In a 35-minute conversation with The New York Times aboard Air Force One on Friday, Mr. Obama reviewed the challenges to his young administration. The president said he could not assure Americans the economy would begin growing again this year. But he pledged that he would “get all the pillars in place for recovery this year” and urged Americans not to “stuff money in their mattresses.”(emphasis added)
It’s true that Americans need to keep spending money in order for the economy to recover. Even Herbert Hoover encouraged Americans to invest money in the stock market in a desperate attempt to end its 1931-1932 death spiral. Discouraging us from saving isn’t going to be helpful, though. If the president is worried about Americans not spending enough of their own money, perhaps he should consider lowering tax rates, so that they will have more of their own money to spend. Or at least let us know what kind of investments are currently safer than our mattresses. Mr. President, where are you putting your money?
One more thing:
Sitting at the head of a conference table with his suit coat off, Mr. Obama exhibited confidence six weeks into his presidency despite the economic turmoil around the globe and the deteriorating situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He struck a reassuring tone, saying Americans should not be frightened of the future, and he said he had no trouble sleeping at night.
“Look, I wish I had the luxury of just dealing with a modest recession or just dealing with health care or just dealing with energy or just dealing with Iraq or just dealing with Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t have that luxury, and I don’t think the American people do, either.”
Once again, it goes without saying that if President Bush had nonchalantly tossed off that line during the months immediately following 9/11 or during the dark days of the Iraqi insurgence, the press and the Democrats would have gone
completely ape er, lost it, big time. But with Obama, well, let’s just say he’s such a cool party animal that even his aloofness is chic.