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Friday 12 May - Strategic Direction of Government You may have heard me and my colleagues talking over the last few days about the need to keep focussed on the long-term - warning of the need not to get blown about by day to day events. In Government there will always be up and downs and I'm sure there will be plenty more. The downs, in particular, make up the daily headlines in the news. But what's important is to stay focussed on what really matters, on the fundamentals - on economy and jobs, welfare reform, on health, education, crime and transport. On long-term change necessary to deliver opportunity and security for the many, not the few. I'm the first to admit we have got a great deal more to do. But by concentrating on these fundamentals, I believe we've been able to make more progress than anyone would have thought possible two or three years ago. The overall goal is clear. It's to build a Britain that is strong modern, and fair. It's an ambitious task. Of course will take time. And it can't be done without change, without hard choices, keeping our eye firmly on the long-term. Because unless something works for the long term, it doesn't really work at all. Tough decisions like giving the Bank of England independence or keeping a tight control of public spending in our first two years which meant saying no as well as yes to a lot of spending plans made to us. But the result today is a Britain with a strong economy where inflation is lower for longer than for decades, public borrowing has been cut by pound;40 billion and as a result of the stability of the economy, nearly 900,000 more people in work than three years ago. Tough decisions like making work pay ensuring we offer more than just a benefit cheque to those out of work. So we have brought in the minimum wage, the Working Families Tax Credit and the New Deal which has helped cut youth unemployment aly by 70%. Tough decisions on pensioners as well. And I know that many people are angry at what they say is simply the 75p rise in the basic state pension. And of course we could have taken the opportunity to put all the money into the basic state pension and win some short-term popularity. But it would have been the wrong decision. Because had we given the pension rise across the board the same for everyone, no matter what they had been given it would have gone exactly the same way to better off and poorer pensioners alike. But the poorest pensioners would hardly have seen a penny of this because their other benefits would have gone down as their basic state pension rose. So what we've done and done deliberately, is to target help first on those poorest pensioners in a way which delivers the most help to those who need it most. So for example the pound;150 winter allowance and the free TV licences for those aged over 75. They have been introduced in a way which means they're not affected by other benefits that people have. And for those above the benefit levels, there's an increase in capital limits and the 10p tax rate. And of course for the very poorest pensioners the new minimum income guarantee means that for a million pensioners, those who are the very poorest pensioners they will get income rises and have got income rises of in some cases up to pound;15 or pound;20 a week. The package together adds up to pound;6.5 billion - that is more than if we uprated the basic pension in line with earnings. So we made some tough choices but we made them from the right values - fairness, helping those that need it most. We have made tough choices too on Education. We need far more investment in education, and we're doing it. An extra investment of an extra pound;300 per pupil over the three years up to 2001. But it's investment tied to reform. Reform of course hasn't always been popular. There was opposition to the literacy and numeracy hour, for example. There's opposition now to reforming pay so teachers can earn extra money without having to leave the classroom for management roles in schools. But as a result of these reforms we are seeing standards improve. The eleven year olds' results for literacy and numeracy were the best ever. The new specialist schools are raising their results quicker than any other schools in the country. So we've taken the long-term view, we've made our reforms and we're going to stick to our guns with them. And it's the same on the health service. We've had to put in place the right strategy for the long-term heath of the National Health Service - backed by the biggest ever sustained increase in funding the Health Service has seen. Not just for one year as used to happen in the past, but now for the next four years we know that the Health Service is going to get the money that we need. And this aly means that we are getting more doctors and nurses into our hospitals. More are now being trained. There are thirty eight new hospitals being built in England alone. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be drawing up the plan to ensure that every penny of the extra investment goes to the Health Service in a way that really brings about a decent improvement in health care. And this plan, the first of it's kind, is not just about spending money, but allying it with change and reform and will I believe deliver a step change in patient care to match our step change in investment and resources. So I know, of course, there are frustrations at the speed of progress, at how much hasn't been done for years, over how much remains to be done. But in fact an immense amount has been done aly, it's just we have a lot more to do. But I've not come across many people who say we are wrong in what we are doing, or disagree with the big decisions we've made or believe we are taking the country in the wrong direction. They agree with us on the destination, they simply want us to get there faster. And so do I. But to get there faster means doing it for the long term. For there's no use doing it fast if it can't be sustained. So on Monday. Gordon Brown will set out how we meet the goal of abolishing child poverty in 20 years. By the end of this month aly one million children will have been lifted out of poverty. On Tuesday at the Confederation for British Industry, I'll set out how we will meet the goal of delivering stability and prosperity for people in a world of rapid economic and technological change. On Wednesday at the Police Federation conference, Jack Straw, the Home Secretary will set out how we take forward the next phase of our programme to tackle crime. So we're going to keep concentrating on what needs to be done to strengthen our economy and our society to deliver opportunity and security for all. Britain's always worked well for the top ten per cent. Our task is and remains to make the changes necessary to make it work for all our people. 200705/13858President Obama appears briefly during the press briefing to say his thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the attack in Frankfurt as well as their families. Download Video: mp4 (402MB) | mp3 (39MB) 201103/127314

亲,你们想拥有一口流利的英语口语吗?你们想像世界名人一样拥有敏锐的智慧、滔滔不绝的口才吗?在这里,大家不但可以聆听抑扬顿挫的英文,而且还可以学习到名人的过人之处,相信会受益匪浅的!听,他们来了......201201/169578

Download Video: mp4 (159MB) | mp3 (15MB) Download Video: mp4 (159MB) | mp3 (15MB) Helping every American with autism achieve their full potential is one of this administration’s top priorities. At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we continue to strive to meet the complex needs of all people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families. While there is no cure, early intervention is critical and can greatly improve a child’s development.Perhaps the biggest step we’ve taken to support those affected by autism and their families happened over a year ago, with the signing of the Affordable Care Act. Now, new insurance plans are required to cover autism screening and developmental assessments for children at no cost to parents. Insurers will also no longer be allowed to deny children coverage for a pre-existing condition such as ASD or to set arbitrary lifetime or annual limits on benefits.Also, thanks to the new law, young adults are allowed to stay on their family health insurance until they turn 26. For a young adult with autism spectrum disorder and their family, that means peace of mind. It means more flexibility, more options, and more opportunity to reach their full potential.Ultimately, there is more support for Americans with autism than ever before. This means more promise of new breakthroughs that will help us understand autism even better. But in order to continue meeting the needs of people with autism, the Combating Autism Act must be fully reauthorized. We still have a long way to go. Working collaboratively with important partners, the Affordable Care Act and the Combating Autism Act will allow us to continue important research and develop and refine vital treatments.There are still many unknowns. However, one thing is certain. We will continue to work harder than ever to find solutions and provide support to individuals with ASD and their families. Together, we can help reduce disparities and allow everyone to actualize their greatest potential.Kathleen Sebelius is Secretary of Health and Human Services.美国健康和人力资源部秘书凯思琳#8226; 西贝利厄斯201104/133925

  Good morning. Earlier this week, the government of North Korea proclaimed to the world that it had conducted a successful nuclear weapons test. In response to North Korea's provocative actions, America is working with our partners in the region and in the ed Nations Security Council to ensure that there are serious repercussions for the North Korean regime.North Korea has been pursuing nuclear weapons and defying its international commitments for years. In 1993, North Korea announced that it was withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The ed States negotiated with North Korea and reached a bilateral agreement in 1994: North Korea committed to giving up its pursuit of nuclear weapons in exchange for help with peaceful nuclear power.After I came to office, we discovered that North Korea had been violating this agreement for some time by continuing work on a covert nuclear weapons program. My administration confronted the North Korea regime with this evidence in 2002, and the North Koreans subsequently walked away from the 1994 agreement.So my Administration decided to take a new approach. We brought together other nations in the region in an effort to resolve the situation through multilateral diplomacy. The logic behind this approach is clear: North Korea's neighbors have the most at stake, and they are North Korea's principal sources of food, energy, and trade, so it makes sense to enlist them in the effort to get the North Korean regime to end its nuclear program.This diplomatic effort was called the Six-Party Talks, and these talks included North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the ed States. In September of last year, these diplomatic efforts resulted in a wide-ranging Joint Statement that offered a resolution to the problem and a better life for the North Korean people. In this Joint Statement, North Korea committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. North Korea was offered the prospect of normalized relations with Japan and the ed States, as well as economic cooperation in energy, trade, and investment. And the ed States affirmed that we have no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and no intention to attack or invade North Korea.Unfortunately, North Korea failed to act on its commitment. And with its actions this week, the North Korean regime has once again broken its word, provoked an international crisis, and denied its people the opportunity for a better life. We are working for a resolution to this crisis. Nations around the world, including our partners in the Six-Party Talks, agree on the need for a strong ed Nations Security Council resolution that will require North Korea to dismantle its nuclear programs. This resolution should also specify measures to prevent North Korea from importing or exporting nuclear or missile technologies. And it should prevent financial transactions or asset transfers that would help North Korea develop its nuclear or missile capabilities.By passing such a resolution, we will send a clear message to the North Korean regime that its actions will not be tolerated. And we will give the nations with the closest ties to North Korea -- China and South Korea -- a framework to use their leverage to pressure Pyongyang and persuade its regime to change course.As we pursue a diplomatic solution, we are also reassuring our allies in the region that America remains committed to their security. We have strong defense alliances with Japan and South Korea, and the ed States will meet these commitments. And in response to North Korea's provocation, we will seek to increase our defense cooperation with our allies, including cooperation on ballistic missile defense to protect against North Korean aggression, and cooperation to prevent North Korea from importing or exporting nuclear or missile technologies.Our goals remain clear: peace and security in Northeast Asia, and a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. We will do what is necessary to achieve these goals. We will support our allies in the region, we will work with the ed Nations, and together we will ensure that North Korea faces real consequences if it continues down its current path.Thank you for listening. 200703/10705

  I intend, on Monday next, to request of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate我打算在下星期一请求众议院议长和参议院临时议长慨允我出席国会,the privilege of appearing before the Congress to share with my former colleagues and with you, the American people,向我过去的同事和你们,my views on the priority business of the Nation and to solicit your views and their views.也就是美国人民,陈述我关于必须优先考虑的国家事务的看法,并且征求人民大众和我以前同事们的意见。And may I say to the Speaker and the others, if I could meet with you right after these remarks, I would appreciate it.请允许我对议长和其他同事们说,倘若我能在讲话以后很快见到你们,我将深表感谢。Even though this is late in an election year, there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the peoples urgent needs.尽管对于大选年来说,我们有些滞后,只有团结一致才能勇往直前,只有解决人民疾苦才能争取胜利。We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now together.我们不能停滞不前,也不能放任后退。我们要一同大步向前。To the peoples and the governments of all friendly nations, and I hope that could encompass the whole world, I pledge an uninterrupted and sincere search for peace.全球所有国家和人民,我希望可以覆盖全球,在寻求和平的道路上,我们遵循坦诚相待,互不侵犯的原则。America will remain strong and united, but its strength will remain dedicated to the safety and sanity of the entire family of man, as well as to our own precious freedom.美国依旧富强团结,更要保人民的安全与来之不易的自由。I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government but civilization itself.我想它是政府团结一心的纽带,不仅对于政府,这更是文明的纽带。That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.虽然一度紧张,但它坚不可摧。In all my public and private acts as your President,不管是对外还是私下,I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end.我都希望遵循我的坦白与开放,我完全有理由相信,坦白诚实永远是最好的选择。My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.同胞们,长久以往的噩梦结束了。Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.宪法起到了作用;美利坚共和国是法治社会,不是人治社会。民众管理国家。But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.除此之前,还有一个更加崇高的力量,不管我们尊称他为什么,他不仅拥有正义,拥有公正,还拥有爱与宽恕。03/443108。

  unK5*wosCtiO,c[iaKHe@8+d4U%1jfBL.CwIt is a great pleasure to be here today. This university has been coeducational since 1870, but I do not believe it was on the basis of your accomplishments that a Detroit high school girl said (and I e), ;In choosing a college, you first have to decide whether you want a coeducational school or an educational school.; Well, we can find both here at Michigan, although perhaps at different hours. I came out here today very anxious to meet the Michigan student whose father told a friend of mine that his sons education had been a real value. It stopped his mother from bragging about him.0LG,y_Y)AJ5@tvI have come today from the turmoil of your capital to the tranquility of your campus to speak about the future of your country. The purpose of protecting the life of our Nation and preserving the liberty of our citizens is to pursue the happiness of our people. Our success in that pursuit is the test of our success as a Nation.NE%J);-U^P[Lb;Pgw(vtNpA9CSojpoUdkHrV3,cSpxQ487C164158

  Remarks of President Barack Obama As Prepared for Delivery Weekly AddressJanuary 9, 2010A year ago, when I took office in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, I promised you two things. The first was that there would be better days ahead. And the second was that the road to recovery would be long, and sometimes bumpy.That was brought home again yesterday. We learned that in November, our economy saw its first month of job gains in nearly two years – but last month, we lost more than we gained. Now, we know that no single month makes a trend, and job losses for the final quarter of were one-tenth what they were in the first quarter. But until we see a trend of good, sustainable job creation, we will be relentless in our efforts to put America back to work.That task goes even deeper than replacing the seven million jobs that have been lost over the past two years. We need to rebuild our economy in such a way that our families can feel a measure of security again. Too many of the folks I’ve talked with this year, and whose stories I in letters at night, tell me that they’ve known their own private recessions since long before economists declared one – and they’ll still feel the recession long after economists have declared it over.That’s because, for decades, Washington avoided doing what was right in favor of doing what was easy. And the result was an economy where some made out well, but the middle class too often took a beating.Over the past decade, the income of the average household actually declined, and we lost as many jobs as we created. Hardworking folks who did everything right suddenly found themselves forced to downscale their dreams because of economic factors beyond their control. We’re talking about simple dreams. American dreams. A good job with a good wage. A secure and dignified retirement. Stable health care so you don’t go broke just because you get sick. The chance to give our kids a better shot than we got.That’s why, as we begin to emerge from this crisis, we will not return to the complacency that helped cause it. Even as we focus on putting America back to work today, we’re building a new foundation for our economy to create the good, lasting jobs and shared prosperity of tomorrow.We’re making historic investments in science and in a clean energy economy that will generate and keep the jobs and industries of the future right here in America.We’re reforming our education system, so that our kids are fully prepared to compete with workers anywhere in the world and win the race for the 21st century.We’re fixing our broken health insurance system that’s crushing families, eating away at workers’ take-home pay, and nailing small businesses with double-digit premium increases.And that’s what I’d like to focus on for a minute. After a long and thorough debate, we are on the verge of passing health insurance reform that will finally offer Americans the security of knowing they’ll have quality, affordable health care whether they lose their job, change jobs, move, or get sick. The worst practices of the insurance industry will be banned forever. And costs will finally come down for families, businesses, and our government.Now, it’ll take a few years to fully implement these reforms in a responsible way. But what every American should know is that once I sign health insurance reform into law, there are dozens of protections and benefits that will take effect this year.Uninsured Americans with a pre-existing illness or condition will finally be able to purchase coverage they can afford.Children with pre-existing conditions will no longer be refused coverage, and young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ policy until they’re 26 or 27 years old.Small business owners who can’t afford to cover their employees will be immediately offered tax credits to purchase coverage.Early retirees who receive coverage from their employers will see their coverage protected and their premiums go down.Seniors who fall into the coverage gap known as the donut hole will receive discounts of up to 50 percent on their prescriptions as we begin to close that gap altogether.And every patient’s choice of doctor will be protected, along with access to emergency care.Here’s what else will happen within the first year. Insurance plans will be required to offer free preventive care to their customers – so that we can start catching preventable illnesses and diseases on the front end. They’ll no longer be allowed to impose restrictive annual limits on the amount of coverage you receive or lifetime limits on the amount of benefits you receive. They’ll be prohibited from dropping your coverage when you get sick and need it most. And there will be a new, independent appeals process for anyone who feels they were unfairly denied a claim by their insurance company.In short, once I sign health insurance reform into law, doctors and patients will have more control over their health care decisions, and insurance company bureaucrats will have less. All told, these changes represent the most sweeping reforms and toughest restrictions on insurance companies that this country has ever known. That’s how we’ll make 2010 a healthier and more secure year for every American – for those who have health insurance, and those who don’t.We enter a new decade, now, with new perils – but we’re going to meet them. It’s also a time of tremendous promise – and we’re going to seize it. We will rebuild the American Dream for our middle class and put the American economy on a stronger footing for the future. And this year, I am as hopeful and as confident as ever that we’re going to rise to this moment the same way that generations of Americans always have: as one nation, and one people. Thanks for listening.201001/94199There has been a change of government.政府发生了变化。It began two years ago, when the House of Representatives became Democratic by a decisive majority.这种变化开始于两年前民主党在众议院取得决定性多数席位的时候,It has now been completed. The Senate about to assemble will also be Democratic.现在已告完成。即将组成的参议院也将由民主党占据多数席位。The offices of President and Vice-President have been put into the hands of Democrats.总统和副总统的职务都已交与民主党人执掌。What does the change mean? That is the question that is uppermost in our minds to-day.这种变化意味着什么呢?这是如今盘旋于我们脑海中的最主要的问题。That is the question I am going to try to answer, in order, if I may, to interpret the occasion.这也是今天我要试图回答的问题,如果可以的话,我要阐明其中的缘由。It means much more than the mere success of a party.这种变化何止意味着一个政党的胜利。The success of a party means little except when the Nation is using that party for a large and definite purpose.一个政党的胜利是不足称道的,除非国家要利用这个政党达到一个重大而明确的目标,No one can mistake the purpose for which the Nation now seeks to use the Democratic Party.谁都不会误解国家现在想利用民主党所要达到的目的。It seeks to use it to interpret a change in its own plans and point of view.它要利用民主党来阐明国家的规划和立场中的某种变化。Some old things with which we had grown familiar, and which had begun to creep into the very habit of our thought and of our lives,某些陈旧的事物虽已为我们所熟悉,并已开始不知不觉地进入我们的思想习惯和生活习惯,have altered their aspect as we have latterly looked critically upon them, with fresh, awakened eyes;但是,当我们后来以新的、觉醒的眼光批判地看待这些事物时,它们却面目全非,have dropped their disguises and shown themselves alien and sinister.卸下了伪装,显得陌生而又邪恶。Some new things, as we look frankly upon them, willing to comprehend their real character,而某些新生事物,当我们实事求是地看待并愿意了解它们的实质时,have come to assume the aspect of things long believed in and familiar, stuff of our own convictions.便开始呈现出我们久已相信和熟悉的事物特征,即我们自己坚信不移的那些东西。We have been refreshed by a new insight into our own life.我们以一种新的眼光来洞察自己的生活,从而我们的精神也为之一振。We see that in many things that life is very great.从许多方面来看,生活是非常伟大的。It is incomparably great in its material aspects, in its body of wealth, in the diversity and sweep of its energy,它在物质方面,在财富数量方面,在能量的多样性和威力方面,in the industries which have been conceived and built up by the genius of individual men and the limitless enterprise of groups of men.在以个人天赋和群体的无限创造力所构想、建立起来的工业方面,都是无比伟大的,It is great, also, very great, in its moral force.它在道德力量方面是伟大的,而且同样是极其伟大的。Nowhere else in the world have noble men and women exhibited in more striking forms the beauty and the energy of sympathy世界上再没有什么地方有这样高尚的男女能如此出色地表现出同情、and helpfulness and counsel in their efforts to rectify wrong, alleviate suffering, and set the weak in the way of strength and hope.互助、协商的美妙境界和巨大能量。他们努力补偏救弊、弥患纾难,扶助弱者以增加力量和希望。We have built up, moreover, a great system of government, which has stood through a long age as in many respects a model for those不仅如此,我们还建立起了一个伟大的政治体制,这个政治体制在很长一段时期中经受了考验,who seek to set liberty upon foundations that will endure against fortuitous change, against storm and accident.在很多方面成为那些试图把自由建立在经得起偶然变故、狂风暴雨和意外事件的基础上的人们的楷模。Our life contains every great thing, and contains it in rich abundance.我们的生活拥有一切伟大事物,丰富而充足。But the evil has come with the good, and much fine gold has been corroded. With riches has come inexcusable waste.但是,罪恶与善良俱来,纯金常被腐蚀。不可原谅的浪费与富足并至。We have squandered a great part of what we might have used, and have not stopped to conserve the exceeding bounty of nature,我们浪费了一大部分本来可资利用的东西,我们至今还没有停止挥霍浪费,来保存大自然的慷慨恩赐。without which our genius for enterprise would have been worthless and impotent, scorning to be careful, shamefully prodigal as well as admirably efficient.如果没有这些恩赐,我们的创业天赋很可能变得毫无价值和无所作为,我们鄙视谨慎行事,我们的生产效率固然值得赞美,我们的浪费却十分可耻。02/444783

  Nearly every day this month, streams of visitors pass through the White House doors to get a firsthand glimpse of the holiday decorations dressing the Executive Residence. By the end of the holiday season, some 100,000 guests will have visited the White house to see the 27 trees, 61 wreaths, and about 2,700 yards of ribbon canvassing the house. For those of you who didn’t have the chance to see the spectacle, check out this year’s décor:Download Video: mp4 (32MB) Other tidbits:92 volunteers from 24 states assisted in the decorating for over 3,400 volunteer hours. There are 6 live trees with their roots balled and wrapped in burlap at the East Wing, West Wing and North Portico Entrances. These trees will be adopted by the National Parks Service after Christmas is over and hopefully replanted in a new home. The official White House Christmas in the Blue Room is a Douglas Fir that stands 18 frac12; feet high and is nearly 13 feet wide. The tree is lit with environmentally sound LED lights. 500 stems of dried hydrangea were used, many of which were used in fresh arrangements first and then dried later for use in the holiday decorations. 12/92370Right now in Washington, our Senate and House of Representatives are both debating proposals for health insurance reform. Today, I want to speak with you about the stakes of this debate, for our people and for the future of our nation.This is an issue that affects the health and financial well-being of every single American and the stability of our entire economy.It’s about every family unable to keep up with soaring out of pocket costs and premiums rising three times faster than wages. Every worker afraid of losing health insurance if they lose their job, or change jobs. Everyone who’s worried that they may not be able to get insurance or change insurance if someone in their family has a pre-existing condition.It’s about a woman in Colorado who told us that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her insurance company – the one she’d paid over 0 a month to – refused to pay for her treatment. She had to use up her retirement funds to save her own life.It’s about a man from Maryland who sent us his story – a middle class college graduate whose health insurance expired when he changed jobs. During that time, he needed emergency surgery, and woke up ,000 in debt – debt that has left him unable to save, buy a home, or make a career change.It’s about every business forced to shut their doors, or shed jobs, or ship them overseas. It’s about state governments overwhelmed by Medicaid, federal budgets consumed by Medicare, and deficits piling higher year after year.This is the status quo. This is the system we have today. This is what the debate in Congress is all about: Whether we’ll keep talking and tinkering and letting this problem fester as more families and businesses go under, and more Americans lose their coverage. Or whether we’ll seize this opportunity – one we might not have again for generations – and finally pass health insurance reform this year, in .Now we know there are those who will oppose reform no matter what. We know the same special interests and their agents in Congress will make the same old arguments, and use the same scare tactics that have stopped reform before because they profit from this relentless escalation in health care costs. And I know that once you’ve seen enough ads and heard enough people yelling on TV, you might begin to wonder whether there’s a grain of truth to what they’re saying. So let me take a moment to answer a few of their arguments.First, the same folks who controlled the White House and Congress for the past eight years as we ran up record deficits will argue – believe it or not – that health reform will lead to record deficits. That’s simply not true. Our proposals cut hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary spending and unwarranted giveaways to insurance companies in Medicare and Medicaid. They change incentives so providers will give patients the best care, not just the most expensive care, which will mean big savings over time. And we have urged Congress to include a proposal for a standing commission of doctors and medical experts to oversee cost-saving measures.I want to be very clear: I will not sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade. And by helping improve quality and efficiency, the reforms we make will help bring our deficits under control in the long-term.Those who oppose reform will also tell you that under our plan, you won’t get to choose your doctor – that some bureaucrat will choose for you. That’s also not true. Michelle and I don’t want anyone telling us who our family’s doctor should be – and no one should decide that for you either. Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period, end of story.Finally, opponents of health reform warn that this is all some big plot for socialized medicine or government-run health care with long lines and rationed care. That’s not true either. I don’t believe that government can or should run health care. But I also don’t think insurance companies should have free reign to do as they please.That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family. And that’s why we’ll put an end to the worst practices of the insurance industry: no more yearly caps or lifetime caps; no more denying people care because of pre-existing conditions; and no more dropping people from a plan when they get too sick. No longer will you be without health insurance, even if you lose your job or change jobs.The good news is that people who know the system best are rallying to the cause of change. Just this past week, the American Nurses Association, representing millions of nurses across America, and the American Medical Association, representing doctors across our nation, announced their support because they’ve seen first-hand the need for health insurance reform.They know we cannot continue to cling to health industry practices that are bankrupting families, and undermining American businesses, large and small. They know we cannot let special interests and partisan politics stand in the way of reform – not this time around.The opponents of health insurance reform would have us do nothing. But think about what doing nothing, in the face of ever increasing costs, will do to you and your family.So today, I am urging the House and the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, to seize this opportunity, and vote for reform that gives the American people the best care at the lowest cost; that reins in insurance companies, strengthens businesses and finally gives families the choices they need and the security they deserve.Thanks.07/78246

  THE PRESIDENT: Glenn, thanks for the kind introduction. Thanks for giving me a chance to speak to the Economic Club of New York. It seems like I showed up in a interesting moment -- (laughter) -- during an interesting time. I appreciate the fact that you've assembled to give me a chance to share some ideas with you. I also appreciate the fact that as leaders of the business and financial community, you've helped make this city a great place, and you've helped make our country really, in many ways, the economic envy of the world.   First of all, in a free market, there's going to be good times and bad times. That's how markets work. There will be ups and downs. And after 52 consecutive months of job growth, which is a record, our economy obviously is going through a tough time. It's going through a tough time in the housing market, and it's going through a tough time in the financial markets.   And I want to spend a little time talking about that, but I want to remind you, this is not the first time since I've been the President that we have faced economic challenges. We inherited a recession. And then there was the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, which many of you saw firsthand, and you know full well how that affected our economy. And then we had corporate scandals. And I made the difficult decisions to confront the terrorists and extremists in two major fronts, Afghanistan and Iraq. And then we had devastating natural disasters. And the interesting thing, every time, this economy has bounced back better and stronger than before.   So I'm coming to you as an optimistic fellow. I've seen what happens when America deals with difficulty. I believe that we're a resilient economy, and I believe that the ingenuity and resolve of the American people is what helps us deal with these issues. And it's going to happen again.   Our job in Washington is to foster enterprise and ingenuity, so we can ensure our economy is flexible enough to adjust to adversity, and strong enough to attract capital. And the challenge is not to do anything foolish in the meantime. In the long run, I'm confident that our economy will continue to grow, because the foundation is solid. (%bk%)  Unemployment is low at 4.8 percent. Wages have risen, productivity has been strong. Exports are at an all-time high, and the federal deficit as a percentage of our total economy is well below the historic average. But as Glenn mentioned, these are tough times. Growth fell to 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. It's clearly slow. The economy shed more than 80,000 jobs in two months. Prices are up at the gas pump and in the supermarket. Housing values are down. Hardworking Americans are concerned -- they're concerned about their families, and they're concerned about making their bills.   Fortunately, we recognized the slowdown early and took action. And it was decisive action, in the form of policies that will spur growth. We worked with the Congress. I know that may sound incongruous to you, but I do congratulate the Speaker and Leader Reid, as well as Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Secretary Paulson, for anticipating a problem and passing a robust package quickly.   This package is temporary, and it has two key elements. First, the growth package provides incentives for businesses to make investments in new equipment this year. As more businesses take advantage, investment will pick up, and then job creation will follow. The purpose was to stimulate investment. And the signal is clear -- once I signed the bill, the signal to folks in businesses large and small know that there's some certainty in the tax code for the remainder of this year.   Secondly, the package will provide tax rebates to more than 130 million households. And the purpose is to boost consumer spending. The purpose is to try to offset the loss of wealth if the value of your home has gone down. The purpose is to buoy the consumer.   The rebates haven't been put in the mail yet. In other words, this aspect of the plan hasn't taken to effect. There's a lot of Americans who've heard about the plan; a lot of them are a little skeptical about this "check's in the mail" stuff that the federal government talks about. (Laughter.) But it's coming, and those checks, the Secretary assures me, will be mailed by the second week of May.   And so what are the folks, the experts, guys like Hubbard, anticipate to happen? I'm not so sure he is one now, but the people that have told me that they expect this consumer spending to have an effect in the second quarter, a greater effect in the third quarter. That's what the experts say. (%bk%)  The Federal Reserve has taken action to bolster the economy. I respect Ben Bernanke. I think he's doing a good job under tough circumstances. The Fed has cut interest rates several times. And this week the Fed -- and by the way, we also hold dear this notion of the Fed being independent from White House policy. They act independently from the politicians, and they should. It's good for our country to have that kind of independence.   This week the Fed also announced a major move to ease stress in the credit markets by adding liquidity. It was strong action by the Fed, and they did so because some financial institutions that borrowed money to buy securities in the housing industry must now repair their balance sheets before they can make further loans. The housing issue has dried up some of the sources of credit that businesses need in our economy to help it grow. That's why the Fed is reacting the way they are. We believe the actions by the Fed will help financial institutions continue to make more credit available.   This morning the Federal Reserve, with support of the Treasury Department, took additional actions to mitigate disruptions to our financial markets. Today's events are fast-moving, but the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of the Treasury are on top of them, and will take the appropriate steps to promote stability in our markets.   Now, a root cause of the economic slowdown has been the downtown in the housing market, and I want to talk a little bit about that today. After years of steady increases, home values in some parts of the country have declined. At the same time, many homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages have seen their monthly payments increase faster than their ability to pay. As a result, a growing number of people are facing the prospect of foreclosure.   Foreclosure places a terrible burden on our families. Foreclosure disrupts communities. And so the question is, what do you do about it in a way that allows the market to work, and at the same times helps people? Before I get to that, though, I do want to tell you that we fully understand that the mounting concern over housing has shaken the broader market, that it's sp uncertainty to global financial markets, and that it has tightened the credit, which makes it harder for people to get mortgages in the first place. (%bk%)  The temptation is for people, in their attempt to limit the number of foreclosures, is to put bad law in place. And so I want to talk about some of that. First of all, the temptation of Washington is to say that anything short of a massive government intervention in the housing market amounts to inaction. I strongly disagree with that sentiment. I believe there ought to be action, but I'm deeply concerned about law and regulation that will make it harder for the markets to recover -- and when they recover, make it harder for this economy to be robust. And so we got to be careful and mindful that any time the government intervenes in the market, it must do so with clear purpose and great care. Government actions are -- have far-reaching and unintended consequences.   I want to talk to you about a couple of ideas that I strongly reject. First, one bill in Congress would provide billion for state and local governments to buy up abandoned and foreclosed homes. You know, I guess this sounds like a good idea to some, but if your goal is to help Americans keep their homes, it doesn't make any sense to spend billions of dollars buying up homes that are aly empty. As a matter of fact, when you buy up empty homes you're only helping the lenders, or the speculators. The purpose of government ought to be to help the individuals, not those who, like -- who speculated in homes. This bill sends the wrong signal to the market.   Secondly, some have suggested we change the bankruptcy courts, the bankruptcy code, to give bankruptcy judges the authority to reduce mortgage debts by judicial decree. I think that sends the wrong message. It would be unfair to millions of homeowners who have made the hard spending choices necessary to pay their mortgages on time. It would further rattle credit markets. It would actually cause interest rates to go up. If banks think that judges might step in and write down the value of home loans, they're going to charge higher interest rates to cover that risk. This idea would make it harder for responsible first-time home buyers to be able to afford a home. (%bk%)  There are some in Washington who say we ought to artificially prop up home prices. You know, it sounds reasonable in a speech -- I guess -- but it's not going to help first-time home buyers, for example. A lot of people have been priced out of the market right now because of decisions made by others. The market is in the process of correcting itself; markets must have time to correct. Delaying that correction would only prolong the problem.   And so that's why we oppose those proposals, and I want to talk about what we're for. We're obviously for sending out over 0 billion into the marketplace in the form of checks that will be reaching the mailboxes by the second week of May. We're for that. We're also for helping a targeted group of homeowners, namely those who have made responsible buying decisions, avoid foreclosure with some help.   We've taken three key steps. First, we launched a new program at the Federal Housing Administration called FHA Secure. It's a program that's given FHA greater flexibility to offer refinancing for struggling homeowners with otherwise good credit. In other words, we're saying to people, we want to help you refinance your notes. Over the past six months this program has helped about 120,000 families stay in their homes by refinancing about billion of mortgages, and by the end of the year we expect this program to have reached 300,000 families.   You know the issue like I do, though. I'm old enough to remember savings and loans, and remember who my savings and loan officer was, who loaned me my first money to buy a house. And had I got in a bind, I could have walked across the street in Midland, Texas, and say, I need a little help; can you help me just my note so I can stay in my house? There are no such things as that type of deal anymore. As a matter of fact, the paper -- you know, had this been a modern era, the paper that had -- you know, my paper, my mortgage, could be owned by somebody in a foreign country, which makes it hard to renegotiate the note.   So we're dealing in a difficult environment, to get the word to people, there's help for you to refinance your homes. And so Hank Paulson put together what's called the HOPE NOW Alliance to try to bring some reality to the situation, to focus our help on helping creditworthy people refinance -- rather than pass law that will make it harder for the market to adjust. This HOPE NOW Alliance is made up of industry -- is made up of investors and service managers and mortgage counselors and lenders. And they set industry-wide standards to streamline the process for refinancing and modifying certain mortgages. (%bk%)  Last month Hope Now created a new program. They take a look -- they took a look at the risks, and they created a program called Project Lifeline, which offers some homeowners facing imminent foreclosure a 30-day extension. The whole purpose is to help people stay in their houses. During this time they can work with their lender. And this grace period has made a difference to a lot of folks.   An interesting statistic that has just been released: Members of the Alliance report that the number of homeowners working out their mortgages is now rising faster than the number entering foreclosure. The program is beginning to work, it's beginning to help. The problem we have is a lot of folks aren't responding to over a million letters sent out to offer them assistance and mortgage counseling. And so one of the tasks we have is to continue to urge our citizens to respond to the help; to pay attention to the notices they get describing how they can find help in refinancing their homes. We got toll-free numbers and websites and mailings, and it's just really important for our citizens to understand that this help is available for them.   We've also taken some other steps that will bring some credibility and confidence to the market. Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of HUD, is proposing a rule that require lenders to provide a standard, easy-to- summary statements explaining the key elements of mortgage agreements. These mortgage agreements can be pretty frightening to people; I mean, there's a lot of tiny print. And I don't know how many people understood they were buying resets, or not. But one thing is for certain: There needs to be complete transparency. And to the extent that these contracts are too complex, and people made decisions that they just weren't sure they were making, we need to do something about it. We need better confidence amongst those who are purchasing loans.   And secondly, yesterday Hank Paulson announced new recommendations to strengthen oversight of the mortgage industry, and improve the way the credit ratings are determined for securities, and ensure proper risk management at financial institutions. In other words, we've got an active plan to help us get through this rough period. We're always open for new ideas, but there are certain principles that we won't violate. And one of the principles is overreacting by federal law and federal regulation that will have long-term negative effects on our economy. (%bk%)  There are some further things we can do, by the way, on the housing market that I call upon Congress to do. By the way, Congress did pass a good bill that creates a three-year window for American families to refinance their homes without paying taxes on any debt forgiveness they receive. The tax code create disincentives for people to refinance their homes, and we took care of that for a three-year period. And they need to move forward with reforms on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They need to continue to modernize the FHA, as well as allow state housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to homeowners to refinance their mortgages.   Congress can also take other steps to help us during a period of uncertainty -- and these are uncertain times. A major source of uncertainty is that the tax relief we passed in 2001 and 2003 is set to expire. If Congress doesn't act, 116 million American households will see their taxes rise by an average of ,800. If Congress doesn't act, capital gains and dividends are going to be taxed at a higher rate. If Congress doesn't make the tax relief permanent they will create additional uncertainty during uncertain times.   A lot of folks are waiting to see what Congress intends to do. One thing that's certain that Congress will do is waste some of your money. So I've challenged members of Congress to cut the number of, cost of earmarks in half. I issued an executive order that directs federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by the Congress. In other words, Congress has got this habit of just sticking these deals into bills without a vote -- no transparency, no light of day, they just put them in. And by the way, this executive order extends beyond my presidency, so the next President gets to make a decision as to whether or not that executive order stays in effect.   I sent Congress a budget that meets our priorities. There is no greater priority than to make sure our troops in harm way have all they need to do their job. That has been a priority ever since I made the difficult commitment to put those troops in harm's way, and it should be a priority of any President and any Congress. And beyond that, we've held spending at below rates of inflation -- on non-security spending, discretionary spending, we've held the line. And that's why I can tell you that we've submitted a budget that's in balance by 2012 -- without raising your taxes. (%bk%)  If the Congress truly wants to send a message that will calm people's nerves they'll adopt the budget I submitted to them and make it clear they're not going to run up the taxes on the working people, and on small businesses, and on capital gains, and on dividends, and on the estate tax.   Now, one powerful force for economic growth that is under -- is being questioned right now in Washington is whether or not this country is confident enough to open up markets overseas, whether or not we believe in trade. I believe strongly it's in our nation's interest to open up markets for U.S. goods and services. I believe strongly that NAFTA has been positive for the ed States of America, like it's been positive for our trading partners in Mexico and Canada. I believe it is dangerous for this country to become isolationist and protectionist. I believe it shows a lack of confidence in our capacity to compete. And I know it would harm our economic future if we allow the -- those who believe that walling off America from trade to have their way in Congress.   And so I made it clear that we expect for Congress to move forward on the Colombia free trade agreement. And this is an important agreement. It's important for our national security interests, and it's important for our economic interests. Most Americans don't understand that most goods and services from Colombia come into the ed States duty free; most of our goods and services are taxed at about a 35-percent rate heading into Colombia. Doesn't it make sense to have our goods and services treated like those from Colombia? I think it does. I think our farmers and ranchers and small business owners must understand that with the government finding new markets for them, it will help them prosper.   But if Congress were to reject the Colombia free trade agreement, it would also send a terrible signal in our own neighborhood; it would bolster the voices of false populism. It would say to young democracies, America's word can't be trusted. It would be devastating for our national security interests if this ed States Congress turns its back on Colombia and a free trade agreement with Colombia.   I intend to work the issue hard. I'm going to speak my mind on the issue because I feel strongly about it. And then once they pass the Colombia, they can pass Panama and South Korea, as well. (%bk%)  Let me talk about another aspect of keeping markets open. A confident nation accepts capital from overseas. We can protect our people against investments that jeopardize our national security, but it makes no sense to deny capital, including sovereign wealth funds, from access to the U.S. markets. It's our money to begin with. (Laughter.) It seems like we ought to let it back. (Applause.)   So there's some of the things that are on my mind, and I appreciate you letting me get a chance to come by to speak to you. I'm -- you know, I guess the best to describe government policy is like a person trying to drive a car on a rough patch. If you ever get stuck in a situation like that, you know full well it's important not to overcorrect -- because when you overcorrect you end up in the ditch. And so it's important to be steady and to keep your eyes on the horizon.   We're going to deal with the issues as we see them. We're not afraid to make decisions. This administration is not afraid to act. We saw a problem coming and we acted quickly, with the help of Democrats and Republicans in the Congress. We're not afraid to take on issues. But we will do so in a way that respects the ingenuity of the American people, that bolsters the entrepreneurial spirit, and that ensures when we make it through this rough patch, our driving is going to be more smooth.   Thank you, Glenn, for giving me a chance to come, and I'll answer some questions. (Applause.) (%bk%) MR. HUBBARD: Thank you very much, Mr. President.   As is the Club's tradition, we do have two questioners. On my left, Gail Fosler, the President and Chief Economist of the Conference Board. On my right, literally and metaphorically, Paul Gigot -- (laughter) -- the editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal.   Gail, the first question for the President is yours.   Q Thank you, very much.   THE PRESIDENT: Who picked Gigot? I mean, why does he -- (laughter.) All right. Excuse me. (Laughter.)   MS. FOSLER: I'm glad you don't know me, Mr. President.   THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, well -- (laughter.) I'd be more polite, trust me. (Laughter.) My mother might be watching. (Laughter.)   MS. FOSLER: I would like to probe your thoughts on trade. You raised trade in your speech very passionately. And the Conference Board is made up of 2,000 businesses around the world; about a third of them are outside of the ed States. And they look at the move toward protectionism in the ed States with great alarm, even the shift in the Republican Party toward protectionism. And you mention that a confident nation opens its borders, and there does seem to be a lack of confidence in this country. And I wonder if you would give us a diagnosis of why we find ourselves in the situation we do today?   THE PRESIDENT: First of all, a lot of folks are worried about their neighbors losing work. In other words, they fear jobs moving overseas. And the best way to address that is to recognize that sometimes people lose work because of trade, and when that happens, the best way to deal with it is to provide educational opportunities so somebody can get the skills necessary to fill the higher-paying jobs here in the ed States.   And I think, for example, of what happened to the textile industry in North Carolina. And stories like these really do affect how people think about trade. You know, some companies because of mismanagement, some companies because of trade couldn't survive. And it created a wholesale displacement of workers throughout North Carolina. And what the state of North Carolina did was they wisely used their community college system to be able to fit needs and skills.   In other words, a community college system -- the interesting thing about it, it's probably the most market-driven education system in the ed States. Unlike some higher education institutions that are either unwilling or sometimes incapable of adjusting curriculum, the community college system is capable of doing that. (%bk%)  And North Carolina recognized they had a great opportunity to become a magnet for the health care industry. And a lot of their textile workers -- with government help, called trade adjustment assistance -- went to community colleges to gain new skills. And it turns out that when you analyze what happened, just the added value -- just kind of the increase in productivity and the relevancy of the job training made the wages higher for those than they were in the textile industry. There's a classic example of how to respond, rather than throwing up trade barriers.   Secondly, a lot of people don't understand this fact, that by having our markets open it's good for consumers. The more consumers get to choose, the more choice there is on the shelves, the less likely it is there will be inflation. And one of the great things about open markets is that markets respond to the collective wisdom of consumers. And so, therefore, it makes sense to have more choice, more opportunities. And yet when you , "made from" another country on the shelves of our stores, people automatically assume that jobs are fragile. And so we've got to do a better job of educating people about the benefits of trade.   Third, it's -- sometimes, when times are tough, it's easy to -- it's much easier to find a -- somebody else to blame. And sometimes that somebody else that's easier to blame is somebody in a distant land.   And so those are the some of the fact -- and plus it's easy politics. It's easy to go around and hammer away on trade. It's -- and I guess if you're the kind of person that followed polls and focus groups, that's what your tendency to be. I'm the kind of person who doesn't give a darn about polls and focus groups, and I do what I think is right. And what is right is making sure that -- (applause.) And sometimes if you're going to lead this country, you have to stand in the face of what appears to be a political headwind.   And so those are some of the dynamics that makes it hard. And I'm troubled by isolationism and protectionism. As a matter of fact, I dedicated part of my State of the Union address a couple of years ago to this very theme. And what concerns me is, is that the ed States of America will become fatigued when it comes to fighting off tyrants, or say it's too hard to sp liberty, or use the excuse that just because freedom hadn't flourished in parts of the world, therefore it's not worth trying, and that, as a result, we kind of retrench and lose confidence in our -- the values that have made us a great nation in the first place. (%bk%)  But these aren't American values; they're universal values. And the danger of getting tired during this world [sic] is any retreat by the America -- by America was going to be to the benefit of those who want to do us harm. Now, I understand that since September the 11th, the great tendency is to say, we're no longer in danger. Well, that's false. That's false hope. It's either disingenuous or naive, and either one of those attitudes is unrealistic.   And the biggest job we've got is to protect the American people from harm. I don't want to get in another issue, but that's why we better figure out what the enemy is saying on their telephones, if you want to protect you. (Applause.) Notice I am deftly taking a trade issue and working in all my other issues. (Laughter.)   But I'm serious about this business about America retreating. And I've got great faith in the transformative power of liberty, and that's what I believe is going to happen in the Middle East. And I understand it undermines the argument of the stability-ites -- people who say, you just got to worry about stability. And I'm saying, we better worry about the conditions that caused 19 kids to kill us in the first place.   And the best way to deal with hopelessness is to fight disease like we're doing in Africa, and fight forms of government that suppress people's rights, like we're doing around the world. And a retreat from that attitude is going to make America less secure and the world more dangerous, just like a loss of confidence in trade.   And yet the two run side by side: isolationism and protectionism. I might throw another "ism," and that's nativism. And that's what happened throughout our history. And probably the most grim reminder of what can happen to America during periods of isolationism and protectionism is what happened in the late -- in the '30s, when we had this "America first" policy, and Smoot-Hawley. And look where it got us.   And so I guess to answer your question, there needs to be political courage, in the face of what may appear to be a difficult headwind, in order to speak clearly about the effects of retreat and the benefits of trade. And so I appreciate you giving me a chance to opine. (Laughter and applause.) (%bk%)  MR. HUBBARD: Thank you, Mr. President. The second and final --   THE PRESIDENT: Never bashful, never short of opinions. (Laughter.) Just like my mother. (Laughter.)   MR. HUBBARD: The second and final question for the President is from Paul Gigot.   Q Welcome to New York, Mr. President. And I want to ask you about something you didn't -- an issue you didn't address, which is prices.   THE PRESIDENT: Which is what?   Q Prices. Gasoline is selling for a gallon in some parts of the country, but food prices are also rising very fast -- grain prices, meat prices, health care prices. And the dollar is weak around the world, hitting a record low this week against the Euro. The price of gold is now about ,000 an ounce. Many observers say, oh, this means that we have an inflation problem. Do you agree with them, and what can be done about it?   THE PRESIDENT: I agree that the Fed needs to be independent and make considered judgments, and balance growth versus inflation. And let me address some of those issues one by one.   We believe in a strong dollar. I recognize economies go up and down, but it's important for us to put policy in place that sends a signal that our economy is going to be strong and open for business, which will -- you know, which supports the strong dollar policy, such as not doing something foolish during this economic period that will cause -- make it harder to grow; such as rejecting -- shutting down capital from coming into this country; such as announcing that, or articulating the belief that making the tax cuts permanent takes uncertainty out of the system.   Energy: Our energy policy has not been very wise. You can't build a refinery in the ed States. You can't expand a refinery in the ed States. The Congress believes we shouldn't be drilling for oil and gas in a productive part of our country like ANWR because it will destroy the environment, which, in fact, it won't. Technology is such that will enable us to find more oil and gas. And so as a result of us not having, you know, been robust in exploring for oil and gas at home, we're dependent on other countries. That creates an economic issue, obviously, and it creates a national security issue. (%bk%)  And, look, I'm very -- I'm an alternatives fuel guy, I believe that's important. As a matter of fact, we've expanded -- mightily expanded the use of ethanol; a slight consequence if you rely upon corn to grow your hogs, but nevertheless it's a -- it is a policy that basically says that we got to diversify. But diversification does not happen overnight. You know, I firmly believe people in New York City are going to be driving automobiles on battery relatively quickly. And it's not going to be like a golf cart, it will be a regular-sized vehicle that you'll be driving in. (Laughter.) And I think it's coming. I think this technology is on its way.   But there's a transition period, and we, frankly, have got policies that make it harder for us to become less dependent on oil. You talk about the price of oil -- yeah, it's high. It's high because demand is greater than supply, is why it's high. It's high because there's new factors in demand on the international market, namely China and India. It's also high because some nations have not done a very good job of maintaining their oil reserves -- some of it because of bureaucracy, some of it because of state-owned enterprise. And it's a difficult period for our folks at the pump, and there's no quick fix.   You know, when I was overseas in the Middle East, people said, did you talk to the King of Saudi about oil prices? Of course I did. I reminded him two things: One, you better be careful about affecting markets -- reminding him that oil is fungible; even though we get most of our oil, by the way, from Canada and Mexico, oil is fungible. And secondly, the higher the price of oil, the more capital is going to come into alternative sources of energy. And so we've got a plan that calls for diversification, but it's -- our energy policy hadn't been very wise up to now.   Anyway, I'm going to dodge the rest of your question. (Laughter.) Thank you for your time. (Applause.) 200806/41101

  Download mp4 (137MB) | mp3 (4MB) Next week, the Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act. It’s a bill that will put more people to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. And it will provide our economy with the jolt that it really needs right now This is not the time for the usual games or political gridlock in Washington. The challenges facing financial markets around the world could have very real effects on our own economy at a time when it’s aly fragile. But this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn here in America. This isn’t just my belief. This is what independent economists have said. Not just politicians. Not just people in my administration. Independent experts who do this for a living have said that this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and middle-class families all across America. But if we don’t act, the opposite will be true – there will be fewer jobs and weaker growth. So any Senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill needs to explain why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation. If the Republicans in Congress think they have a better plan for creating jobs right now, they should prove it. Because one of the same independent economists who looked at our plan just said that their ideas, e, wouldn’t “mean much for the economy in the near term.” If their plan doesn’t measure up, the American people deserve to know what it is that Republicans in Congress don’t like about this jobs plan. You hear a lot of our Republican friends say that one of the most important things we can do is cut taxes. Well, they should love this plan. The American Jobs Act would cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America. And if you’re a small business owner that hires new workers, raises wages, or hires a veteran, you get an additional tax cut. Right now, hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers have been laid off because of state budget cuts. This jobs bill will put a lot of these men and women back to work. Right now, there are millions of laid-off construction workers who could be repairing our bridges and roads and modernizing our schools. Why wouldn’t we want to put these men and women to work rebuilding America? The proposals in this bill are steps we have to take if we want to build an economy that lasts; if we want to be able to compete with other countries for jobs that restore a sense of security for the middle-class. But we also have to rein in our deficit and start living within our means, which is why this jobs bill is paid for by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. Some see this as class warfare. I see it as a simple choice. We can either keep taxes exactly as they are for millionaires and billionaires, or we can ask them to pay at least the same rate as a plumber or a bus driver. And in the process, we can put teachers and construction workers and veterans back on the job. We can either fight to protect their tax cuts, or we can cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America. But we can’t afford to do both. It’s that simple. There are too many people hurting in this country for us to simply do nothing. The economy is too fragile for us to let politics get in the way of action. The people who represent you in Washington have a responsibility to do what’s best for you – not what’s best for their party or what’s going to help them win an election that’s more than a year away. So I need you to keep making your voices heard in Washington. I need you to remind these folks who they work for. And I need you to tell your Senators to do the right thing by passing this jobs bill right away. Thank you.201110/156923。

  REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENTAT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ANNUAL MEETINGNational Academy of SciencesWashington, D.C.9:12 A.M. EDTTHE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you so much for the wonderful welcome. To President Cicerone, thank you very much for your leadership and for hosting us today. To John Holdren, thanks, John, for the outstanding work that you are doing.I was just informed backstage that Ralph and John both are 1965 graduates of MIT -- same class. And so I'm not sure this is the perfectly prescribed scientific method, but they're sort of a control group -- (laughter) -- who ages faster: The President's Science Advisor or the President of the Academy? (Laughter.) And we'll check in in a couple of years. But it is wonderful to see them. To all of you, to my Cabinet Secretaries and team who are here, thank you. It is a great privilege to address the distinguished members of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as the leaders of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine who've gathered here this morning.And I'd like to begin today with a story of a previous visitor who also addressed this august body. In April of 1921, Albert Einstein visited the ed States for the first time. And his international credibility was growing as scientists around the world began to understand and accept the vast implications of his theories of special and general relativity. And he attended this annual meeting, and after sitting through a series of long speeches by others, he reportedly said, "I have just got a new theory of eternity." (Laughter.) So I will do my best to heed this cautionary tale. (Laughter.) The very founding of this institution stands as a testament to the restless curiosity, the boundless hope so essential not just to the scientific enterprise, but to this experiment we call America.A few months after a devastating defeat at Fredericksburg, before Gettysburg would be won, before Richmond would fall, before the fate of the Union would be at all certain, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act creating the National Academy of Sciences -- in the midst of civil war.Lincoln refused to accept that our nation's sole purpose was mere survival. He created this academy, founded the land grant colleges, and began the work of the transcontinental railroad, believing that we must add -- and I e -- "the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery... of new and useful things."This is America's story. Even in the hardest times, against the toughest odds, we've never given in to pessimism; we've never surrendered our fates to chance; we have endured; we have worked hard; we sought out new frontiers.Today, of course, we face more complex challenges than we have ever faced before: a medical system that holds the promise of unlocking new cures and treatments -- attached to a health care system that holds the potential for bankruptcy to families and businesses; a system of energy that powers our economy, but simultaneously endangers our planet; threats to our security that seek to exploit the very interconnectedness and openness so essential to our prosperity; and challenges in a global marketplace which links the derivative trader on Wall Street to the homeowner on Main Street, the office worker in America to the factory worker in China -- a marketplace in which we all share in opportunity, but also in crisis.At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science, that support for research is somehow a luxury at moments defined by necessities. I fundamentally disagree. Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been before. (Applause.) And if there was ever a day that reminded us of our shared stake in science and research, it's today. We are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the ed States. And this is obviously a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert. But it's not a cause for alarm. The Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency as a precautionary tool to ensure that we have the resources we need at our disposal to respond quickly and effectively. And I'm getting regular updates on the situation from the responsible agencies. And the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Centers for Disease Control will be offering regular updates to the American people. And Secretary Napolitano will be offering regular updates to the American people, as well, so that they know what steps are being taken and what steps they may need to take.But one thing is clear -- our capacity to deal with a public health challenge of this sort rests heavily on the work of our scientific and medical community. And this is one more example of why we can't allow our nation to fall behind.Unfortunately, that's exactly what's happened. Federal funding in the physical sciences as a portion of our gross domestic product has fallen by nearly half over the past quarter century. Time and again we've allowed the research and experimentation tax credit, which helps businesses grow and innovate, to lapse.Our schools continue to trail other developed countries and, in some cases, developing countries. Our students are outperformed in math and science by their peers in Singapore, Japan, England, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Korea, among others. Another assessment shows American 15-year-olds ranked 25th in math and 21st in science when compared to nations around the world. And we have watched as scientific integrity has been undermined and scientific research politicized in an effort to advance predetermined ideological agendas.We know that our country is better than this. A half century ago, this nation made a commitment to lead the world in scientific and technological innovation; to invest in education, in research, in engineering; to set a goal of reaching space and engaging every citizen in that historic mission. That was the high water mark of America's investment in research and development. And since then our investments have steadily declined as a share of our national income. As a result, other countries are now beginning to pull ahead in the pursuit of this generation's great discoveries. I believe it is not in our character, the American character, to follow. It's our character to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. So I'm here today to set this goal: We will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development. We will not just meet, but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race, through policies that invest in basic and applied research, create new incentives for private innovation, promote breakthroughs in energy and medicine, and improve education in math and science. (Applause.)This represents the largest commitment to scientific research and innovation in American history. Just think what this will allow us to accomplish: solar cells as cheap as paint; green buildings that produce all the energy they consume; learning software as effective as a personal tutor; prosthetics so advanced that you could play the piano again; an expansion of the frontiers of human knowledge about ourselves and world the around us. We can do this.The pursuit of discovery half a century ago fueled our prosperity and our success as a nation in the half century that followed. The commitment I am making today will fuel our success for another 50 years. That's how we will ensure that our children and their children will look back on this generation's work as that which defined the progress and delivered the prosperity of the 21st century.This work begins with a historic commitment to basic science and applied research, from the labs of renowned universities to the proving grounds of innovative companies.04/68238

  President's Radio Address   THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Americans are concerned about the high price of gasoline. Everyone who commutes to work, purchases food, ships a product, or takes a family vacation feels the burden of higher prices at the pump. And families across our country are looking to Washington for a response.   The fundamental problem behind high gas prices is that the supply of oil has not kept up with the rising demand across the world. One obvious solution is for America to increase our domestic oil production. So my Administration has repeatedly called on Congress to open access to new oil exploration here in the ed States. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal. Now Americans are paying the price at the pump for this obstruction. So this week, I asked Democratic congressional leaders to take the side of working families and small businesses and farmers and ranchers and move forward with four steps to expand American oil and gasoline production.   First, we should expand American oil production by increasing access to the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS. Experts believe that the OCS could produce enough oil to match America's current production for almost ten years. The problem is that Congress has restricted access to key parts of the OCS since the early 1980s. So I've called on the House and Senate to lift this legislative ban and give states the option of opening up OCS resources off their shores while protecting the environment. There's also an executive prohibition on exploration in the OCS, which I will lift when Congress lifts the legislative ban.   Second, we should expand American oil production by tapping into the extraordinary potential of oil shale. Oil shale is a type of rock that can produce oil when exposed to heat and other processes. One major deposit in the Rocky Mountain West alone would equal current annual oil imports for more than a hundred years. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of further development. In last year's omnibus spending bill, Democratic leaders inserted a provision blocking oil shale leasing on Federal lands. That provision can be taken out as easily as it was slipped in -- and Congress should do so immediately.   Third, we should expand American oil production by permitting exploration in northern Alaska. Scientists have developed innovative techniques to reach this oil with virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife. With a drilling footprint that covers just a tiny fraction of this vast terrain, America could produce an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil. That is roughly the equivalent of two decades of imported oil from Saudi Arabia. I urge members of Congress to allow this remote region to bring enormous benefits to the American people.   Finally, we need to expand and enhance our refining capacity. It has been 30 years since a new refinery was built in our Nation, and lawsuits and red tape have made it extremely costly to expand or modify existing refineries. The result is that America now imports millions of barrels of fully refined gasoline from abroad. This imposes needless costs on American families and drivers. It deprives American workers of good jobs. And it needs to change.   I know Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past. Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why -a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act.   This is a difficult time for many American families. Rising gasoline prices and economic uncertainty can affect everything from what food parents put on the table to where they can go on vacation. With the four steps I've laid out, Congress now has a clear path to begin easing the strain high gas prices put on your family's pocketbook. These proposals will take years to have their full impact, so I urge Congress to take action as soon as possible. Together, we can meet the energy challenges we face -- and keep our economy the strongest, most vibrant, and most hopeful in the world.   Thank you for listening. 200806/42642

  201109/154298

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