President Obama’s press conference – Feb. 2016

For those who missed today’s presidential press conference, here is a quick recap.

As the president said, unemployment, deficits, and gas prices are down; jobs, wages, and the number of people covered by health insurance are up.

The unemployment rate is now at 4.9%, which is less than half what it was at the height of the recession. The economy added over 140,000 new jobs. This caps 71 months of continuous job growth. 12.7 million people either signed up or renewed their health insurance, and wages are beginning to rise – albeit slowly.

On Tuesday, the president will send a budget to Congress. It will have provisions for a renewed focus on education, job training, and a shift to cleaner sources of energy.

Answering a reporter’s question, the president acknowledged that, after the economic crisis that started in 2008, the American public is still understandably anxious about the future of our economy. Older adults are worried about joblessness and the loss of pensions. Companies, under pressure to maximize short-term profits have recently demonstrated a lack of commitment to their workers.

The American workers’ insecurities have given the Republican party an opportunity to whip up fears, unleash anti-immigrant rhetoric and recommend several solutions that the president thinks/knows will not work. Austerity, as practiced in some European countries, has failed to revive the Eurozone economy, and tax cuts coupled with trickle-down economics have repeatedly been proven not to stimulate the economy. These are losing propositions rehashed by Republicans.

The president, when asked, also advocated for an oil tax. He wants to capitalize on the current low price of a barrel of oil to invest in rebuilding infrastructure and developing renewable energy.

That’s all, folks. I hope I understood it correctly and did not put words in the President’s mouth.

Disclaimer: Marie-Anne writes blog. Her opinions may reflect those of many Rockwall Democrats. She is, however, sometimes wrong, and is always solely responsible for the content of blog.

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