(Barry Usurper) Obama Appears on Radio Show, Blames Bush, Tells Audience to ‘Mobilize’

Posted: 08/30/2011 by Lynn Dartez in 2011, Blood Lines of Evil, Criminals to We The People, Obmamaaaaa File, Zebra

AP File

Under fire from some black lawmakers for not directly addressing rising unemployment in their communities, President Obama appeared Tuesday morning on a popular African-American-oriented radio show to assure listeners that he understands their concerns. Read more at washingtonpost.com.

The following is a transcript of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show’s” interview with President Barack Obama, which aired Tuesday morning.

TOM JOYNER: Yeah, it is slow and frustrating.  And a lot of people are voicing their opinion about how frustrating it is for us in the black community and the unemployment rate being almost twice as much what the general market employment rate is. I understand. I understand people complaining, but I don’t agree with people who are trying to – black people, black leaders who are trying to make you look bad, as if this is all your fault.

Well, look, the fact of the matter is that when you occupy this office, when things are going good then you get the credit, and when things are going tough then you get the blame. And that’s the nature of the office. And so I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that. I do spend a lot of time thinking about what can we do to make sure that this economy starts growing faster.

We’ve made enormous progress over the last two years in stabilizing the economy, but we’ve stabilized it at an unemployment rate that’s way too high. And so the economy is going to have to grow faster. Next week, I’ll be unveiling additional plans that we can take to move the ball forward, put people back to work. But I …

TOM JOYNER: Can I talk to you about that after the break?

Absolutely, absolutely.

TOM JOYNER: Okay. I’ve got to take a break. When we come back, let’s talk about what’s the plan to get America working again – and especially black America.

This is the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

And we’re back with the president. Mr. President, what’s the plan?

Well, look, there are no magic bullets because what we went through was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and typically after financial recession, financial crises like this, it takes a long time for the patient to heal. This is a situation where the economy essentially had a heart attack, and the patient lived, and the patient is getting better, but it’s getting better very slowly.

So we don’t have magic bullets, but what we …..

TOM JOYNER: Like?

For example, putting people to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our schools all across America. A big chunk of the loss of employment was in the construction industry. Well, the fact of the matter is that although the housing market is going to take some time to recover, we’ve got a lot of stuff that needs to get done. There are schools all across the country that right now you could put people to work fixing up. There are roads and bridges right now that need to be improved.

And so we’ve called for the creation of a special fund that can leverage not only public dollars but also private dollars to start getting those projects moving. So that’s an example.

We’ve got the capacity right now to help local school districts make sure that they’re not laying off more teachers. We haven’t been as aggressive as we need to, both at the state and federal level.

There are a whole range of tax provisions that are helping small businesses that need to be continued that would expire if the Republicans aren’t willing to act in Congress. Same thing with payroll tax cut that put $1,000 in the pockets of the average family. That not only helps them keep their head above water, but it also circulates that money in the economy and makeS sure that businesses have customers.

So all these ideas are ones that have been presented to Congress. We’ll be putting out several other additional ideas. We’ve got to do it, unfortunately, at a time when money is tight. George Bush left us $1 trillion deficit, and so it’s a lot harder to climb out of this hole when we don’t have a lot of money in the federal coffers.

But there is no doubt that we can take steps that would mean the economy was growing a percent or a percentage and a half faster.  That could mean half a million to a million additional jobs. That gets the economy moving; it makes businesses more confident that they’re going to have customers. And it starts putting people back to work.

SYBIL WILKES: Could you talk — I’m sorry, Mr. President. Could you talk about the long-term unemployment? Because is there going to be something to do with people who are saying that — employers are saying the law — if you’re unemployed, we don’t want to hear from you.  And these are people that are saying that they’re not getting the looks that they need to get from employers regarding possible jobs.

OBAMA: Well, there is no doubt that folks who have been unemployed longer than six months have a tougher time getting back into the job market.  Now, the single most important thing we can do is just have the economy strong so that employers aren’t as choosy because they’ve got to hire because their businesses are expanding.

But we have seen instances in which employers are explicitly saying we don’t want to take a look at folks who’ve been unemployed. Well, that makes absolutely no sense, and I know there’s legislation that I’m supportive of that says you cannot discriminate against folks because they’ve been unemployed, particularly when you’ve seen so many folks who, through no fault of their own, ended up being laid off because of the difficulty of this recession.

Q: plans sound great. It makes a lot of sense. But you’re dealing with a bunch of people who seem to want to say no to anything that you want to do. And so, when you come next week with your jobs plan, how are you going to get it passed when everybody in the Republican Party seems to say no to everything you say yes to?

OBAMA: Well, look, this has been a problem for two and a half years now, but despite that fact, we’ve been able to get health care passed. Despite that fact, we’ve been able to make sure that we put more money into the Pell Grant program. Despite that fact, we’ve been able to try to fix the financial system so that we don’t have another train wreck like we’ve had in the past.

So we’re going to continue to see resistance, but the main thing is to communicate directly with the American people. Now, these folks so far have not been very responsive to public opinion and – which is why they are very unpopular right now. But they’re speaking only to a very narrow segment of the population, their base.

We’ve just got to keep on putting the pressure on. My attitude is that my job is to present the best plans possible. Congress needs to act. If Congress does not act, then I’m going to be going on the road and talking to folks, and this next election very well may end up being a referendum on whose vision of America is better. Because the fact of the matter is, is that the American people voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for dysfunctional government. And if they see one side not willing to work with the other to move the country forward, then that’s what elections are all about. So we’re going to be in a struggle for probably the next 16, 17 months.

TOM JOYNER: And I’m going to be right there in the foxhole struggling with you.

Well, because the key always is if the American people are mobilized, then change happens.  When they’re not mobilized, then special interests, lobbyists, the folks who put party ahead of country – those folks are going to benefit.

And that’s why, Tom, your doing political education outreach, making sure that folks understand what’s at stake right now, that’s going to be critical not just during election time, but that’s critical all the time.

TOM JOYNER: Yes, sir.

SYBIL WILKES: You don’t want anybody else but Tom Joyner in the foxhole with you, Mr. President.  (Laughter.)

Tom is rock-solid.

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