Archives for White House

‘Daunting’ deficit: Obama’s big challenge

The U.S. budget outlook is "daunting," with deficits stuck at levels not seen since World War Two, congressional forecasters said on Tuesday in a report that lays out the challenge facing President Barack Obama as he seeks to boost the economy while cutting spending.

Obama, struggling in opinion polls, is expected to propose a three-year freeze on many domestic spending programs -- a measure that would make only a small dent -- and outline other measures to try to tame record budget deficits in his State of the Union speech on Wednesday.

Obama could find skeptics among his fellow Democrats in Congress, who aim to bring down the nation's 10 percent unemployment rate through additional spending before the November congressional elections.

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Reality could bury Obama’s tax credit fantasy

President Barack Obama's push to create jobs includes a new tax credit for small businesses that add employees, an idea that has appeal as the nation struggles with an unemployment rate topping 10 percent.

It is an idea, however, that fell flat in Congress when Obama first proposed it last year because lawmakers didn't know how to target the credit effectively. The Obama administration still hasn't provided details on how the tax credit would work, and some tax experts question whether it would.

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Worried Obama works to reinvent himself

With his Presidency threatened and his agenda under assault, President Barack Obama is working overtime to reinvent himself and recapture the campaign magic that propelled him into office in 2008.

Obama is moving to assume control not only of his agenda but also of the Democratic party in an effort to stave off disaster in the upcoming midterm elections.

With the Democrats' 60-vote "veto proof" majority already lost in the Senate, the President and his party now worry that further losses in November could not only cripple the present agenda but also put a second term in doubt.

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Obama on health care reform: ‘We hit a buzz saw’

President Barack Obama, two days after signaling retreat on a massive health care overhaul, discounted the small-bore approach Friday and pledged to press for ambitious changes despite running into a "bit of a buzz saw" of opposition.

Even as the president sought to bring the public and nervous Democrats back on board, a leading member of his party suggested Congress slow it down on health care, a sign of eroding political will in the wake of Tuesday's Republican election upset in Massachusetts.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who ushered the overhaul legislation through the Senate's health committee last year after the death of his friend, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, said Obama and lawmakers could "maybe take a breather for a month, six weeks."

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Obama retools in effort to save troubled agenda

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama tried to revive his battered agenda and rally despondent Democrats on Friday with a renewed emphasis on jobs. His visit to this struggling Rust Belt city capped a tough first-anniversary week for a presidency that suffered jolts at the hands of Massachusetts voters and the Supreme Court.

"I'm not going to win every round," Obama told a town hall audience. But, striking a populist tone on a campaign-style swing, Obama pledged, "I can promise you there will be more fights in the days ahead."

He used the word "fight" or some variation over a dozen times as he tried out a revamped message focused mainly on the economy, part of a stepped up effort to persuade Americans he's doing all he can to create jobs.

"This isn't about me. This is about you," he said.
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Obama’s shift on banks: Geithner on way out?

President Barack Obama's sudden decision to finally get tough on banks and their constant abuse of consumers and the public trusts signals an end to the financial industry friendly tactics of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and a return to the more regulation options pushed by Paul Volcker.

It could also mean Geithner is headed for the exits.

For some, Geithner can not leave the Obama administration soon enough. Critics have long regarded him as too cozy with the financial industry he was supposed to regulate. Others saw him as one of the architects of the financial crisis that helped spur the greatest recession since the great depression.

The banking industry, which got everything it wanted from Geithner, disagrees.


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Obama honors memory of Martin Luther King

President Barack Obama served plates of steaming hot lunches to the needy Monday, one of several ways the nation's first black president paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

Obama held a discussion at the White House with black elders and their grandchildren about the push for racial equality that King led until he was assassinated in 1968. In the evening, the president spoke at the Kennedy Center during a musical celebration of King's legacy, urging the nation to recommit itself to fulfilling King's dream.

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