President says innovation vital to prosperity
By Darlene Superville
WASHINGTON — Future economic prosperity depends on building a new, stronger foundation and recapturing the "spirit of innovation," President Obama says.
"Innovation has been essential to our prosperity in the past, and it will be essential to our prosperity in the future," Obama said yesterday in his weekly radio and Internet address.
The president cited Friday's Commerce Department report showing that in the past few months the economy overall has done "measurably better than expected." He credited his $787 billion economic stimulus program for much of that progress.
"This and the other difficult but important steps that we have taken over the last six months have helped put the brakes on this recession," Obama said. He mentioned his administration's efforts to limit home foreclosures and unlock frozen credit markets to encourage lending to people and businesses, along with the mixture of tax cuts and spending included in the stimulus program.
Obama reminded the nation that full recovery will not happen overnight, but rather will take many more months.
"Even as we rescue this economy, we must work to rebuild it stronger than before," he said.
Also yesterday, Obama hailed as a "historic step" a House committee vote on a health care overhaul bill he has said will benefit the economy by controlling rising health care costs.
He said the vote moved the country closer than ever before to health insurance reform and urged lawmakers to "seize this unprecedented opportunity for the future of our economy and the health of our families."
In the GOP's weekly address, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota contended that the Democrats' proposals do not improve health care because they would force millions of Americans in employer-based coverage into a government-run system.
He also said the proposals would burden states by expanding Medicaid coverage without a clear source of funding.
In South Dakota, the new requirements call for $45 million a year in new state spending that will " have to come from somewhere... ," Thune said.