Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Short and tweet: Obama's economic policy, 140 characters at a time

July 7, 2011 by NCC Staff


Editor's Note: President Barack Obama's spoken answers to questions about economic policy at yesterday's Twitter Town Hall far exceeded the social media service's 140-character limit for messages. But the White House performed the public service of condensing the President's answers into bite-size tweets. For Constitution Daily readers who like their economics pithy, here are highlights from the official tweet version of the president's Town Hall remarks. You can find the White House Twitter page by clicking here.

On economic growth

We need commitment to our individualism, creativity, idiosyncrasies- but also to each other. Need to invest in future as always have.


President Barack Obama. Flickr photo by transplanted mountaineer

On welfare costs

Some welfare programs poorly designed, but not biggest driver of debt. Many struggling now need support, looking to get them back to work

On defense spending

Defense budget can be cut, must be done gradually and responsibly. So big that modest changes can help lots w/ other programs like Ed

On taxes

Facts are that a modest increase in taxes for wealthiest doesn't hurt economy; 90s boom, 2000s slowed. Not like we haven't tested.

On foreign aid

Foreign aid tiny part of budget, can be a "force multiplier" in areas around the world, big security benefit for relatively small $

On the space program

Continues to support space exploration, but rather than just continue same thing, let's invest in tech advances for "next horizon"

On tax cuts

Make permanent Bush tax cuts for low/middle earners who are struggling, solve debt issue with smart, balanced, common sense approach

On oil independence

Good 4 economy, good 4 security, good 4 planet. No serious energy policy in decades

On financial reform

We've pushed "more reform, more vigorously" than previous Administrations, don't just need investments, need reform

On investing in education

Every time we've made a public investment in education, it's paid off many times over...we've got to get our priorities straight

On mortgage foeclosures

Sorting through who owns what in housing market is tough, so is finding arrangement that works to keep people in homes, still working

On tax rates

but having oil cos close loopholes, wealthiest like him go back to Clinton rates better than gutting Head Start, Medicare etc

Tax rates lower than they have been under previous Presidents...

On debt-ceiling negotiations

More important, US default can't be threat for protection of tax loopholes for very richest Americans

Disagrees w/ premise that Rs would've agreed to debt ceiling hike in November, got help for economy & struggling Americans in deal...

On tax incentives to hire vets

We'd like to combine a tax incentive for hiring veterans w/ a campaign to urge businesses to do the right thing on their own

On small businesses

Passed many tax cuts and incentive for small business, looking for other ways to make capital available, more

On homeowners under water

Have made some progress, but more needed, looking at options

On collective bargaining

All of us will have to make adjustments for 21st Century, but principle of collective bargaining must be protected

Collective bargaining responsible for so many benefits/ protections we take for granted on the job...

On clean energy investments

Biggest clean energy investments in history, on track for massive increase in market share in advanced car batteries, much more

On immigration reform

Obama: Working w/ biz, others, on ways to streamline visas so we don't educate people then make them leave to compete against us...

On debt limit and his powers under the 14th Amendment

Folks "shouldn't be toying with" debt limit; on 14th Amendment, we shouldn't even get there, Congress must act

On higher ed

We reformed student loans to help students not banks; talking w/ universities to bring down costs, promote needed skills

...Need investment in education & infrastructure for both

On tech vs manufacturing for recovery

not either/or, need tech for innovation, manufacturing to make the innovations...

On what he'd have done dif. on economy

Explain more fully depth of recession, prepare people for tough decisions, better on housing


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