve got to start playing by a new set of rules that treats everybody honestly and treats everybody fairly.    The days of the insurance industry running roughshod over the American people are over.
Request a Fact Check
March 25, 2010
And meanwhile, there are a set of reforms that begin to take into effect this year, so I want to talk about this.  This year, millions of small business owners will be eligible for tax credits that will help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees.    This year, millions of small businesses will benefit.
Request a Fact Check
March 25, 2010
So let me talk to you about what this means for a business like your own Prairie Lights Bookstore downtown.    This is a small business that’s been offering coverage to their full-time employees for the last 20 years.  Last year their premiums went up 35 percent, which made it a lot harder for them to offer the same coverage.  On Tuesday, I was joined at the bill signing by Ryan Smith, who runs a small business with five employees.  His premiums are going up too.  He’s worried about having to stop offering health insurance to his workers.
Request a Fact Check
March 25, 2010
So starting now, small business owners like Ryan and the folks at Prairie Light, they’re going to have the security of knowing that they’ll qualify for a tax credit that covers up to 35 percent of their employees’ health insurance.    Starting today, starting today, small business owners -- so starting today, small business owners can sit down at the end of the week, look at their expenses, and they can begin calculating how much money they’re going to save.  And maybe they can even use those savings to not only provide insurance but also create jobs.  This health care tax credit is pro-jobs, it is pro-business, and it starts this year, and it’s starting because of you. 
Request a Fact Check
March 25, 2010
And once this reform is implemented, then health insurance exchanges are going to be created.  This is the core -- the core aspect of this bill that is going to be so important to Americans who are looking for coverage.  Basically, we set up a competitive marketplace where people without insurance, small businesses, people who were having to pay through the teeth because they’re just buying insurance on their own, maybe you’re self-employed -- you’re finally going to be able to purchase quality, affordable, health insurance because you’re going to be part of a big pool -- by the way, with members of Congress.  So you will be able to get the same good deal that they’re getting, because if you’re paying their salary, you should have health insurance that’s at least as good as theirs. 
Request a Fact Check
March 25, 2010
If these congressmen in Washington want to come here in Iowa and tell small business owners that they plan to take away their tax credits and essentially raise their taxes, be my guest.  If they want to look Lauren Gallagher in the eye and tell her they plan to take away her father’s health insurance, that’s their right.  If they want to make Darlyne Neff pay more money for her check-ups, her mammograms, they can run on that platform.  If this young man out here thinks this is a bad bill, he can run to repeal it.  If they want to have that fight, we can have it.  Because I don’t believe that the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver’s seat.  We’ve already been there.  We're not going back.  This country is moving forward. 
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2010
We’ll make a significant new investment in community health centers all across America that can provide high-quality primary care to people who need it most.    And we’ll strengthen efforts to combat waste and fraud and abuse, to make sure your dollars aren’t lining the pockets of insurance companies when they should be making your health care better. 
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2010
Now, the debate on health care reform is one that’s gone on for generations, and I’m glad -- I’m gratified that we were able to get it done last week.  But what’s gotten overlooked amid all the hoopla, all the drama of last week, is what happened in education -- when a great battle pitting the interests of the banks and financial institutions against the interests of students finally came to an end. 
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2010
So I’ll close by saying this.  For a long time, our student loan system has worked for banks and financial institutions. Today, we’re finally making our student loan system work for students and our families.  But we’re also doing something more. From the moment I was sworn into office, I’ve spoken about the urgent need for us to lay a new foundation for our economy and for our future.  And two pillars of that foundation are health care and education, and each has long suffered from problems that we chose to kick down the road.
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2010
We agreed to continue working aggressively to sustain the global economic recovery and create jobs for our people.  And this includes, as we agreed with our G20 partners at Pittsburgh, to replacing the old cycle of bubble and bust with growth that is balanced and sustained.  And this requires effective coordination by all nations.  To that end, I updated the President on our efforts to pass financial reform, and I look forward to the Senate taking action on this landmark legislation so we never repeat the mistakes that led to this crisis.
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2010
We must provide sufficient oversight so that reckless speculation or reckless risk-taking by a few big players in the financial markets will never again threaten the global economy or burden taxpayers.  We must assure that consumers of financial products have the information and safeguards that they need, so their life savings are not placed in needless jeopardy.  And that’s why I press for the passage of these reforms through Congress when they return, and I will continue to work with President Sarkozy and other world leaders to coordinate our efforts, because we want to make sure that whatever steps we’re taking, they are occurring on both sides of the Atlantic.
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2010
Now, on financial regulation, again, it’s great news for the world to hear that the United States is availing itself of rules, adopting rules so that we not go back to what we have already experienced.  And during the French presidency of the G20, Tim Geithner, Christine Lagarde are going to be working hand-in-glove in order to go even further in regulating world capitalism, and in particular, raising the issue of a new world international monetary order.
Request a Fact Check
March 31, 2010
So let’s be clear:  Workplace flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue.  It’s an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our businesses.  It affects the strength of our economy -- whether we’ll create the workplaces and jobs of the future we need to compete in today’s global economy.
Request a Fact Check
March 31, 2010
This is not a decision that I’ve made lightly.  It’s one that Ken and I -- as well as Carol Browner, my energy advisor, and others in my administration -- looked at closely for more than a year.  But the bottom line is this:  Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy.
Request a Fact Check
March 31, 2010
So the answer is not drilling everywhere all the time.  But the answer is not, also, for us to ignore the fact that we are going to need vital energy sources to maintain our economic growth and our security.  Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure all and those who would claim it has no place.  Because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again.
Request a Fact Check
March 31, 2010
And while our politics has remained entrenched along these worn divides, the ground has shifted beneath our feet.  Around the world, countries are seeking an edge in the global marketplace by investing in new ways of producing and saving energy.  From China to Germany, these nations recognize that the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the country that leads the global economy.  And meanwhile, here at home, as politicians in Washington debate endlessly about whether to act, our own military has determined that we can no longer afford not to.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
Now, since I last spoke here two years ago, our country has been through a terrible trial.  More than 8 million people have lost their jobs.  Countless small businesses have had to shut their doors.  Trillions of dollars in savings have been lost -- forcing seniors to put off retirement, young people to postpone college, entrepreneurs to give up on the dream of starting a company.  And as a nation we were forced to take unprecedented steps to rescue the financial system and the broader economy.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
But you’re here and I’m here because we’ve got more work to do.  Until this progress is felt not just on Wall Street but on Main Street we cannot be satisfied.  Until the millions of our neighbors who are looking for work can find a job, and wages are growing at a meaningful pace, we may be able to claim a technical recovery -- but we will not have truly recovered.  And even as we seek to revive this economy, it’s also incumbent on us to rebuild it stronger than before.  We don’t want an economy that has the same weaknesses that led to this crisis.  And that means addressing some of the underlying problems that led to this turmoil and devastation in the first place. Now, one of the most significant contributors to this recession was a financial crisis as dire as any we’ve known in generations -- at least since the ’30s.  And that crisis was born of a failure of responsibility -- from Wall Street all the way to Washington -- that brought down many of the world’s largest financial firms and nearly dragged our economy into a second Great Depression.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
I’ve spoken before about the need to build a new foundation for economic growth in the 21st century.  And given the importance of the financial sector, Wall Street reform is an absolutely essential part of that foundation.  Without it, our house will continue to sit on shifting sands, and our families, businesses, and the global economy will be vulnerable to future crises.  That’s why I feel so strongly that we need to enact a set of updated, commonsense rules to ensure accountability on Wall Street and to protect consumers in our financial system. 
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
Now, first, the bill being considered in the Senate would create what we did not have before, and that is a way to protect the financial system and the broader economy and American taxpayers in the event that a large financial firm begins to fail.  If there’s a Lehmans or an AIG, how can we respond in a way that doesn’t force taxpayers to pick up the tab or, alternatively, could bring down the whole system.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
In an ordinary local bank when it approaches insolvency, we’ve got a process, an orderly process through the FDIC, that ensures that depositors are protected, maintains confidence in the banking system, and it works.  Customers and taxpayers are protected and owners and management lose their equity.  But we don’t have that kind of process designed to contain the failure of a Lehman Brothers or any of the largest and most interconnected financial firms in our country.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
But this is why we need a system to shut these firms down with the least amount of collateral damage to innocent people and innocent businesses.  And from the start, I’ve insisted that the financial industry, not taxpayers, shoulder the costs in the event that a large financial company should falter.  The goal is to make certain that taxpayers are never again on the hook because a firm is deemed “too big to fail.”
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
So by enacting these reforms, we’ll help ensure that our financial system -- and our economy -- continues to be the envy of the world.  That’s the first thing, making sure that we can wind down one firm if it gets into trouble without bringing the whole system down or forcing taxpayers to fund a bailout.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
Number two, reform would bring new transparency to many financial markets.  As you know, part of what led to this crisis was firms like AIG and others who were making huge and risky bets, using derivatives and other complicated financial instruments, in ways that defied accountability, or even common sense.  In fact, many practices were so opaque, so confusing, so complex that the people inside the firms didn’t understand them,  much less those who were charged with overseeing them.  They weren’t fully aware of the massive bets that were being placed.  That’s what led Warren Buffett to describe derivatives that were bought and sold with little oversight as “financial weapons of mass destruction.”  That’s what he called them.  And that’s why reform will rein in excess and help ensure that these kinds of transactions take place in the light of day.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
And I was encouraged to see a Republican senator join with Democrats this week in moving forward on this issue.  That's a good sign.    That's a good sign.  For without action, we’ll continue to see what amounts to highly-leveraged, loosely-monitored gambling in our financial system, putting taxpayers and the economy in jeopardy.  And the only people who ought to fear the kind of oversight and transparency that we're proposing are those whose conduct will fail this scrutiny.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
And while a few companies made out like bandits by exploiting their customers, our entire economy was made more vulnerable.  Millions of people have now lost their homes.  Tens of millions more have lost value in their homes.  Just about every sector of our economy has felt the pain, whether you’re paving driveways in Arizona, or selling houses in Ohio, or you're doing home repairs in California, or you’re using your home equity to start a small business in Florida.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
Number four, the last key component of reform.  These Wall Street reforms will give shareholders new power in the financial system.  They will get what we call a say on pay, a voice with respect to the salaries and bonuses awarded to top executives.  And the SEC will have the authority to give shareholders more say in corporate elections, so that investors and pension holders have a stronger role in determining who manages the company in which they’ve placed their savings.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
In the end, our system only works -- our markets are only free -- when there are basic safeguards that prevent abuse, that check excesses, that ensure that it is more profitable to play by the rules than to game the system.  And that is what the reforms we’ve been proposing are designed to achieve -- no more, no less.  And because that is how we will ensure that our economy works for consumers, that it works for investors, and that it works for financial institutions -- in other words, that it works for all of us -- that’s why we’re working so hard to get this stuff passed.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2010
This is the central lesson not only of this crisis but of our history.  It’s what I said when I spoke here two years ago.  Because ultimately, there is no dividing line between Main Street and Wall Street.  We will rise or we will fall together as one nation.    And that is why I urge all of you to join me.  I urge all of you to join me, to join those who are seeking to pass these commonsense reforms.  And for those of you in the financial industry, I urge you to join me not only because it is in the interest of your industry, but also because it’s in the interest of your country.
Request a Fact Check
April 25, 2010
All that hard work, all that hardship, all the time spent underground, it was all for the families.  It was all for you.  For a car in the driveway, a roof overhead.  For a chance to give their kids opportunities that they would never know, and enjoy retirement with their spouses.  It was all in the hopes of something better.  And so these miners lived -– as they died -– in pursuit of the American Dream.
Request a Fact Check
April 26, 2010
We’re joined by members of Congress who work every day to help their constituents realize the American Dream, and whose life stories reflect the diversity and equal opportunity that we cherish as Americans:  Nydia Velazquez, who is also, by the way, the chairwoman of our Small Business Committee in the House of Representatives.    Keith Ellison is here.    And Andre Carson is here. 
Request a Fact Check
April 26, 2010
We have successes like Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, who I met earlier, who built a telecommunications empire that empowered people across Africa.  And we have aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their businesses and hire new workers.  Together you can address the challenges of accessing capital.   We have trailblazers like Sheikha Hanadi of Qatar, along with Waed al Taweel, who I met earlier -- a 20-year-old student from the West Bank who wants to build recreation centers for Palestinian youth.  So together, they represent the incredible talents of women entrepreneurs and remind us that countries that educate and empower women are countries that are far more likely to prosper.  I believe that. 
Request a Fact Check
April 26, 2010
The United States is launching several new exchange programs.  We will bring business and social entrepreneurs from Muslim-majority countries to the United States and send their American counterparts to learn from your countries.    So women in technology fields will have the opportunity to come to the United States for internships and professional development.  And since innovation is central to entrepreneurship, we’re creating new exchanges for science teachers.
Request a Fact Check
April 26, 2010
And tonight, I can report that the Global Technology and Innovation Fund that I announced in Cairo will potentially mobilize more than $2 billion in investments.  This is private capital, and it will unlock new opportunities for people across our countries in sectors like telecommunications, health care, education, and infrastructure.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
When I took office, the first thing we had to do was mount an aggressive response to the worst economic crisis we'd seen since the Great Depression, because we didn’t want a second Great Depression.  And let’s face it, some of the steps we took were unpopular.  I didn’t like them.  Nobody wanted to have to fix the financial system.  That wasn’t part of what I ran on.  I ran on making sure we regulated the financial system, but I didn’t run on having to make sure it didn’t collapse.  But I also knew that some of the things we did were the right thing to do in order to make sure that the situation didn’t get worse.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
And by the way, one of those steps was called the Recovery Act.  And I want everybody to understand here’s what it did.  First of all, one-third of it was tax cuts.  We cut taxes for small businesses -- (applause.)  So one-third -- when you hear of the Recovery Act, I want you to understand a third of that went to tax cuts for small businesses, for first-time homebuyers -- some of you have been first-time homebuyers and gotten that $8,000 credit -- for students and parents who were paying for college.  And we cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans -– 1.1 million working families here in Iowa -– because that’s what I told you I’d do during the campaign.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
So here is what’s going to happen this year.  Seniors are going to help -- get help paying for their prescription drugs -- this year.    Millions of small business owners, including farmers, will be eligible for tax credits to help insure their employees -- this year.    Parents of children with preexisting conditions will finally be able to purchase the coverage that they need -- this year.    Insurance companies won’t be able to drop you when you get sick  -- this year.    By the way, if you’re a young person here, you’ll be able to stay on your parents’ policy till you’re 26 -- starting this year. 
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
And in a couple years, after we’ve set the whole thing up, millions of families and small business owners, they’re going to have more choice, more competition, and they’re going to finally be able to purchase quality, affordable care and get a better deal because they’re going to be part of a big pool.  The reason that it’s cheap for federal employees, for example, to get good health insurance is because there are millions of federal employees, so they’ve got a lot of bargaining power.  It forces insurance companies to lower their rates and give them a better deal.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
Now, I don’t know where they were over the last 10 years, why they weren’t protesting and all that.    That’s fine.  I’m the President -- the buck stops with me.  And we did have to add -- we did have to add short term to the deficit to deal with the economic crisis.  All that unemployment benefits, those COBRA extensions, et cetera, that cost money.  But we’ve also taken real concrete steps to address the long-term deficits that loom over our future.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
Now, we haven’t been perfect.  That’s for sure.  Michelle could have warned you, I’m not perfect.    But I want -- what I want you to know is that every single thing we are trying to accomplish, every policy we put in place, every day that I go to work, it’s about restoring a sense of security for the middle class and renewing the American Dream for folks like you -- because you’re the ones who inspired me to run.  Whether you support me or not, it’s towns like this and families like yours that I spend my time thinking about. 
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
Q    I’m in -- I run a small business and we sell equipment, manufacturing equipment, and then we do leasing on that equipment.  And I’m real concerned over we seem like we continue to lose manufacturing jobs overseas.  And it’s a drain on that. And then we also have in our -- we try to arrange for financing. Our shops that are -- our small machine shops that are just everyday working guys that are really trying to make a living are now in a situation that their credit is challenged.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
On the financing side, one of the biggest problems we still have in our economy -- we made sure that the financial system didn’t collapse, but a lot of banks have still pulled back, and they’ve pulled back especially from small businesses.  So everywhere I go, I talk to small business owners who say, you know, we’re actually starting to get orders now but I can’t get a credit line from my bank.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
But one of our proposals is to have some of that money used to help get small business loans out.  And so this is going to be something that we’re debating.  If we can start loosening up credit for small businesses, and helping smaller and community banks with their lending portfolios, that will make a huge difference in terms of the pace of our economic growth.  So this is really a top priority for our administration.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
And meanwhile, while we talked, other nations acted.  From Spain to China, other nations recognized that the country that leads the clean-energy economy will be the country that leads the 21st century global economy.  They were making serious investments to win that race and the jobs that come with it.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
As a nation, we continue to experience the consequence of three distinct but closely related challenges.  One is a financial crisis, born of reckless speculation that threatened to choke off lending to families and to businesses.  And this crisis, in turn, led to the deepest recession we’ve known in generations –- costing millions of Americans their jobs and their homes, closing thousands of businesses and devastating Main Streets across the country.  And over the past two years, this downturn has aggravated an already severe fiscal crisis, brought on by decades of bad habits in Washington.
Request a Fact Check
April 27, 2010
Now, over the past year, we’ve had to take emergency measures to prevent the recession from becoming another depression.  And at a time when millions of people are out of work, we’ll continue to do what it takes to spur job creation while investing in a new foundation for lasting economic growth. But the emergency measures have added about $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.  As a result, even as we take these necessary steps in the short term, we have an obligation to future generations to address our long-term, structural deficits, which threaten to hobble our economy and leave our children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
It’s towns like this where working men and women built the American Dream with their bare hands.  This is where our roots are.  I just met a young man coming in -- he says he’s my cousin. There he is, right there.    Seriously, it’s -- what is it, fourth generation?  Four generations back?  I told him he was a little better looking than me. 
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
But all of us trace back to this experience of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents building this American Dream -- not having much to begin with.  And that dream is shared by every Illinoisan and every American -- the chance to make a good living, to raise a healthy and secure family, and most of all, to give our kids opportunities that we didn’t have ourselves.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
So we took these steps to get America back on its feet.  We aimed tax relief right at the middle class, the cornerstone of the American Dream.  We made sure that we cut taxes for 95 percent of working families, put money in their pockets because they were experiencing hard times -- fewer hours or somebody in the family being laid off, making sure that they could still buy groceries and pay the bills to keep the economy afloat.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
We cut taxes for small businesses.  We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers.  We cut taxes for students and parents paying for college.    And all of this -- not only did this help those individual families, but it increased purchasing power and spending power for businesses all across the country.  And then we extended unemployment benefits and we made COBRA cheaper for folks who had lost their jobs.    And then we helped give help to the states.  And Pat Quinn will tell you, because of the federal assistance that was provided, we averted some massive layoffs of teachers and police officers and firefighters all across the country. 
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
And in a few years, millions of families and small business owners are going to have more choice, more competition.  You’re going to be able to purchase the same kind of high-quality, affordable care that members of Congress get.  And you know that’s going to be pretty good.    You know they’re going to give themselves good insurance.  You’re going to be able to buy it, too. 
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
This isn’t some abstraction.  Sometimes, the folks who were fighting us, they made it sound as if, oh, he just wants big government, this -- no.  I just want people to be able to not go bankrupt and lose their house when they get sick.    I just want them not to have -- see their premiums doubled.  I don’t want them to be taken advantage of by insurance companies.   I want you to get a fair deal and a fair shake.    And that’s part of my job as President of the United States of America. 
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
They made bets.  They were making bets on what was going to happen in the housing market, and they would create these derivatives and all these instruments that nobody understood.  But it was basically operating like a big casino.  And it was producing big profits and big bonuses for them, but it was all built on shaky economics and some of these subprime loans that had been given out.  And because we did not have common-sense rules in place, those irresponsible practices came awfully close to bringing down our entire economy and millions of dreams along with it.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
Now, what we’re doing -- I want to be clear, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned.  I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.    But part of the American way is you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or you’re providing a good service.  We don't want people to stop fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow the economy.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
I’ve said this before.  I’ve said this on Wall Street just last week.  I believe in the power of the free market.  And I believe in a strong financial system.  And when it’s working right, financial institutions, they help make possible families buying homes, and businesses growing, and new ideas taking flight.  An entrepreneur may have a great idea, but he may need to borrow some money to make it happen.  It would be hard for a lot of us to buy a house -- our first house, at least, if we weren’t able to take out a mortgage.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
I didn’t say lie, but -- they will tell stories about what’s going on.  So let me just be very clear in terms of what we’re proposing on financial reform.  First -- and I know this is important to you because it’s important to me -- we’re going to make sure the American taxpayer is never again on the hook when a Wall Street firm fails.  Never again.    We don’t want to see another bailout.  That’s what this reform does.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
Now, you’ve got some -- you had some who were saying, cynically, just claiming the opposite, that somehow this was a bill that institutionalized bailouts.  What this bill did was it said, no, if you have a firm on Wall Street that fails, the financial industry is going to pay -- not taxpayers.  So a vote for reform is a vote to end taxpayer-funded bailouts once and for all.    If a crisis like this again happens, financial firms are going to foot the bill.  That’s point number one.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
Point number two -- we’re going to close the loopholes that allowed derivatives and all these other large, risky deals that don’t make a lot of economic sense and that could threaten our entire economy -- we want to bring those deals out into the -- out of the dark alleys of our financial system into the light of day, so that everybody knows exactly what’s happening, what risks are being taken -- investors, shareholders, everybody knows what’s going on.  That’s the second thing.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
And your attorney general, Lisa Madigan, has been fighting on behalf of consumers in this state and she knows how badly we need these protections.    In fact, Lisa and a bunch of other attorney generals came to testify on behalf of the need for these consumer protection bills because they see this stuff in their offices every day.  And it’s true all across the country.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
Or are we going to protect consumers, and strengthen our financial system, and put rules in place that keep this from happening ever again?    Are we going to give in to the special interests, or are we going to score another victory for the American people?    Are we going to stick with the status quo?  Or are we going to bring about fundamental change that makes things work for ordinary Americans? 
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
We are not powerless in the face of our challenges.  We don’t quit when things get tough.  We’re not afraid.  When something happens, we come together.  We move forward.  We act.  We are Americans -- our destiny is written by us, not for us.    And if we remember that and summon that spirit once again, we’re going to strengthen our economy today and tomorrow, and restore security to the middle class.      That’s what we’re fighting for -- the American Dream right here in Quincy, right here in Illinois, all across the country. 
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2010
In the two years that I spent running for President and visiting towns like Macon, a lot of folks talked about how the American Dream seemed like it was starting to slip away.  It was getting harder and harder to reach.  Families were having a tougher time getting ahead.  Farmers were having a tough time getting by.  Worse yet, many young people had been convinced that the only way that they could make a go of it was if they moved someplace else.
Request a Fact Check
April 29, 2010
And we do this because you’re the key to our success in the global economy -– preparing our kids to compete at a time when a nation’s most valuable currency is the knowledge and skills of its people.   And we do this because the impact you’ve had on all of our lives:  pushing us, believing in us, insisting -– sometimes, despite all evidence to the contrary -– that we have potential and that we have something worthy to contribute.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
I’ve said many times that the recession we’re emerging from was primarily caused by a lack of responsibility and accountability from Wall Street to Washington.  It’s part of the reason our economy nearly collapsed.  It’s what led to countless home foreclosures, the failure of community banks and small businesses, and a cascade of job losses that have left millions of Americans out of work.  And that's why I made passage of Wall Street reform one of my top priorities as President -– so that a crisis like this does not happen again.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
Today, I think it’s fair to say that these efforts have failed.  Today, Democrats and a handful of Republicans in the Senate have voted to break the filibuster and allow a final debate and vote on financial reform -- reform that will protect consumers, protect our economy, and hold Wall Street accountable.  I want to thank Senator Chris Dodd and Majority Leader Reid for their leadership on this legislation, as well as all the senators who put partisan posturing aside in allowing a vote on this important reform.  And I want to thank every American who kept the pressure on Washington to change a system that worked better for banks on Wall Street than it did for families on Main Street.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
Now, we’ve still got some work to do.  Soon we’re going to have a final vote in the Senate, and then the House and the Senate will have to iron out the differences between the two bills.  And there’s no doubt that during that time, the financial industry and their lobbyists will keep on fighting.  But I will ensure that we arrive at a final product that is both effective and responsible -– one that holds Wall Street to high standards of accountability and secures financial stability, while preserving the strength and crucial functions of a financial industry that is central to our prosperity and our ability to innovate and compete in a global economy.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
Because of Wall Street reform, we’ll soon have in place the strongest consumer protections in history.  If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, a student loan, or a mortgage, you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print.  It’s a big step for most families, but one that’s often filled with unnecessary confusion and apprehension.  As a result, many Americans are simply duped into hidden fees and loans they just can’t afford by companies that know exactly what they’re doing.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
Those days will soon end.  From now on, every consumer will be empowered with the clear and concise information that you need to make financial decisions that are best for you.  This bill will crack down on predatory practices and unscrupulous mortgage lenders.  It will enforce the new credit card law we passed banning unfair rate hikes, and ensure that folks aren’t unwittingly caught by overdraft fees when they sign up for a checking account.  It will give students who take out college loans information and make sure lenders don’t cheat the system.  And it will ensure that every American receives a free credit score if they are denied a loan or insurance because of that score.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
Because of financial reform, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes.  There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts -- period.  If a large financial institution should ever fail, we will have the tools to wind it down without endangering the broader economy.  And there will be new rules to prevent financial institutions from becoming “too big to fail” in the first place, so that we don’t have another AIG.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
Because of reform, the kinds of complex, backroom deals that helped trigger the financial crisis will finally be brought to the light of day.  And from now on, shareholders will have greater say on the pay of CEOs and other executives, so that they can reward success instead of failure, and help change the perverse incentives that encouraged so much reckless risk-taking in the first place.
Request a Fact Check
May 20, 2010
I also said when I took office that we can’t simply rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand -- on maxed-out credit cards or housing bubbles or reckless risk-taking on Wall Street. We’re going to have to build it on a firmer, stronger foundation for economic growth.  That’s why we invested in renewable energies that currently have the potential of creating new jobs all across America.  That’s why we’re reforming our education system so that our workers can compete on the global stage.  That’s why we passed health care reform that will lower costs for families and businesses.  And that’s why we’re about to pass financial regulatory reform -- to protect consumers and ensure that we don’t have another crisis caused by the irresponsibility of a few.
Request a Fact Check
May 21, 2010
We also have with us some legislative leaders who have been champions of not only the auto industry but also the environmental movement, and I want to thank them for being here.  One of the deans of the House of Representatives, Representative John Dingell -- please give him a big round of applause.    Representative Ed Markey is here from Massachusetts.    Representative Chris Van Hollen is here.    And Representative Henry Waxman. 
Request a Fact Check
May 21, 2010
A lot of people thought such an agreement was impossible.  After all, for decades we had made little headway in improving the fuel efficiency of our cars.  We’d hear a lot of urgent talk in Washington when oil prices went up, then we’d see politicians rush to the local gas stations -– I remember going to gas stations -- holding press conferences, announcing new legislation.  But the impetus for action would fade when gas prices started to go back down.  Meanwhile, progress was mired in a lot of old arguments traded across entrenched political divides:  left versus right, management versus labor, business leaders versus environmental advocates.
Request a Fact Check
May 21, 2010
But what we showed here one year ago today is that we could do something different.  We proved that these were false choices.  We brought together all the stakeholders, including former adversaries, to support a policy that would benefit consumers, workers, and the auto industry -– while strengthening the economy and protecting the planet.  One year later, we’re beginning to see the results.  Instead of fighting higher standards, auto manufacturers are engaged in a race to meet them.  And over the next five years, we expect fuel efficiency standards in cars and light trucks to reach an average of 35.5 miles per gallon.
Request a Fact Check
May 21, 2010
But we also know that our economic future depends on our leadership in the industries of the future.  Around the globe, countries are seeking an advantage in the global marketplace by investing in new ways of producing and saving energy.  From China to Germany, these countries recognize that the nation that leads in the clean energy economy will lead the global economy.  And I want America to be that nation.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
On the stage with me, we’ve got some -- the reason we’re here -- people who have helped to live out the American Dream and created jobs.  And we are extraordinarily proud of them.  We’ve got Trapper Clark and Thomas Sturtevant right over here.  We’ve got Charles Reid right down here.  And we’ve got Tamara Marquez-Nugent.  These are the outstanding winners of this award, and you’re going to be hearing more about them.  I also want to introduce somebody who I’m very proud of, who’s doing just a great job as our SBA Administrator, Karen Mills.  Please give her a round of applause. 
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
This is the beginning of National Small Business Week, which every President has recognized since John F. Kennedy started the tradition in 1963.  With us are some of the most successful, most hardworking entrepreneurs from across America.  Each of you has distinguished yourselves as the Small Business Owner of the Year in your state or your region.  Later today, a national winner will be announced.  But all of you should be extremely proud of what you’ve accomplished this year.  I know that I’m extremely proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
Being a successful small business person isn’t just about collecting a profit or outperforming your competition.  It’s about contributing to the success of this country’s economy.  It’s about contributing to your country’s continued growth and prosperity.  And it’s about securing your piece of the American Dream and helping your employees and your suppliers and all the people you work with secure their piece of the American Dream.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
It’s how small businesses begin.  Maybe somebody finally decides to take a chance on his dream.  Maybe a worker decides it’s time to become her own boss.  Either way, these entrepreneurial pioneers embody the spirit of possibility, the tireless work ethic, and the simple hope for something better that lies at the heart of the American ideal.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
Some of you have opened mom-and-pop stores that have led to America’s biggest, most successful companies.  Some have launched technology companies -- software and IT services that have redefined the marketplace.  You collectively create two out of every three jobs here in the United States of America -- two out of every three jobs.  And that’s why small businesses aren’t just the backbone of this economy -- you’re also the driving force behind this recovery.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
The problem is, is that small business owners have also been the hardest hit by this recession.  From the middle of 2007 through the end of 2008, small businesses lost 2.4 million jobs.  And because banks shrunk from lending in the midst of the financial crisis, it’s been difficult for small business owners to take out the loans they need to open up shop or to expand.  For those who do own a small business, it’s hard to finance inventories, make payrolls, or to do that additional work that could make your business grow.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
Now, government can’t create jobs, but it can help create the conditions for small businesses to grow and to thrive and to hire more workers.  Government can’t guarantee a company’s success, but it can knock down the barriers that prevent small business owners from getting loans or investing in the future.  And that’s why so much of our economic agenda has been focused on America’s small businesses.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
Last year, we enacted seven tax cuts for America’s small businesses, as well as Making Work Pay tax credits that go to the vast majority of small business owners.  So far, the Recovery Act has supported over 64,000 loans to small businesses -- more than $27 billion in new lending.  More than 1,200 banks and credit unions that had stopped making SBA loans when the financial crisis hit are lending again today.  And more than $8 billion in federal Recovery Act contracts are now going to small businesses.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
So right now, a series of additional tax incentives and other steps to promote hiring are taking effect.  Because of a bill I signed into law a few months ago, businesses are now eligible for tax cuts when they hire unemployed workers.  Companies are also able to write off more of their investments in new equipment.  And as part of the health reform package, 4 million small business owners recently received a postcard in their mailboxes telling them that they could be eligible for a health care tax credit this year.  It’s worth perhaps tens of thousands of dollars to your companies.  And it will provide welcome relief to small business owners, who -- I know you guys understand -- all too often have to choose between hiring or keeping your health care for yourselves and your workers.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
I also want to say a few words about what the SBA has been doing to help those workers and business owners who’ve been affected by the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.  From the very beginning of this disaster, the SBA has acted quickly to assist fishermen and fishing-dependent small businesses.  They’re offering low-interest loans and deferrals of existing loans.  And while small businesses are encouraged to file claims with BP, these loans and deferrals can provide much needed temporary assistance.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
I just met with Trapper and Tom, who are the state of Maine’s Small Business Owners of the Year.  Karen assures me that the reason they’re on stage is not because they’re from Maine, her home state.    They started a company that manufactures aluminum trailers about four years ago with 20 employees.  They’ve grown rapidly over the last few years, and that growth has been supported by a Recovery Act loan from the Small Business Administration.  They got some of their fees waived.  And today, they have 85 employees, are planning to add another 15 by the end of this year, and hope to add another 30 by the end of 2011.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
Ten years ago, they launched a glove-making business to provide flexibility and protection for our men and women in uniform.  When they won a contract to supply gloves for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009, they received a Recovery Act loan through the SBA and saved thousands on fees.  It was that loan that allowed Frank and Donna to rehire some employees who had been laid off during this recession, and today their business is growing and thriving once more.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
So many people who are here today have stories just like this.  Their success isn’t the result of a heavy-handed government.  It’s the result of a government that lent a helping hand -- that complements the sheer grit and determination of America’s small business owners.  And I believe we need to do even more to give these men and women a boost.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
So that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass small business jobs -- a small business jobs package as soon as possible.  This legislation should ensure that creditworthy small business owners can get the capital they need to expand and create jobs.  It should include needed tax relief, like our proposal to completely eliminate capital gains taxes for those making key long-term investments in small businesses.  It should include expansions of vital Small Business Administration loan programs that are needed now more than ever.  And it should include two important lending initiatives that I recently sent to Congress.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
The first initiative is the $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund I called for in my State of the Union address.  This fund would target only small community and neighborhood banks, and it would help these institutions increase lending to small businesses.  The second initiative is a new state small business credit program that we recently proposed, working with governors like Governor Doyle and Governor Granholm.  It’s an initiative that will help expand private lending for small businesses and manufacturers at a time when budget shortfalls are leading states to cut back on vitally important lending programs.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2010
This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.  This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue.  This should not be an issue about big government versus small government.  This is an issue that involves putting government on the side of small business owners who create most of the jobs in this country.  It’s about giving them tax credits and loans and tax cuts so they can keep growing and keep hiring.  It’s about unleashing the great power of our economy and the ingenuity of our people.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
And so we had to act quickly.  And that meant that right away we had to make sure that we put in place mechanisms to put people back to work, to get the economy growing again.  We had to cut taxes for small businesses and for individuals so that they would boost demand in the economy that was caving.  It meant that we had to make sure that unemployment insurance and COBRA was in place so that people would have some safety net under them when they lost a job through no means of their own -- through no fault of their own. 
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
But it also meant that we had to make investments so that we would create a foundation for long-term growth in this country.  See, we couldn’t keep on doing the same things we had been doing.  It wasn’t good enough just to go back to the status quo ante.  We couldn’t have a situation in which growth was premised on everybody maxing out on their credit cards, and taking out home equity loans, and getting deeper and deeper into debt, and wild speculation on the financial markets.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
And we thought about how could we restore an auto industry that was on the brink.  But again, we couldn’t go back to the status quo.  So what we did was we said, you know what, we’re going to make sure that GM and Chrysler aren’t liquidated, but we’re going to make sure that we invest in advanced battery technologies and hybrid technologies so that we can start seeing a future of plug-in hybrids that get 150 miles a gallon so that we can start breaking our dependence on foreign oil. 
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
And so after the -- over the last several months, after we finished with health care, we’ve tackled financial regulatory reform.  We’ve now passed it through the House.  We’ve now passed it through the Senate.  And we are going to pass it through Congress.  And then I’m going to sign that bill to make sure that we don't have taxpayer bailouts for irresponsible behavior in our financial sector. 
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
And that’s what I want to talk to you about tonight –- because reviving our economy remains the central challenge that we’re facing today.  I don’t have to tell you folks here in California, this state has been hit as hard as any state with economic troubles over the past few years.  Jobs have been lost in heartbreaking numbers up and down the coast.  The housing crisis hit the state with a vengeance.  The budget problems have put a further strain on people here at a time when they really need help, and that forces the state government to make painful choices about where to spend, where to save.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
Now, you’ve heard that said before, but think about that -- think about that -- this is the worst economic crisis that many of the people in this room have seen in their lifetimes.  And the fact is, is that a lot of folks didn't know what to do.  And there were some economists who said that we may be falling over a precipice:  The banking sector had completely locked up, no credit was flowing, and we might end up seeing a global depression that rivaled what happened in the 1930s.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
Many in this community are still reeling from the effects of the recession -- and that followed a decade of struggle and growing economic insecurity for a lot of middle-class families.  The truth is, even though the economy is growing and adding jobs again, it’s going to take a while to create the favorable conditions for communities like this one to rebound and to flourish.  But what was clear when I walked through the Oval Office door, at a time of maximum peril in our economy, when economists were warning we might be going into a Great Depression, the financial system might be on the verge of collapse -- what was clear was that even though it might be difficult and even though some of the things we had to do might not be politically popular -– we had to act.  We couldn’t accept a future that was marked by decline.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
And that’s why we took a series of steps to stop what was nothing short of an economic freefall.  We passed a series of tax cuts to put more money in the pockets of working families right away -- including more than 12 million families in California.  We increased the Pell Grant -- which brought 4 million additional dollars -- $4 million of additional aid to students right here in Fremont.  We backed loans to small businesses -- including $20 million to companies in this community alone.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
We also provided relief for those hardest hit -- who not only needed help, but would most likely use the relief to generate more economic activity.  So we extended unemployment benefits for more than 3 million California residents and made COBRA cheaper for people who’d lost their jobs so they could keep their health care for their families.  We provided $250 in relief to more than 5 million California seniors -- many whose life savings had taken a big hit in the financial crisis.  And we provided emergency assistance to our governors to prevent teachers and police officers and firefighters from being laid off as a result of state budget shortfalls.  At a time when California is facing a fiscal crisis, we know that this has saved the jobs of tens of thousands of educators and other needed public servants just in this state.  And what was true in California was true all across the country.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
So we recognized that we’ve got to go back to basics.  We’ve got to go back to making things.  We’ve got to go back to exports.  We’ve got to go back to innovation.  And we recognized that there was only so much government could do.  The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra, will always be America’s businesses.  But that doesn’t mean the government can just sit on the sidelines.  Government still has the responsibility to help create the conditions in which students can gain an education so they can work at Solyndra, and entrepreneurs can get financing so they can start a company, and new industries can take hold.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
But even as we are dealing with this immediate crisis, we’ve got to remember that the risks our current dependence on oil holds for our environment and our coastal communities is not the only cost involved in our dependence on these fossil fuels.  Around the world, from China to Germany, our competitors are waging a historic effort to lead in developing new energy technologies.  There are factories like this being built in China, factories like this being built in Germany.  Nobody is playing for second place.  These countries recognize that the nation that leads the clean energy economy is likely to lead the global economy.  And if we fail to recognize that same imperative, we risk falling behind.  We risk falling behind. 
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2010
Fifteen years ago, the United States produced 40 percent of the world’s solar panels -- 40 percent.  That was just 15 years ago.  By 2008, our share had fallen to just over 5 percent.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not prepared to cede American leadership in this industry, because I’m not prepared to cede America’s leadership in the global economy.
Request a Fact Check
May 27, 2010
We’re also doing whatever it takes to help the men and women whose livelihoods have been disrupted and even destroyed by this spill -– everyone from fishermen to restaurant and hotel owners. So far the Small Business Administration has approved loans and allowed many small businesses to defer existing loan payments. At our insistence, BP is paying economic injury claims, and we’ll make sure that when all is said and done, the victims of this disaster will get the relief that they are owed. We’re not going to abandon our fellow citizens. We’ll help them recover and we will help them rebuild.
Request a Fact Check
May 27, 2010
So the thing that the American people need to understand is that not a day goes by where the federal government is not constantly thinking about how do we make sure that we minimize the damage on this, we close this thing down, we review what happened to make sure that it does not happen again. And in that sense, there are analogies to what’s been happening in terms of in the financial markets and some of these other areas where big crises happen -- it forces us to do some soul searching. And I think that’s important for all of us to do.
Request a Fact Check
May 28, 2010
As I said yesterday, the Small Business Administration has stepped in to help businesses by approving loans, but also as important, allowing many to defer existing loan payments.  A lot of folks are still loaded up with loans that they had from Katrina and other natural disasters down here, so they may need some additional help.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
To deepen Russia’s integration into the global economy, I reaffirmed our strong commitment to Russia’s ascension to the World Trade Organization.  Today we’ve reached an agreement that will allow the United States to begin exporting our poultry products to Russia once again.  And I want to thank President Medvedev and his team for resolving this issue, which is of such importance to American business, and which sends an important signal about Russia’s seriousness about achieving membership in the WTO.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
And I think that we will be able to track a trajectory.  And if that trajectory indicates that over the course of a year the RMB has appreciated a certain amount that is more in line in economic fundamentals, then I -- hopefully not only will that be good for the U.S. economy, that will also be good for the Chinese economy and the world economy.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
We are obviously still a huge part of the world economy.  We are still going to be open.  We are still going to be importing as well as exporting.  But the economic realities are such that for us to see sustained global economic growth, all countries are going to have to be moving in some new directions.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
That was acknowledged in Pittsburgh.  That means that surplus countries are going to have to think about how are we spurring domestic demand.  That means that emerging countries are going to have to think are we only oriented towards exports, or are we also starting to produce manufacturing goods and services for the internal market.  It means that deficit countries have to start getting serious about their midterm and long-term debt and deficits.  And that includes the United States of America, which is why I've got a fiscal commission that's going to be reporting to me by the end of the year.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
So the point is not every country is going to respond exactly the same way, but all of us are going to have responsibilities to rebalance in ways that allow for long-term, sustained economic growth in which all countries are participating and, hopefully, the citizens of all these countries are benefiting.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
Now, there’s still a lot more that we can do to encourage trade and investment.  And obviously in Russia -- and President Medvedev and I discussed this -- issues of transparency and accountability and rule of law remain absolutely critical.  This is the foundation on which investments and economic growth depends.  And I very much appreciate and applaud President Medvedev’s efforts in this area.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
Of course, ultimately, it’s you -— the private sector, our entrepreneurs -— who create jobs and unleash economic growth.  It’s the market that’s been the most powerful force in history for creating opportunity and prosperity.  It’s not the resources we pump or pull from the ground.  It’s the imagination and the creativity of our people, our workers, and their dreams for themselves and their children that ultimately drives the modern economy.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
At the same time, we are all seated and back in Moscow, we were standing with Presidents.  So it is easier to work.  And this isn’t a significant difference, but speaking in serious term, during this year, we have changed a lot.  The world economy has changed.  And we were working very hard in order to improve the situation in our national economy in order to re-launch failed mechanisms in international economy.  And certain persons present here just worked to save their businesses.  In general, we managed to do so, although we did have problems.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
We will work personally and in the framework of the Presidential Commission established a while ago, but we also pin our hopes on the U.S.-Russia Business Dialogue established two years ago.  We have representatives of this dialogue in this hall, and I’m very pleased that we are interacting on this topic and that eventually our joint projects will help us to overcome the difficulties threatening our economies, the world economy.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2010
We still have to do a lot -- to do a lot internationally and to do a lot with respect to our national legislations.  President Obama is doing great work.  We understand how difficult this work is because each solution has both persons who are in favor and who are against.  But it is evident that the world economy and the world itself has changed.  And we will have to change the rules, although everybody present in this hall are committed to modern economic approaches and are committed to a free market.
Request a Fact Check
June 25, 2010
Wall Street reform will also strengthen our economy in a number of other ways. We’ll make our financial system more transparent by bringing the kinds of complex deals that help trigger this crisis, like trades in a $600 trillion derivatives market, into the light of day. We’ll enact the Volcker Rule to make sure that banks protected by the safety net of the FDIC can’t engage in risky trades for their own profit. And we’ll create what’s called a resolution authority to help wind down firms whose collapse would threaten our entire financial system. No longer will be have companies that are “too big to fail”.
Request a Fact Check
June 26, 2010
We had an excellent conversation building off of the conversations that we’ve had at the G8 about the world economy and the importance of our two countries focusing both on the issues of growth, but also on the issues of financial consolidation, that we have long-term deficits that have to be dealt with and we have to address them.
Request a Fact Check
June 27, 2010
The G20 is now the premier forum for international economic cooperation.  We represent East and West, North and South, advanced economies and those still emerging.  Our challenges are as diverse as our nations.  But together we represent some 85 percent of the global economy, and we have forged a coordinated response to the worst global economic crisis in our time.
Request a Fact Check
June 27, 2010
But as we all know, that’s not good enough.  In the United States and around the world, too many people are still out of work.  In too many economies, demand for goods and services is still too weak.  As we’ve been reminded in recent months, a financial crisis in one country can have consequences far beyond its borders.  And history teaches us that growth and prosperity is never guaranteed.  It requires constant effort and it requires continued leadership.
Request a Fact Check
June 27, 2010
The second area we focused on was advancing the goal of financial reform.  Just as we’re on the verge of passing financial reforms in the United States, our European partners have committed to the process we went through in the United States —- a new level of transparency and a stress test for banks to rebuild confidence.
Request a Fact Check
June 27, 2010
And I’m pleased we endorsed my proposal to broaden the G20 agenda to include the fight against corruption.  In too many places, the culture of the bribe is a brake on development and prosperity.  It discourages entrepreneurship, destroys public trust, and undermines the rule of law while stifling economic growth.  With a new commitment to strengthening and enforcing rules against corruption, economic opportunity and prosperity will be more broadly shared.
Request a Fact Check
June 27, 2010
And we have set up this fiscal commission who will provide reports starting in November -- and one of the encouraging things, although there was resistance, ironically, on the part of some of the Republicans who originally had been co-sponsors of legislation to create the fiscal commission and they, in fact, ended up voting against it -- what’s been encouraging, based on what I’m hearing both from Democrats and Republicans, is that there’s been a serious conversation there.  People are looking at a whole spectrum of issues to get at what is basically a structural deficit that preceded this financial crisis.
Request a Fact Check
June 27, 2010
We’re having breakfast this morning because the friendship between Indonesia and the United States has always been strong, and it is our intention to continue to make it even stronger. Working within the G20, we have been able to stabilize the world economy. I was just hearing from the President the progress that's been made in getting back to pre-crisis levels in Indonesia with respect to economic growth and employment, inflation. But obviously, we have many challenges that still have to proceed.
Request a Fact Check
June 29, 2010
But what we also agreed is that we’ve still got a lot of work to do.  There is a great concern about the 8 million jobs that were lost during the course of these last two years, and that we’ve got to continually push the pace of economic growth in order to put people back to work.  That ultimately is the measure for most Americans of how well the economy is doing.
Request a Fact Check
June 29, 2010
Not only will completion of the financial regulatory reform bill provide some certainty to the markets about how we are going to prevent a crisis like this from happening again, but it also ensures that consumers are going to be protected like never before on all the things day to day that involve interactions with the financial system.  From credit card debt to mortgages, consumers are going to have the kinds of protections that they have not had before.
Request a Fact Check
June 29, 2010
So, overall, I think that, listening to Chairman Bernanke, I continue to be convinced that with financial regulatory reform in place, with a recovery well underway, that we have enormous potential to build on the hard work that’s been done by this team and put people back to work and keep this recovery and the economy growing over the next several years.
Request a Fact Check
June 29, 2010
I’m confident that given the package that has been put together, that senators, hopefully on both sides of the aisle, recognize it’s time we put in place rules that prevent taxpayer bailouts and make sure that we don’t have a financial crisis that can tank the economy.  And I think there’s going to be enough interest in moving reform forward that we’re going to get this done.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
I hear worries like this all the time -- from folks that I talk to in town halls like this, but also in the letters that I read each night from all across the country.  And it’s frustrating and often it’s heartbreaking.  And that’s why even though there’s -- there are plenty of challenges on our plate -- everything from Afghanistan to Iran to the oil spill, all critical issues that go to our long-term prosperity and security -- nothing is more important than reversing the damage of the great recession and getting folks back to work.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
And that’s why I’ve been fighting, in addition to everything we’ve done, for additional steps to speed up this recovery and keep the economy growing.  We want an extension of unemployment benefits for workers who lost their job through no fault of their own.    We want to help small business owners get the loans they need to keep their doors open and hire more workers.    We want relief for struggling states so they don’t have to lay off thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers. 
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
Now, you’d think this would be pretty straightforward stuff, but I’ve got to say that lately we’ve been having to wrangle around what used to be pretty noncontroversial things -- providing loans for small businesses, extending unemployment insurance when 8 million people lost their jobs during the recession.  But lately, there’s a minority of senators from the other party who’ve had a different idea.  As we speak, they are using their power to stop this relief from going to the American people.  And they won’t even let these measures come up for a vote.  They block it through all kinds of procedural maneuvering in the Senate.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
On Wall Street, the financial industry and its lobbyists spent years chipping away at rules and safeguards that could have prevented the meltdown of -- that caused -- that was caused by Lehmann Brothers and AIG.  But we didn’t have those rules in place, that framework of regulation in place.  So instead, we saw a disaster that nearly led to the collapse of the entire economy.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
And there have always been those who said no to these policies and these ideas.  I mean, you look back on the history books.  There were people who said that Social Security was socialism, said that Medicare was a government takeover.  There were automakers who said that installing seat belts was unnecessary, unaffordable, and would ruin the auto industry.  There were skeptics who thought that cleaning our water and our air would bankrupt our economy.  Right here in Wisconsin -- if you look at the lake now and look at the lake, what it was like 30 years ago, 40 years ago.  And there were people who said, well, there’s nothing we can do about all the sludge and drudge and whatever is going on in there.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
He can't be that out of touch with the struggles of American families.  And if he is, then he’s got to come here to Racine and ask people what they think.    Do you think we should fix -- I mean, maybe I'm confused.  Do you think that the financial crisis was an ant and we just needed a little ant swatter to fix this thing?  Or do you think that we need to restructure how we regulate the financial system so you aren’t on the hook again and we don't have this kind of crisis again? 
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
When you ask men and women who have been out of work for months at a time, who talk about how they’ve been barely hanging on, they don't think this financial crisis     was something where you just need a few tweaks.  They know it’s what led to the worst recession since the Great Depression.  And they expect their leaders in Washington to do whatever it takes to make sure a crisis like this doesn’t happen again.  And so there may be those in Washington who want to maintain the status quo, but we want to move America forward.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
So already -- already we’ve provided entrepreneurs and small business owners with tax credits and loan guarantees that’s led to 720,000 clean energy jobs -- will lead to over 700,000 jobs in 2012.  These are good-paying, middle-class, American jobs.  I’ve seen them.  I’ve gone to wind turbine plants where they’re creating wind turbines, and gone to solar plants where they’re making the latest generation of solar panels.  And we’ve created an entire new advanced battery industry here in the United States.  So where we were only getting 2 percent of that market, we’re now going to be getting 40 percent of that market.  That was all done through the Recovery Act. 
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
Okay.  You know, one of the -- obviously part of what triggered this entire crisis was what was going on in the mortgage industry.  American homeownership -- that's always been such an important symbol of the American Dream, right?  Having your own home.  And so I think that part of what’s happened over the years was it was easier and easier to get a mortgage.  And some of that was good, but unfortunately what you started seeing were what were called these sub-prime loans.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
Now, we have been able to settle the markets down and stabilize them so that now it’s possible for people to get mortgages and get auto loans and it’s possible for businesses to get credit -- although small businesses are still having a problem.  But that underlying problem of the housing market is still there.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
Now, here’s the last point I want to make, last point I want to make.  Having said all that, I'm still not satisfied with where we’re at.  We're growing at about 2.5, 3 percent growth.  We need to be growing at 4 percent or 5 percent.  So there are still more things we can do.  I mentioned a couple of them.  We should pass a bill that helps small businesses get more loans.    If we can help the big banks, then we should certainly be able to help small business lending.  And a lot of small businesses are still having trouble getting credit.  We've done some work on that, but we can do more.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
And that's a legitimate question.  And whether you're a Democrat, an independent, or a Republican, all of us should be worried about the fact that we have been running the credit card on -- in the name of future generations.  And somebody is going to have to pay that back.  And by the way, when we borrow all that money, we have to pay interest on that -- to other countries and other investors.  So we've got to get our debt and our deficits under control.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
Well, it’s a great question.  Well, this actually connects to the previous question, because I was talking about what we were doing for the emergency, what we were doing for the local economy.  But obviously now we live in a global economy.  So we've got to compete with other countries like we've never had to compete before.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
And then we’ve got to put more money into research and development, because ultimately the jobs that are being created here are going to be created by small businesses, by start-ups, by entrepreneurs who’ve got a new idea.  And we’ve got to make sure that -- we’ve got make sure that we’re investing in research on things like clean energy, so that’s another aspect of it.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2010
A couple other elements -- in terms of our tax structure, one of the things that we’ve done -- one of the things we proposed was eliminating the capital gains tax for small businesses, because small businesses create businesses -- or create jobs.  Start-ups create jobs.  So there are things we can do with the tax structure that encourages more job creation.
Request a Fact Check
July 20, 2010
Today’s historic Kabul Conference is another major step forward.  The Afghan government presented —- and its international partners unanimously endorsed —- concrete plans to implement President Karzai’s commitments to improve security, economic growth, governance, and the delivery of basic services. The Afghan government presented its peace and reconciliation plan —- which the United States firmly supports.  Agreement was reached on a plan in which responsibility for security in Afghan provinces will transition to Afghan security forces.  In addition, Afghanistan and Pakistan reached a historic agreement to increase economic opportunity for people on both sides of the border.
Request a Fact Check
July 20, 2010
But I can assure you this, that my administration is squarely committed not just to dealing with the short-term deficit and debt -- which in some ways is the least troubling aspect of this problem -- what we’re going to have to tackle are some big structural reforms that are going to be tough.  And they're going to be that much tougher because we’re coming out of a recession as we do it.  But I think that as we continue to see economic growth, as we continue to see the economy heal from last year, that the American people are going to want to approach this problem in a serious, realistic way.  We owe it for the next generation.
Request a Fact Check
July 21, 2010
Now, while a number of factors led to such a severe recession, the primary cause was a breakdown in our financial system.  It was a crisis born of a failure of responsibility from certain corners of Wall Street to the halls of power in Washington.  For years, our financial sector was governed by antiquated and poorly enforced rules that allowed some to game the system and take risks that endangered the entire economy.
Request a Fact Check
July 21, 2010
Now, let’s put this in perspective.  The fact is, the financial industry is central to our nation’s ability to grow, to prosper, to compete and to innovate.  There are a lot of banks that understand and fulfill this vital role, and there are a whole lot of bankers who want to do right -- and do right -- by their customers.  This reform will help foster innovation, not hamper it.  It is designed to make sure that everybody follows the same set of rules, so that firms compete on price and quality, not on tricks and not on traps.
Request a Fact Check
July 21, 2010
Now, for all those Americans who are wondering what Wall Street reform means for you, here’s what you can expect.  If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, a student loan, or a mortgage, you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print.  What often happens as a result is that many Americans are caught by hidden fees and penalties, or saddled with loans they can’t afford.
Request a Fact Check
July 21, 2010
So, all told, these reforms represent the strongest consumer financial protections in history.    In history.  And these protections will be enforced by a new consumer watchdog with just one job:  looking out for people -– not big banks, not lenders, not investment houses -– looking out for people as they interact with the financial system.
Request a Fact Check
July 21, 2010
Now, beyond the consumer protections I’ve outlined, reform will also rein in the abuse and excess that nearly brought down our financial system.  It will finally bring transparency to the kinds of complex and risky transactions that helped trigger the financial crisis.  Shareholders will also have a greater say on the pay of CEOs and other executives, so they can reward success instead of failure.
Request a Fact Check
July 21, 2010
The fact is every American -– from Main Street to Wall Street –- has a stake in our financial system.  Wall Street banks and firms invest the capital that makes it possible for start-ups to sell new products.  They provide loans to businesses to expand and to hire.  They back mortgages for families purchasing a new home.  That’s why we’ll all stand to gain from these reforms.  We all win when investors around the world have confidence in our markets.  We all win when shareholders have more power and more information.  We all win when consumers are protected against abuse.  And we all win when folks are rewarded based on how well they perform, not how well they evade accountability.
Request a Fact Check
July 21, 2010
In the end, our financial system only works –- our market is only free –- when there are clear rules and basic safeguards that prevent abuse, that check excess, that ensure that it is more profitable to play by the rules than to game the system.  And that’s what these reforms are designed to achieve -- no more, no less.  Because that’s how we will ensure that our economy works for consumers, that it works for investors, that it works for financial institutions -– that it works for all of us.
Request a Fact Check
July 22, 2010
This isn’t just about lines on a spreadsheet or numbers in a budget, because when we fail to spend people’s tax dollars wisely, that’s money that we’re not investing in better schools for our kids, or tax relief for families, or innovation to create new industries and new jobs. When government doesn’t work like it should, it has a real effect on people’s lives -– on small business owners who need loans, on young people who want to go to college, on the men and women who’ve served this country and are trying to get the benefits that they’ve earned. And when we continue to spend as if deficits don’t matter, that means our kids and our grandkids may wind up saddled with debts that they’ll never be able to repay.
Request a Fact Check
July 23, 2010
First, I signed a Wall Street reform bill that will protect consumers and our entire economy from the recklessness and irresponsibility that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression.  It’s a reform that will help us put a stop to the abusive practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies, and ensure that people get the straight, unvarnished information that they need before they take out a loan or open a credit card. It will bring the shadowy deals that caused the financial crisis into the light of day.  And it will end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street firms and give shareholders a say on executive compensation.
Request a Fact Check
July 23, 2010
But ultimately, our goal is to make sure the people who are looking for a job can find a job.  And that's why it’s so important for the Senate to pass the additional steps that I’ve asked for to cut taxes and expand lending for America’s small businesses, our most important engine for hiring and for growth. And a small business jobs bill that contains these measures may come up for a final vote in the Senate in the next few days.
Request a Fact Check
July 23, 2010
With this small business bill, we’ll set up a new lending fund to help community banks offer small businessmen and women the loans they need to grow and to hire.  We’ll help states encourage more private sector loans to small businesses in industries like manufacturing or construction that have been especially hard hit by this recession.  We’ll expand our most successful small business initiatives and more than double the size of loans our small business owners can take out.
Request a Fact Check
July 23, 2010
Now, last night, after a series of partisan delays, the Senate took an important step forward by supporting a lending fund in the overall small business jobs bill.  I want to thanks Senators Mary Landrieu and George Lemieux for their leadership and advocacy on behalf of the millions of small business people for whom this will make a meaningful difference.  I was heartened that Senator LeMieux and Senator George Voinovich crossed party lines to help pass this lending provision last night, and I hope we can now finish the job and pass the small business jobs plan without delay and without additional partisan wrangling.
Request a Fact Check
July 26, 2010
So HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan have worked together to improve access to affordable housing and community supports and independent living arrangements for people with disabilities. And we continued a program that successfully helps people with disabilities transition to the community of their choice. And I’m proud of the work that the Department of Justice is doing to enforce Olmstead across the country.
Request a Fact Check
July 26, 2010
Now, you’d think that making these reforms would be a matter of common sense, particularly since they primarily involve just making sure that folks who are financing these ads are disclosed so that the American people can make up their own minds.  Nobody is saying you can’t run the ads -- just make sure that people know who in fact is behind financing these ads.  And you’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue.  But of course, this is Washington in 2010.  And the Republican leadership in the Senate is once again using every tactic and every maneuver they can to prevent the DISCLOSE Act from even coming up for an up or down vote.  Just like they did with unemployment insurance for Americans who’d lost their jobs in this recession.  Just like they’re doing by blocking tax credits and lending assistance for small business owners.  On issue after issue, we are trying to move America forward, and they keep on trying to take us back.
Request a Fact Check
July 27, 2010
I believe that starts with doing everything we can to support small businesses.  These are the stores, the restaurants, the start-ups and other companies that create two out of every three new jobs in this country -- and that grow into the big businesses that transform industries, here in America and around the world.
Request a Fact Check
July 27, 2010
These are the kind of common-sense steps that folks from both parties have supported in the past -- steps to cut taxes and spur private sector growth and investment.  And I hope that in the coming days, we’ll once again find common ground and get this legislation passed.  We shouldn’t let America’s small businesses be held hostage to partisan politics -- and certainly not at this critical time.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
Well, I just had a terrific meeting with these small business owners here at Tastee Sub Shop.  And I want to thank Dave and Carl for hosting us here today.  And I highly recommend everybody buy a sandwich while you’re here, although as I said before, I can’t eat a 12-inch these days, now that I’m 49 -- well, I will be in a week.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
This town, Edison, is named after somebody who was not only one of history’s greatest inventors but also a pretty savvy small business owner.  And the small business people who are here with me today exemplify that same entrepreneurial spirit.  And all of these companies have seen their share of challenges.  All of these small business owners have had to improvise and adapt over the years, especially in tough times, and that includes over the last couple years.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
So Tom and Catherine Horsburgh were telling me that they got through the downturn.  In order to do so, they had to market their products to types of businesses that they hadn’t sold to before.  Brian Bovio’s company had to let some people go when the recession hit.  But in the two years since, he’s transformed his business, and now he’s making people’s homes more energy efficient to save money on their utility bills -- and he’s been able to start hiring again.  He is very interested in making sure that the HOMESTAR proposal that we’ve put into Congress actually passes, because not only will that help to expand his business but it’s also going to help Americans save energy not only in this part of the country but all across the country.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
Now, all of this hasn’t been easy.  The recession has meant that folks are spending less.  It means that small businesses have had a tougher time getting credit and getting loans.  And that’s why when I took office, we put in place an economic plan specifically to help small businesses.  And we were guided by a simple idea:  Government can’t guarantee success, but it can knock down barriers that keep entrepreneurs from opening or expanding.  For example, the lack of affordable credit -- that’s something the government can do something about.  Government can’t replace the millions of jobs that we lost in the recession, but it can create the conditions for small businesses to hire more people through steps like tax breaks.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
That’s why we’ve cut taxes for America’s small businesses eight times.  Eight times have we cut taxes for small businesses all across the country.  Because of a bill I signed into law a few months ago, businesses are now eligible for tax cuts when they hire unemployed workers -- something that could benefit every business represented behind me.  Companies are also able to write off more of their investments in new equipment, which Tom and Catherine have taken advantage of.  As part of the health reform package, 4 million small business owners recently received a postcard in their mailbox telling them that this year they could be eligible for a health care tax credit that’s worth perhaps tens of thousands of dollars.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
Our economic plan has also supported nearly 70,000 new loans to small businesses.  One of these loans made it possible for Tom and Catherine to purchase new equipment.  We’ve waived fees on new SBA loans to save folks money on payments.  And that reduced Theo’s costs when he opened his new restaurant.  His family had a business, a family restaurant.  He opened his own and it saved him more than $20,000 in waived fees -- money that’s now gone into that new restaurant and its 60 new employees.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
So all told, these and other steps are making a difference.  But when you listen to the struggles that small business owners are still facing, it’s clear that we need to do more.  And that’s why I’m urging the Senate to approve a jobs bill that will do two big things for small businesses:  cut taxes and make more loans available.  That’s what Dave and Carl and Theo and Brian and Tom and Catherine tell me they can use.  And that’s what I’ve heard from small businesses all across America.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
This bill will also make more credit available.  Everywhere I go, I hear from small business owners who simply cannot get the credit they need to hire and expand.  And we’ve been hearing from smaller community banks that they want to lend to these folks but need more capital to do it.  So the initiatives in this bill will help them meet those challenges.  And it will increase -- allow them to increase loan sizes, and make sure that we continue to waive fees for SBA loans that have helped a number of the people standing behind me.
Request a Fact Check
July 28, 2010
Now, let me just make one last point.  I know it’s no secret that we’ve confronted a lot of partisan politics over the past year and a half.  We’ve seen a fair amount of obstruction that’s had more to do with gaining political advantage than helping the country.  But surely, Democrats and Republicans ought to be able to agree on this bill.  When I had a conversation with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner yesterday, I told them that the provisions of this bill are things that the Republican Party has said it’s supported for years:  helping small businesses, cutting taxes, making credit available.  This is as American as apple pie.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy.  They are central to our identity as a nation.  They are going to lead this recovery.  The folks standing beside me are going to lead this recovery.
Request a Fact Check
July 29, 2010
The last time I spoke with you was during your Orlando conference in August -- got Orlando in the house.  Orlando conference back in August of 2008.  I didn’t have any gray hair back then.    Say that's all right?    But I want to remind you what things were like in August of 2008.  Our economy was in freefall. We had just seen seven straight months of job loss.  Foreclosures were sweeping the nation.  And we were on the verge of a financial crisis that threatened to plunge our economy into a second Great Depression.
Request a Fact Check
July 29, 2010
We’ve also included a permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act in the health care reform legislation we passed this spring.  We’re strengthening Tribal education.  We’re working to spur economic development throughout Indian Country.  And in consultation with Indian tribes, we’re now formally reviewing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  And after 14 long years, we’ve finally settled the Cobell case and we’re working with Congress to get the settlement approved as quickly as possible.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
Listen, before I just make a few short remarks, I just want to acknowledge some people who are here who have been critical in helping make sure that we are putting the U.S. auto industry back on track.  First of all, my Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood, from Peoria, Illinois, is here.    The mayor of Hamtramck, Karen Majewski, is here.  Give her a big round of applause. 
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
You know, it is great to be back here and to see this outstanding plant and to see all of you.  And I want to take you down Memory Lane just a little bit to a year ago.  At that point, we were coming out of the worst recession that we had seen since the Great Depression.  The economy was shrinking.  We had lost 8 million jobs.  The day I was sworn in, we lost -- that month, we lost 750,000 jobs -- that month that I was sworn in.  That's true.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
The auto industry had lost hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Sales had gone down by 40 percent.  And two of the Big Three, GM and Chrysler, were on the brink of a liquidation bankruptcy, which means they would have been wiped out.  And if GM and Chrysler were wiped out, then suppliers would be wiped out and dealerships would have been wiped out, and communities would have been even more devastated.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
It’s estimated that we would have lost another million jobs if we had not stepped in.    Now, we basically had three options when I was confronting what was happening in the U.S. auto industry.  Option number one was to keep on doing what the previous administration had been doing, which is basically give about a billion dollars a month to the auto industry, but not really ask for any kind of change that would get it on the right track.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
And now here we are a year later.  And a year later, GM and Chrysler, along with Ford, are all posting a profit.    The U.S. auto industry has hired 55,000 workers, the most job growth in a decade.    And not only that, but you’re producing the cars of the future right here at this plant, producing cars that are going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  This car right here doesn’t need a sip of gasoline for 40 miles and then keeps on going after that. 
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
Now, let’s be clear, we’re not out of the woods yet.  The economy is now growing -- it was shrinking at 6 percent.  Now, it’s growing at 2.4 percent.  We’ve added private sector jobs for six months in a row, but there’s still too many folks unemployed.  There are a lot of folks in the auto industry who haven’t been hired back.  We’re still going to have to do a lot of work to put folks back to work.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
We are back on our feet.  We are on the move.  GM is on the move.  The U.S. auto industry is on the move.  And America is on the move, and I’m not going to rest until every single American worker who wants to get back to work is going to be back to work.  You're helping lead the way and I’m grateful to you! 
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
We’ve got some special guests here that I want to acknowledge.  First of all, your Secretary of Transportation, who has helped to make sure that we are guiding this process of rebuilding the American auto industry and is doing an outstanding job, from Peoria, Illinois, Secretary Ray Lahood.  Give him a big round of applause. 
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
I wasn’t used to that.  Had all these -- everything was electronic, and I had -- all my -- I’d had to roll up my windows up until that point.  So I’ve got some good memories of that car.  But I’ve got to tell you when I sat in this car, this is a better car.  This is a state-of-the-art car.  This is a world-class car right here. 
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
In the 12 months before I took office, the American auto industry lost hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Sales plunged 40 percent.  Think about that.  The industry looked like it was going over a cliff.  As the financial crisis and the vicious recession collided with an industry that for too long had avoided hard choices and hadn’t fully adapted to changing times, we finally reached the point where two of the Big Three -- Chrysler and GM -- were on the brink of liquidation.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
And that left us with very few choices.  One choice, one option was to keep the practice of giving billions of dollars of taxpayer money to the auto industry but not really forcing any accountability or change -– so you just keep on kicking the tough problems down the road year after year and hopefully seeing if you can get more and more money out of Washington.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
Last year, many thought this industry would keep losing jobs, as it had for the better part of the past decade.  Today, U.S. automakers have added 55,000 jobs since last June, the strongest job growth in more than 10 years in the auto industry.  This plant just hired a new shift of 1,100 workers last week. 
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
So there’s no doubt that the auto industry is growing stronger.  But, look, the hard truth is this industry lost a lot of jobs in recent years.  Some of those jobs aren’t coming back partly because automakers have become so much more efficient than they used to be.  This is a lean, mean operation.  And so there are people who have still lost their jobs, haven’t been hired back and it wasn’t their fault.  Mistakes were made in managing the company that weren’t theirs.
Request a Fact Check
July 30, 2010
I want you to remember, though, if some folks had their way, none of this would have been happening.  I just want to point that out.  Right?  I mean this -- this plant -- this plant and your jobs might not exist.  There were leaders of the “just say no” crowd in Washington -- they were saying -- oh, standing by the auto industry would guarantee failure.  One of them called it “the worst investment you could possibly make.”
Request a Fact Check
August 14, 2010
So, with the closure of the well we mark an important milestone.  But this is not the end of the journey.  And in completing the work ahead I'm reminded of what I heard when I was in Louisiana back in June.  I spent time with folks on Grand Isle, meeting with fishermen and small business owners, and the town's mayor, David Camardelle.  And he told me what his friends and neighbors were going through.  He talked about how hard things had been.  But he also explained the way folks rallied to support one another, and said, the people in this community may not have a lot of money, but that didn’t matter.  "We help each other," he said.  "That's what we do."
Request a Fact Check
August 16, 2010
Now, that’s not easy.  We’ve been through a terrible recession -– the worst that we’ve seen since the Great Depression.  And this recession was the culmination of a decade that fell like a sledgehammer on middle-class families.  For the better part of 10 years, people were seeing stagnant incomes and sluggish growth and skyrocketing health care costs and skyrocketing tuition bills, and people were feeling less secure economically.
Request a Fact Check
August 16, 2010
And few parts of the economy were hit harder than manufacturing.  Over the last 10 years, the number of people working in manufacturing shrank by a third.  And that left millions of skilled, hardworking Americans sitting idle, just like the plants were sitting idle.  That was before the recession hit. Obviously once the recession took hold, millions more were struggling in ways that they never imagined.  And there’s nobody here who hasn’t been touched in some way by this recession.  And certainly a state like Wisconsin or my home state of Illinois can tell a lot of stories about how badly hit manufacturing was, particularly in the Midwest.
Request a Fact Check
August 16, 2010
We’ve cut taxes for small businesses that hire unemployed workers.  In fact, I’ve signed seven other small business tax cuts so that entrepreneurs can help expand and buy new equipment and add more employees.  We’ve taken emergency steps to prevent layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers, and other critical public servants in our communities.  And I think that Governor Doyle will testify that we have made progress in part because everybody has pulled together.  There was a great danger of even greater layoffs all across this state for vital services that would affect our kids and our families.  These folks would have otherwise lost their jobs because of state and local budget cuts.
Request a Fact Check
August 16, 2010
We expect our commitment to clean energy to lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012.  And that’s not just creating work in the short term, that’s going to help lay the foundation for lasting economic growth.  I just want everybody to understand --just a few years ago, American businesses could only make 2 percent of the world’s advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles -- 2 percent.  In just a few years, we’ll have up to 40 percent of the world’s capacity.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Our choice in this election is between policies that encourage job creation in America, and policies that encourage job creation someplace else.  So instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, we want to cut taxes for small business owners who create jobs right here in the United States of America. 
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
And these ideas shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican ideas. They are common-sense ideas.  And yet, most of the Republicans in Congress voted no on just about every one of these policies.  Do you remember when I was running, we had a little slogan -- “Yes, we can.”  These guys’ slogan is, “No, we can’t.”    No on closing loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas.  No on the tax cuts for small businesses.  No on the clean energy jobs.  No on the railroad and highway projects.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Think about this.  We had the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, almost resulted in a complete meltdown -- 8 million jobs lost.   And when we try to repair the system to maintain innovation in the financial system, but to make sure that people have some idea what kind of mortgage they’re buying, or what kind of credit card interest is being charged, or making sure that if one bank goes down, taxpayers don’t have to bail it out in order to ensure that the whole system goes down -- they said, no.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Same thing with the financial system.  We can’t go back to a status quo that almost brought this country to its knees.  We’ve got to move forward so that, in fact, you now know what credit card companies are charging you for interest, and mortgage companies can't steer you to the more expensive interest rate on your mortgage, and there will not be taxpayer bailouts.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
That can’t be the kind of leadership that we need going into the 21st century.  We can’t go backwards.  We have to move forward.  That’s what’s at stake in this election.  If we give them the keys to this economy, they are going to drive it right back into the ditch.  And riding shotgun will be the big banks and the insurance companies and the oil companies and every special interest under the sun.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
And I want to be very clear here.  I want businesses in this country to succeed.  And the vast majority of folks out here who are running a business, they are doing what’s right by their communities and their workers.  And I want to do everything we can to help you grow and to prosper and hire more employees.  We just came back from a company that's building advanced batteries right here in this region, hiring more employees, and we are giving them all the help we can.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit a Chrysler plant in Detroit.  Now, this is a place that’s been hit harder by recession than almost anywhere else in the country.  The auto industry alone lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the year before I took office -- obviously some of those jobs were lost here in Wisconsin.  We had to make a very difficult decision when I was President about whether to walk away from U.S. automakers or help them get back on their feet.  And we decided we could not walk away from up to a million jobs and an iconic industry that symbolizes the rise of American manufacturing.  And so we told the automakers, we’ll give you some temporary assistance, but you’ve got to restructure your plants so they can finally compete in the 21st century.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
And we’ve got a track record.  Right now we’ve got a bill pending to provide tax breaks, including the elimination of capital gains for small start-up businesses.  We’ve been debating this thing how long now?  Six months, a year.  And these guys still aren’t going for it.  The Chamber of Commerce is for it.    You know?  Now, they usually don’t side with me on a lot of things -- although they sided with me on the Recovery Act and they’ve conveniently forgot about that.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Tiffany Turner and her husband Brady gave up their careers in teaching and insurance to open their own inn on the coast.  And despite the recession, business has been good.  They’re even looking to expand and hire new employees.  For a time, their community bank couldn’t give them the loan they needed to grow, but recently that changed.  In fact, many banks like theirs have begun to open the flow of credit to small businesses for the first time in four years, and that’s good news.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Fugere -- see, I thought I had it right -- put everything on the line -– his savings, his 401(k), even a second mortgage -– to open his first pizzeria.  With a little hard work, it succeeded.  And he opened two more.  After the crisis hit, he sought a loan to open a fourth because business was good.  But at bank after bank, Joe heard “no.”  The same big banks whose reckless actions nearly brought down the economy told Joe that loaning money to a restaurant -– even one as successful as his -– was “too risky.”  Finally, a community bank invested in Joe, and his fourth restaurant has been his most successful opening yet.  And recently, an SBA loan under the Recovery Act helped him to improve his cash flow.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Stories like this are at the core of the American experience.  This has always been a country where anyone with a good idea and the guts to see it through can succeed.  It’s what gives a worker the courage to leave her job to become her own boss, or somebody with a dream to risk it all on a great idea.  But these are tough times for a lot of small business owners.  The financial crisis has made it particularly difficult for them to get the loans they need to grow.  The recession has meant that folks are spending less.  And across the country, many small businesses that were once the beating heart of the community are now empty storefronts haunting our main streets.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
And that’s why, when I took office, we put in place an economic plan to help small businesses.  And Patty Murray was there every step of the way in us putting forward these initiatives.  At its heart was a simple idea:  While government can’t guarantee their success, government can knock down the barriers that stand in the way and help create the conditions to help small businesses grow and to hire.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
And that’s why we’ve passed eight tax cuts for America’s small businesses.  Tax cuts for hiring unemployed workers.  Tax cuts for investing in new equipment.  As part of health insurance reform, 4 million small business owners recently received a postcard in their mailboxes telling them that they could be eligible for a health care tax credit worth perhaps tens of thousands of dollars.  And I know that Tiffany and her husband are looking now about the possibility, because of these incentives, to be able to maybe provide health insurance to their workers.  Under the Recovery Act, we supported nearly 700 -- nearly 70,000 new loans to small businesses like Joe’s, and we waived fees on new SBA loans so people like Joe save money -- up to $20,000 with the SBA arrangement that Joe had.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
These steps and others are making some difference.  But when you listen to these three business owners and you talk to small business owners across the country, it’s clear that we’ve got to do more.  And that’s why I’m urging the Senate once again to approve a jobs bill that will do two big things for small businesses:  cut more taxes and make available more loans.  That’s what folks like the three people standing behind me say would be helpful.  That’s what I’ve heard from small business owners across America.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Joe and Tiffany could tell you firsthand just how critical community banks are to helping small businesses grow and create jobs.  Well, this bill will help those banks access more capital so they can offer more small businesses the loans that they need.  It will make sure we continue to waive some of the fees for SBA-backed loans.  It will increase deductions small businesses can take for new equipment and other expenses.  And it will finally do what I’ve championed since I ran for President, and that’s eliminate capital gains taxes on investments in small businesses.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Now, unfortunately, a partisan minority in the Senate has been standing in the way of giving our small businesspeople a simple up-or-down vote on this bill.  They won’t even let it go to vote.  And every day this obstruction goes on is another day a small business somewhere in the country can’t get a loan or can’t get the tax cuts that it needs to grow and to hire.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
I think Patty would agree with me when I say there will be plenty of time between now and November to play politics, but the small business owners beside me and around the country don’t have time for political games.  They’re not interested in what’s best for a political party.  They’re interested in what’s best for their employees and their communities and for the country.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
So when Congress reconvenes, this jobs bill will be the first business out of the gate, and I ask Senate Republicans to drop their efforts to block it.  I believe we can work together to get this done for the folks standing beside me, and for small businesses, their employees, and communities that depend on them all across the country.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Instead of giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, we want to cut taxes for companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.    We want to give tax cuts to small business owners.  We want to give tax breaks to clean energy companies.  We also want to make sure that we keep taxes low for middle-class families, and that’s why we cut taxes for 95 percent of workers right at the beginning of my term -- because they had been going through a tough time and they needed to have a chance to deal with this economic crisis.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
And we’re helping the U.S. auto industry get back on its feet and retool for the 21st century.  This was an industry that lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the year before I took office -- and were getting bailouts but never asked to restructure to figure out how they could compete.  So we had to make some tough decisions about whether to help them out or walk away from possibly a million jobs.  And I decided we couldn’t walk away.  And, by the way, this was not very popular.  
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Patty was in the lead on all these measures.  And all these reforms make America more competitive in the 21st century.  They move us forward.  And on each of these reforms, we reached out to Democrats and Republicans for ideas and support.  But in just about every instance -- I’m sure there’s an exception that's escaping my mind -- in almost every instance, Republicans in Congress said no.  No on help for small businesses.  No on middle-class tax cuts.  No on clean energy jobs.  No on making college more affordable.  No on Wall Street reform.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Name me an issue.  They voted to keep giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas.  They voted to give insurance companies the power to keep denying coverage to people who are sick.  The top Republican on the Energy Committee actually apologized to BP for us making sure the $20 billion was secured to help fishermen and small businesspeople in the Gulf whose livelihoods were almost decimated.  This guy called it a shakedown -- I think he said “Chicago shakedown,” just to kind of underscore it.    Apologized to BP.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
So I need you to join me, and I need you to join Patty, in building a future where our small businesses flourish on the power of their ideas and ingenuity.  A future where clean energy powers not just America, but powers the world, produced in the fields and factories of the United States.  A future where our children get the education and training they need to compete with anyone and anywhere.  I want to build a future where we recapture a sense of optimism and confidence -- hope that’s made America a beacon to the world.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
But what we have to remind ourselves is that same month that I was sworn in, we lost 800,000 jobs.  We had lost 3 million jobs in the previous six months.  And we would lose another several million jobs in the next three months before any of our economic policies had a chance to actually take root.  So altogether, we lost 8 million jobs.  The financial system was on the verge of meltdown, and most economists thought that there were decent odds we might tip into the next Great Depression.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Because of the swift action that we took, we were able to stabilize the economy and stabilize the financial system.  But that was not just because we drafted a whole bunch of clever plans on paper.  We had to move all that stuff through Congress. And that brings me to your senior senator, Patty Murray.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
We revamped our student loan system so that, instead of sending tens of billions of dollars to the banks as middlemen for guaranteed loans where they were taking no risk, we were able to cut out the middleman.  And now millions more young people here in Washington State and all across the country are going to be able to get assistance to go to college, which means they’re going to be able to go to work for Microsoft or all these other wonderful companies that are up here.    And we’ll be able to maintain our cutting edge -- which reminds me we also made the largest investment in research and development in our history -- because the essence of America is innovation and entrepreneurship and technological leadership.
Request a Fact Check
August 17, 2010
Now, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.  The economy is stabilized, but it’s stabilized at a very weak level.  So Patty and I just had some lunch with some wonderful small businesspeople who were talking about how it’s still difficult for small businesses to access credit, which is why we’ve got initiatives in the Senate right now to make sure that small community banks are able to provide lending to small businesses. We want to cut taxes smartly -- so, for example, eliminating capital gains taxes on investments in start-up businesses.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
So all these things have made a difference.  But we still have got a long way to go.  And so a couple of things that we’re focused on right now is, number one, making sure that small businesses are getting help, because small businesses like Joe’s architectural firm are really the key to our economy.  They create two out of every three jobs.  And so we want to make sure that they’re getting financing.  We want to make sure that we are cutting their taxes in certain key areas.  One of the things that we’ve done, for example, is propose that we eliminate capital gains taxes on small businesses so that when they’re starting up and they don't have a lot of cash flow, that's exactly the time when they should get a break and they should get some help.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Now, one of the things that I think people may not be aware of is that although this exchange isn’t going to be set up until 2014 -- because it takes a while, we’ve got to set it up right -- there’s some immediate things that are helping right now.  If your child has a preexisting condition, insurance companies, starting this year, will not be able to deny those children coverage.  And that’s a big deal for a lot of folks whose children may have diabetes or some other illness and right now can’t get insurance.  Insurance companies are going to have to provide them insurance.  That’s number one.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
I have been adamant in saying that Social Security should not be privatized and it will not be privatized as long as I'm President.    And here’s the reason.  I was opposed to it before the financial crisis.  And what I said was the purpose of Social Security is to have that floor, that solid -- rock-solid security, so that no matter what else happens you’ve always got some income to support you in your retirement. And I've got no problem with people investing in their 401(k)s, and we want to encourage people to invest in private savings accounts.  But Social Security has to be separate from that.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
We have 2 percent of the entire market -- 2 percent.  By 2015, in five years, we’re going to have 40 percent of that market because of the investments that we made.  So one of the advanced battery manufacturing plants that we helped get going with some key loans and support and tax breaks, they’re now putting those batteries into the Chevy Volt.  And you combine it then with an entire new U.S. auto industry that is cleaner and smarter and has better designs and is making better products -- those are potentially thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, of manufacturing jobs.  And the Midwest is really poised to get a lot of those jobs.  In a town like Toledo where you’ve still got a lot of skilled workers, they are poised to be able to take off on that.  But we’ve got to continue to support it.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
The other area that I’ve already mentioned is infrastructure.  We’ve got about $2 trillion worth of infrastructure improvements that need to be made all across the country -- roads, bridges, sewer lines, water mains.  It’s crumbling.  The previous generation made all these investments that not only put people to work right away but also laid the foundation then for economic growth in the future.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Well, remember I told you that it’s going to take some time for this economy to come back.  One of the reasons it’s going to take time for this economy to come back is the housing market is still a big drag on the economy as a whole.  And the reason the housing market is still a big drag on the economy as a whole is we built a lot of homes over the previous five, seven, 10 years.  Every year, about 1.4 million families are formed that are ready to buy a new house, or need some place to live.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
And all that inventory that happened during the housing bubble, it’s still out there.  So some states are worse than others.  You go to places like Nevada or Arizona or Florida, California, their inventory of unsold homes was so high that it is just going to take a whole bunch of years to absorb all that housing stock.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Now, what we can do is to help people who are currently in their homes stay in their homes.  We can strengthen the economy overall so that that new family that just formed, they feel confident enough to say, you know what, it’s time, honey, for us to go out and take the plunge and start looking.  And right now they’re kind of holding back, the way a lot of people are still holding back, because there’s uncertainty in the market.  And we’ve initiated, through the Treasury Department, a number of programs like that to help support the housing market generally.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
And that’s part of what health care reform was all about.  I’ll just give you a couple examples.  One of the things that we were doing in Medicare was we were giving tens of billions of dollars of subsidies to insurance companies under the Medicare Advantage plan, even though that plan wasn’t shown to make seniors any healthier than regular old Medicare.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
So we said, all right, we’re not going to end Medicare Advantage, but we are going to have some competitive bidding and we’re going to force the insurance companies to show us, well, what exactly -- what value are you adding?  How are you helping to make these seniors healthier?  And if you’re not helping, then you shouldn’t be getting paid.  We should be giving that money to the doctor and the nurse and the other people who are actually providing care, not the insurance companies.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Well, no, it’s actually all of our problem, because part of the reason we had this financial crisis was because people did not always understand the financial instruments that they were purchasing.  A lot of these subprime loans that were being given out, a lot of these no-interest -- you can buy your house, you don’t put any money down, you don’t pay any interest, you got this beautiful house -- and naturally people were thinking, well, this sounds great.  But what they weren’t looking at was, okay, there’s a balloon payment five years down.  This is only going to work if your housing -- the value of your house keeps on appreciating.  And if it stops appreciating, suddenly it’s not going to work anymore.  People hadn’t thought through all those ramifications.  And that had an effect on the whole system.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Well, as an example of the kinds of things that this new agency are going to be enforcing, we’ve already passed a law -- thanks again to Mary Jo and Sherrod -- we’ve already passed a law that says a credit card company can’t raise the interest rates on existing balances.  So it can’t attract you with a zero percent interest, you run up a $3,000 balance, and then suddenly they send you your next statement and it says, oh, your interest went up to 29 percent.  You can’t do that.  I mean, they’ll still be able to say, we’re going to raise your interest rate to 29 percent, but that can only be the balances going forward.  It can’t be on the money that you borrowed where you thought it was a zero percent.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Well, that's an example of straightforward, honest dealing that we’re going to be expecting.  We think the financial markets will still make money, the banks can still make money, but they got to make money the old-fashioned way, which is loan money to small businesses who are providing services to the community.  Loan money to Joe for his architectural firm, and he’s going to make sure you pay him back.  Loan people for mortgages, but make sure that you’ve done the due diligence so that you’re not tricking them into something they can’t afford.  Make sure that it’s something that you can afford -- right?
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
We did not become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness of the sort that helped cause this financial crisis.  We did not come this far by letting special interests run wild in Washington, writing their own rules.  We did not get here by just looking after ourselves and not looking after our neighbors.    We got here by rewarding the values of hard work and responsibility, and by investing in our people, and making sure that economic growth happened from the bottom up -- middle-class families and small business owners.  We did it by out-working and out-educating and out-competing every nation on Earth.  That's who we are.  That's who we need to be.  
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Now, let me tell you, Florida, the United States of America, we do not play for second place.  We play for first place.    We’ve got to rebuild this economy stronger than it was before.  And at the center of that agenda are three powerful words:  “Made In America.”    We've got to start making things here in the United States.  Instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship our jobs overseas, we’ve got to cut taxes for companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.    We’ve got to give tax cuts to small business owners, and tax cuts to clean energy companies, and tax cuts to middle-class families -– which is what we did.  Ninety-five percent of American workers got a tax cut under my administration.  That was the right thing to do.  
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
We’ve got to invest in 21st century infrastructure.  That means new bridges and new roads, but it also means faster Internet, high-speed railroad –- projects that will lay the foundation for long-term economic growth but also produce hundreds of thousands of new, private sector jobs.  And we are helping old industries, like the American auto industry, get back on its feet and retool for the 21st century.  
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
Now, you will remember a while back, this was an industry -- the auto industry -- that had lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the year before I took office.  And we had to make a tough decision about whether to help them out or walk away, which might have cost another million jobs.  And a lot of folks said we should walk away.  We decided, no, we're going to take a different approach.  Instead of continuing to give bailouts to the auto companies and asking nothing in return, we said we are going to make sure you restructure so you can compete over the long haul.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
To ensure that a financial crisis like the one doesn’t happen again, we passed financial reform that provides new accountability and tough oversight of Wall Street.  It’s going to stop credit card companies from charging hidden fees or unfair rate hikes.    It’s going to end the era of Wall Street bailouts once and for all.  
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
And these reforms, all these reforms taken together, are going to make America more competitive in the 21st century.  They move us forward.  And on each of these reforms, we reached out to Democrats and Republicans for ideas and for support.  But I have to tell you in just about every instance, almost every Republican in Congress said no.  No on help for small businesses.  No on middle-class tax cuts.  No on clean energy jobs.  No on making college more affordable.  No on Wall Street reform.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
And let me be clear about how we're going to move our economy forward.  The key to moving this economy forward is going to be the private sector.  Government is not going to be the primary driver of job creation in this country.  We want businesses to succeed.  The free market is the greatest instrument of wealth production in our history.    But -- so if you’re a responsible business owner, I want to do everything I can to help you grow and prosper and hire more employees.  But I don’t think it’s anti-business to say we should make sure an oil rig is safe before you start drilling.  I don’t think it’s anti-business to say Wall Street banks should play by the same rules as everybody else.  I don’t think it’s anti-business to say that insurance companies should deny people care just because they get sick -- to make sure that we say to insurance companies, you got to treat people fairly -- that's not being anti-business.  That's just being -- common sense.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
And if you’ll join Alex Sink, and if you’ll join Kendrick Meek, and you join me to build a future where all our kids are getting educated, and small businesses are flourishing because of their ideas and their ingenuity, and we're creating clean energy jobs all across America -- if you’ll join me in building a future that thinks about more than just politics, thinks about how are we going to meet this solemn obligation we have to those who ae coming after us -- I'm absolutely positive that the 21st century is going to be the American Century, just like the 20th.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
You see, we did not become the most prosperous country on Earth by rewarding greed and recklessness of the sort that helped cause this financial crisis.  We didn’t come this far by letting a handful of irresponsible folks on Wall Street or insurance companies or special interests run wild.  We did it by rewarding the values of hard work and responsibility, by investing in people who’ve built this country from the ground up -– middle-class families and small business owners.  We did it by out-working and out-educating and out-competing every nation on Earth.  That’s what we are going to do again. 
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
And we’re helping to get the American auto industry back on its feet and retool for the 21st century.  Now, this is an industry that had lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the year before I took office.  We had to make a tough decision about whether to help them out or walk away from what could have potentially been another million jobs.  And I decided we couldn’t walk away.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
All these reforms will make America more competitive in the 21st century.  All these reforms are helping to move us forward. And on each of these reforms, we reached out to Democrats and Republicans for ideas and support.  But in just about every instance, almost every Republican in Congress said no.  They said no to help for small businesses.  They’re still saying no.  They said no on middle-class tax cuts.  This is supposed to be the party of tax cuts -- said no when it came to tax cuts for folks who needed them.  No on clean energy jobs right here in Ohio and across the country.  No on making college more affordable.  No on Wall Street reform.
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
The top Republican on the Energy Committee, you may recall  -- this is the guy who would be in charge of the Energy Committee in the House of Representatives -- apologized after the oil spill to BP.    Remember this?  He apologized because I had said to BP you need to set aside $20 billion to make sure that we’re making fishermen and small business owners whole as a consequence of your mistakes.  This guy, he apologized to BP.  He said, oh, the President shook you down -- a Chicago-style shakedown.  That's what he called it.    That's what he called it.  He had to throw in the Chicago thing in there. 
Request a Fact Check
August 18, 2010
And by the way -- let me make this point -- I want business in this country to succeed.    The free market -- the free market is the greatest wealth producer in our history.  We were built on entrepreneurship and private enterprise.  And if you are a responsible business owner, I will do everything I can to help you grow and prosper and hire more employees.  And Ted Strickland will do the same.  But I don't think it’s anti-business to say we should make sure an oil rig is safe before we start drilling.    I don’t think it’s anti-business to say that Wall Street banks should play by the same rules as everybody else.  I don’t think it’s anti-business to say that insurance companies shouldn’t deny people care just because they get sick.
Request a Fact Check
August 29, 2010
Five years ago, many questioned whether people could ever return to this city.  Today, New Orleans is one of the fastest growing cities in America, with a big new surge in small businesses.  Five years ago, the Saints had to play every game on the road because of the damage to the Superdome.  Two weeks ago, we welcomed the Saints to the White House as Super Bowl champions.    There was also food associated with that.    We marked the occasion with a 30-foot po’boy made with shrimps and oysters from the Gulf.    And you’ll be pleased to know there were no leftovers. 
Request a Fact Check
August 30, 2010
But we have to do more.  And there’s currently a jobs bill before Congress that would do two big things for small business owners:  cut more taxes and make available more loans.  It would help them get the credit they need, and eliminate capital gains taxes on key investments so they have more incentive to invest right now.  And it would accelerate $55 billion of tax relief to encourage American businesses, small and large, to expand their investments over the next 14 months.
Request a Fact Check
August 30, 2010
The small business owners and the communities that rely on them, they don’t have time for political games.  They shouldn’t have to wait any longer.  In fact, just this morning, a story showed that small businesses have put hiring and expanding on hold while waiting for the Senate to act on this bill.  Simply put, holding this bill hostage is directly detrimental to our economic growth.
Request a Fact Check
August 30, 2010
Now, no single step is the silver bullet that will reverse the damage done by the bubble-and-bust cycles that caused our economy into this slide.  It’s going to take a full-scale effort, a full-scale attack that not only helps in the short term, but builds a firmer foundation that makes our nation stronger for the long haul.  But this step will benefit small business owners and our economy right away.  That’s why it’s got to get done.
Request a Fact Check
August 30, 2010
There’s no doubt we still face serious challenges.  But if we rise above the politics of the moment to summon an equal seriousness of purpose, I’m absolutely confident that we will meet them.  I’ve got confidence in the American economy.  And most importantly, I’ve got confidence in the American people.  We’ve just got to start working together to get this done.
Request a Fact Check
August 31, 2010
Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work.  To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy.  We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil.  We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs.  This will be difficult.  But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.
Request a Fact Check
August 31, 2010
Part of that responsibility is making sure that we honor our commitments to those who have served our country with such valor.  As long as I am President, we will maintain the finest fighting force that the world has ever known, and we will do whatever it takes to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.  This is a sacred trust.  That’s why we’ve already made one of the largest increases in funding for veterans in decades.  We’re treating the signature wounds of today’s wars -- post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury -- while providing the health care and benefits that all of our veterans have earned.  And we’re funding a Post-9/11 GI Bill that helps our veterans and their families pursue the dream of a college education.  Just as the GI Bill helped those who fought World War II -- including my grandfather -- become the backbone of our middle class, so today’s servicemen and women must have the chance to apply their gifts to expand the American economy.  Because part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who have fought it.
Request a Fact Check
September 22, 2010
Incomes for working families fell by almost 5 percent.  All the while, middle-class families saw everything from tuition bills to health care bills skyrocket.  And for too many hardworking families, the American Dream was slowly slipping away.
Request a Fact Check
September 22, 2010
So my most urgent task as President was to prevent a second Depression.    Now, 19 months later -- 19 months later, we’ve done that.    The economy is growing again.  The financial markets have stabilized.  The private sector has created jobs for the last eight months in a row.  There are 3 million Americans who wouldn’t be working today if not for the economic plan we put in place.  That is a fact. 
Request a Fact Check
September 22, 2010
Over the last 19 months, we’ve closed several of these tax loopholes.  Over the next two years, we’ll fight to give tax breaks to companies that actually create jobs within our borders -- to small businesses, to clean energy companies, to American manufacturers, to entrepreneurs that are researching and investing and innovating right here in the United States of America.  That's who we want to help.  That's the choice in this election. 
Request a Fact Check
September 22, 2010
If we hand the other side the keys, they’ve promised to spend the next two years chipping away at the new rules we’ve put in place for special interests.  And I refuse to let them do that.  I refuse to go back to the days when insurance companies could deny you coverage or drop your coverage just because you’re sick.
Request a Fact Check
September 22, 2010
Two small businesses who were there saying, we provide health insurance to our workers, but one guy, he said his premiums had gone up 100 percent in seven years.  He said, basically I could no longer afford it.  Either I was going to have to lay off workers or stop giving them insurance -- until this bill passed.  And now that small business owner is able to keep providing health insurance to his workers.  That's what we’re fighting for. 
Request a Fact Check
September 22, 2010
But they pose as non-for-profit, social welfare and trade groups.  Every single one of them, virtually, is guided by seasoned, Republican political operatives.  None of them will disclose who is paying for these ads.  They are spending tens of millions of dollars against Democratic candidates without telling the American people where that flood of money is coming from.  You don't know if it’s coming from big oil or insurance companies.  You don't even know if it’s coming from a foreign-controlled corporation.
Request a Fact Check
September 22, 2010
Dr. King made famous a saying that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”    We are moving in the direction of justice.  We are moving in the direction of prosperity.  But we’ve got to keep on moving.  We can’t stop now.  And if we are out there working hard, if we are out there rekindling that spirit of hope, we won’t just win this election, we will restore our economy, rebuild the middle class, reclaim the American Dream for the next generation. 
Request a Fact Check
September 23, 2010
Obviously we continue to have more work to do.  On the economic front, although the world economy is now growing again, I think it’s going to be very important for us to have frank discussions and continue to do more work cooperatively in order to achieve the type of balance and sustained economic growth that is so important and that we both signed up for in the context of the G20 framework.
Request a Fact Check
September 23, 2010
Just now you, , referred to a host of areas where our two countries have cooperated, and I have come to the United States with such a cooperative spirit, too.  Our two countries can have cooperation on a series of major international issues and regional hotspot issues.  We have cooperation on tackling the financial crisis and meeting the climate challenge.  China and the United States have also embraced an even closer and bigger relationship in the fields of pubic finance, financial industry and economic cooperation and trade.
Request a Fact Check
September 23, 2010
There is much to show for our efforts, even as there is much work to be done.  The global economy has been pulled back from the brink of a depression, and is growing once more.  We have resisted protectionism, and are exploring ways to expand trade and commerce among nations.  But we cannot -- and will not -- rest until these seeds of progress grow into a broader prosperity, not only for all Americans, but for peoples around the globe.
Request a Fact Check
September 23, 2010
In times of economic unease, there can also be an anxiety about human rights.  Today, as in past times of economic downturn, some put human rights aside for the promise of short term stability or the false notion that economic growth can come at the expense of freedom.  We see leaders abolishing term limits.  We see crackdowns on civil society.  We see corruption smothering entrepreneurship and good governance.  We see democratic reforms deferred indefinitely.
Request a Fact Check
September 24, 2010
It’s a future where, because their country has been welcomed back into the community of nations, more Sudanese have the opportunity to travel, more opportunity to provide education, more opportunities for trade.  It’s a future where, because their economy is tied to the global economy, a woman can start a small business, a manufacturer can export his goods, a growing economy raises living standards, from large cities to the most remote village.
Request a Fact Check
September 27, 2010
The key is for us to keep on improving the economy, and that’s going to be my number one priority over the next several years.  If the economy is growing, if we’re investing in small businesses so they can open their doors and hire more workers, if we’re helping large businesses in terms of plants and equipment  -- a lot of the initiatives that I’ve put in place already -- if we’re building infrastructure -- not just roads and bridges but also broadband lines -- if we’re investing in clean energy -- all those things are going to open up new opportunities for young people with skills and talent for the future.
Request a Fact Check
September 27, 2010
And so all those things can be helpful in moving us forward. But the single most important thing I’ve got to do is make sure that we get this economy back on track, and that's why I’m so focused on things like a bill I’m going to be signing today that provides small businesses further incentive to invest and gives them tax breaks and financing, because they’re huge drivers of job creation over the long term.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
Because keep in mind, even before this financial crisis, we were slipping in a lot of ways. From 2001 to 2009, during that eight-year period, wages -- average wages for middle-class families actually fell by 5 percent. Think about that. People’s real incomes were actually falling -- and this was at a time before the crisis. So supposedly, the economy was growing and things were going pretty well. In fact, people’s incomes were falling.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
The first question has to do with the changing demographics here in our neighborhood as well as in the public school system. I grew up here in this neighborhood, I’m raising my own family here, I work at a local public school here. And I’ve seen over the years firsthand how recent immigrants have revitalized our local economy. They start small businesses, they hire locally, they live within the community. How do you envision a comprehension immigration reform as one measure towards America’s economic recovery and long-term vitality?
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
Well, the housing crisis helped to trigger the financial crisis. And it’s a complicated story, but essentially what happened was, banks started seeing money in peddling what looked like these very low-interest-rate mortgages, no money down. Started peddling these things to folks. A lot of people didn’t read the fine print, where they had adjustable-rate mortgages or balloon payments, and they ended up being in situations where they were in homes that they couldn’t necessarily afford.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
The banks made a whole bunch of money on all these mortgages that were being generated. But what happened was -- is that when the housing market started going down, then all these financial instruments that were built on a steady stream of payments for mortgages, they all went bust, and that helped to trigger the entire crisis.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
So the housing issue has been at the heart of the economic crisis that we’re in right now. It is a big problem because part of what happened over the last several years is, is that we built more homes than we had families to absorb them. And what’s happened now is, is that housing values have declined around the country, in some places worse than others. In Nevada, in Arizona, they’ve been very badly hit. In New Mexico, I don’t think we had the same bubble, and so prices have not been as badly affected here. But overall across the country, housing lost a lot of value.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
But it’s going to take some time. We’re working our way out of overbuilding in the housing market, a lot of not very sensible financial arrangements in the housing market. And we’ve got to get back to sort of a traditional, more commonsense way of thinking about housing which is, if you want a house you got to save for a while. You got to wait until you have 20 percent down. You should go for a mortgage that you know you can afford. You’ve got to -- there shouldn’t be any surprises out there, right? That kind of traditional thinking about saving and thinking about the house not as something that is always going up 20 percent every year and you’re going to flip and take out home equity loans and all that -- we’ve got to have a different attitude, which reflects what you talked about, more of an attitude that this is your home. This is not just a way to make quick money.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
So it’s an environmental win and it’s a pocketbook win. And it creates businesses, because you can have a whole bunch of mom-and-pop HVAC companies who suddenly they’re out there getting business retrofitting homes to make them energy efficient. And small businesses can grow into larger businesses, can grow into bigger businesses.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
-- but let me describe for you what we did. Number one is we set up loan facilities both through the SBA as well as the new facility so that if you want to expand your business, you’re having trouble getting credit through your local community bank, we are now providing additional financing to the bank that they -- that gives them an incentive to loan to you and they only get these loans if they pass it on to small businesses.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
SBA, the Small Business Administration, also has a whole host of lending programs that we have expanded. We’ve reduced the fees for them. We’ve made it easier to apply. So if you’re interested in the lending programs, then you should contact your local SBA administrator here in New Mexico, and I’m assuming that they’re -- I’ll bet your congressman here could probably let you know immediately how to get in touch with them and they would outline for you all the programs that were available. So that’s on the lending side.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
Now, what we’ve also done is on the tax side we have said that for companies that are starting up, small businesses that are starting up, we’re going to give them a whole bunch of tax breaks. If you decide that you have to build a new oven, and you haven’t been sure -- should you invest in it this year, should you put it off, it’s kind of expensive -- well, we’re giving you incentives to go ahead and buy that oven this year and put it in. And it will be cheaper for you because you can essentially take -- you can write off the business expenses of purchasing that oven this year a lot faster than you would have otherwise been able to do. So that’s an example of just one of the kinds of tax cuts that are provided in this bill.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
So we’ve got a whole basket of tax cuts and lending assistance to small businesses. And the reason this is so important is because small businesses create the majority of new jobs in this country. Big businesses are very important, too, and we’re trying to encourage them obviously to do more to invest. They actually have a lot of money right now. It’s just they’re sitting on the sidelines with it instead of investing it, and we’ve got to encourage them to invest more.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
But small businesses, that’s the beating heart of so many communities -- restaurants like yours, small dry cleaners, a plumbing operation, a tent company a flower shop. Okay, so the -- we’ve got a bunch of small business owners here. You knit the community together, and you give people opportunity, as well as building something for your family. And you’re so invested in it because it’s yours.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
I’ve got to do a little bit of editorializing again, though, about the politics of this because this is something that -- this bill that I signed this week drew on Republican and Democratic ideas. Traditionally, this is something that’s been completely bipartisan. The Chamber of Commerce, the Association for Small Businesses, a whole bunch of different groups supported it. We could not get the Republicans to let this come up to a vote for months. And there were finally articles in USA Today about how small businesses were holding off making investments or hiring because they were still waiting to see if this thing would pass.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
These are just basic things that we can do. If they decide they want to open a business, we can make sure that they can get some financing and that they don’t have to pay capital gains on their startup business. These little things add up to big things. It means that they can focus their energy on their dreams and their vision and what they’re trying to build, and not spend all their time constantly just worrying about, am I going to be able to go to school or not. That should be a given in this country because it’s good for all of us, not just for these young people individually.
Request a Fact Check
September 28, 2010
And, I mean, that’s kind of the issue that I have is, we put in our taxpayer dollars and, you know, it’s -- I mean, I have a small business myself. We help provide people with legal services, stuff like that, you know, having access to their rights. But when you can’t afford it, I mean, we’re forced to just basically settle for what we got because of the fact that that’s all we could afford.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
And there are a whole host of individual issues -- education and energy and what we do in terms of our foreign policy -- a whole bunch of discrete issues that concern me.  What concerned me most I think was the nature of our economy and how the American Dream seemed as if it was slipping away for too many people.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
So what I said was I’m going to run for President because there are some long-term things that we can do that will start growing our economy from the bottom up, make sure that the middle class is expanding, make sure that innovation and entrepreneurship is taking place in this country and not someplace else, that we can start rebuilding our economy so that it works for everybody.  And that was really the platform that I ran on in 2008.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
So we had already lost most of the 8 million jobs that we were going to end up losing in this recession before any of my economic policies even had a chance to take effect.  And the financial system was on the verge of meltdown, so that people couldn’t even get loans to buy a car.  I mean, credit was just shut down.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
So we had to take a number of emergency measures.  We stepped in and we stopped the bleeding.  Now the economy is growing again.  We’ve had private sector job growth for the last eight months.  Credit is now flowing again, although small businesses are still having a tough time getting credit and so we’ve been focused -- we signed a bill actually this week to help small businesses get credit and cut some of their taxes.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
And that’s why financial reform was so important, so we never have to engage in taxpayer-funded bailouts again.  That’s why health reform was so important because we had the opportunity not only to help ordinary folks have a better handle on their health care costs, but also that over time, we could make the health care system as a whole more efficient and effective.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
So insurance companies can no longer drop your coverage when you get sick, which was happening.  Sometimes there were some insurance companies who were going through your policy when you got sick to see if you had filled out the form wrong, you hadn’t listed some infection that they might call a preexisting condition, et cetera -- a bunch of fine print that led to people not having health insurance.  So that was one thing that we said.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
The other thing that we did was we said if you’re a lot of people who don’t have health insurance, it’s because they work for small businesses, who have trouble affording health insurance, because they’re not part of a big pool -- they’re not like a big company that has thousands of employees and they can negotiate because the insurance companies really want their business -- so what we said was let’s provide tax breaks to small businesses so they can -- they’re more likely to buy health insurance for their employees.  And right now about 4 million businesses across the country are now getting a tax break, a tax credit, if they provide health insurance for their employees, that can save them tens of thousands of dollars.  So that’s the second thing.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
I always hear -- I’m never confrontational, I’m sure everybody here will tell you that -- but I always hear that we’re trying not to tax anybody but the people that make over that $250,000, that elitist 2 percent.  Any viable, strong competitive business -- and the name of our business is “Competitive Edge,” 30 years ago, before CNN ever used it as a term -- the hope is that you’re supposed to grow profitability so you can grow your business.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
So these are the choices -- so it’s not that when it comes to small businesses, or big businesses, that I have any interest in raising taxes.  I’d like to keep taxes low so that you can create more jobs.  But I also have to make sure that we are paying our bills and that we’re not adding -- putting off debt for the future generation.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
So I think that to say to the top 2 percent of businesses -- which, by the way, includes hedge fund managers who have set up an S corporation but are pulling down a billion dollars a year but they’re still considered a small business under the criteria that are set up there, that to say to them, you’ve got to pay a modestly higher amount to help make sure that our budget over time gets balanced -- I think that’s a fair thing to do.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
And I think -- when I talk to a lot of businesses, they just don’t want super high rates of the sort that existed before Ronald Reagan came into office.  And I’m very sympathetic to that.  And on capital gains and dividends, for example, we want to keep those relatively level.  We don’t want -- I would like to see a lower corporate tax rate.  But the way to do that is to eliminate all the loopholes, because right now on paper we’ve got a high corporate tax rate.  But in terms of what people actually pay, they’ve got so many loopholes that they’ve larded up in the tax code, that effectively they pay very low rates.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
I will say the reason that I’m pushing China about their currency is because their currency is undervalued.  And that effectively means that goods that they sell here cost about 10 percent less and goods that we try to sell there cost about 10 percent -- let me not say 10 percent, because I don’t want the financial markets to think I’ve got a particular -- there is a range of estimates.  But I think people generally think that they are managing their currency in ways that make our goods more expensive to sell and their goods cheaper to sell here.  And that contributes -- that’s not the main reason for our trade imbalance, but it’s a contributing factor to our trade imbalance.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
Q    I’m a proud Iowa social worker who works with crime victims.  And my question is about the poverty rate.  We currently have a rate of 14 percent poverty.  That’s one out of seven people are in poverty.  And I believe that that’s the highest rate since the 1960s.  And there’s a lot of reasons why people go into poverty who weren’t in poverty before, things like medical emergencies and losing jobs, being a crime victim and, especially for women, a divorce.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
The single most important thing I can do to drive the poverty rate down is to grow the economy.  What has really increased poverty is folks losing their jobs and being much more vulnerable.  So everything we can do to provide tax breaks for small businesses that are starting up, to make sure that we are encouraging -- for example, trying to accelerate investment in plants and equipment this year, and letting people write it off more quickly so that companies that are on the sidelines that are thinking about investing, they say, you know what, why don’t we go ahead and take the plunge now and start hiring now, instead of later -- all that can make a big difference in terms of growing the economy, reducing the unemployment rate.  That’ll reduce the poverty rate.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
The second most powerful thing I can do to reduce the poverty rate is improve our education system because the single biggest indicator of poverty is whether or not you graduated from high school and you’re able to get some sort of post-secondary education.  And right now too many of our schools are failing.
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
My question for you comes from a member of my congregation who is 55 years of age, has a wife, two children who are freshmen in high school.  A year ago he lost his job in manufacturing.  He’s been unemployed now for a year plus.  What will your economic policies do for him within the next year, and hopefully to be able to secure a job and have that American Dream again, which has now been lost?
Request a Fact Check
September 29, 2010
And we were in Michigan, looking at one of these plants.  A lot of the folks who were there are folks who used to work as suppliers for the auto industry.  They had gotten laid off, and now they’re back helping to build what will be the cars of the future.  These advanced batteries that they’re building are going into the Chevy Volt, which is a American-built clean energy car, a car of the future.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
There’s only one candidate who stood up to insurance companies so that every Californian can have accessible and affordable health care, making sure that insurance companies aren’t dropping you when you get sick, making sure young people can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26 years old. 
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
Now, look, let’s not fool ourselves. This is a tough election.  This is a difficult election because this country has gone through one of the most difficult periods in our nation’s history.  And it didn’t just start with the financial crisis.  Over the last decade, between 2001 and 2009, middle-class families had seen their incomes actually decline by 5 percent.  Think about that.  During that eight-year period, middle-class families had less money at the time -- at the same time that their health care costs were shooting up, sending your kids to college was becoming more and more expensive.  Job growth between 2001 and 2009 was the most sluggish since World War II, more sluggish than it’s been over the last year.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
Look, Barbara and I, we’ve got a different idea, a different vision about what our future should look like -- and it’s an idea rooted in our own experience, living out the American Dream, because we didn’t come from plenty.  We know government doesn’t have all the answers to our problems.   We want a government that is lean and efficient.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
So if we give them the keys back, they’ll keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas.  I want to give tax breaks.  Barbara wants to give tax breaks.  We already have -- to companies that are investing right here in the United States of America, to small businesses and American manufacturers and clean energy companies that are building solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars right here in the United States of America with American workers.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s what we’re about. 
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
They don’t have the guts to say, we’re funding this.  So they hide behind these front groups.  You don’t know who these groups are.  You don’t know who’s funding it -- although we have a pretty good idea.  Smearing Democratic candidates.  This is thanks to a gigantic loophole.  They can spend without limit, keep their contributions secret.  It could be oil companies, Wall Street speculators, insurance companies.  You don’t know.  They won’t tell you. They won’t say.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
What was true then is just as true now.  And so if everybody here keeps that spirit alive, and is out there knocking on doors, and making phone calls, and calling their friends, and calling their neighbors, and reminding everybody of the same hope, the same possibility that we did two years ago, we’re not just going to reelect Barbara Boxer, we are going to make sure that the American Dream is alive and well for future generations.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
I know there are a whole bunch of Republicans out there who felt the same way.  But the Republican leaders in Washington, they made a different decision.  Here’s the thing, they realized what a big mess they had made.  They said, boy, we screwed up so bad, it is going to take a really long time to recover those 8 million jobs that were lost.  It’s going to take a long time before the housing market fully recovers.  So our best bet, instead of trying to help Obama and Harry Reid to solve problems, we’re going to stand on the sidelines, sit on our hands, and basically just say no to everything.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
We refuse to let that happen, because I don’t want your health care denied just when you need it most because insurance companies are playing games.   I don’t want you to have to pay for another Wall Street bailout.  I don’t want credit card companies to be able to jack up your interest rates whenever they feel like it without giving you notice.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
You don’t even know who’s sponsoring these ads.  They have all these names like “Americans for Prosperity,” “Mothers for Motherhood.”  Actually, I made that last one up, but -- but they’re spending without limit, keeping their contributions secret.  They don’t even have the guts to stand up for what they say they believe in.  And we don’t know who’s funding them.  Is it the oil industry?  Is it the insurance companies?  Is it speculators?  They won’t tell you.  They won’t say.  They don’t want you to know who’s bankrolling all these negative ads.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
And if all of you are going to go out and vote, all of you knock on doors, all of you are talking to your friends and neighbors, I promise you we will not just win this election, we just won’t elect Harry Reid, but we are going to restore the American Dream, the Vegas dream, the Nevada dream, for families for generations to come.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
This election is a choice. And if we give them the keys -- which will happen if you don’t vote -- they’ll keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship our jobs overseas.  We want to give tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States -- to small businesses and American manufacturers and clean energy companies.    Because I don’t want wind panels and -- wind turbines and solar panels and electric cars made in Europe or Asia.  I want them built right here in the United States -- by American workers here in the United States of America.  That's the choice in this election.
Request a Fact Check
October 22, 2010
I understand that.  But don’t let anybody tell you that our fight hasn’t been worth it.  Don’t let them tell you that we’re not making a difference.  Because of you, there are people right here in California who don’t have to choose between getting treatment for their cancer or going bankrupt.    Because of you, there are parents who are able to look their children in the eye and say, yes, you will go to college.  We can afford it, we’re getting some help.    Because of you, there are small businesses who are able to keep their doors open, even in the midst of recession. Because of you, we have brought home nearly 100,000 brave men and women from Iraq.  Because of you, we are going to continue to fight to end “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  Because of you, we are going to make sure that we’ve got an energy policy for the future of America.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
The only candidate who’s helped grow this state’s economy.  The only candidate who’s put people back to work.  The only candidate who’s saved taxpayer dollars by cutting waste and abuse.  So you know Mark Dayton. He’s got a track record.  He’s the only candidate in this race who will stand up for the middle class, who’s got a plan to balance the budget without sacrificing our children’s education.   A candidate who has a plan to create jobs and help small business owners grow and to thrive.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
If you give the other side the keys, the other side will keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas.  Mark and I, we want to give tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Minnesota, right here in the United States -- in small businesses and American manufacturers.   We want to invest in clean energy companies -– because I don’t want solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars built in Europe or built in Asia.  I want them built right here in America, with American workers.  That’s the choice in this election.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
Why would we do that?  Why would we do that?  Why would we go back to the point where credit card companies could jack up y our interest rates without any notice, and could institute hidden fees?  Why would we go back to the health care policies that they believe in, where insurance companies could drop your insurance when you get sick?  Why would we do -- why would we put those folks back in the driver’s seat?
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
Let me tell you about health care reform.  Because of health care reform, everybody here who is under 26 can stay on their parents’ health care even if they don't have health insurance.    Because of that reform, insurance companies can't drop somebody because they’ve got a preexisting condition.   Because of health care reform, millions of small businesses are getting tax credits so they can afford to provide health insurance to their employees.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
Let me tell you something.  We believe in making sure people don't get ripped off when they sign up for a mortgage.  We believe in making sure that credit card companies treat you fairly.  We believe taxpayers shouldn’t ever be forced to pay for Wall Street’s mistakes.  We believe that insurance companies should cover you when you’ve been paying your premiums.   That's what we believe.  That's the choice in this election.  That's why you’ve got to elect Mark Dayton governor, because he believes it, too. 
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
But I want everybody here to understand -- don’t let anybody tell you that what you did has not made a difference, that the fight isn’t worth it.  Because of you -- because of you, there’s somebody in Minnesota right now that, instead of going bankrupt, is able to get treatment for their cancer.  Because of you, there’s a young person who’s going to be able to go to college.  Because of you, some small business has stayed open in the depths of a recession.  Because of you, there are 100,000 brave young men and women who we've brought home from Iraq.   Because of you.  Because of you.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
So I need you to keep fighting.  I need you to keep working.  And I need you to keep believing.    And if you knock on some doors again, if you make some phone calls again, if you talk to your neighbors again, if you go to vote again, then I promise you we won’t just win this election, we won't just have Mark as governor, but you and I together, we are going to restore the American Dream for future generations.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
So we had a big job when we first came in.  And our first job was obviously to stop the bleeding -- and we did that.  An economy that was shrinking is now growing again.  An economy that was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs every month, we've now seen nine months of consecutive job growth in the public sector  -- in the private sector.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
The same is true on Wall Street reform.  We said that we've got to have a financial system that is vibrant and dynamic, but also a financial system that has basic rules of the road, that works for everybody, not just for some.  So we made sure that credit card companies can't jack up your interest rates arbitrarily, without notice. We made certain that mortgage brokers can't steer you to more expensive interest rate mortgages.  We made sure that we got systems in place to guard against the kind of structural breakdowns that resulted in the taxpayer bailouts that all of us find unacceptable.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
We've got a race to see who’s going to determine the clean energy future.  And one of the things we did in the Recovery Act was invest in solar panels and wind turbines and advanced battery manufacturing here in the United States of America.  I want those things made here.  But right now we're getting our clock cleaned because we have not been serious about making those investments. And we haven't set the guideposts where private capital could come in and start making those investments.  And that means losing that race.  That's not acceptable.
Request a Fact Check
October 23, 2010
Because of the work that these members of Congress did, because of the support that you’ve provided them, there are people right here in Minnesota who are able to get coverage for their cancer treatments instead of having to sell their house.  Right now, today.  Because of what you did, there are small businesses that are open right now that otherwise would have shuttered their doors.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
Like most small businesses, American Cord and Webbing has gone through some tough times in the past few years. Early in 2009, they lost customers and had to lay off some workers. But they buckled down -- that was a pun. You got that? You catch that one? And then invested in new products and pursued new customers. And over the past year, they’ve hired back all the workers they had to lay off. And today business is going well.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
Now, this is important -- not just for this particular business and these particular workers, but for America. It’s small businesses like this one, after all, that are the bricks and blocks, the cord and webbing, if you will, of our economy. But the financial crisis made it very difficult for them to get the loans that they needed to grow.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
And that’s why, over the past 20 months, we’ve done everything we can to boost small businesses like this one. And what’s guided us is a simple principle: Government can’t guarantee your success, can’t guarantee Mark’s success -- he doesn’t expect it to -- but government can knock down some of the barriers that stand in the way of small business success and help create the conditions where small businesses can grow and hire and create new products and prosper.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
We’ve passed tax cuts for hiring back unemployed workers. We’ve passed tax cuts for investing in new equipment. There are 4 million small businesses right now that are poised to get a tax break of up to 35 percent of the premiums they pay if they are providing health insurance to their employees -- and that’s a tax break that can free up tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade facilities, buy new equipment, or hire a few new workers.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
The law also accelerates $55 billion in new tax cuts for businesses both large and small that make job-creating investments over the next year. It eliminates capital gains taxes on key new investments made in small businesses until the end of this year. It dramatically increases the amount small businesses can write off on new equipment investments -- and we want to do more, so that you can write it all off. These are tax cuts that can help America -- help businesses like American Cord and Webbing that are making new investments right now. And it can help create jobs.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
Finally, the law that we signed creates new initiatives to increase lending to small businesses. It strengthens state programs that spur private sector lending, and that’s a step that will support $15 billion in new small business loans across the country. And it sets up a new Small Business Lending Fund that will support Main Street banks that lend to Main Street businesses.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
When new loans are hard to come by, I believe we should help free up lending. When some companies are shipping jobs overseas, we should be helping companies like this one -- our small businesses, our manufacturers, our clean energy companies. I think those are pretty commonsense values that we can all agree on.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
When you vote against small business tax relief and you hold up a small business jobs bill for months, that doesn’t do anything to support small businesses like this one. It doesn’t do anything to support the outstanding workers at this company. It’s just playing politics. If you’re going to talk a big game, then you need to deliver.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
So I hope that my friends on the other side of the aisle are going to change their minds going forward, because putting the American people back to work, boosting our small businesses, rebuilding the economic security of the middle class, these are big national challenges. And we’ve all got a stake in solving them. And it’s not going to be enough just to play politics. You can’t just focus on the next election. You’ve got to focus on the next generation.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
And because of the steps we’ve taken, we no longer face the possibility of a second depression.  The economy is growing again.    We’ve seen private sector job growth for nine months in a row.  I just had a chance to visit with some of the elected officials at a wonderful small business here that is representative of small businesses all across the country.  They survived the recession, and they're now ready to grow and expand.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
If we give the other side the keys to the car, you know what they're going to do?  They're going to keep on giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas.  I believe in tax breaks for companies like the one that I just visited, companies that are investing here in the United States, small businesses, American manufacturers, clean energy companies. 
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
That’s why, with the help of a Democratic Congress, we took tens of billions of dollars that were being put into unwarranted subsidies for banks in the student loan program.  We said, let’s not do that.  Let’s have the money go where it belongs -- to the students.  And we now have millions more young people who are able to get student loans and Pell Grants -- higher levels of grants, a $10,000 tuition relief credit for each student.  That’s our agenda for economic growth.  That’s what’s going to make a difference.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
Look -- and let me just say, they’ve already said, the other side has already said, we’re going to roll back regulations and put special interests back in charge in Washington.  This is not me making it up.  The person who would take over the energy committee in the House of Representatives is the guy who apologized to BP when we said, you’ve got to pay for all the small businesses and families that have been -- and fishermen that have been hurt by the oil spill.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
Look, we believe in making sure that people don’t get ripped off when they sign up for a mortgage.  We believe credit card companies shouldn’t be able to jack up your rates without notice.  We believe that insurance companies, if you’re paying your premiums, they actually have to pay when you get sick.  They can’t drop your health insurance when you get sick. 
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
But understand, the other side is fighting back.  The same special interests we’ve been battling on your behalf over the last two years, they are fighting back hard.  And they are now using these phony front groups to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads all across the country, distorting the records of Democrats. And you know what?  They are not even willing to disclose where the money is coming from.  You don’t know.  Could be from insurance companies. Could be from oil companies.  Could be from Wall Street banks.  You don’t know.
Request a Fact Check
October 25, 2010
Because of you, there’s somebody here in Rhode Island somewhere who is going to be able to get their treatment for cancer without having to give up their house or go bankrupt.  Because of you, there are folks -- small businesses right here in New Hampshire -- who are able to keep their doors open in the depths of recession.
Request a Fact Check
October 26, 2010
We had made sure that mortgage fraud was actually policed, that credit card companies couldn’t abuse their customers.  We expanded national service larger than any expansion since the Peace Corps.  And this was all before we started tackling some of the enormous issues that we tackled like health care reform and financial regulatory reform.
Request a Fact Check
October 26, 2010
And we rolled up our sleeves and put together a set of rules that allow for innovation in the financial markets, that allow Wall Street to do well, but not at somebody else’s expense -- make sure that we’ve got consumer protections, make sure there aren’t taxpayer bailouts, make sure that if one company goes under, it’s not too big to fail because we’ve got a mechanism to let them go into bankruptcy without bringing the entire financial system down with it.
Request a Fact Check
October 26, 2010
But ultimately we got those changes done because we had leaders in Congress who were willing not just to put their fingers up to the wind but instead were committed to doing what was right.  And we’re going to need more of that in not just the next couple of years but for the next decade if we want to make sure that finally we are positioning ourselves so that our kids can live out the American Dream, and we’re handing an America off that is stronger than the one we inherited.
Request a Fact Check
October 29, 2010
We don't want to keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas. We want to give tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Charlottesville, right here in Virginia, to small businesses and American manufacturers and clean energy companies. I don't want solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars made in Europe or made in Asia. I want them made here in the United States of America with American workers. That's the choice in this election.
Request a Fact Check
October 29, 2010
So I need you guys to keep on fighting. Tom needs you to keep on believing. In these last four days, I need you to knock on doors and make phone calls and talk to your neighbors and vote because if you're willing to step up to the plate, we won’t just win this election, we won’t just send Tom back to Congress, but we will rebuild this middle class. And we will put people back to work. And we will reclaim the American Dream for future generations.
Request a Fact Check
October 29, 2010
Now, I don’t believe that government can or should guarantee the success of this company or any company.  I don’t think Bob or any business owner expects government to guarantee success.  Success has to be earned.  It has to be earned the old-fashioned way through great ideas and hard work and great employees.  That’s the American way.
Request a Fact Check
October 29, 2010
Since I took office, we’ve cut taxes for small businesses 16 times -- 16 different tax cuts for small businesses.  Instead of providing tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas, we’re giving tax breaks to encourage companies to invest right here in the United States of America -- in small businesses, in clean energy firms, in manufacturers, in businesses like this one.  And we’ve taken steps to expand lending to small businesses, which, even with good credit, continue to have difficulty borrowing the capital they need to grow.
Request a Fact Check
October 29, 2010
It’s been just over one month since I signed the Small Business Jobs Act into law.  And in that month, just one month, through just one provision in that bill, the Small Business Administration, the SBA, has supported nearly $3 billion in new loans to more than 5,000 small businesses across the country.  That’s fast.  And we expect that when all is said and done, these steps will help support tens of billions of dollars in loans to our entrepreneurs so they can expand, they can grow, and they can hire new workers in communities like this one.
Request a Fact Check
October 29, 2010
And the idea I’m advancing today is one that both Democrats and Republicans should be able to support.  In fact, Republicans have actually offered this idea in the past.  It’s a simple proposal that will make a serious difference for this company and others like it.  It will encourage business investment right now.  It will create jobs right now.  It will help our economy grow right now.  And when many of our friends and neighbors are still navigating through some tough times, that’s what America needs right now.
Request a Fact Check
October 30, 2010
I want to thank the first-time voters and Temple University Young Democrats -- for all the great work you guys have done.  And give it up for Quincy Lyons for the great job he’s doing organizing.    Now, I am not here to give a long speech, because I want everybody out there, not in here.  I’m here to deliver two messages.     The first message is thank you, because not only did all of you mobilize, organize and energize in 2008 to help send me to the White House -- but over the last two years, so many of you have continued to be involved each and every day to make sure that we could keep moving this country forward. It’s because of you that young people are getting college scholarships that weren’t getting it before.    It’s because of you that young people can now stay on their parents’ health insurance till they’re 26 -- and folks who have health insurance aren’t dropped by insurance companies when they get sick.     And the fact that -- and it’s because of you that we’re also going to be able to fund AIDS.  It’s because of you that we are going to be in a position to make sure that each and every person out there is able to find work after a devastating economic crisis that made such a difference to so many families all across this country.   Now, here’s the thing, though, guys.  You cannot stop now, because the fact of the matter is we are in a difficult election.  It’s difficult here in Pennsylvania. It is difficult all across the country.   And unless each and every one of you turn out, and get your friends to turn out, and get your families to turn out, then we could fall short, and all the progress that we’ve made over the last couple of years can be rolled back.     So the key right now is not just to show up here, it’s not just to listen to speeches.  It’s to go out there and do the hard work that's going to be required to bring this home over the last few days.  That's going to be the key.    And so I know that some of you may have been at the rally we had with 20,000 folks of Germantown.    But you know what, coming to a rally, that's not the hard part.  What I need this weekend is 20,000 doors knocked on by all the volunteers who are here today.    Is that something that you think you can do, 20,000?          In order for Joe Sestak to be successful and Dan Onorato to be successful and the entire Democratic ticket to be successful, you're going to need to talk to folks everywhere you can and make sure that you describe to them the future that you see for this country.       You want a country where every young person can get a decent education. You want a country where nobody is bankrupt because they get sick.  You want a country where our seniors can retire with dignity and respect, and Social Security is there not just for this generation but for future generations.       You want a country that has the best infrastructure in the world.  We used to be number one.  We can’t have the best rail lines and the best airports built in China or Singapore.  They need to be right here in the United States of America.        We don't want to be falling behind in math and science and technology. We’ve got to be first in research and development and technology to make sure that the new products and new services are developed right here in the United States.       We want clean energy here.  We don't want solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars built in China or Europe.  We want them built here in the United States with American workers.        And so it is absolutely critical that you go out there and you describe your hopes for the future, especially the young people here, because this election is not just going to set the stage for the next two years.  It’s going to set the stage for the next 10, for the next 20.         And for those of you who were so excited two years ago, I just want to remind you this.  Two years ago was not about me.  It was about you and it was about this country.  And I said then that change was going to be hard.  Now, we’ve been involved in some tough fights over the last two years.  We can’t move backwards now.  We’ve got to keep moving forward now.  And that's all going to be up to you.     So I want everybody to get out there, knock on doors, make phone calls, volunteer, talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors, go into the beauty shops, go into the barber shops, when you’re in church or -- you know, this weekend, I want everybody to be talking about -- have folks voted.         If you do that, then I am confident we’re not just going to win this election but we’re going to keep on moving this country forward so that the American Dream is accessible for everybody, not just some.       Thank you very much, Philadelphia.  I love you.  God bless you.  Let’s get busy.  Let’s go to work.  Thank you. 
Request a Fact Check
October 30, 2010
We don't want to keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas. We want those tax breaks to go to companies that are investing here in Bridgeport, small businesses and American manufacturers and clean energy companies, because we don't want electric cars or solar panels or wind turbines made in China or Asia or in Europe. We want them made right here in the United States of America -- with American workers. That's the choice in this election.
Request a Fact Check
October 30, 2010
I promise you -- and I promise you this, if you bring that spirit over the next few days, if you are knocking on doors, if you are making phone calls, if you’re going to barbershops and the beauty shops and talking to your friends and talking to your neighbors, if all the young people who came out in 2008 say, “Yes, we can!” again, I promise you we will not just win an election -- we are going to restore this economy. We are going to rebuild our middle class. We are going to deliver the American Dream -- to the next generation, and the generation after that, and the generation after that, all the way into the distant future.
Request a Fact Check
November 13, 2010
On the economic front, I reiterated to the Prime Minister how important the Asia Pacific region is to our economy and to world economic growth.  Australia is a central player in that economy.  And so we are going to continue to explore ways that we can work together to expand trade, expand investment, ensure that everybody is playing by the rules of the road in the region, and cooperating effectively.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a good example of the kind of collaboration between our two countries that I think can expand opportunity for all peoples.
Request a Fact Check
November 18, 2010
Just two years ago, this seemed impossible.  In fact, there were plenty of doubters and naysayers who said it couldn’t be done, who were prepared to throw in the towel and read the American auto industry last rites.  Independent estimates suggested, however, that had we taken that step, had we given up, we would have lost more than 1 million jobs across all 50 states.  It would have also resulted in economic chaos, devastating communities across the country and costing governments tens of billions of dollars in additional social safety net benefits and lost revenue.
Request a Fact Check
November 18, 2010
So these last two years haven’t been easy on anybody.  They haven’t been without pain or sacrifice, as the tough restructuring of GM reminds us.  And obviously we’ve still got a long road ahead and a lot of work to do -– to rebuild this economy, to put people back to work, to make America more competitive for the future and to secure the American Dream for our children and our grandchildren.
Request a Fact Check
November 23, 2010
And that left Joe and I with some tough choices.  One was to help the auto industry restructure.  And that wasn’t an easy call.  I understood that there were some reservations of those who said that the industry should pay a price for some poor decisions by the part of management.  But we also knew that millions of jobs hung in the balance.  We also knew that the very survival of places like Kokomo were on the line.  And we knew that the collapse of the American auto industry would lead to an even deeper disaster for our economy.
Request a Fact Check
November 23, 2010
There were those who were prepared to give up on Kokomo and our auto industry.  There were those who said it was going to be too difficult, or that it was bad politics, or it was throwing good money after bad.  You remember the voices arguing for us to do nothing.  They were pretty loud, suggesting we should just step back and watch an entire sector of our economy fall apart.
Request a Fact Check
November 23, 2010
But we knew that the auto industry was not built, and this country was not built, by doing the easy thing.  It wasn’t built by doing nothing.  It was built by doing what was necessary even when it’s difficult.  So we made the decision to stand behind the auto industry -- if automakers, if CEOs like Sergio were willing to do what was necessary to make themselves competitive in the 21st century, and if they have the cooperation of workers who were taking pride in the products that they made.
Request a Fact Check
November 23, 2010
You know, long before transmissions were coming off the line at this plant -– and by the way, you look at these transmissions today and somebody 20 years ago or 10 years ago might not recognize them -- they’re amazing.  Before Henry Ford built the Model T or Walter Chrysler took up the reins at a start-up called Buick, a man by the name of Elwood Haynes decided to do a little experiment right in Kokomo. 
Request a Fact Check
November 23, 2010
To bring Kokomo back, to bring the automobile industry back, we knew we had to change things.  We couldn’t just keep doing the things the way we did.  We knew the auto industry had to get leaner, had to get tougher, had to be more competitive.  And we insisted that they did.  And now you see the result -- an old industry adapting to a whole new era, competing again, leading again, and most importantly, hiring again.  Hiring again.    , I know you know this, but the last year of the last outfit we succeeded, they lost 461,000 automobile-related jobs.  And so far we’ve created almost 75,000 new jobs, and a lot more to come.
Request a Fact Check
November 23, 2010
And, folks, look, the government didn’t do this.  The government didn’t do this alone.  The government did was it was supposed to do.  With the leadership of a President and leadership from the President, we had investment from the private sector brought onboard because the government was able to get back in the game and said we’re part of it.  The auto industry has roared back in America.
Request a Fact Check
November 29, 2010
After all, small businesses and families are tightening their belts. Their government should, too. And that’s why, on my first day as President, I froze all pay for my senior staff. This year I’ve proposed extending that freeze for senior political appointees throughout the government and eliminating bonuses for all political appointees.
Request a Fact Check
November 29, 2010
And today I’m proposing a two-year pay freeze for all civilian federal workers. This would save $2 billion over the rest of this fiscal year and $28 billion in cumulative savings over the next five years. And I want to be clear: This freeze does not apply to the men and women of our Armed Forces, who along with their families continue to bear enormous burdens with our nation at war.
Request a Fact Check
November 29, 2010
Going forward, we’re going to have to make some additional very tough decisions that this town has put off for a very long time. And that’s what this upcoming week is really about. My hope is that, starting today, we can begin a bipartisan conversation about our future, because we face challenges that will require the cooperation of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Everybody is going to have to cooperate. We can’t afford to fall back onto the same old ideologies or the same stale sound bites. We’re going to have to budge on some deeply held positions and compromise for the good of the country. We’re going to have to set aside the politics of the moment to make progress for the long term. And as I’ve often said, we’re going to have to think not just about the next election, but about the next generation, because if there’s anything the American people said this month, it’s that they want their leaders to have one single focus: making sure their work is rewarded so that the American Dream remains within their reach. It would be unwise to assume they prefer one way of thinking over another. That wasn’t the lesson that I took when I entered into office, and it’s not the lesson today.
Request a Fact Check
December 15, 2010
I know there are different aspects of this plan to which members of Congress on both sides of the aisle object.  That’s the nature of compromise.  But we worked hard to negotiate an agreement that’s a win for middle-class families and a win for our economy, and we can’t afford to let it fall victim to either delay or defeat.  So I urge members of Congress to pass these tax cuts as swiftly as possible. Getting that done is an essential ingredient in spurring economic growth over the short run.  And spurring economic growth is what I’ll talk about later this morning when I meet with some of America’s top business leaders.  That includes Jim McNerney of Boeing, who also heads up my Export Council, and several members of my Economic Recovery Advisory Board.  This is one of many discussions we’ll be having in the months ahead to find new ways to spur hiring, put Americans back to work and move our economy forward.
Request a Fact Check
December 15, 2010
As I said when I was running for President and as I’ve said since, I believe that the primary engine of America’s economic success is not government.  It’s the ingenuity of America’s entrepreneurs.  It’s the dynamism of our markets.  And for me, the most important question about an economic idea is not whether it’s good short-term politics or meets somebody’s litmus test.  It’s whether it will help spur businesses, jobs and growth.
Request a Fact Check
December 16, 2010
Our strategy begins with the number one concern for all Americans right now -- and that’s improving the economy and creating jobs.  We’ve heard time and again from tribal leaders that one of the keys to unlocking economic growth on reservations is investments in roads and high-speed rail and high-speed Internet and the infrastructure that will better connect your communities to the broader economy.  That’s essential for drawing capital and creating jobs on tribal lands.  So to help spur the economy, we’ve boosted investment in roads throughout the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Reservation Road Program, and we’ve offered new loans to reach reservations with broadband.
Request a Fact Check
December 16, 2010
I also want to note that I support legislation to make clear -- in the wake of a recent Supreme Court decision -- that the Secretary of Interior can take land into trust for all federally recognized tribes.    That’s something that I discussed yesterday with tribal leaders.   We’re also breaking down bureaucratic barriers that have prevented tribal nations from developing clean energy like wind and solar power.  It’s essential not just to your prosperity, but to the prosperity of our whole country.  And I’ve proposed increasing lending to tribal businesses by supporting community financial institutions so they can finance more loans.  It is essential in order to help businesses expand and hire in areas where it can be hard to find credit.
Request a Fact Check
December 17, 2010
As soon as I sign this legislation, 2 million Americans looking for work who lost their jobs through no fault of their own can know with certainty that they won’t lose their emergency unemployment insurance at the end of this month.  Over the past few weeks, 600,000 Americans have been cut off from that lifeline.  But with my signature, states can move quickly to reinstate their benefits –- and we expect that in almost all states, they’ll get them in time for Christmas.
Request a Fact Check
December 17, 2010
Now, candidly speaking, there are some elements of this legislation that I don’t like.  There are some elements that members of my party don’t like.  There are some elements that Republicans here today don’t like.  That’s the nature of compromise -– yielding on something each of us cares about to move forward on what all of us care about.  And right now, what all of us care about is growing the American economy and creating jobs for the American people.  Taken as a whole, that’s what this package of tax relief is going to do.  It’s a good deal for the American people.  This is progress.  And that’s what they sent us here to achieve.
Request a Fact Check
December 17, 2010
And the final product proves when we can put aside the partisanship and the political games, when we can put aside what’s good for some of us in favor of what’s good for all of us, we can get a lot done.  And if we can keep doing it, if we can keep that spirit, I’m hopeful that we won’t just reinvigorate this economy and restore the American Dream for all who work for it.  I’m also hopeful that we might refresh the American people’s faith in the capability of their leaders to govern in challenging times, belief in the capacity of their institutions in this town to deliver in a rapidly changing world, and, most of all, confidence that our best days as a nation are still ahead of us.
Request a Fact Check
January 19, 2011
China is one of the top markets for American exports.  We’re now exporting more than $100 billion a year in goods and services to China, and that supports about half a million American jobs, from manufacturing to agriculture.  And in fact, our exports to China are growing nearly twice as fast as our exports to the rest of the world.
Request a Fact Check
January 19, 2011
The trade and investment cooperation between our two countries have indeed brought real benefits to the people of our countries and important business communities -- opportunities for our business communities.        According to figures, our total trade has brought about $60 billion U.S. of benefits to U.S. consumers.   If we look ahead to the future, our trade cooperation enjoys a promising future.  Here I have a message to all of you -- that is, China is speeding up this transformation of economic growth pattern and economic restructuring.  We are focusing our efforts to boosting domestic demand, especially consumer spending.   In recent years, China’s domestic spending has been growing at a double-digit rate every year.  In 2010, our domestic market has surpassed a scale of $2 trillion U.S.  And here in the United States, you are also working all-out to stimulate your economy.   President Obama has launched a program to double your exports.  Both in the dinner last night and in my meeting with President Obama just now, we discussed how to advance economic cooperation between our two countries across the board.   We agreed to strengthen our cooperation in the financial, economic, trade and the environment, science and technology, agriculture, infrastructure and many other fields.   So, indeed, there is a promising future for trade and investment cooperation between our two countries.  I do hope that companies from both countries can seize the opportunities, take active options and achieve great things.   I also have a message to American entrepreneurs.  That is, we welcome you as companies to China.  China follows reform and opening up.  We will, as always, try to provide a transparent, just, fair, highly efficient investment climate to U.S. companies and other foreign companies.   I also wish to tell you that all companies registered in China are given national treatment.  In terms of innovation products, accreditation, government procurement, IPR protection, the Chinese government will give them equal treatment.   Here, I also have a message to Chinese entrepreneurs.  That is, the Chinese government will, as it has always done, support you in making investments and doing business here in the United States.  I hope that you can continue to be enterprising and creative, and at the same time, don’t forget to give back to the local communities.   I do believe that President Obama and the U.S. administration will provide a level playing field for Chinese companies to make investments here in the United States.   To conclude, I wish the companies you represent even greater growth in the new year.  And I also expect that you can make even greater contribution to promoting trade and investment cooperation between our two countries.   And now I’m ready to listen to your views.  Thank you.   END 12:46 P.M. EST
Request a Fact Check
January 19, 2011
Three decades ago, on a January day like this, another American President stood here and welcomed another Chinese leader for the historic normalization of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.  On that day, Deng Xiaoping spoke of the great possibilities of cooperation between our two nations.        Looking back on that winter day in 1979, it is now clear.  The previous 30 years had been a time of estrangement for our two countries.  The 30 years since have been a time of growing exchanges and understanding.  And with this visit we can lay the foundation for the next 30 years.        At a time when some doubt the benefits of cooperation between the United States and China, this visit is also a chance to demonstrate a simple truth.  We have an enormous stake in each other’s success.  In an interconnected world, in a global economy, nations -- including our own -- will be more prosperous and more secure when we work together.        The United States welcomes China’s rise as a strong, prosperous and successful member of the community of nations.  Indeed, China’s success has brought with it economic benefits for our people as well as yours, and our cooperation on a range of issues has helped advance stability in the Asia Pacific and in the world.          We also know this:  History shows that societies are more harmonious, nations are more successful, and the world is more just, when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld, including the universal rights of every human being.        , we can learn from our people.  Chinese and American students and educators, business people, tourists, researchers and scientists, including Chinese Americans who are here today —- they work together and make progress together every single day.  They know that even as our nations compete in some areas, we can cooperate in so many others, in a spirit of mutual respect, for our mutual benefit.             What Deng Xiaoping said long ago remains true today.  There are still great possibilities for cooperation between our countries.  President Hu, members of the Chinese delegation, let us seize these possibilities together.  Welcome to the United States of America.  Hwan-ying.           PRESIDENT HU:  (As translated.)  , Mrs. Obama, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, it gives me great pleasure to come to Washington and pay a state visit to the United States at the beginning of the new year, at the invitation of President Obama.  At this point in time, let me extend, on behalf of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, sincere greetings and best wishes to the people of the United States.
Request a Fact Check
January 21, 2011
Now, nobody understands this better than Jeff Immelt.  He understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy.  As he mentioned, I’ve appreciated his wisdom during these past two years.  We had a difficult, difficult crisis on our hands.  It was a few days after I took office that I assembled a group of business leaders, including Jeff, to form a new advisory board, because at that time the economy was in a freefall and we were facing the prospects of another Great Depression, with ripple effects all around the world.  It wasn’t just the United States.  The entire world economy was contracting.  At such a dangerous moment, it was essential that we heard voices and ideas from business leaders and from experts who weren’t part of the usual Washington crowd.
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2011
The future is ours to win.  But to get there, we can’t just stand still.  As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift.  It is an achievement.”  Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat.  It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2011
To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations.  When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them.    But I will not hesitate to create or enforce common-sense safeguards to protect the American people.    That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century.  It’s why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe.  It’s why we have speed limits and child labor laws.  It’s why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies and new rules to prevent another financial crisis.    And it’s why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients. 
Request a Fact Check
January 25, 2011
Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law.    So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved.  If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you.  We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses. 
Request a Fact Check
January 26, 2011
America needs to get behind entrepreneurs like Neal.    We need to get behind clean energy companies like Orion.  We need to get behind innovation.  That’s how we’ll meet the goal I set last night and make sure 80 percent of America’s electricity comes from clean energy sources by 2035.  That is a goal that we can meet.    That is a goal we must meet.  (Applause.  That’s how we’ll make America the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.    In five years, a million electric cars on the road.  That’s how America will lead the world in clean energy.  And as I’ve said before, the nation that leads the world in clean energy will lead the global economy in the 21st century.
Request a Fact Check
January 26, 2011
So that’s what sets Neal apart.  That’s what sets Orion apart.  But that’s also what sets America apart.  That’s what sets America apart.  Here in America, we play to win.  We don’t play not to lose.  And part of what I wanted to communicate last night is, having gone through a tough time, having gone through a recession, having seen so many jobs lost, having seen the financial markets take a swoon, you get a sense that a lot of folks have been feeling like, well, we’ve just got to play not to lose.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2011
Now, for most families, that freedom requires a job that pays the bills, covers your mortgage, helps you look after your children. It means a chance to send those children to college, save enough for retirement. And it means access to quality, affordable health care. That is part of the American Dream.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2011
And so I’m willing to work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, to make care better or to make their health care more affordable. I’ve even suggested we begin by correcting what was a legitimate concern, a flaw, in the legislation that placed unnecessary bookkeeping burdens on small businesses. I’m open to other ideas, including patient safety innovations and medical malpractice reform.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2011
We've got small business owners like Janine Vaughn of Spokane, Washington. Janine always tried to do the right thing and cover her workers. But she explained, “We’re a small business. We care about everybody who works here.” But over the last 12 years, her premiums have tripled, so that was eating away at her profit margin.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2011
So let’s look at what’s happened over the last 10 months. Not only has the economy grown and added jobs since the Affordable Care Act became law, but small businesses across the country have already chosen to offer health care to hundreds of thousands of their employees, many for the first time. That’s something that regardless of politics, we should all celebrate.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2011
Health reform is part of deficit reform. We know that health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, are the biggest contributors to our long-term deficit. Nobody disputes this. And this law will slow these costs. That’s part of the reason why nonpartisan economists, why the Congressional Budget Office, have said that repealing this law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit over the next decade, and another trillion dollars to our deficit in the decade after that. They’re not just making this up. And what’s more, repeal would send middle-class premiums up, would force large employers to pay that extra $2,000-$3,000 per worker, and shift control of your health care right back to the insurance companies.
Request a Fact Check
January 28, 2011
So the time for fighting the battles of the last two years has now passed. It’s time to move forward. And these efforts -– strengthening our families, getting our fiscal house in order, allowing small businesses to grow, allowing entrepreneurs to strike out on their own free from crushing costs –- they’re critical to our economic success. And by reforming our health care system so it doesn’t dictate anybody’s economic fate, America can decide its own.
Request a Fact Check
February 18, 2011
So we can’t win the future if we lose the race to educate our children.  Can’t do it.  In today’s economy, the quality of a nation’s education is one of the biggest predictors of a nation’s success.  It is what will determine whether the American Dream survives.  And so it’s the responsibility of all of us to get this right:  parents, teachers, students, workers, business and government.  We’re all going to have to focus on this like a laser.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
The truth is, is that large companies are critically important to our economy.  They export.  They employ thousands of people.  And they also provide contracts to small businesses.  So there’s a little bit of an artificial separation sometimes -- if large businesses are doing well, then small businesses also have an opportunity for great success.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
But here’s the unique thing about small businesses.  Small businesses that grow into medium-sized and large businesses, that’s the key to the future, because it’s the new products, it’s the new services, things that nobody else thought of before that are going to help absorb all the talented Americans out there who are looking for careers, and the large companies, there’s only going to be so much additional employment that they add, partly because they’re getting more and more efficient.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
And as I said, we’re very lucky to have Steve Case here, who is somebody who grew a small business to a large business and was at the cutting edge of the technological revolution that we’ve seen over the last 20 years that has changed everything.  And he is going to be working as our chairman for public/private partnership that tries to continue to encourage additional entrepreneurship.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
And my recommendation to you, , would be that if you could figure out a way to change the tax policy so that when people invest in small businesses, perhaps the capital gains on an investment would perhaps be not taxed.  Let’s say if you put in $10,000 or $20,000, if you doubled your investment the first $20,000 would be --
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
MS. MILLS:  Well, in fact, in the set of tax cuts that the President enacted -- the 17 tax cuts -- I want to make sure you all, when you do your taxes, make sure you ask about the 17 tax cuts because it’s money back in your pocket.  One of them is if you invest in a small business, certain criteria, you don’t pay capital gains.  You don’t pay capital gains.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
Good.  Well, this access to capital issue is going to, I suspect, keep on coming up.  Obviously one of the key things that we’ve done -- and I’ll talk about this in another panel that I’ll be joining -- is both through the SBA, where we expanded the loan guarantee program, increased the size of loans that could be taken out and reduced fees, that is providing a lot of capital, particularly at a time when small businesses were getting hammered during this past two years of recession.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
MR. LOPEZ:  -- to get paid.  , when it costs us, whether it’s $30,000 or $50,000 or $100,000 a week in payroll and we’re waiting nine or 10 weeks later to get paid, and the margin is so small, we can’t grow, although we have the right deliverables and the right skill sets and the right talent to a point that we want to grow the business and have other investors, European investors, that we want to carry their products and to do -- go national.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
I think the other problem is that being a contractor we’re very successful through the SBA program, through the SBA office here -- very successful and we did very well with that.  Some of the issues that I have with that, or I think most people, is that same thing -- the government takes their time, you’re making payroll, putting your process through the --
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
MS. MILLS:  Absolutely.  That’s something that we do quite a bit of in bank lending and in SBA lending.  So those are some of the avenues that we can talk about in order to make sure there’s more working capital.  I hear all the time that working capital for growth is as hard to get as any other kind of capital.  And we’re doing a very good job right now on real estate lending and on equipment capital, and we’re working hard on working capital as well.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
One of the things, though -- I want to underline what the President said about what he said to everyone in the Cabinet about small business contracting.  He has told all of us around the table that the small business contracting programs are a real big priority, and that we know that gives oxygen into your revenue lines.  And we also know that it’s good for the agencies because they get the most innovative entrepreneurs working for them.  And usually the CEO is right there at the table helping them out.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
So this is something that everybody across the administration under the President’s leadership is pushing forward on, and I hope that lots of you work with us at the SBA to get qualified to bid on these contracts because I there’s going to be a really good positive momentum in government contracting for small business going forward.  And they’re going to pay on time.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
And so it’s not good enough just to rely on the old industries.  We’ve also got to invent new ones, and that’s what you’re doing here.  Over the last several months, I’ve visited with organizations like the Chamber of Commerce.  I’ve traveled to large companies -- just recently I went to Intel because it’s doubling down on America, it’s investing in new plants and equipment and amazing facilities.  And those large companies, those large institutions are important to our success.  But the truth is, when it comes to our economy, it’s our small businesses that pack the biggest punch, especially when it comes to employment, which is obviously one of the biggest challenges that we faced coming out of this Great Recession that we had.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
We had a terrific discussion.  The groups that I participated in were remarkable and had great ideas.  I know the members of the Cabinet had fun, which is why we’re going to do it again.  And over the next several months, what we’re going to be doing is teaming up with mayors and governors and small business owners to host a series of these jobs forums across the country.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
I should mention just a couple of things that we heard during some of these breakout sessions.  Obviously there was a lot of emphasis on capital.  And we talked about the SBA programs, the Treasury programs that are in place some people may not be aware of that are making a huge difference in providing financing to a lot of startups and a lot of small businesses across the country.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
But we also heard from you about some important ideas.  For example, right now we’re already giving a tax break, zero percent on capital gains for investors who invest in small businesses.  But a few of you said that that works well.  What we could also really use is some tax credits for angel investors because that early financing oftentimes may be what makes or breaks a company.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
Just a couple examples of folks who are here:  Dr. Albert Green, the CEO of Kent Displays.  Is Albert here?  Where is he?  There he is, Doc.    His company is a product of one of NorTech’s clusters -– the Flex Matters Cluster.  And that cluster is working to make Cleveland the global epicenter for the development and manufacturing of flexible electronics –- the printing of electronic devices on materials that can bend and flex, like clothing and tablets and medical implants.  And we gave them a boost with a contract from the Small Business Administration so they can counsel the small businesses that spring from this cluster on things like patents and exporting, and getting these revolutionary products to market faster.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
So you guys are leading the way, and we know there are some things government can do to help clear the way for your success. We can make sure America remains the best place on Earth to do business by knocking down barriers that stand in the way of your growth.  That’s why we passed 17 different tax cuts for small businesses, why I proposed lowering the corporate tax rate and eliminating unnecessary regulations to help larger businesses create jobs.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
I think Tim did extraordinary work in our first two years to make sure that the capital markets sort of regained some sense of normalcy.  But what we’re well aware of is that if you’re a big company, it’s very easy to borrow right now, and you can borrow very cheaply.  If you’re a medium-sized company, you may be doing okay.  If you’re a small business, capital is still tough -- partly, as I understand it, because one of the key ways that small businesses were able to get loans was because it had some sort of assets that they could offer up as collateral.  And if those asset values have declined, that makes it that much more difficult.  And small community banks that were the source of a lot of lending for small businesses are still working their way through some problems.  Many of them were involved in the real estate market one way or another, and that creates difficulties, as well.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
So we know we still have some challenges.  I assume that Tim has already described to you what we’re doing both on the SBA side and at Treasury to try to loosen up capital for entrepreneurs and business people like yourselves.  But with that, we’re interested in finding out in more detail where you think we can be most helpful.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
Obviously the big companies generally get most of the attention in our economy, and the success of large companies is critical to the success of medium and small businesses as well. But it’s small businesses like yours that help drive America’s economic growth and create two out of every three new jobs.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
You’re the anchors of our Main Streets, small businesses built by folks who live and work in the community and look out for one another that end up determining success or failure of cities and towns. They’re the cornerstones of America’s promise, the idea that if you’ve got a dream and you’ve got the work ethic to see it through, you can succeed. And when our small businesses do well, then America does well.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
That’s why we convened this Winning the Future Forum for Small Business. Along with Cleveland State and local organizations like JumpStart and NorTech, we looked for entrepreneurs here in Northeast Ohio who live to out-hustle, to out-innovate everybody else -– in manufacturing and construction, in clean energy and biotech, in retail, in restaurants -– including the owner of Bubba’s BBQ, who I imagine will be one of the more popular participants today.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
We’re here to hear from you directly. We want your stories -– your successes, your failures, what barriers you’re seeing out there to expand, what you’ve learned along the way. What would make it easier for you to grow? What would make it easier for you to create new jobs? How can America help you succeed so that you can help America succeed?
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
Well, Cleveland I think is a great example of cities all across the country, but especially in the Midwest, who are starting to reinvent themselves.  These are typically manufacturing cities.  They were built on the auto industry, on heavy manufacturing, steel.  And as manufacturing has become much more productive, fewer workers are in manufacturing -- even though manufacturing continues to contribute a lot to the economy -- and so these regions are having to think what’s going to be the businesses of the future that end up employing more people and providing more opportunity.  And small businesses are going to be the ones that I think are going to be making the biggest impact on regions like this one -- a lot of risk-takers, a lot of entrepreneurs here.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
MR. GOOLSBEE:  -- that we were going to shoot to you.  James in Addison, Texas:  With the virtual death of local banking, it’s next to impossible today to get bank loans for anything other than fixed assets.  For working capital, speculative funding, for others, entrepreneurs must look to save capital, family, friends, or even a first customer.  Traditional financing sources only help the more traditional forms of business.  Innovators must look elsewhere.  We're locked in this and we were wondering what your view is.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
And so what we did over the last two years was try to make sure that the Small Business Administration, the SBA, filled some of this hole.  We increased the guarantees that SBA would provide to banks if they loaned -- if they made a loan to a small business.  We eliminated some of the fees that might be required. And as a consequence, volume from the Small Business Administration went up substantially.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
The other thing that we did was we increased the limits on the loans that might be provided through the SBA.  So the SBA has done a lot of good work.  The Treasury Department has also tried to make sure that they set up funds that would help to facilitate lending to small businesses.  That's especially important in part because small businesses a lot of times have trouble getting loans when their collateral has gone down, the value of their holdings have gone down.  And typically that's been real estate for a lot of small businesses.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
So we got a range of products that, through the SBA, through Treasury, are providing loans to small businesses, helping encourage small banks to get back into the business of lending again.  But we heard some good ideas here today about, for example, providing tax credits for angel investors -- that right now there have been some discussions in Congress about setting up some additional legislation that could help small businesses, and we’re going to see if we can implement it.
Request a Fact Check
February 22, 2011
Generally speaking, though, the -- what I’ll do is just talk about what I’ve heard in some of these forums.  In addition to financing, I think the other thing that people really wanted to find out is how can they get mentored and partner with some larger businesses.  And we’re very lucky we got Steve Case here who obviously used to be with AOL.  He has agreed to be the chairman of our sort of umbrella organization that is Startup America, which is going to help to mentor and partner with would-be entrepreneurs -- get them with more mature businesses, medium-sized business, large businesses.
Request a Fact Check
February 27, 2011
The main message I want to deliver tonight, in addition to asking you to have some fun this evening, is to know that you’ve got a partner here in the White House. If you look around the room, we come from a lot of different parts of the country and people may have different perspectives, but one thing that we all absolutely share is the belief in the American Dream and the confidence that when our people get opportunities, they’ve got the ingenuity and the stick-to-it-ness and the drive to succeed.
Request a Fact Check
February 28, 2011
We meet at a moment when all of us -- Democrats and Republicans, leaders at the national and the state levels -- face some very big challenges. Our country has come through a long and wrenching recession. And as we recover, the question we’re going to have to answer is: Where will the new jobs come from? What will the new sources of economic growth be? And how can we make sure that the American Dream remains a reality into the 21st century?
Request a Fact Check
February 28, 2011
Now, in the short term, we came together here in Washington at the end of last year and enacted tax cuts that are already making Americans’ paychecks bigger and are allowing businesses to write off major investments. These are tax cuts and changes in the tax credit system that are going to spur job creation and economic growth, and I’m proud that Democrats and Republicans worked with each other to get it done.
Request a Fact Check
February 28, 2011
In the long term, however, we need to address a set of economic challenges that, frankly, the housing bubble largely papered over for almost a decade. We now live in a world that’s more connected and more competitive than ever before. When each of you tries to bring new jobs and industries to your state, you’re not just competing with each other, but you’re competing with China, you’re competing with India, you’re competing with Brazil, you’re competing with countries all around the world.
Request a Fact Check
March 19, 2011
But over the last decade, Brazil has proved to the world that there is another way.  You’ve shown that participation in the global economy can lead to widespread opportunity at home.  You’ve shown that the spirit of capitalism can thrive alongside the spirit of social justice.  You’ve shown that democracy is still the best path to economic progress, for when governments are accountable to their people, their people are more likely to prosper.
Request a Fact Check
March 19, 2011
For example, after one small business in North Carolina attended a trade forum in São Paulo last year, they came away with a manufacturing deal that sent auto parts to Brazil and led to the hiring of new workers in the United States.  Capstone Turbine in California recently sold $2 million worth of high-tech energy equipment that will support jobs in America and serve millions of Brazilians in the years to come.  And the government of Brazil recently purchased helicopters that will support U.S. manufacturing jobs from Pennsylvania to Alabama.
Request a Fact Check
March 19, 2011
In the United States, we believe in what’s known as the American Dream -– the idea that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or how you start out, you can overcome the greatest obstacles and fulfill the greatest hopes.  I’m a testament to that dream.  I believe that that dream exists in this America, as well.  I can see it in the entrepreneurial spirit of the men and women in this room.  I could see it in the celebrations of Caricoas upon learning that the world will come to compete in Rio.  And I can see it running through so much of your history.
Request a Fact Check
March 20, 2011
Together we can advance our common prosperity.  As two of the world’s largest economies, we worked side by side during the financial crisis to restore growth and confidence.  And to keep our economies growing, we know what’s necessary in both of our nations.  We need a skilled, educated workforce -- which is why American and Brazilian companies have pledged to help increase student exchanges between our two nations.
Request a Fact Check
March 20, 2011
In a global economy, the United States and Brazil should expand trade, expand investment, so that we create new jobs and new opportunities in both of our nations.  And that's why we're working to break down barriers to doing business.  That's why we're building closer relationships between our workers and our entrepreneurs.
Request a Fact Check
March 21, 2011
And despite this region’s democratic progress, stark inequalities endure.  In political and economic power that is too often concentrated in the hands of the few, instead of serving the many.  In the corruption that too often still stifles economic growth and development, innovation and entrepreneurship.  And in some leaders who cling to bankrupt ideologies to justify their own power and who seek to silence their opponents because those opponents have the audacity to demand their universal rights.  These, too, are realities that we must face.
Request a Fact Check
March 21, 2011
We’re also encouraging the next generation of businesses and entrepreneurs.  So we’ll work with the Inter-American Development bank to increase lending.  We’ve expanded credit under a new Microfinance Growth Fund for the Americas.  We’re supporting reforms to tax systems, which are critical for economic growth and public investment.  We’re creating new “Pathways to Prosperity” -- microcredit, entrepreneurship training -- for those who must share in economic growth, including women and members of Afro-Caribbean and indigenous communities.
Request a Fact Check
March 21, 2011
It’s the same philosophy behind two additional initiatives that I’m announcing today, which will help our countries educate and innovate for the future.  First, we’re launching a new initiative to harness the power of social media and online networks to help students, scientists, academics and entrepreneurs collaborate and develop the new ideas and products that will keep America -- the Americas competitive in a global economy.
Request a Fact Check
March 22, 2011
Fortunately for El Salvador, it enjoys the wise leadership of President Funes.  , I want to commend you for your courageous work to overcome old divisions in Salvadoran society and to show that progress comes through pragmatism and building consensus.  You’ve articulated a vision of economic growth and social progress that is inclusive of all segments of Salvadoran society.  And I want to make it clear today that the United States wants to be a partner with El Salvador in this process.  We want El Salvador to be successful.
Request a Fact Check
March 22, 2011
At the same time, we need to increase trade and economic growth across Central America.  I very much appreciated the President’s insights on the region.  Today I’m pleased to announce a new effort -- our Crossroads Partnership.  We’ll work with countries in the region to make borders more efficient and more secure so we’re encouraging trade and economic growth rather than constraining it.
Request a Fact Check
March 28, 2011
One of the strengths of America, compared to other countries, is that we’re always attracting new talent to our shores -- people who reinvigorate the American Dream. And that has to continue in this generation. And so they should know, these young people should know that they have a President who believes in them and will continue to fight for them and try to make sure that they have full opportunities in this country.
Request a Fact Check
March 29, 2011
There have been times where we had to make some really tough decisions, really unpopular decisions, digging ourselves out of this incredible economic hole that we were in. We had to stabilize the financial system.  That wasn’t always popular.  We had to save the U.S. auto industry, and everybody said that wasn’t going to work.  And I just want to report that GM just announced it’s hiring every single one of the workers that they laid off before we took office. 
Request a Fact Check
March 29, 2011
So we've gotten a lot of stuff done.  But right now what’s on my mind is what hasn’t gotten done yet.  We're going to have to fix a broken immigration system, and that is not yet complete.   We've got to make sure that even as we're securing our borders we also recognize that we are a nation of immigrants and that we want everybody to be able to partake in the American Dream. 
Request a Fact Check
March 29, 2011
That’s why he invested so much time and energy in Africa. It’s why he argued that economic progress and human rights can’t be separated. That’s why he called commerce and economic development the “infrastructure of democracy.” That’s why he was on that flight to the Balkans -- because, he said, just as America “took the lead in the peace process, we need to show the way in rebuilding from the ruins of war.”
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2011
In an economy that relies so heavily on oil, rising prices at the pump affect everybody -– workers, farmers, truck drivers, restaurant owners, students who are lucky enough to have a car.    Businesses see rising prices at the pump hurt their bottom line.  Families feel the pinch when they fill up their tank.  And for Americans that are already struggling to get by, a hike in gas prices really makes their lives that much harder.  It hurts.
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2011
Now, here’s the thing -– we have been down this road before. Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon.  I remember because I was in the middle of a presidential campaign.  Working folks certainly remember because it hit a lot of people pretty hard.  And because we were at the height of political season, you had all kinds of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians -- they were waving their three-point plans for $2 a gallon gas.  You remember that -- “drill, baby, drill” -- and we were going through all that.    And none of it was really going to do anything to solve the problem.  There was a lot of hue and cry, a lot of fulminating and hand-wringing, but nothing actually happened.  Imagine that in Washington. 
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2011
That has to change.  That has to change.  We cannot keep going from shock when gas prices go up to trance when they go back down -- we go back to doing the same things we’ve been doing until the next time there’s a price spike, and then we’re shocked again.  We can’t rush to propose action when gas prices are high and then hit the snooze button when they fall again.  We can’t keep on doing that.
Request a Fact Check
March 30, 2011
Now, we went through 30 years where we didn’t raise fuel efficiency standards on cars.  And part of what happened in the U.S. auto industry was because oil appeared relatively cheap, the U.S. auto industry decided we’re just going to make our money on SUVs, and we’re not going to worry about fuel efficiency.  Thirty years of lost time when it comes to technology that could improve the efficiency of cars.
Request a Fact Check
April 19, 2011
We’ll also reduce health care spending, and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid through some common-sense reforms that will get rid of, for example, wasteful subsidies to insurance companies. Reforms that can actually improve care -- like making it easier for folks to buy generic drugs, or helping providers manage care for the chronically ill more effectively. And we can reform the tax code so that it’s fair and it’s simple –- so the amount of taxes you pay doesn’t depend on whether you can hire a fancy accountant or not.
Request a Fact Check
April 19, 2011
Now, I wish I could tell you that there was some easy, simple solution to this. It is true that a lot of what’s driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply. There’s enough supply. There’s enough oil out there for world demand. The problem is, is that oil is sold on these world markets, and speculators and people make various bets, and they say, you know what, we think that maybe there’s a 20 percent chance that something might happen in the Middle East that might disrupt oil supply, so we’re going to bet that oil is going to go up real high. And that spikes up prices significantly.
Request a Fact Check
April 19, 2011
I want to live in a society that’s fair -- not just out of charitable reasons, but because it improves my life. If there are young people out there who are going to good schools and have opportunity, if I’m not driving by and seeing homeless folks on the streets, why wouldn’t I want to have a society where I knew that the American Dream was available for everybody?
Request a Fact Check
April 20, 2011
So, for example, they proposed 70 percent cuts in clean energy.  Well, I don't know how we free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil -- and anybody who is paying gas prices knows that there’s an economic component to this as well as an environmental component to it -- if we’re not investing in the basic research and technology that allows solar, wind and others to thrive and develop.
Request a Fact Check
April 20, 2011
MR. ZUCKERBERG:  So the next question is from someone watching Facebook live.  Jay Aptine (ph) from Williamsburg, Virginia writes in and asks:  “The housing crisis will not go away.  The mortgage financing for new homebuyers with low to moderate income is becoming very difficult.  As President, what can you do to relax the policies that are disqualifying qualified homebuyers from owning their first home?  How can you assure the low to moderate homebuyers that they will have the opportunity to own their first home?”
Request a Fact Check
April 20, 2011
Well, it’s a good question.  And I’ll be honest with you, this is probably the biggest drag on the economy right now that we have -- along with I know the frustrations people have about gas prices.  What we’ve really seen is the housing market, which was a bubble, had greatly over-inflated in all regions of the country.  And I know I probably don't get a lot of sympathy about that here because I can only imagine what rents and mortgages you guys are paying.
Request a Fact Check
April 20, 2011
I think the regulators are trying to get that balance right. There are certain communities with high foreclosure rates where what we're trying to do is see if can we help state and local governments take over some of these homes and convert them and provide favorable terms to first-time home buyers.  But, frankly, I think we've got to understand that the days where it was really easy to buy a house without any money down is probably over.  And what we -- what I'm really concerned about is making sure that the housing market overall recovers enough that it’s not such a huge drag on the economy, because if it isn’t, then people will have more confidence, they’ll spend more, more people will get hired, and overall the economy will improve.
Request a Fact Check
April 20, 2011
Q    Hi, .  Thank you so much for joining us today.  I am originally from Detroit, Michigan, and now I'm out here working at Facebook.  So my question for you kind of builds on some of the things we were just talking about.  At the beginning of your term you spent a lot of time talking about job creation and the road to economic recovery, and one of the ways to do that would be substantially increasing federal investments in various areas as a way to fill the void left from consumer spending.  Since then, we’ve seen the conversation shift from that of job creation and economic recovery to that of spending cuts and the deficit.  So I would love to know your thoughts on how you’re going to balance these two going forward, or even potentially shift the conversation back.
Request a Fact Check
April 20, 2011
So those were all investments that we made in the first two years.  Now, the economy is now growing.  It’s not growing quite as fast as we would like, because after a financial crisis, typically there’s a bigger drag on the economy for a longer period of time.  But it is growing.  And over the last year and a half we’ve seen almost 2 million jobs created in the private sector.
Request a Fact Check
April 20, 2011
And obviously for folks in Detroit, where you’re from, they know that our investments can make a difference because we essentially saved the U.S. auto industry.  We now have three auto companies here in America that are all turning a profit.  G.M. just announced that it’s hiring back all of the workers that it was planning to lay off.  And we did so, by the way, at the same time as we were able to increase fuel efficiency standards on cars for the first time in 30 years.  So it can be done, but it takes a balanced approach. 
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
It hurts because you know every time you go to work a big chunk of your paycheck is being eaten up.  And you might already be having trouble making ends meet at the end of the month.  So this gas issue is serious.  But here’s the problem -- every time it happens, every time gas prices go up like this, like clockwork, suddenly politicians look around and they discover high gas prices.  And they’re shocked, and they get in front of TV and they say, we’ve got a three-point plan to bring gas down to two bucks a gallon.  And then when gas prices go down, nothing ever happens, and we’re back into the same old patterns, and we don’t have a comprehensive energy strategy for the future.
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
Now, there are some things that we can do right now.  Last month I asked my Attorney General to look into any cases of price gouging so we can make sure nobody is being taken advantage of at the pump.  Today, I’m going to go a step further.  The Attorney General is putting together a team whose job it is to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, and that includes the role of traders and speculators.  We’re going to make sure that nobody is taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain. 
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
And here’s why this is so important.  Ultimately, this debate is not just about numbers on a page.  It’s about the vision we have for our future -- who we are as a country.  It’s about making sure that the most you can do here is not just live out your own American Dream, but make sure that the people around you are living out their American Dream as well.
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
So we’ve already implemented a wide range of reform.  Small businesses are eligible right now for huge tax breaks about a third of what small businesses pay for their employees to provide them health care, now they can deduct from their taxes.  And that can save tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands on their health care bills.  That’s already going on right now.
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
The other thing that we did in health care reform bears on what I was talking about earlier, which is our deficit reduction.  We were giving -- we were giving about $180 billion worth of subsidies to insurance companies under the Medicare program.  It wasn’t making seniors healthier, but it was making the profit margins for those insurance companies a lot healthier.
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
We think that needs to be part of a overall, comprehensive energy package.  And I was talking earlier about electricity generation, but obviously what’s on the minds of a lot of folks right now are gas prices.  Let me just make this point:  One of the key ways we’re going to get gas prices down is just to use less oil.  Right?  If you buy less, prices go down. 
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
There are moments in history that are inflection points, and I think we understood back in 2008 that we were entering into one of those periods. Domestically, we had gone through a decade in which the economy was growing but it was growing on top of a bubble. And people at the very top were doing very well, but the wages and incomes of ordinary families had flatlined, and we were starting as a government to live beyond our means with tax cuts and two wars that weren’t paid for. And so I think people understood even before the recession hit that somehow the way our economy was operating was not conducive to long-term sustained economic growth or making sure that everybody had a chance at the American Dream.
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
Now, there’s an example of creativity that we saw during the campaign. You know, it wasn’t always convenient but it’s part of what made 2008 special. And what’s happened -- and I think that was indicative of that performance as well -- is, is that over the last two and a half years, change turned out to be tougher than a lot of us expected. Right? I think a lot of folks didn’t recognize that we might end up going through the worst recession since the Great Depression, and that we’d see 8 million jobs lost, devastating entire communities all across the country. I think we didn’t anticipate a housing crisis that kept on worsening, or the potential of a financial meltdown.
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
Some of the decisions we made were not popular.  You remember folks talking about the auto bailout.  A lot of folks were skeptical -- we should just let the auto industry in America go by the wayside.  But two and a half years later, our economy is growing again.  We’re creating jobs again.    Over the last four months, we’ve seen the largest drop in unemployment since 1984.    Over the last 13 months, we’ve added nearly 2 million private sector jobs. 
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
I admit, Secret Service doesn’t let me pump gas now.    But I remember what it was like filling up.    And you think about a family that has to drive 50 miles to work.  They don't have a choice.  That's where their job is.  They may not be able to sell their home and move closer, That's not an option for them, especially in this housing market.       It would be nice if they could buy a hybrid, but they might not have the money, and they're driving that old beater.  And it’s getting eight miles a gallon.    And that's no joke.  We gave everybody a tax cut, but a lot of that money gets eaten up by high gas prices.
Request a Fact Check
April 21, 2011
We didn’t understand the degree to which the financial system might melt down and its global consequences.  And yet, despite the enormous economic challenges we faced, despite the changes that we’re seeing internationally, we have made extraordinary progress -- not just pulling the economy back from the brink, but also pushing through that vision that we had, making an America that was more competitive, that was more inclusive, an America that was tapping into that entrepreneurial spirit and once again regaining our edge in this 21st-century global economy, and ended up delivering on promises and commitments that we had made to each other that we knew were going to be very hard, but we knew were going to be important for our future.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2011
But two and a half years later, the economy is growing again. Two and a half years later, we’re creating jobs again. Two and a half years later, the financial system works again. Two and a half years later, small businesses are opening their doors again.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2011
Over the last four months, we’ve seen the largest drop in unemployment since 1984. Over the last 13 months we have created nearly 2 million private sector jobs. Some of the things that weren’t popular that folks said wouldn’t work have worked. We have a Big Three auto industry in Detroit that is back on its feet, making a profit again. GM announced it’s hiring all its workers back.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2011
But in the meantime, look, I want all of you to be rich. Now, I don’t mean just going out and buying lottery tickets. I want your small business to be successful. I want you to succeed in your careers. I want everybody to be successful. We don’t want to punish success. But what we do want is a society where if we’re going to ask everybody to sacrifice a little bit, we don’t just tell millionaires and billionaires, oh, you don’t have to do anything. You go ahead and just relax, count your money.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2011
That makes my life better. That makes my life richer -- knowing that everybody has a measure of dignity and respect, and a shot at the American Dream. I don’t do that for somebody else. I do it because it improves my life and it’s going to improve Malia’s life and Sasha’s life.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2011
We didn’t even know how steep the climb was going to be to get to where we needed to go, but we understood it was not going to be easy.  The campaign wasn’t easy.  There’s a lot of revisionist history going on now that, boy, his campaign was so smooth.  It didn’t feel that way at the time.    I mean, it was hard.  But we kept at it because we understood that a country that is generous and compassionate, that is looking after our children and making sure they’ve got a shot at the American Dream, that is making sure our seniors have dignity and security in their old age, that looks after families who’ve got a disabled child, that is investing in our infrastructure so that we can move products and services and people and information around rapidly, that is a benevolent influence around the world and is respected around the world -- we understood that getting to where we needed to go wasn’t going to be easy, and it hasn’t been.
Request a Fact Check
April 22, 2011
But we have made extraordinary progress over the last two and a half years.  We’ve pulled this economy out of a recession.  We’ve stabilized the financial system.  We’ve passed historic health care legislation to make sure 30 million people aren’t going to go without coverage.    We have repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  We have put two women on the Supreme Court, including the first Latina.    We’ve passed equal pay for equal work.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
Sometimes I get letters from children who are worried about their parents losing a job. And I get letters from parents describing what it’s like to send 16 resumes out and not get a response. I hear from families who are worried about losing their homes. I worry about small businesses who have put their heart and soul and everything they own into something that was working and now suddenly credit has been pulled back and they're not sure if they're going to make it.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
And most of all, I think what you find are people who are worried about the future of the American Dream. Now, everybody here, almost by definition, has lived out that American Dream. We have been extraordinarily blessed by a country that historically has provided more opportunity to more people than any other in history. Many of us are children of immigrants. Sharon was just describing what it was like for her parents to come here from other countries -- in some cases, fleeing the Holocaust -- and somehow being able to make a life for their families and then ultimately see their children and their grandchildren succeed in ways that they never dreamed before. And that's the story for most of us.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
And I didn't expect that not only I would have the extraordinary honor of taking this highest office, but also doing so at a time when we were facing the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Now, we’ve spent two years cleaning up after a big mess. And not all the decisions that we made were popular. I think most of the decisions we made were right. Because of the actions that we took swiftly upon coming into office, the financial system stabilized, and I think that if you asked anybody back in March of 2009 whether we were going to see almost all of the losses on Wall Street recover, the financial system working again at relatively modest costs to taxpayers, I think most of us would have taken that scenario.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
We have a auto industry that for the first time in a very long time is turning a profit, and has hired back workers instead of laying them off. We have been able to take an economy that was shrinking at about 6 percent per quarter and is now growing. And we’ve added 2 million jobs over the last 13 months in the private sector alone.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
And that’s understandable. We’re not going to have the same kind of campaign entirely that we had in 2008. But the animated spirit behind it, the desire to make sure that that American Dream is available for everybody and that we have -- when we have tough decisions to make, we have shared sacrifice, no single group or person is bearing that burden, and that we’re also making sure that we’ve got shared opportunity and access -- that animating spirit at the core of my campaign, the belief that there’s a lot more that we have in common than what drives us apart, that hasn’t changed. And my enthusiasm for this job and my optimism about America is not diminished.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
We do. She’s just -- she’s just speaking the truth. We still got work to do. When I decided to run -- and some of you were on this journey three years ago, four years ago, when folks couldn’t pronounce my name. What we understood was that even before the recession, folks all across the country were feeling that that American Dream was starting to slip out of their grasp.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
And all across this country, there are people who still believe in that. They’re working so hard every day. They’re looking after their families. They’re looking after their communities. They’re in their churches and synagogues and mosques. They’re volunteering. They’re mentoring. They’re coaching Little League. And yet they’ve been feeling even before the recession hit that maybe this American Dream, this idea of America was starting to slip away.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
Because of you, we made the largest investment in clean energy in our history. And that’s already changing how jobs and businesses across the country are thinking about energy. We’re creating new businesses, advanced battery manufacturing, and plants building wind turbines and solar panels. But at a time when gas prices are --
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
I know there are times where some of you felt frustrated, where we haven’t gotten everything done that we wanted to get done. I know you guys. Why did health care take so long? And we didn’t get our public option -- you know, it’s like, you know, what are we doing about this energy thing? It’s not happening fast enough. And, look, small business -- you know.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
And that was all before the worst recession since the Great Depression. By the time I was sworn in, we had already lost 4 million jobs in the previous six months. In the next six months, before our economic policies had a chance to take effect, we lost another 4 million. The financial system was on the brink of collapse. We were about to see the liquidation of the U.S. auto industry.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
And yet because of the work, in part, of people like Chuck and Kirsten and Carolyn and others who worked so hard in Congress, what we were able to do is right the ship. We had to take some unpopular decisions. We had to do some things that people weren’t sure were going to work. But we made those tough decisions. And as a consequence, an economy that was shrinking is now growing. An economy that was shedding jobs over the last 13 months, we’ve created 2 million jobs in the private sector. The stock market is almost fully recovered. The financial system has stabilized. And people have a sense that this recovery may finally start building some steam.
Request a Fact Check
April 28, 2011
We imagine a big America where we’re investing in the same kind of science that invented the Internet. We want to invent the next big energy breakthrough that is going to make sure that we’re no longer dependent on foreign oil, and we can start finally doing something about climate change, and we’re not vulnerable to huge spikes in gasoline prices. We want that transformation starting here in the United States of America.
Request a Fact Check
April 29, 2011
And preserving this idea -- keeping the American Dream alive from one generation to the next -- that’s never been an easy task.  It’s an even greater test in times of rapid change.  And all of you are graduating at a moment when change is coming faster than ever before.  We’re emerging from an economic downturn like we haven’t seen since the 1930s.  Massive shifts in technology have shifted profoundly what our economy looks like.  Massive shifts abroad geopolitically have swift and dramatic impacts not only overseas but also here at home, from markets on Wall Street to wallets on Main Street.  Just as advances in technology have the power to make our lives better, they also force us to compete with other nations like never before.  Tackling big challenges like terrorism and climate change require sustained national effort, and yet too often, our politics seems as broken, as divided as ever.
Request a Fact Check
May 24, 2011
Your visit to this country inevitably reminds us of our shared history, our common language, and our strong intellectual and cultural links.  It also reminds us that your country twice came to the rescue of the free and democratic world when it was facing military disaster.  On each occasion, after the end of those destructive wars, the generosity of the United States made a massive contribution to our economic recovery.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2011
And obviously the nature and role of the public sector in the United Kingdom is different than it has been in the United States.  The pressures that each country are under from world capital markets are different.  The nature of the debt and deficits are different.  And as a consequence, the sequencing or pace may end up being different.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2011
And I would argue the proof of that for the UK has been what has happened in capital markets.  And as the President just said, capital markets treat different countries differently.  Well, in the European context, what you’ve seen since the election is actually market interest rates in the UK, bond yields effectively come down.  Whereas you look at what’s happened in Greece or in Portugal or other European countries, you’ve often seen those bond rates increase.  That, in my view, is the risk we would have run if we had not set out on the path of deficit reduction.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2011
Today, after a difficult decade that began with war and ended in recession, our nations have arrived at a pivotal moment once more.  A global economy that once stood on the brink of depression is now stable and recovering.  After years of conflict, the United States has removed 100,000 troops from Iraq, the United Kingdom has removed its forces, and our combat mission there has ended.  In Afghanistan, we’ve broken the Taliban’s momentum and will soon begin a transition to Afghan lead.  And nearly 10 years after 9/11, we have disrupted terrorist networks and dealt al Qaeda a huge blow by killing its leader –- Osama bin Laden.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2011
Together, we have met great challenges.  But as we enter this new chapter in our shared history, profound challenges stretch before us.  In a world where the prosperity of all nations is now inextricably linked, a new era of cooperation is required to ensure the growth and stability of the global economy.  As new threats spread across borders and oceans, we must dismantle terrorist networks and stop the spread of nuclear weapons, confront climate change and combat famine and disease.  And as a revolution races through the streets of the Middle East and North Africa, the entire world has a stake in the aspirations of a generation that longs to determine its own destiny.
Request a Fact Check
May 25, 2011
A financial crisis that began on Wall Street infected nearly every continent, which is why we must keep working through forums like the G20 to put in place global rules of the road to prevent future excesses and abuse.  No country can hide from the dangers of carbon pollution, which is why we must build on what was achieved at Copenhagen and Cancun to leave our children a planet that is safer and cleaner.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2011
We think that Russian accession to the WTO will be good for the Russian economy, will be good for the U.S. economy, it will be good for the world economy.  And we are confident that we can get this done.  And it will be a key building block in expanding trade and commerce that create jobs and benefit both countries.
Request a Fact Check
May 26, 2011
We look forward to obviously additional discussions with the Russian President in the G8 process around the world economy, world finances, issues like nuclear security.  But I just want to emphasize that my interactions with President Medvedev have always been excellent.  I think that he is doing fine work in moving Russia forward on a whole range of issues.  And I appreciate the excellent cooperation that’s been established between our governments.
Request a Fact Check
May 27, 2011
We discussed the enormous opportunities as well as challenges that are presented by the Arab Spring, and shortly we’ll be discussing in depth how we can fully support countries like Egypt and Tunisia, not only as they transition to democracy but also ensuring that that democratic transition is accompanied by economic growth, which can provide more opportunities for all the people, particularly the young people in the region.
Request a Fact Check
May 28, 2011
We’re also aiming to expand our bilateral economic relationship with Poland, as the Prime Minister mentioned.  Poland’s economy was the only economy in the EU not to fall into recession during the economic crisis, and has enormous potential for economic growth.  So far, as a consequence, this fall we will hold a high-level U.S.-Poland business roundtable, which brings together private and public sector leaders to identify and promote new opportunities to boost economic growth.  And the idea that was raised by the Prime Minister about a potential innovation fund that is a part of this fall summit I think is an excellent idea, and so we’re going to pursue that actively.
Request a Fact Check
May 28, 2011
And so to the American people, even at a time when we have fiscal constraints, even at a time where I spend most of my day thinking about our economy and how to put folks back to work and how to make sure that we’re reducing gas prices and how we stabilize the housing market and how we innovate and adapt and change so that we are fully competitive in the 21st century and maintain our economic leadership, I want the American people to understand we’ve got to leave room for us to continue our tradition of providing leadership when it comes to freedom, democracy, human rights.
Request a Fact Check
May 28, 2011
And the fact that Poles today can speak with so much pride about ourselves on the eve of the presidency in the European Union, that we were also able to show to Europe how to manage -- how to operate also under the conditions of the financial crisis, it was possible, amongst others, thanks to the fact that we together have invested in our future with so much of American and Polish enthusiasm.
Request a Fact Check
May 31, 2011
In this new role, John will be able to draw on decades of business experience across a range of industries -– from his role on the boards of major companies like Disney and Boeing, to his leadership in the clean energy industry.  That’s the expertise that will help us create new jobs and make America more competitive in the global economy.
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
So over these past two and a half years, I’ve had some tough calls to make.  I had some tough calls as soon as I took office. We had to prevent a financial system from falling apart and dragging the economy into depression.  We had to pass reforms to stop abuses in the financial system and prevent future crises.  We had to rescue the auto industry.  I did not think it was going to be an auto CEO.    Even though there were a lot of people who said, let them go, let more than a million jobs vanish, allow two of America’s iconic companies to be liquidated and sold off for parts, we said no, we’re going to have to step up, we’re going to have to deal with it.
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
But even as we took these emergency steps, we started tackling all the challenges that we had talked about during the campaign, all the things that were standing in the way of the American Dream.  Because that’s why I ran.  That’s what the campaign was about.  That's why you supported me.  Because we believed in an economy that didn’t just work for those at the top, but worked for everybody -– where prosperity was shared.    Where prosperity was shared from the machinist on the line to the manager on the floor, to the CEO in the boardroom.
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
We worked so hard in 2008 because we believed that we have to define our success not just by stock prices or corporate profits, but whether ordinary folks can find a good work, whether they can afford a middle-class life, whether they can pay the mortgage and take care of their kids and save some money for their child’s college education or their own retirement, and maybe have a little left over to go to a movie or dinner or even a play.    Since we're in New York. 
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
That’s why we cut taxes for middle-class families, and ended subsidies to the banks for student loans to make college more affordable.  That’s why I was proud to sign a bill to make sure women earn equal pay for equal work -- a basic principle.    That’s why we’re promoting manufacturing and homegrown American energy -– because that’s what will lead to jobs that pay a decent salary.  That's why we’re standing up a new consumer bureau with just one responsibility -- looking out for ordinary folks in the financial system so they're not cheated.  That's why we passed health reform, so that no one in the richest nation on Earth ever has to go bankrupt because they or somebody in their family get sick.    That was the right thing to do. 
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
So we have spent the last two and a half years cleaning up a big mess.  We’ve stabilized the financial system and the markets have recovered a large part of what they had lost, which is important not just for Wall Street, but is important for people across the country and the economy as a whole.  Capital is flowing again.  Businesses who are large or medium-size are able to access capital and invest it in plants and equipment, and hire new workers.  An economy that was shrinking by about 6 percent is now growing.  We’ve added, over the last 15 months, over 2 million private sector jobs.
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
And I know that most of you I think share the vision that I have, partly because a lot of us in this room have been incredibly lucky but we weren’t necessarily born lucky.  There are a lot of folks in this room like me who ended up achieving the American Dream because somebody made an investment in us.  Somebody said, you know what, you can have a scholarship to go to the best universities in the world even though your family isn’t well connected.  Somebody said, you are going to have the opportunity to practice law in a law firm even though you didn't have any lawyers in your family.  Somebody said, you can go ahead and run for the United States Senate even though you've got no connections and nobody can pronounce your name. 
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
And so I had to make a series of decisions very quickly.  And they were big and often tough decisions.  We had to make sure that we yanked the economy back from the brink of a Great Depression.  We had to make sure that we stabilized the financial system so that we didn’t have a full meltdown, and so that businesses could get financing and keep their doors open and keep their employees and make payroll.
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
We had to save an auto industry.  I didn't anticipate being a CEO of a couple auto companies.    But we had to make sure that we saved those iconic companies from liquidation because a million jobs depended on them.    And as a consequence of those decisions, all of which were hard, all of which were controversial, many of which were not popular, we were able to bring the economy back from the brink.  And we were able to stabilize the financial system.  An economy that was shrinking by 6 percent a year began growing again.  An economy that was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs has now over the last 15 months created more than 2 million jobs in the private sector alone. 
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
And so the track record of the last two and a half years is one that I could not be prouder of.  And we couldn’t have accomplished it -- because of you.    We could not have accomplished it without you.  But what is also true is we’ve got so much work left to do, because there are still millions of people across the country who are hurting.  I hear from them every day.  People who send out 16, 30, 50 resumes, and haven’t gotten an answer back and are starting to feeling they will never find a job again.  People who have lost their homes.  People who have seen their small business and their life savings lost in the crisis.
Request a Fact Check
June 23, 2011
I don't believe in a small America or a cramped vision of America that says only a few can do well.  I believe in a big America, an expansive and compassionate and generous America, and a bold America and an optimistic America, and one that says it does not matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, everybody has got a chance at the American Dream. 
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2011
And while these changes have resulted in great wealth for some Americans and have drastically increased productivity, they’ve also caused major disruptions for many others.  Today, a high school diploma no longer guarantees you a job.  Over the past 13 years, about a third of our manufacturing jobs have vanished.  And meanwhile, the typical worker’s wages have barely kept up with the rising costs of everything else.  And all this was even before a financial crisis and recession that pounded the middle class even more.
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2011
If we want a robust, growing economy, we need a robust, growing manufacturing sector.  That’s why we told the auto industry two years ago that if they were willing to adapt, we’d stand by them.  Today, they’re profitable, they’re creating jobs, and they’re repaying taxpayers ahead of schedule. 
Request a Fact Check
June 24, 2011
Throughout our history, our greatest breakthroughs have often come from partnerships just like this one.  American innovation has always been sparked by individual scientists and entrepreneurs, often at universities like Carnegie Mellon or Georgia Tech or Berkeley or Stanford.  But a lot of companies don’t invest in early ideas because it won’t pay off right away. And that’s where government can step in.  That’s how we ended up with some of the world-changing innovations that fueled our growth and prosperity and created countless jobs -- the mobile phone, the Internet, GPS, more than 150 drugs and vaccines over the last 40 years was all because we were able to, in strategic ways, bring people together and make some critical investments.
Request a Fact Check
June 28, 2011
That’s why two years ago, we stood by the auto industry and kept some of our nation’s largest automakers from being sold for parts.  And today, for the first time in years, the Big Three automakers are adding jobs and turning a profit and putting steel workers to work.    We also told those companies, though, that they’d have to make some changes to compete, so we brought people together and set the first new fuel-mileage standards in more than 30 years.  And that means fewer trips to the pump and less harmful pollution.  And this plant has something to do with it, because I was just seeing some doors and some hoods made right here -- more lightweight, more efficient, saves on fuel economy.  And that means your business is improved as well.  Everybody wins.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2011
I want to spend most of my time tonight taking questions and having a good conversation, so I’m just going to make a few remarks at the top.  Obviously we’ve gone through as tough an economic time in this country as we have in my lifetime and in most of our lifetimes.  Since the Great Depression, we haven’t seen the combination of a financial crisis and then a recession as severe as the one that we experienced in 2008.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2011
We ran because we believed our success isn’t just determined by stock prices and corporate profits, but by whether ordinary folks can find a good job that pays for a middle-class life -- where they can pay the mortgage, and take care of their kids, and send their kids to college, and save for retirement, and maybe have a little left over to go to a movie and go to dinner once in a while. 
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2011
We ran because for a decade, wages and incomes had flatlined, and costs kept on going up for everybody even though they didn’t have any more income.  That was before the economic crisis hit.  And obviously once the economic crisis did hit, we had to take a series of emergency steps to save this economy from collapse -- not because we wanted to help banks or make sure that the auto companies’ CEOs were making good bonuses, but we did it because we wanted to make sure that families who needed help could still take out a loan to buy a house or start a new business.  We wanted to make sure that the millions of people who depended on the auto industry, that they would still have jobs.
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2011
And so some of those decisions were tough.  And you remember, we got criticized a lot.  But you take a look at what’s happened.  Some folks didn’t want us getting involved in the auto industry -- I didn’t expect to be the CEO of a car company when I ran for President.    But as a consequence of what we did, we saved jobs.  We saved American manufacturing.    We cut taxes for middle-class families.  We ended subsidies to the banks for student loans, to make college more affordable.    We made sure -- that’s why I signed a bill to make sure there was equal pay for equal work, because I’ve got two daughters and I want to make sure they’re treated just the same as the boys are.    That’s why we’re promoting manufacturing and homegrown American energy -- because that’s what will lead to jobs that pay a decent salary.  I want the wind turbines and the solar panels and the electric cars to be built right here in America. 
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2011
That’s why, with the help of these outstanding members of Congress, we’re standing up a new consumer bureau with just one responsibility:  looking out for ordinary people in the financial system so folks aren’t cheated.  Whether you’re getting a credit card or getting a mortgage, you need to know that you’re getting a fair deal. 
Request a Fact Check
June 30, 2011
And I just to want to remind everybody here, this campaign is not about me.  It’s about us.    It’s about students who are working their way through college, workers heading to factories to build American cars again, small business owners testing new ideas, construction crews laying down roads, families who faced hardship and setbacks but who haven’t stopped believing in this country, and who believe that we can emerge from this challenge stronger than before.
Request a Fact Check
July 8, 2011
We’ve always known that we’d have ups and downs on our way back from this recession.  And over the past few months, the economy has experienced some tough headwinds -- from natural disasters, to spikes in gas prices, to state and local budget cuts that have cost tens of thousands of cops and firefighters and teachers their jobs.  The problems in Greece and in Europe, along with uncertainty over whether the debt limit here in the United States will be raised, have also made businesses hesitant to invest more aggressively.
Request a Fact Check
July 8, 2011
Let me give you some examples.  Right now, there are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding.  We connect the two by investing in rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our railways and our infrastructure.  And we could put back to work right now some of those construction workers that lost their jobs when the housing market went bust.  Right now, we can give our entrepreneurs the chance to let their job-creating ideas move to market faster by streamlining our patent process.  That’s pending before Congress right now.  That should pass.
Request a Fact Check
July 18, 2011
Good afternoon, everybody.  It has been almost three years since the financial crisis pulled the economy into a deep recession.  And millions of families are still hurting because of it.  They’re trying to get by on one income instead of two, on fewer shifts at the plant or at the hospital.  They’re cutting expenses, giving up on a family night out so there’s money for groceries.  And for a lot of families, things were tough even before the recession.    So we’ve got to get the economy growing faster and make sure that small businesses can hire again, so that an entrepreneur out there can sell a new product, so that the middle class is getting stronger again, and so folks feel confident in their futures and their children’s futures.
Request a Fact Check
July 18, 2011
That’s why we can’t let politics stand in the way of doing the right thing in Washington.  We can't stand in the way when it comes to doing the right thing on deficits.  And that’s why I want to take steps like making sure payroll taxes for middle-class families don’t go back up next year.  That’s why it’s so important that we tackle the problems that led us into this recession in the first place.    One of the biggest problems was that the tables were tilted against ordinary people in the financial system.  When you get a home loan, it came with pages of fine print.  When you got a credit card, it was as if the contract was written in another language.  These kinds of things opened the door to unscrupulous practices -- loans with hidden fees and terms that meant your rate could double overnight.  It led to people getting mortgages they couldn’t afford, and it put honest businesses at a disadvantage.  And it encouraged dangerously risky behavior on Wall Street, which dragged the economy into the mess that we’re still trying to clean up.    That’s why we passed financial reform a year ago.  It was a common-sense law that did three things.  First, it made taxpayer-funded bailouts illegal, so taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill if a big bank goes under.  Second, it said to Wall Street firms, you can’t take the same kind of reckless risks that led to the crisis.  And third, it put in place the stronger -- the strongest consumer protections in history.    Now, to make sure that these protections worked -– so ordinary people were dealt with fairly, so they could make informed decisions about their finances –- we didn’t just change the law.  We changed the way the government did business.  For years, the job of protecting consumers was divided up in a lot of different agencies.  So if you had a problem with a mortgage lender, you called one place.  If you had a problem with a credit card company, you called somebody else.  It meant there were a lot of people who were responsible, but that meant nobody was responsible.    And we changed that.  We cut the bureaucracy and put one consumer watchdog in charge, with just one job:  looking out for regular people in the financial system.  Now, this is an idea that I got from Elizabeth Warren, who I first met years ago.  Back then -- this is long before the financial crisis -- Elizabeth was sounding the alarm on predatory lending and the financial pressures on middle-class families.  And in the years since, she’s become perhaps the leading voice in our country on behalf of consumers.  And let’s face it, she’s done it while facing some very tough opposition and drawing a fair amount of heat.  Fortunately, she’s very tough.
Request a Fact Check
July 18, 2011
The fact is the financial crisis and the recession were not the result of normal economic cycles or just a run of bad luck.  They were abuses and there was a lack of smart regulations.  So we’re not just going to shrug our shoulders and hope it doesn’t happen again.  We’re not going to go back to the status quo where consumers couldn’t count on getting protections that they deserved.  We’re not going to go back to a time when our whole economy was vulnerable to a massive financial crisis.  That’s why reform matters.  That’s why this bureau matters.  I will fight any efforts to repeal or undermine the important changes that we passed.  And we are going to stand up this bureau and make sure it is doing the right thing for middle-class families all across the country.   Middle-class families and seniors don’t have teams of lawyers from blue-chip law firms.  They can’t afford to hire a lobbyist to look out for their interests.  But they deserve to be treated honestly.  They deserve a basic measure of protection against abuse.  They shouldn’t have to be a corporate lawyer in order to be able to read something they’re signing to take out a mortgage or to get a credit card.  They ought to be free to make informed decisions, to buy a home or open a credit card or take out a student loan, and they should have confidence that they’re not being swindled.  And that’s what this consumer bureau will achieve.