- We don’t have that power right now; that’s what Secretary Geithner was talking about. And I think that there’s going to be strong support from the American people and from Congress to provide that authority, so that we don’t find ourselves in a situation where we’ve got to choose between either allowing an enormous institution like AIG, which is not just insuring other banks, but is also insuring pension funds and potentially putting people’s 401(k)s at risk if it goes under, that’s one choice, and then the other choice is just to allow them to take taxpayer money without the kind of conditions that we’d like to see on it.
- With respect to the American people, I think folks are sacrificing left and right. I mean, you’ve got a lot of parents who are cutting back on everything to make sure that their kids can still go to college. You’ve got workers who are deciding to cut an entire day an entire day’s worth of pay so that their fellow co-workers aren’t laid off.
- OBAMA: Well, as as I said, the American people are making a host of sacrifices in their individual lives. We are going through an extraordinary crisis, but we believe that, taken if you take the steps that we’ve already taken, with respect to housing, with respect to small businesses, if you look at what we’re doing in terms of increasing liquidity in the financial system, that the steps that we’re taking can actually stabilize the economy and get it moving again.
- What I’m looking from the American people to do is that they are going to be doing what they’ve always done, which is working hard, looking after their families, making sure that, despite the economic hard times, that they’re still contributing to their community, that they’re still participating in volunteer activities, that they are paying attention to the debates that are going on in Washington.
- And the budgets that we’re putting forward and some of the decisions that we’re having to make are going to be tough decisions, and we’re going to need the support of the American people. And that’s part of why what I’ve tried to do is to be out front as much as possible explaining in very clear terms exactly what we’re doing.
- And so this provision would affect about 1 percent of the American people. They would still get deductions. It’s just that they wouldn’t be able to write off 39 percent.
- Q: Yours is a rather historic presidency. And I’m just wondering whether, in any of the policy debates that you’ve had within the White House, the issue of race has come up or whether it has in the way you feel you’ve been perceived by other leaders or by the American people? Or has the last 64 days been a relatively colorblind time?
- And, and, you know, right now, the American people are judging me exactly the way I should be judged. And that is: Are we taking the steps to improve liquidity in the financial markets, create jobs, get businesses to reopen, keep America safe? And that’s what I’ve been spending my time thinking about.