The President took his message to the American people on Tuesday in a town hall format held in Fort Myers, Florida. The city has been hit hard by the mortgage crisis, and the people responded enthusiastically to President Obama, who was introduced by Republican Governor Charlie Crist. After a speech about his stimulus package, Obama took questions from the crowd. A moving moment occurred when a woman told of her plight of living in her car with her family, asking the President to ‘Please help.’ Obama walked off the stage to the woman and kissed her on the cheek, telling her “We’re going to do everything we can to help.” It was a nice gesture, and underscored the seriousness of the economic situation in this country. It’s easy to sit back and criticize, “Well, she probably bought a house she couldn’t afford!” The truth is her son, in the computer field, recently lost his job like so many other Americans. And we’re reminded how fragile the American dream is.
The President said to laughter, “The bill’s not perfect, you know. It was made in Washington.” Even Joe Scarborough admitted today on Morning Joe that he saw a Kennedy-like style in the President. Tom Brokaw recalled a conversation with some real Kennedy fans who said, after the President’s press conference Monday night, “This guy’s on a whole different level.” Critics can say he’s just a politician, but I sense something special going on. A solid majority of economists agree this stimulus must be done, and most say it’s not big enough. Either way, it’s going to happen, but after the complete inaction on the economy in recent years, I’d say we’ve sat around long enough. And I appreciate the effort the President is making in articulating the bill and his vision.
The stock market dropped almost 400 points today after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced his plans for the second half of TARP and the banking crisis. The Federal Reserve will commit to try and loosen up the credit market, and the whole ball of wax could end up costing $3 trillion in government and private funds. It’s an aggressive strategy, and printing money is not the answer. We’ll see where it goes. It was also reported the stimulus package will go after banks that used bailout funds for executive compensation, trying to recover taxpayer dollars used to finance more greed. I hope they get it. We could use some cash back. You know, like a credit card. A $350 billion dollar credit card. This might take a while, people.
Sources: Associated Press, MSNBC