President Obama Speaks on New GDP Numbers

President Obama Speaks on New GDP Numbers


The President:
Well, I just wanted to say a few words about the economic numbers that we received this morning. The gross domestic
product, or GDP, is a measure of our overall
economic growth as a nation. This morning, the GDP revealed
that the recession we faced when I took office was even deeper
than anyone thought at the time. It told us how close
we were to the edge. But the GDP also revealed
that in the last few months, the economy has done measurably
better that we had thought — better than expected. And as many economists
will tell you, that part of the progress is
directly attributable to the Recovery Act. This and other difficult but
important steps that we’ve taken over the last six months have
helped us put the brakes on the recession. We took unprecedented action to
stem the spread of foreclosures by helping responsible
homeowners stay in their homes and pay their mortgages. We helped revive the credit
markets and open up loans for families and small businesses. And we enacted a Recovery Act
that put tax cuts directly in the pockets of middle-class
families and small businesses; extended unemployment insurance
and health insurance for those who’ve lost their jobs; provided
relief to struggling states to prevent layoffs; and made
investments that are putting people back to work
building bridges and roads, schools and hospitals. Now, I realize that none of
this is much comfort to those Americans who are still out of
work and struggling to make ends meet. And when we receive our
monthly jobs report next week, it’s likely to show that we’re
still continuing to lose far too many jobs. As far as I’m concerned, we
won’t have a recovery as long as we keep losing jobs. And I will not rest until every
American who wants a job can find one. But history does show that you
need to have economic growth before you have job growth. And today’s GDP is an important
sign that the economy is headed in the right direction and
that business investment, which had been plummeting
in the last several months, is showing signs of stabilizing. This means that eventually,
businesses will start growing and they’ll start hiring again. And that’s when it will truly
feel like a recovery to the American people. This won’t happen overnight. As I’ve said before, it took us
many more months to fully dig ourselves out of a recession
that we now know was even deeper than anyone thought. But I will continue to work
every single day and take every step that’s necessary to
make sure that happens. I also intend to make sure that
we don’t return to an economy where our growth is based on
inflated profits and maxed-out credit cards — because that doesn’t create a lot of jobs. We need a robust growth
based on a highly educated, well-trained workforce; health
care costs that aren’t dragging down businesses and families;
and clean energy jobs and industries. That’s where our future is. And that’s where the jobs are. Now, one of the steps we’ve
taken to boost our economy is an initiative known as
“Cash for Clunkers.” Basically, this allows folks
to trade in their older, less fuel-efficient cars for
credits that go towards buying fewer, more — newer,
more fuel-efficient cars. This gives consumers a break,
replaces dangerous carbon pollution and our
dependence on foreign oil, and strengthens the
American auto industry. Not more than a few weeks ago,
there were skeptics who weren’t sure that this “Cash for
Clunkers” program would
work. But I’m happy to report that it
has succeeded well beyond our expectations and
all expectations, and we’re already seeing a
dramatic increase in showroom traffic at local car dealers. It’s working so well that there
are legitimate concerns that the funds in this program
might soon be exhausted. So we’re now working with
Congress on a bipartisan solution to ensure that the
program can continue for everyone out there who’s
still looking to make a trade. And I’m encouraged that
Republicans and Democrats in the House are working to pass
legislation today that would use some Recovery Act funding to
keep this program going — funding that we would work
to replace down the road. Thanks to quick
bipartisan responses, we’re doing everything possible
to continue this program and to continue helping consumers and
the auto industry contribute to our recovery. So I’m very pleased with the
progress that’s been made in the House today on the “Cash
for Clunkers” program. I am guardedly optimistic about
the direction that our economy is going. But we’ve got a lot
more work to do. And I want to make sure that all
the Americans out there who are still struggling because they’re
out of work or not having enough work know that this
administration will not rest until the movement that we’re
seeing on the business side starts translating into jobs for
those people and their families. Thank you very much, everybody.

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