I need a neck brace.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is "not as bad as we think" and his plans will speed recovery.Challenged to provide encouragement as the nation's "confidence builder in chief," Obama said Americans shouldn't be whipsawed by bursts of either bad or good news and he was "highly optimistic" about the long term.The president's proposals for major health care, energy and education changes in the midst of economic hard times faced skepticism from both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, as senators questioned his budget outlook and the deficits it envisions in the middle of the next decade.But Obama, speaking to top executives of the Business Roundtable, expressed an optimistic vision and called for patience.Richard Parsons, chairman of beleaguered Citigroup Inc., asked if Obama could offer some help in a national battle "between confidence and fear.""A smidgen of good news and suddenly everything is doing great. A little bit of bad news and ooohh , we're down on the dumps," Obama said. "And I am obviously an object of this constantly varying assessment. I am the object in chief of this varying assessment.""I don't think things are ever as good as they say, or ever as bad as they say," Obama added. "Things two years ago were not as good as we thought because there were a lot of underlying weaknesses in the economy. They're not as bad as we think they are now."This is ridiculous.It was just a month ago that the nation's "confidence builder in chief" was the nation's "scare the crap out of everyone in chief."Things aren't as bad as we think? Really?Remember this?February 5, 2009, Obama wrote:
By now, it's clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives -- action that's swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse. Obama warned that we were dangerously deep in recession, teetering on the edge of a Depression.He painted the economic catastrophe as so severe that we might never recover.Obama's done a sudden, jerking about-face.Hey, things aren't as bad as we think they are now!Happy days are here again. Enjoy it until Obama says the sky is falling.