The Corner

We Have Nothing to Fear But Fear-mongering Itself

Remarks of President Barack Obama — Address to Joint Session of Congress

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Slightly condensed version (by Alan Reynolds):

You don’t need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis. The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. Too many bad loans from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many banks. But I also know that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment. And our goal is to quicken the day when we re-start lending to the American people and American business and end this crisis once and for all. And to respond to an economic crisis that is global in scope, we are working with the nations of the G-20 to restore confidence in our financial system. And to ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again, I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system. My budget . . . reflects the stark reality of what we’ve inherited — a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession. With the deficit we inherited [and] the cost of the crisis we face . . . it has never been more important to ensure that as our economy recovers, we do what it takes to bring this deficit down. There will be no real recovery unless we clean up the credit crisis that has severely weakened our financial system. And if we do — if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis . . . then someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, “something worthy to be remembered.”  

Alan Reynolds — Mr. Reynolds, NR’s economics editor from 1972 to 1976, is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of Income and Wealth.

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