President Barack Obama held his first press conference tonight. The press conference mostly focused on the economy and the proposed stimulus package. After eight years of bumbling buffoonery at the White House it was a shock and a relief to see an intelligent President deliver articulate well-thought out responses to reporters’ questions. Obama made the case, during his prepared remarks and the Q&A, for his economic stimulus plan. Agree with the President or not, it was clear that he had command of the subject matter.
I happen to believe that Obama is taking the right approach in his stimulus plan. His plan is a good mix of quick acting government spending and more slower acting tax cuts targetted at the middle class. It seems to me that the shouting between those on the Left who demand a stimulus plan that contains nothing but government spending and those on the Right who demand a stimulus plan that contains nothing but tax cuts ignores reality. Both government spending and tax cuts stimulate the economy, and the one-two punch of stimulus provided by these two approaches is far more preferable to dying at the alter of ideological purity by passing no stimulus bill.
Tonight the President did his job by talking directly to the American people about what needs to be done. Tomorrow the bickering Senators need to do their job and pass the Stimulus Plan. Whether the bill the Congress finally passes will be enough to slow and reverse our economic slide cannot be known now. But, one thing is certain. Congress has wasted precious time as more Americans have lost their jobs and their homes. Enough already.
[Watch the President’s press conference here.]