.
March 16th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Good idea for Obama admin. to call economy sound?

ALT TEXT

In the worst recession since the Great Depression, should Obama's staff be saying the economy is sound?(PHOTO CREDIT: OFF/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The White House needs to make up its mind. Sounding a lot like John McCain during the campaign, they said the economy is fundamentally sound over the weekend.

The president's economic adviser, Christina Romer, says the fundamentals are sound "in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology." She adds that this is despite of the "mess" we're temporarily in - including huge job losses and plunging GDP.

After weeks of seeing the economic glass as more than half empty, administration officials, including President Obama himself, are out painting a more positive picture these days. The president says he's confident in the economy - that if we focus on the quote "fundamentally sound aspects of our economy" like the many outstanding companies, workers, innovation, etc. - we will make it through this rough time.

Nonetheless, just a week ago OMB director Peter Orszag said that "fundamentally, the economy is weak." And despite the optimism coming from the White House and Wall Street, there don't seem to be many signs that an end is near for the current recession. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggests the recovery won't start until next year.

Here’s my question to you: Is it a good idea for the Obama administration to say the economy is sound despite the worst recession since the Great Depression?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Doug from Toronto writes:
I believe that calling the state of the economy sound is the first sensible thing this administration has said. Psychology plays a huge part in how consumers and investors operate in bleak economic times. When you've heard nothing but negative spin from politicians and the mainstream media for months, a little optimism is refreshing to say the least.

Jean from Fort Worth, Texas writes:
Jack, Let's get it right: President Obama said there are aspects of the economy that are fundamentally strong. He did not paint a broad brush as has been implied by most all of the media I have listened to.

Joy from Ohio writes:
Obama has to walk a high-wire: He has to stress that we have a while before a full recovery. Yet he needs to also give us hope. People will spend more if they feel confident, if they think the light at the end of the tunnel isn't too far off.

Ray from Nashville, Tennessee writes:
Obama has been telling us straight-up that the economy is bad. In the past week, we have seen a small spark of life and he is reacting to it. McCain was saying it when the economy was in a tailspin.

Anthony from New Jersey writes:
Business, Jack, is 90% confidence and 10% optimism. Apparently President Obama learned this lesson a little late after the market plummeted during his initial forays of a doomsday scenario. He's simply imputing the necessary positive forecasts to force financiers to reinvest in America. Unlike Bush, Obama has a learning curve.

Don from Michigan writes:
Oh man. When Mr. Obama was being conservative in his talks about our messed up economy, people said he was too downbeat. Now he is TOO upbeat? I know I watch a LOT of CNN (kudos to all of you) but I sure get sick of all the negative stuff. Come on, Jack, you can do better than this! I watch you every day, I know you can!


Filed under: President Barack Obama • Recession
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    You didn't seem to think it was a good idea when John McCain said it, and things were significantly better then. It's sad that we determine the validity of a statement not by what is said, but by who said it.

    March 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Perhaps, if he wants to run as McCain in 2012. How an economy, trillions of dollars in debt can be sound is far beyond my comprehension.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  3. Paul Austin,Texas

    Lets all hope it is a good idea. Many have wanted him to be positive and when he is they ask why. The market has started an upward trend and we must all hope this will continue. We all need to look over that fence and see the greener grass on the otherside and hope it is true.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Pablo in Tejas

    Dear Jack
    we are a heck of a long way from solvency yet. That said, the President's policies, coupled with the "casn do" rhetoric in this past week does seem to be having a salubrious effect on the market. It's early days but it seems like this President unlike his immediate predecessor, knows what he's doing and how to get 'er done. I think Uncle Lyndon would have liked him.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    March 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Mark, Orlando, FL

    Not really economies go through rough times but when the tax payers have to bail out every single sector in the economy then the economy can not be called sound. It is crumbling.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  6. Jackie in Dallas

    I have to go with the fact that this call was premature. Yes, we are working on it; yes, there are some signs things might get better; but no, until we bring back more jobs to this country, increase our manufacturing, and rebuild our infrastructure to handle the demands that doing those will put on it, our economy will NOT be sound. There's not that much difference between the economy today and the economy 5 months ago when McCain called it sound for there to be a reason to say such a blatantly unsupported statement.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Lee - Charlotte, NC

    Yes, it is a good idea. We can see signs that the economy is turning around. No need to keep on scaring the American people. Was it alright for John McCain to suspend his campaign and run to Washington to fix the economy? We have had enough of the clowns. Thank God we have an intelligent, rational thinking person in the White House to guide this country.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  8. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    After the news that AIG is still giving themselves huge bonuses for their fine work,the economy is not sound and it is continuing to crumble. Until all the crooks that caused this mess are removed from their jobs and put in prison,we will keep on sliding down the slippery slope to oblivion.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  9. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Yes. The American people need hope. Winter doldrums and bad fiscal news everyday is depressing for the psyche. An optimistic outlook and a glimmer of hope just may get the American people spending again. As a country we have overcome some insurmountable obsticals and will again. Americans have fortitude and rise to the occasion. We need to reconnoiter and go forward with a successful strategy for this new techological and global economy.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  10. TennesseeFrost

    I do believe we are becoming sound.. I see the changes taking place in life, doesn't need to come from the news..

    March 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  11. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    This is the straight talk administration. The facts are that steps are being taken to make our schools equal to our global competition. The president is determined to get the Health Care gorilla off the back of the American worker. Rather than continuing Bush's export of jobs, our government will now create jobs here. Obama's Green jobs mean we will stop funding Al Qaida and polluting the air with fossil fuels. In the words of Stevie Nicks, "Stand back!"

    March 16, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  12. Terry

    It sure beats telling everyone the sky is falling, doesn't it? A positive spin on the truth sure beats negativity any day. It's a worldwide problem. The world needs hope as much as we do. If we believe we will fail, we WILL fail. I prefer the positive approach. I'm equally positive come 2010 the GOP will lose more seats because of its negativity. Who wants to vote for the Party of NO? Not I.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  13. Mike S., New Orleans

    Make up your minds people! If Obama warns of a long tough road ahead, you say his pessimism is hurting the economy. If he states an optimistic fact, you wonder if it was a good idea. Let's wait until November 2012 for the answers, okay?

    March 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  14. Dee, New York

    It seems strange to me that back on Sept. 15 of last year, when the Dow was around 11,000, Obama blasted McCain for mentioning anything about the economy being sound; yet this week the Dow is barely at 7,000 and Obama is talking about a sound economy. What gives?

    March 16, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  15. Jenna Wade

    Is it a good idea for the Obama administration to say the economy is sound despite the worst recession since the Great Depression?

    I think the economy is turning the tide and going in the right direction. I don't know if I would call it "sound" but I surely wouldn't call it "weak". We are going to be able to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps – we did it before, we'll do it again.

    Hey what doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    March 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  16. marie tas

    Congress needs to act quickly to recoup the money given to AIG, which has been used by the company for lavish parties and bonuses, in the face of the worst economic crisis to befall our country since the Great depression.

    I hope that congress will work tirelessly to stop this fleecing of America. I can not believe this has been allowed to occur, and I believe someone from AIG should be held criminally accountable, for fraudluent and misuse of government/taxpayers money.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  17. Don (Ottawa)

    Jack, Obama didn't say the fundamentals of the American economy are sound. He talked about "fundamentally sound aspects of our economy", which is quite different. There are many fundamentally sound aspects of our economy like outstanding companies, workers, and innovations; but the fundamentals of our economy led to the mortgage and banking crises and are not strong.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  18. Jason, Koloa, HI

    It certainly wasn't a good idea for Phil Gramm when he said it on behalf of John McCain during the election, but I'm not sure it makes much difference now. If Obama says the economy is the worst ever he's accused of making it worse by raising fears. If he says the economy is sound he's accused of being in denial. The reality is that the economy is what it is no matter how President Obama describes it. The more important thing is what is he actually doing about it.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  19. Ann in NH

    He could have done better Jack. After criticizing this exact language used by his running mate and our previous genius-in-chief (note the sarcasm) he should have used some other language. I do not, however, support him any less.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  20. Simpliticus

    Remember that when McCain said that the fundamentals of the economy were sound, this did not get him elected. But Obama has inherited the worst situation an American president can, which posits the point that Obama has to look optimistic. While the Titanic did eventually sink, the United States of America is still afloat, so a more optimistic outcome should be the position to take, don't you think?

    March 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  21. David in Natchez, MS

    In the context of former President Clinton, it depends on what your definition of "sound" is.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  22. John from Alabama

    Jack: It is better to be positive about the economy, rather than be doom and gloom about it. President Obama can be positive about the economy when there is just a little good news. If the stock market ends in positive numbers today it will be the fifth day in a row. FDR's policy were not meant to improve the economy they were meant to improve morale and provide needed job skills. Job skills that helped this nation out of the depression in time to win World War Two.

    John from Alabama

    March 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  23. David

    Sure. In fact, Obama really has no choice, for both economic and political reasons. Presidential expressions of doom and gloom would become self-fulfilling prophecies, since their effect would be to deter the private investment needed to spur recovery. Silence or non-commital statements would be similarly chilling, as they would send much the same message. The only victim of excessive optimism, on the other hand, is likely to be Obama's credibility. Since Obama's re-election in 2012 is improbable if the economy is not by then well on its way to robust recovery, the political risk of expressing too much confidence in our economic vitality is de minimis.

    David
    Carmel, New York

    March 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  24. Anna Jesse

    What he said was that the underlying prinples of the economy were strong, the keyword being PRINCIPLES. This economic disaster was caused by unprincpled greedy wretches playing a high-stakes gambling game with the hard-earned money of investors and the passive cooperation of regulatory agencies that politely looked the other way. A pox on both their houses please, and perhaps a few prosecutions.

    Anna
    Nanticoke, PA

    March 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  25. Paula in Albuquerque

    Personally, I cannot tolerate a steady diet of "negativity"...and despair! If I am being lied to...fine! ANYTHING is better than listening to broadcast after broadcast of the nation's declining fortunes, and dropping employment figures! What's that old song from an even older movie..."A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down"...? Make mine TWO spoonsful! We'll get through this, and then some...and be stronger and more enlightened for the experience...but it all begins with BELIEVING that we will!

    March 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  26. Rick

    Get it right Jack? Did he 'really' say the 'whole' economy is sound?!? NOT!

    March 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  27. David of Alexandria VA

    A lot of the economy is fueled by optimism and a belief that there will "be a morning after" a recession. After grinding us to the bone with dire warnings of certain death without his stimulous plan (as-is and immediately), it's refreshing to hear a little (dare I say) "hope."

    Of course, the last person to publicly call the economy "fundamentally sound" was John McCain, who was villified and marginalized by Obama and the press only a few months ago for saying so.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  28. Kim - Blair, NE

    Not if it is going to be distorted. He said there are aspects of the economy that are strong.

    March 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  29. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Not if they are under the illusion that they are connecting with the real world and they want to keep their jobs. McCain made that mistake, too. Maybe the Obama administration needs to brush up on recent history.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  30. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Look at pictures of people in the 1930's and compare them to what you see on the streets now. We don't know how good we got it.
    Look at the images of people in the dust bowl, look at the old pictures of men in the soup line. Watch 'Grapes of Wrath' w/ Henry Fonda. Is anybody in this day really going to compare themselves with Tom Joad and say 'that's the way it is now'?
    We have something now that they didn't have then: the opportunity to live on the benefits the greatest generation created for us.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  31. mac from traverse city Michigan

    Jack anyone with a measurable IQ knows the president is trying to deflect the criticism he's getting about his commentary being to negative in the past. I believe it would be fine for him to defend the sound fundementals of capitalism but he should be careful about trying to put lipstick on our present economy and .....oops maybe he shouldn't go there

    March 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  32. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Well, at least the DOW is showing some gains now.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  33. Bob D. Morristown, NJ

    During the campaign season, and to get legislation like the stimulu package passed the public had to be convinced that there was a real problem that needed to be addressed. In the short term, the electorate and government have done most of their part in addressing the problem. Now consumers and investors need help to overcome their fear, and be convinced that the worst is over so they will once more invest and purchase to execute their roles in our economic recovery.

    As with most other endeavor's timing is everything. When McCain said the fundamentals are sound it was a repudiation of what was generally known that we had (and have) a real problem. Now the same statement means that we can overcome this problem if we can overcome our fear and get back to doing our part.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  34. Marie Ontario

    In reality it doesn't matter what the Obama Administration says about the economy as the news medias will do everything within their power to sensationalize the statements for being either too negative or too positive.

    You know it's kinda like the Republicans' ranting about how awful the Stimulus package is and then having Mitch McConell state they won't release any counter proposals or I guess simply don't have any new ideas other than cutting taxes on the rich and stop gays from getting married.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  35. samir from florida

    What a lot of people don't understand is sometimes recessions are as just as bad as the words that describe it. I understand the president using more positive words, however calling it sound might be going a bit too far. However, I do hope he is right.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  36. Denise

    What President Obama said was "If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy, all the outstanding companies, workers, all the innovation and dynamism in this economy, then we're going to get through this." Jack, while some companies are major disaster areas, there are other companies that are relatively stable. Only the ones that are in serious trouble are deemed newsworthy, so it probably distorts the picture of how bad things are and amps up everyone's anxieties..

    March 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  37. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: There maybe some truth in that statement-–although things are not as bright as they could be--let's face it -–it could be worse-and will eventually get better-–nothing last forever.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  38. Rod

    Here is my take on this matter; earlier today on the usual morning news shows, I heard everyone complaining about how ferociously our economy was on fire. Needless to say, that when the economy was being put on fire, everyone watched, as we heard little to nothing from anyone and that also includes you Jack. So if you agree that the Republican Party was the arsonists, and has now become the fiendish Party of No. No meaning, I’m not going to help you put the fire out. While you must agree that the Media are the Party of the chaos agents. They both like to spread fear, and create as much panic and controversy as they can at every given opportunity. They both like to get a kick out of quoting this Country most clairvoyant individual, or should I say the most automatons figures. I don’t know how you feel about this, but to me they both are running this Country in the ground with their, me first, white-knuckle like attitude.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  39. Don in Delaware

    I think Obama should clarify whether he's talking about the system itself or those people who are defying all efforts to keep it working like it's supposed to. The system is still sound... it just needs patches over the gaping holes that speculators, the lenders and the creditors have created to supplement their own greed.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  40. BRUCE, ST PAUL, MN

    First they were too pessimistic, now too optimistic. It's a pretty fine line, but I do think this was a poor choice of words. If Romer had said that the economy will be sound, once we make the necessary changes, that would have been optimistic enough, without the unfortunate channeling of John Mc Cain. She may have been a little flummoxed by Mr. Gregory's badgering when she danced around his questions. Best imitation of Tim Russert I've seen. He did the same to Eric Cantor a few minutes later.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  41. David

    Yes it is good, Obama wants everybody to know how the economy is he wants all Americans to pitch in ideas to help.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  42. Mel in Ocala, FL

    There is a conflict between we see and hear about the economy every day. On one hand we hear how bad it is, how much worse it's going to become, but on the other hand we see NASCAR running 500 mile races and the Air Force Thunderbirds doing fly-by's overhead, AIG still handing out bonuses and so on.

    If the American people could "see" signs of big business and the government making voluntary cutbacks, such as reducing the number of laps in stock car races by Ten Percent, or the military jet teams using four planes instead of six, we could look at it and say... "We're not out of business, our economy is strong but we need to cut down on the excess a bit". It would send an easily understood signal to all.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  43. Linda in Charleston, SC

    I believe this is a psychology measure taken to try to get this economy moving along, as seeing the glass half full instead of half empty. The problem is job loss which tells its own story. If you cannot get people working and paying their bills as to not have more foreclosures and bank problems there is something very wrong.

    I am not sure what to look for but this stimulus has not shown me that job loss is being remedied.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  44. Jim/NC

    President Obama and his administration can say and do anything they want whether what they say is right or wrong. As many predicted, President Obama is not living up to his campaign rhetoric. Washington will never change!

    March 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  45. odessa

    i think that it's a good idea for now..our economy isn't to overcome by night or a month..things will take time because americans need jobs to keep their homes and afford quality healthcare..maybe president obama knows something and we don't what it is..we need to be patient and it's going to take time to get out of this rut..i'm sticking with the man that i elected in office not gops..

    March 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  46. Sandra fromTexas

    It depends. If the administration really feels that it is the truth, then it is a good idea. On the other hand, if it is just rhetoric, then not so much.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  47. Eddie in NC.

    Jack (we the people) can not have it both ways, we ask for an administration that does not lie to us but if that news is not what we want to hear then we complain. So (me the people) want it unsugarcoated so I will know where I stand.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  48. LUCY - ILLINOIS

    It's a darned if I do and darned if I don't situation. The Repubs were saying he was too pessimistic a week ago. I'm sure our President is saying what he thinks and not what the Repubs want to hear and to happen. They want him to fail. The GOP had 8 years to dig this hole and they think he should get us out in 5 weeks? Give him as much time as they did Bush.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  49. Dave in Astoria

    Jack: Considering the options and the skittish banking sector, the Obama people can't say" The sky is falling "because it would and they can't say " Duck and run " because the Chinese would pull the plug, so the best option is to be optimistic. The mainstream Americans have to have some hope and I, for one, hope he's on the right track. The alternatives are truly disturbing.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  50. john

    jack to be honest obama is right. the economy is not that bad and it will get better. i live in chicago and i could get a different job tomorrow if i wanted.

    its only bad for the greedy rich people who lost billions in the stock market and the stupid middle class people who lived beyond their income racking up tons of debt.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  51. Terry in Iowa

    First, as you point out, the Obama administration didn’t say the economy was sound. They said that there are some fundamentals that are. They also specifically communicated that unless we stabilize the banking industry, it will be near impossible to turn the economy around. Ben Bernanke was quite blunt with this assessment.

    Secondly, it would appear they can’t win for losing. Two weeks ago, the talking heads attacked the President because his administration was too negative on the economy. This weekend, they're being too positive. What the hell do you people want.

    I can only hope he continues to tell us what we need to hear and ignores the talking heads.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  52. Smitty O'Loughlin

    Great orators need not know what they are talking about...people just want to hear them talk and they love to hear themselfs talk..and then there are car salesmen...tell you what you want to hear to justify why you are on their lot...or put him in the White House...it doesn't matter what he states as his opinion. Reduce unemployment, hold his people accountable, free up lending to the business community and stop spending money then let the bottom line tell the story. In fact lets wait 4-years before we judge and blame Bush for everything, including the sky falling.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  53. Jamara Ross - Los Angeles, CA

    Thought the words used was, the American worker was sound, not the economy.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  54. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Jack, I'd like to see you ask questions that present a positive response from everyone for an entire week then maybe people would be more positive. They are just trying to create some positive vibes with people and live in the solution instead of the problem. Don't worry be happy.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  55. JS

    Probably not, but a populace that wants instant gratification like this one has been crying that he is not upbeat enough, so he has to act like Mom – always look on the bright side of life!

    March 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  56. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    Yeah, the honesty card can be overplayed. In truth, the fundementals of the American economy are sound. After an over-reactionary slide in the market, an over-reactionary series of job cuts, a couple of rounds of that and we are ripe for growth again. Actually, we have always done extremely well after a recession. When $45 Billion dollar mergers are taking place, it is a good sign that we are on the mend. If you recall, the problem was the COMBINED effect of Credit Default Swaps and Sub-primes. Both are no longer factors. The real remaining problem is the FEAR.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  57. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    I think the economy is likened to JELLO. Throw some hot water on it. See how fast it melts. I would almost need to know what FUND – A – MENTALS They want to fund. No, I do not think it is a good thing for the Obama Administration to mirror John McCain's assessment of the economy. How anyone could look at the condition of this economy and say it is sound, ESCAPES ME!!..

    There are some VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS that need to be fixed in this country. One of them is The Play on Words!!

    Ron San Diego

    March 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  58. Christine, Edmeston NY

    Frankly, it baffles me. Whose economic report du jour are we supposed to be listening to? If forewarned is forearmed, it sure ain't no help when the "facts" are so easily flexible.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  59. Chris - Savannah GA

    If he was a true leader, he would have said it when John McCain said just a few months ago. Now, the adminstration appears that they don't know what they are doing and are reacting to populist opinion polls, for the sake of presidential popularity. Telling the country what they would like to hear rather than genuine leadership is no way to govern.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  60. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    I think that President Obama should keep calling it like it is. If things become more dire then say so when it happens but not as a prediction of things to come. At the present time, based on the economy of other nations, I think our economy is sound and the measures being taken may well prove to make it better in the long run.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  61. Ed from White Plains, NY

    Do you want the administration to continue to be doom and gloom and the naysayers of our country, or should the American people be given hope by its president so they feel comfortable in spending and getting the economy back on track? Enough of political jabbing. Get money flowing again!

    March 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  62. George, Dunedin, Florida

    No, that would just being saying some of the same that the Bushies tried to snow us with. The American people have gotten a whole lot smarter the last few years, and are not going to put up with a pack of lies, just because they sound good, and believe me they have the power to do something about it should it come to it. THe working man/woman has stopped just worrying so much about their check each week, and has taken a great deal of notice in their government, and without the working man/woman there would be any other powers.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  63. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    President Obama did not call the economy sound. He said "markets are fundamentally strong" which is NOT the same thing. John McCain said the ECONOMY was strong, not our markets. BIG DIFFERENCE.

    Why is it that the GOP and/or media seize on some sound bite like a pit bull with a new fuzzy toy without spending any time comprehending the content of the statement?

    March 16, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  64. Bit in Alabama

    No, the economy is not sound and Obama needs to keep telling it like it really IS! That's the problem we had with the Bush Administration......he didn't have the guts to tell the American people how things really were with the Iraq war and couldn't apologize to us that he made a mistake going there.

    That's right Obama.....be real with us and be honest about how you see things. We will respect you more.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  65. Diane Glasser

    I am not sure but at least the public is better informed. All we need now is for the government to get rid of the upper management at AIG.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  66. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, President Obama is calling it the way it is. The econony is screwed up because the financial industry decided to "gamble" with the money and now we find out that both AIG and the Banks played the tax payers for a fool. The banks made bad decisions and hedged their bets with AIG. AIG on the other hand took those bets from the banks, without proper collatteral to cover those bets, knowing full well if the thing went sour they are too big to fail and the tax payer would have little choice but to bail them out. To add insult to injury, they awarded themselves "bonuses" for their bad behavior. So President Obama will call the economy sound when the economy is truly sound. In the meantime, President Obama has little choice but to tell the American people the truth and that we will get through all of this, but it will take some time.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  67. Leanna R.

    NO, it is a very bad idea to sugar coat stuff. I wish that the elected officials would just stop doing that. Quit sugar coating, let us know how things REALLY are. But then, if we heard that dreaded d word (depression) it just might make things worst.

    Leanna R
    Nicholasville, KY

    March 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  68. Mark McLaughlin from New York City

    How can you call the economy "sound" until you can describe the size of the economy after all of the bad debt has been cleared away?

    Maybe the pendulum has swung too far from lending to anybody towards lending to nobody, but each day brings another headline about another major company that has no idea how bad its own situation is.

    The bottom is not the stock market. The bottom is the size of the economy when the over-reliance on debt is removed. That includes getting the US Government's debt rationalized as well. Until we can be sure that the US Government itself is not going to be the next AIG, Lehman Brothers or General Motors, we should not be saying that the economy is sound.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  69. Nancy, Tennessee

    For Americans it is vital that we believe that our economy is sound. If we are running scared, the economy will suffer and things will continue to deteriate. I'm glad that there is some positive messages coming from Washington. I think, people need to use good buying practices and not spend unwisely, but if someone budgeted for a new automobile this year, I hope they buy it to help save jobs. If all spending comes to a screeching halt because we are afraid, then the worst is yet to come. Confidence in our economy is crucial. Thanks to President Obama for the encouraging word.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  70. Doug From Toronto

    First, let me start by saying I have no use for Obama and his administration. That being said, I believe that calling the state of the economy sound is the first sensible thing that administration has said. Psychology plays a huge part in how consumers and investors operate in bleak economic times. When you've heard nothing but negative spin from politicians and main stream media, CNN included, for months, a little optimism is refreshing to say the least.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  71. Terry- Greensburg, IN

    Jack–The way it really is:

    If your referring to the 'common people' YES!

    If your inferring banks, finance companys, mortage companys, American auto manufactures-and all others that got handouts NO!

    March 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  72. Cindy

    He's trying to give us hope to hang on til next year. In other words... a 1 year Great Depression, not 10.

    I'l go for that. That's reason enough for optimism for me.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  73. Chris from Buffalo, N.Y.

    It's amazing how much a person's ideas can change when he moves from being a presidential candidate to actually being the president. It is a good idea for Mr. Obama's political future to say that the economy is fundamentally sound. With each passing day, this economy becomes less and less the "Bush economy" and more and more the "Obama economy." If he were to claim that the fundamentals of the economy are not sound, the obvious response would be, "why not, and what have you done, or what are you going to be doing in the near future, to remedy this fact?" That's a question that no politician, including Mr. Obama, wants to touch with a ten foot pole.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  74. Jan From NJ

    Funny how it is sound after the election ! If he had said that earlier, McCain might be president !

    March 16, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  75. Chris from NY

    Jack, the media like to play gottcha. This was exactlly the same thing the media did when he announced during the campaign that he will tweak his Iraq policies when he travels to Iraq and listens to the commanders on the ground. There is a difference between "sound" and "strong". He never said the fundamentals of our econmy is strong but sound due to all the elemnts he put in place since taking office. If he had said anything different the media would ahve still accused him of not trusting his own plans on how to get us out of this economic crisis.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  76. Georgia from PA

    Maybe the Obama Administration knows something we don't, afterall, we're only living it out here on Main Street.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  77. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Look where we are today, Jack. Government is clueless and has been for decades. We got 'change' for sure. We have gone from bad to worse. Re-election is all that matters to them.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  78. frankie

    He didn't say the economy is sound. I'm glad he talks to the public as much as he does, in spite of the fact every syllable is being dissected.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  79. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    Jack,
    He has to say things like that. Wall Street follows his every word and when that word is bad, they react with the Dow Jones sinking.

    March 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  80. Meagan- Baltimore, Md

    After (hopefully) 5 days of a rebounding stock market, it sure seems sounder than it has in months, but I'm afraid if Obama thinks that after 50-something days in office he has turned our economy around, he is quite naive. It is getting there, but I have higher expectations for our economy than this.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  81. Melissa

    I think she means that its sound as in that it has a good base to build on of good workers and good technology so it will recover. She just said it wrong.

    So its both wrong and right. I don't think she thought before she spoke.

    Not to mention, the word "sound" is much different from the word "strong".

    People had a problem with McCain because he said "strong" and then the market crashed. Ignoring the difference in terminology changes the meaning of the words when it shouldn't. If you actually look at the words used, and use the dictionary, it makes much more sense.

    The problem is that the Republicans hate to actually read the real terminology of anything because they want it to mean what they want it to mean. Facts don't figure into their mindset.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  82. Darren

    You would think after the whooping Sen. McCain took calling the economy sound, the Obama administration would be a little more careful with their choice of words.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  83. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    He didn't say the economy was sound. He said there are aspects of the economy that are sound. That doesn't mean there aren't problems with other aspects. I wish everyone would stop twisting his words to make it seem as if he is saying the same thing that McCain said during the campaign.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  84. Big D BunkerVille, Northern Mn

    Jack, with All these Anti-Obama People out there, I think It's Good for Obama to be As Evasive + Deceptive as They are. We May Even Hear them use the Rev. Wright made Popular Term; "DIVISIVE" that Rhymes with
    'Permissive' rather than 'Decisive.'

    I LOVE IT; "DI-VISIVE" with a short 'i'. Anti-Obama People Showing No Confidence make Me Feel Militantly "Divisive!"

    March 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  85. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Wow... Just a couple of weeks ago, everyone was crying that the admistration was adding to the downturn by NOT being more positive... Now they are ranting because the administration is saying that "certain aspects of the economy are sound"....

    March 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  86. Karen - Tennessee

    We should sound this out, because it sounds like the administration wants to make it sound like the economy is sounder than it sounds on CNN.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  87. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    Obama is simply trying to put a positive face on the economy – everyone is very scared and depressed at this point and a bit of positive news is welcome. He's not saying the economy is healthy and growing at this stage, and he's certainly made it very clear that it will take some time for the U.S. economy to climb itself out of this economic crisis.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  88. Susan from Twn Falls Idaho

    Time will tell, but gloom and doom isn’t a positive approach to any situation. What we need now is The Audacity of Hope. The Bush administration was in power for eight long years and to my recollection it didn’t withstand the scrutiny that is being put on the new one. What President should be saying is get off my donkey and ride yours on out of here.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  89. NANCY M.- Colorado

    He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't depend on who is shooting off their mouths. He probably knows more about the state we are in than all of us put together.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  90. maria, los angeles

    Come on Jack it is sound, regardless of the job loss and the economic crises we are better off than most nations try going to spain or italy
    et's not make a big issue out of it or twist his remarks. the depresion of the 20s and 30s was 25 percent unemployment we are not even close to 10 percent. the day the CEO's of corporate world lose their mansions to forclosure then we know we are in trouble. if i ever see you or Wolf Blitzer lose their job then we know...

    March 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  91. Jeannette, USA via Toronto

    People willing to work, is what makes a country sound.
    Change in venue as far as corruption and greed with the Floaters at the Top of the Heap, along with the failed system on Wall Street.
    As the USA needs to change the total way of thinking and getting away from the ME AND ONLY ME THOUGHTS! In returning to the WE FACTOR as in thinking together for ALL THE PEOPLE!
    The country is heading for the typical DIVIDE AND CONQUER STATUS QUO scenario, as it is very close now!
    So buckle up the ride is going to be Rough!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  92. KAREN WEIDEMANN

    Not even former President Bush gives a rats ass what pathetic Dick Cheney has to say. Why even give him air time. At least addiction crazed Rush has his oun show to blather to the radical right. Karen in Bloomington Minnesota

    March 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  93. Thomas

    Barack was simply stating that we need to focus on our economic strengths, which is very different than saying that the economy is sound.

    Las Vegas, NV

    March 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  94. Diane Sykstus

    He has been criticized for making depairing comments about the economy and now he is criticized for trying to present hope. He really cannot win with you people in the media.
    Diane

    March 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  95. Mickey-Texas

    Actually President Obama never said, "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." What he said was," that we need to focus on the funamental strong parts of the economy and go from there."

    "Hardly the fundamentals of the economy is strong," Stop reading into things and start listening! Dang Caff!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  96. KAREN WEIDEMANN

    The White House can do something about the Bonus question. He can make them 100% taxable for at least the last two years. Karen in Bloomington Minnesota

    March 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  97. Larry from Kansas

    Jack,
    Imagine, a week of no negative comments from politicians and media.
    The results would be the biggest market rally week on record.
    Think positive,

    Larry from Kansas

    March 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  98. Vinay

    Jack,
    I am going to respond to your question with one of my own: Should the Obama administration call this recession what it is really turning out to be – another depression?

    Vinay

    March 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  99. Paula in Albuquerque

    God...It's "false optimism", or mass suicide! Take your pick...

    March 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  100. bill in Texas

    Jack,
    For tax payer supported corporate executives who are enjoying the millions given them to reward their: corruption, failure, greed and fraud; The economy is great.

    For us tax payers the story is different. We face; unemployment, falling wages, rising medical costs and the potential loss of our homes.

    We all (except Republicans as led by their spokes-person Limbaugh) hope to see recovery soon and the success of the Recovery and Re-Investment program of the Obama administration.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  101. Roy - Chicago IL

    Jack, the only thing we know for sure...WHATEVER the Obama administration says about the economy, SOMEONE is going to question what was said. And...from what economic point of view (e.g. supply-side) are your comments made from? As we know there are two totally economic philospohies on this recovery.....
    Two weeks ago CNN was pounding on this same issue saying Obama should be more positive!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  102. Mike Weiss

    Thank you for tearing the covers off our government on a regular basis. (And Thank you for not being Rush Limbaugh!!) (Safety Harbor, FL)

    March 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  103. Sherri Illinois

    I think the Obama administration is damn if they do and damn if they don't. At first the media was complaining about no optimism was coming from the President, that everything he said was doom & gloom. NOW thats he's attempting to sound upbeat & optimistic then you guys are complaining about what his team is saying as far as trying to be upbeat. I'm getting sick of the media nitpicking on EVERY word someone says. Sen. McCain said back in September when the economy was in the toilet, that the fundamentals of the economy are STRONG! thats a far cry 6 mos later saying the fundamentals of the economy are looking SOUND by Ms. Romer! Sometimes the MSM tries too hard to MAKE a story where there is no story. You guys in the MSM have too much time on your hands, maybe you should go back to Rush Limbaugh because he always good for a story.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  104. David M. Shields

    no word's will change what wrong or can be corrected, it a mess? chin -up let move on turn the page-next Question!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  105. Laura Novakovics

    I think it's time to talk things up. When McCain said the fundamentals of our economy were strong, he was denying a fact we needed to face – that it was sinking fast. Now comes the job of pulling it back up. I don't see how looking at the brighter side can hurt. After all, we are all aware of the darker side.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  106. LInda in Bisbee, Arizona

    If he doesn't say it's sound, you all attack him for being too pessimistic, and trying to "scare" us. If he says things are basically sound, or anything positive, you shout that he's not taking it seriously enough, and probably doesn't understand the situation. If I were Obama, i'd just say, "Screw you. Figure it out for yourselves."

    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  107. MAC

    .
    Come on Jack it is sound, regardless of the job loss and the economic downfall we are better off than most nations try going to Spain or Italy, nevermind third world country like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. colombia and brazil, OMG.. and poor cuba.
    and Haiti.
    let’s not make a big issue out of it or twist his remarks. The great depresion was 25 percent unemployment, we are not even close to 10 percent. the day the CEO’s of corporate world lose their mansions to forclosure then we know we are in trouble. if i ever see you or Wolf Blitzer lose their job then we know…

    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  108. Mary Ruth Kolk

    I heard that comment by someone in the Obama administration and almost fell off my chair. Hey, hey, hey! I believe in you guys – Please DO NOT ape the comments made by that other administration. It makes you look pretty stupid. It's called THINK BEFORE you speak. Yikes!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  109. Kerry Diehl

    As much of a good idea as McCain's during the campaign.

    ....The laughable difference is the "media" will love Obama for it!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  110. Laura Novakovics

    I think it's time to talk things up. When McCain said the fundamentals of our economy were strong, he was denying a fact we needed to face – that it was sinking fast. Now comes the job of pulling it back up. I don't see how looking at the brighter side can hurt. After all, we are all aware of the darker side.

    Ontario

    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  111. Surafel

    Not until the public is made aware of how much toxic assets are out there and their exact market values, it is not a good idea.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  112. A. Davis

    He is walking a tightwire. If he does pessimism, then people panic. If he expresses optimism, then it sounds like he's Pollyanna. Poor guy–what a mess he inherited. I don't think he actually said the economy is sound–he said, I think, his administration is taking all the steps to get the economy back to being sound.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  113. eric

    Obama was getting heat for being too negative now he's getting heat for being too positve...how about we let the man do his job and if you think you can do a better job run for office..

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  114. BUZZARDSKORNER

    It is the responsibiity of the President to be a cheerleader for the Ctry, and it is his place to put faith into our workers.....this is a very different time than when the stock market fell and McCain said what he did on that same day.....

    We need to have faith....that is what this experience will is telling us.....take our faith out of the market and put it in ourself instead!!

    BUZZARDSKORNER

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  115. Jordan

    I'm Jordan from Memphis, TN. After eight years of a president I was unable to trust, I believe in our new president and if his administration says the economy is sound, then that's fine.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  116. Darnell Boursiquot

    I think it's a good idea because the country needs as much optimism as it can get, and it needs to come from the White House otherwise people will not trust our economy and they won't invest in our markets. So Obama is projecting very well that image of optimism we voted for.
    From Boca Raton, FL

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  117. William Smith

    Cafferty you liar! Obama did not say that "the economy is fundementally sound." He said that "there are sound aspects to the economy." He didn't indicate that it is in any way doing well.

    Can't you find a real story to report with real facts instead of misquoting to try and make one up.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  118. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Jack I do believe that you are a member of the Rush Limbaugh Fan Club. I believe that you want Obama to fail. Every day you try to be cute and suggestive in your choice of Questions. It is rather obvious that you are not in any way supportive of any attempt by the current administration to solve the problem. The economy is as sound as it possible could be after all the damage done to it by Bush and people like you.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  119. Steven Cravis

    Yes, it's a good idea for the Obama administration to say the economy is sound, as it expresses the confidence he has in this administration's economic recovery plans.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  120. Susan - Plano, TX

    Jack,

    Definitely. Strategically, first step is to acknowledge where we are, then deal with it and then to inspire the public with courage that we are in this together and will work this through together as good Americans.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  121. Mike in Akron, OH

    Was it not last week many were saying quit talking the economy down? China is already concerned and might cash in those chips.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  122. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    It don't matter what Obama says as long as we have CNN trying to run the economy like this stupid question. Jack – how low can you go?

    Maurice
    Two Rivers, Wisconsin

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  123. Russell

    Why shouldn't Obama say the base is sound. Bush said it and we all know how politicians are very capable of talking with forked tongues. While we are at it Jack, tell the people who the major shareholders of the federal reserve are. I am sure that the media knows.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  124. Jim Nelson

    Its the "psychological" stupid!! Sound uplifting and the world will beat a close drum to improvement.

    Psychology dictates we sound the high note, make folks feel better in spite of the disasters we are seeing, and with the government funding, things will appear to be better, subsequently, hopefully, will be better.
    Go Obama!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  125. Matt Lord

    Jack, I think it is important that the Obama administration be positive when talking about the economy, however I believe it is equally important for them not to use some of the same terminology that the Bush administration used.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  126. Mr Dean n Seattle

    I believe the Obama administration more the the hunt for WMD's in the previous cult.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  127. JB

    Maybe I heard a different speech than you? I believe I heard President Obama say that certain aspects of our economy are fundamentally sound? I don't think that saying aspects are fundamentally sound is the same as saying the 'economy' is fundamentally sound. Certainly, your 'sound bite' is a lot more interesting and makes better fodder for you in the press doesn't it?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  128. Kimberly

    Yes, I do think it is wise to tell us that the economy is sound, we need to hear some positive news. Hearing only negative news day after day only makes things get worse and hurts consumer confidence. We all know that is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, so we need to know that our leaders are confident in the recovery process which appears to be taking place, albiet slowly but at least I do see a glimmer of hope. I believe Pres. Obama is doing a wonderful job so far.
    Kimberly
    Kona, Hawaii

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  129. Mark in Texas

    John McCain lost the election, in part, because he said the fundamentals of the economy are sound. It showed a man with 8 houses has a detachment from the real world. Unless she owns 8 houses, it may reflect plain ignorance.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  130. nancy keenan-Rich

    President Obama has been criticized for not being optimistic enough.
    Now he's being criticized for trying to sound upbeat. He qualified his
    comments sufficiently to let the country know we are not out of this mess
    but that there are some positive indications. Give the guy a break!
    George Bush would have collapsed under the pressure Obama is
    now under.
    Nancy from Poughkeepsie, NY

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  131. Sam Hillside NJ

    Jack make up your mind. A little over a week ago you asked is the white house being too negative on the economy and causing the Dow to tank everyday then the Obama Administration started to sound more optimistic and now you're asking if that is right for them to do that. Make up your mind and if you need help coming up with questions let me know.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  132. Robert

    Just a few weeks ago, people were complaining about Obama talking so negatively about the economy, and now that he spews a little optimism, people complain about that. We are never satisfied.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  133. Ken - - Neotsu, OR

    NO, we have months to go before this mess is over, and then we will have the pleasure of paying back all the debt from the many bailouts.

    By the way Cheney was correct about the attempted regulation of Fanny May and Freddy Mac. The democrats prevented any regulation – – – which resulted in the housing bubble, and then the bubble burst.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  134. Karen J. Hinton

    Obama should say what is really go on. I think most americans know the real deal and as our President he should not lie to us.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  135. RLT

    Jack;

    I don't know what the economy really is since the way they calculate GDP is a joke and there is so much credit factored in... who knows.
    All I can say is if the economy is the average guys wallet... the economy sucks.

    RLT

    March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  136. Hiro Mirchandani

    Jack, this is about some other topic.
    There is a way to get back the bonus being paid to the AIG employees.

    The congress should pass the folloiwng legislation, immediately.

    ANY RECIPIENT OF BONUS IN THE YEAR 2009 WHO WORKED FOR A COMPANY WHICH RECEIVED BAILOUT MONEY, WILL HAVE HIS/HER BONUS TAXED AT 80%, 90%, OR ANY HIGH PERCENTAGE. THAT WAY WE WILL NOT BE DISHONOURING THE CONTRACTS AIG HAS WITH ITS EMPLOYEES, BUT GET MOST OF THE MONEY BACK. HIRO.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  137. Kelli

    Jack

    Why is everything that comes out of the administration is gotcha question with the press. The press is so ready for the president to fail just as the crazy Rupublicans are

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  138. Brian

    Am I the only one who sees a big difference between saying that the economy (as a whole) is sound and saying, as Obama did, that there are "sound aspects" of the economy? To say that some aspects are sound does that mean that there aren't others that are unsound and need to be overhauled. I think it's appropriate to point out strengths that we can build on, along with weaknesses we must correct; as a teacher, this is what I do with problematic work from students.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  139. Ken in NC

    Well the Obama Administration is in a better position now than back in October of last year to say this. The economy also needs a positive boost and that is a good boost as long as it doesn’t come from Arizona.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  140. Alan, in Alabama

    Was it a good idea when President Bush said last September the economy was basically sound? No; if you're a Republican it's not a good idea to gaff. O'Bama's cool, though. We'll give him a pass.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  141. Stephen Miller

    Jack,

    You wouldn't have a show I guess if you didn't find someone to beat up on with your populist banter, however the next time you go after the only hope we've had since "w"., you ought to be honest about your quotes. Obama said something to the effect that his administration wants to focus on the fundamentals that are strong. Your problem is not that the glass is half empty, it is that there is no glass.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  142. Lawrence

    No, it is not a good idea. Clearly, someone pointed out that they've been too gloom and doom regarding the economy and they're trying to give it a more positive spin.

    It's like the captain of the Titanic telling the passengers that the ship is sinking from a 300 foot gash, but the non-gashed part of the hull is still fundementally sound, so everything is going to be fine and dandy.

    Yet another White House administration that thinks the american people are idiots...

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  143. Ron

    Why not? What can you say to the little guy to make him feel better? Maybe this will encourage the people who already have theirs to stimulate the economy.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  144. Joe Parker

    Since the IRS & IMF are part of the UN and, Social Security cards are issued by the IMF which serves as the US treasury; doesn't that make the US and its debts part of the UN?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  145. Karyn

    Jack, I really respect you however your questions are becoming too schizophrenic. At first CNN is asking is President Obama being too negative regarding the economy a few weeks ago and he should be more upbeat. Now he is more upbeat, you are asking is he too upbeat. You all also ask is he trying to do too much instead of focusing on the economy only. If he focused only on the economy and not the other problems ths country face: health care, education, housing, terrorism, international conflicts; you will be asking is not only laser focused on one thing. Remember during the campaign, President Obama said a president must be able to do more than one thing. An effective leader must be able to multi-task and surround himself around great people.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  146. Beverly

    Jack,

    Give me a break!
    Last week the media was reporting "Obama is too Grim on the economy".. Now they are too optimistic???????????????

    Beverly
    Phoenix,AZ

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  147. Mary Texas

    Despite the economical mess we are in left over from the Bush bunch, I think Oboma should sound positive ..things could be tanking. When he warns of the problems we face, the news media calls him negative so make up your mind,,,I really think the media reports the news the way it wants ,

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  148. barbara Kristof

    First every reporter and commentator on CNN criticizes President Obama for not being optimistic enough. And then, when he expresses some hope and optimism, you criticize him for not being realistic. What exactly do you want from the man?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  149. Dave

    Listen to Obama's quite again. He didn't actually say that the fundamentals of the economy are sound. He said they were concentrating on 'aspects' of the economy that are fundamentally sound such as workers and technology. That's two very different things.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  150. Bill Skiles

    The economy is either sound or it is unsound. There is no third choice. Do you want them to say the economy is "unsound". Unless you expect the foundations of our nation's economy to be structurally unsound the only answer you can give is the "sound" word.

    It's all meaningless babble generated by journalists in search of a story.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  151. Americahopes

    Yes! We are not in a Depression and the Country is not near Bankruptcy! Let stop the analytical criticism and let's encourage this Obama administration.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  152. Marie

    Jack,

    It's all in the essence of the word. The word 'sound' is like a doctor that says after a patient gets out of surgery and intensive care, "they are in stable condition." Doesn't mean they can go out and dance the night away, but in time they will recover because they are weak and need to strengthen. So I feel that the statement last week about the economy being weak, and this weekend being sound because of the American people are congruent in nature. You can be sound, and still vulnerable.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  153. Marie

    Jack,

    It’s all in the essence of the word. The word ’sound’ is like a doctor that says after a patient gets out of surgery and intensive care, “they are in stable condition.” Doesn’t mean they can go out and dance the night away, but in time they will recover because they are weak and need to strengthen. So I feel that the statement last week about the economy being weak, and this weekend being sound because of the American people are congruent in nature. You can be sound, and still vulnerable.
    Marie

    March 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  154. Charlie S. Albuquerque NM

    SOUND?? Yes, I believe I hear it. It sounds like the rumbling noise an avalanche creates. Didn't I also hear Obama say, "It will get worse before it getsbetter" ?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  155. Jerry Harris

    They probably need to put that type of talk on hold for at least a year.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  156. BILL, Wisconsin

    If you think the economy will recover at some time in the future, then the economy is fundamentally sound. It isn't a momentary snapshot in time that determines the strength of an economic system, but how it is able to compensate and adjust to a negative situation.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  157. Ben

    Obama is just another crooked politician just like John Mccain. Obama said whatever it took to get elected and now he has turned his back on the american people by siding with John Mccains views of the economy. It OUTRAGES ME! that he thinks that our crappy economy is SOUND! ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I have been out of a job for over 3 months because THERE ARE NO JOBS. 15 million people are out of a job, in Ohio they had to turn people away at a job fair because they couldn't allow anymore people to come inside. the american people are being raped by the federal reserve for more and more money. When are WE the american going get our share of the pie? WHEN? Why not just give everyone in this country a million dollars? that would be roughly $300 million instead of spending 300 trillion dollars. That would solve the banking crisis the mortgage crisis and people would be able to stay in their homes and we could do ALL OF THIS at the fraction of a huge cost. I side with Ron Paul on this issue big time. Our countries economy is not sound and it is one of the most stupid comments Obama has ever made. How sad. Thanks Jack.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  158. Beverly

    Hey Jack,

    Give me a break!
    Last week the media was reporting "Obama is too Grim on the economy", this week he's too "optimistic"..
    Beverly
    Phoenix,AZ

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  159. Greg Mesa

    This may not apply under this heading but anyway:

    Why doesn't the U.S. government quit reacting to everthing going on
    in the world. Who cares if Iran builds a Nuclear Bomb or North Korea
    for that matter. And if the Russians get air bases in South America
    SO WHAT. I think that the world is secretly banding together to take
    down the U.S. using our own stupidity.
    We should just play everything down for a change.
    Even though the media fuels on any excitement,
    this type of fuel is very dangerous.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  160. Kim

    Obama did not say the economy was sound. He said there are PARTS of the economy that are sound. This is true. Even though things are bad out there it is not good for consumer confidence for the White House to keep painting such a dark picture. Maybe focusing on some positives will help get the wheels that are stuck....in motion again.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  161. Alton Drew

    Jack:

    Whether it is a good idea to say that the economy is sound depends on which audience Mr. Obama is speaking to. He cannot be speaking to the American public, who have been told time and time again that the current administration has inherited a mismanaged economy. He must be speaking to Europe, who he desparately wants to buy into the idea of commiting 2% of their GDP to a worldwide stimulus package. If stimulus is working for the United States, it can work for Europe also. John McCain must be saying, "see, I told you so."

    Alton E. Drew
    Atlanta

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  162. Robert

    Jack, how can claim that this is the worst recession since the great depression? Have you looked at the leading economic indicators as provided by the conference board lately, or how about the unemployment rate which is nowhere near the level it was during the 1930’s? Please stop misleading the American public by claiming that the recession of 2009 is similar to that of the great depression.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  163. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack
    That is a tough question;I do not see fault in saying that.Most folks know that we are in the process of fixing things.I think it is fine to
    be positive about our situation.Your question is;"is it a good idea"
    Yes I guess so,I see no harm in that.
    David Bebeau

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  164. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    I think Obama's people better lay low.Some how I think some one knows what is going on. Aig don't want to get the people to quit,and go to other companys.Something smells bad,The company lose money and they want to keep them.as greedy as people are for money,every one don't know anything

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  165. Joe King

    Jack,

    You and other members of the press are chastising President Obama and his staff for suggesting that the economy was "basically sound."

    Aren't you the same people who, two weeks ago, were chastising President Obama and his staff for being so negative about the economy?

    Apparently you and other members of the press are allowed to have a double standard. The American people are desperate for ANY sign of good news. Citi Banks indication that they were actually making money in the first quarter stirred up a short term rally that left millions feeling a lot better.

    Stop flip-flopping back and forth on this bad economy/good economy question. President Obama only took office on Jan 20th, less than two months ago. As you have observed more than once, this is a complicated problem which will not be resolved instantly.

    Perhaps, with the president and his staff providing positive feedback, it will initiate a self-fullfilling prophecy.

    Joe King
    West Virginia

    March 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  166. Dave

    Listen to Obama’s quote again. He didn’t actually say that the fundamentals of the economy are sound. He said they were concentrating on ‘aspects’ of the economy that are fundamentally sound such as workers and technology. That’s two very different things.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  167. jim

    I believe the President in right some of the aspects of our economy are not in as bad of shape as wall street.
    I think it is important not to just focus on the bad aspects all the time,
    sometimes you need to focus on whats is good .

    March 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  168. John Crowley

    Jack
    With all the negativity that is out there, I"m tired of the pessimistic news out there. The more u talk down the economy the longer it takes for a recovery to take place, What people where mad at last fall was the complete disregard of the facts and no warning to the people that the economy was in trouble, Dick Cheney had said just one week before the collapse of the markets and banks that everything was ok, when I already knew it wasn't, I've been in retail for 20 yrs and i knew we were headed into recession late febuary 2008, and was confirmed in Oct. 2008. Obama has told us it will be painful straight up, Now it's time to find the positive aspects of our economy after all this doom and gloom, otherwise nobody is going to want to take a risk in this market.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  169. Greg Mesa

    Why don't the Feds go after all of the Madoff investors who made profits as well and take everything except for their initial investment.
    They profited from ill gotten gains. It's not right that the Feds focus only on those who lost money.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  170. Tom--small town near Atlanta

    He did not call the economy sound, what He said was that He and his economic advisors were concentrating on THOSE PARTS of the economy which ARE sound. He did not say the economy as a whole is sound.
    It is really frustrating to hear all of the mis-quotes ever since he made the statement. Why is it so difficult for the supposedly intelligent and supposedly educated media to understand the english language.
    could it be just the need to twist Obama's words simply to create a negative stir and create drama where there should be none?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  171. Kjvin

    Of course its a good idea a president that has shown the american people actual results is something we have not seen in a long time. saying we have a sound economy is accurate you dont see tent citys poping up in washington do you?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  172. Beau in Fredericksburg Virginia

    It is unwise to make such a statement considering the current administration's dedication to the same failed policies of the Bush administration. I am anticipating a tax revolt and a commercial real estate crisis before this insanity is through. Meanwhile, Americans are still waiting for the promised "change".

    March 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  173. Lisa in Laurel, MD

    I wish the media would get it straight! The President didn't say that the economy is sound, we specifically said, "the fundamentally sound ASPECTS of the economy...." It's a real disservice for media outlets to misquote ANY president, but especially one presiding over THIS economy. Jack, I'm surprised at you!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  174. Anthony...NJ

    Business, Jack, is ninety percent confidence and ten percent optimism. Apparently president Obama learned this lesson a little late after the market plummeted during his initial forays of a doomsday scenario. He's simply imputing the necessary positive forecasts to force financiers to reinvest in America. Unlike Bush, Obama has a learning curve.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  175. John Crowley Elkton, Md.

    Jack
    With all the negativity that is out there, I”m tired of the pessimistic news out there. The more u talk down the economy the longer it takes for a recovery to take place, What people where mad at last fall was the complete disregard of the facts and no warning to the people that the economy was in trouble, Dick Cheney had said just one week before the collapse of the markets and banks that everything was ok, when I already knew it wasn’t, I’ve been in retail for 20 yrs and i knew we were headed into recession late febuary 2008, and was confirmed in Oct. 2008. Obama has told us it will be painful straight up, Now it’s time to find the positive aspects of our economy after all this doom and gloom, otherwise nobody is going to want to take a risk in this market.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  176. James McDowall

    Hi Jack, there's a very important distinction to make when regarding Christina Romer's recent comments and those of John McCain's during the election. Ms. Romer did not make her comments until after the stimulus bill had been passed and it's in this context that her comments must be considered. John McCain made his comments in the context that "everything was fine" and that no such stimulus was necessary – this and the broader economic philosophical difference is of course what the election was fought over and make no mistake, the good guys won.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  177. Bob

    Even if the economy is basically sound, the adminstration would be better off not making the claim to keep political ammunition away from Rush Limbaugh.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  178. esme

    No not a good idea. The american public has been so lied to in the past. I.believe that we are on thee edge still at this point in time.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  179. Lisette

    Well Jack, the truth is still true unspoken, but hope is a serious survival tool. Realistic hope also has a calming effect. Our President understands this.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  180. -Nioshii-

    Those in the media who can’t understand the difference between what President Obama said and what (losing) Candidate McCain said, are as clueless as AIG executives. Saying that everything is strong and fundamentally fine while it’s burning down around you (McCain) is clearly not the same as explaining which specific things you’re focusing on strengthening, and saying that those aspects are fundamentally sound as you’re putting out the fire.

    We have important things to focus on without making stuff up or confusing matters. I think that CNN execs must think that because ratings were high during the 2008 election, they want to keep re-running the campaign using McCain, Cheney et al . It’s over, Obama won, and he’s fast-breaking down the court. Keep up, people! ~N~

    March 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  181. carrie

    yes we all need some good news right now even if it is just a start

    March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  182. Peter Benton

    Jack,
    When I was a young man my father gave me a piece of advise that at the time I did not fully comprehend. He told me " Peter, Never get any higher off the ground than you want to fall."

    I thought he was talking about ladders and trees of course, but as it turns out the same logic applies whether you are talking about ladders or promises or contracts or what ever.

    Based on the pile of false promises of the past few years, I would venture to say we are very very far off the ground. My advise to Presiden Obama is to be very careful not to set up any more ladders until we reach the ground.

    Hemet Ca.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  183. alan jones

    No please don't tell me is just raining ,when u are really urinating on me. The economy is not sound. I'm so insulted when politician or anybody for that fact,tries to sugar coat or give a fancy name to a situation. People are losing their jobs.houses,life savings,and are not hopeful that this economy is going to get better soon. Mr president what about my mother who is 80years old on a very fixed income who is day by day loosing her retirement and pension. I want u to look her and all american in the eye ,and tell them we have a sound economy. We elected u to fix the country and get us back to financial stability. Note to u mr president. The campaign is over u won!!stop being a politician and do the job we elected u to do. P.s. Stop telling us fairy tales also.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  184. S, Michigan

    It's bad if he talks negative about it; it's bad if he talks postive about it....would it be better if stops talking about it? No! So, let him say what he wants- as long as he talks honestly to us, we can take it. Let's judge by actions and results, not by talk! See what talk got us the last 8 yrs! The Economy Mission is Unaccomplished!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  185. Greg Mesa

    Additionally:

    I think that companies like AIG have figured out how to scam money out of Congress just by scaring the crap out of them. I fail to see how one single insurance company failing could bring down the entire country. I don't think there is one single Congressman who understands what is going on. I think they should all be FIRED.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  186. Tim

    If you would listen closely to what the president actually said, this wouldn't be an issue. He said that he wants to focus on, and help the parts of the economy that are fundamentally sound. He did not say that the economy as a whole is fundamentally sound. We need to weed out the toxic, greed driven, swindlers who have been running this country for a long time!!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  187. Ron D-

    One of the biggest problems we have out here on "Main Street" is all you guys talking about how bad it is. In most places that's just not true.

    Streets in most places are *not* lined with foreclosures. People *can* get home mortgages and other loans. Workers *do* have jobs.

    There's a mess on Wall Street and in the Banking industry that needs overhaul and cleaning up. Certain areas of the country need help. Focus on that and quit telling people on "Main Street" everywhere they are in trouble.

    Too many people believe you without bothering to look out their front window.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  188. wade

    Jack I guess if you are an AIG top manager the ecomomy seems real good ,I think there is some danger in overstating the economy however I think we had a sever over stating of how bad it is and "good words" may lead to more "good news" by restoreing confidence. Wadefrom nova scotia

    March 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  189. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    It looks like the Obama administration is starting to listen to the wrong source, the media.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  190. John Crowley Elkton, Md.

    Jack
    With all the negativity that is out there, I”m tired of the pessimistic news out there. The more u talk down the economy the longer it takes for a recovery to take place, What people where mad at last fall was the complete disregard of the facts and no warning to the people that the economy was in trouble, Dick Cheney had said just one week before the collapse of the markets and banks that everything was ok, when I already knew it wasn’t, I’ve been in retail for 20 yrs and i knew we were headed into recession late febuary 2008, and was confirmed in Oct. 2008. Obama has told us it will be painful straight up, Now it’s time to find the positive aspects of our economy after all this doom and gloom, otherwise nobody is going to want to take a risk in this market......

    March 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  191. Mike from Simi Valley

    Well Jack, you hear but you do not listen. Just because President Obama used some of the same words that McCain used does not mean he said the same thing. Senator McCain made a broad reaching statement saying that the fundamentals of our economy were sound. That was wrong. The President said that there are certain specific elements of our economy that are sound and that we have to take care not to change those elements. He is correct. Similar words that, when used in a dfferent order, mean someting else. Unlike Bush, this President chooses his words very carefully and we would all do well to listen more closely. We have a new administration now but the media covers it as if it were still the old one. C'mon guys, change applies to you too!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  192. Eric, Las Vegas

    One definition lists "fundamental" as the primary or original source of a thing. In this sense, It's true that the economy's fundamental elements, minus government or human involvement, are strong. Let the arguments from the campaign trail go. McCain was right; his timing and context worked against him. Strategically, it was great for campaigning when Obama and Biden spoke against him. They spoke what a lot of people were thinking. Now, they seem to be saying the opposite. But come on... Obama is right, too. Fundamentally, yes, the economy is strong. Campaigns are competitions... arguing semantics is appropriatet. But that is over. Let's just move forward as a unified country. We're arguing semantics while everything is falling down around us. WAKE UP.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  193. Alfred Thornton - Cazadero, CA

    Well, when you really look at what our economy is, our economy is the hard working people in this country; from the person that empty your trash to the person that handle your money. It is all the ordinary people that help to run the companies that are on the stock market.
    We are at the point in this mess that we almost know who is at fault, but we don't have anyone to burn for it. So, we need to move on and make sure this does not happen again. That is what we do. This is nothing compared to the World Wars that we went through. We need to do what we do best pick up the broken parts and mend them as best we can, and decide if this is a road trip we would like to travel again.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  194. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    I guess if that most of the population is employed, everything is "sound." Not sure that is the case in the real world though. Can't have 20 years of outsourcing overseas and expect 2 months of good leadership to fix that.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  195. Ron - Oklahoma

    Jack, I'm surprised at you!

    My God – doesn't anybody LISTEN? President Obama said "We should focus on the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy." That is a FAR cry from saying the economy is sound – as McCain stated. Geez – if he says the economy is poor, he is blasted for being a pessimist. If he says ASPECTS of the economy are sound, he is blasted for being too optomistic. Nobody listens, and everybody wants to pick out one or two words from any speech and condemn the whole speech. It took eight years to get where we are – why should anybody expect to get it fixed in 50 days! Why on earth would ANYBODY want to be our President?

    Ron in Oklahoma

    March 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  196. Benjamin

    O Jack, what do you guys in the media want President and his new administration to say? The administration has made it clear that the economy has been and still is in really tough times. And after every speech by President Obama talking about the "doom and gloom" of the economy, he and his administration have been grilled by the media for these speeches, saying that they are unproductive and just making things worse. But if one his staffers says the "fundamentals" are sound and things are better than they really are, he and his administration gets grilled for that too. What gives.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  197. Frank Obey

    The idea of AIG management getting a bonus is outrageous..We would like you to do anything to stop tis insanity with this company...
    Frank Obey

    March 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  198. Evelyn Jewell

    Well, I wish Obama, would spell out specifically how he's going to get our economy to improve, with jobs etc..

    I don't want to hear more of Obama's empty rhetoric.

    I heard enough of his promises, without real specifics during the campaign.

    I need to hear more, specifics.

    Obama is acting too much like a know it all, without a lot of action.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  199. Doug Price

    Jack,
    This administration's motto has been "CHANGE". Well now if president Obama wants to impress me he need's to do the following,
    1. go after all those money hungry, greedy Wall Street bankers, lock them up next to Bernie, take all their assetts,(gotten illegally), and give them back to the taxpayer as an interest payment on these ridiculus "BAILOUT" policies.
    2. refuse any additional "BAILOUT" requests by AIG,BanksTOO BIG TO FAIL, and Detroit, and have them go into bankrupcy and reorganize, and save my tax dollars for something that makes more sense rather than making me watch a remake of " The Money Pit".
    3. Force the new Justice Dept to do their job, and prosecute All these crook's ( sorry Mr. Nixon) until we finally restore some faith and confidence in our finacial system.
    4. Now, if he's willing to Change the Policies and Practices of all these theives including the one's in the Legislative Branch of government (they still taught civics and government when I went to school), then I might by into his assessment that the economy is sound!
    Until then, I'm sorry, is just business as usual!!!

    Doc
    Moore, Ok

    March 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  200. Marilyn Dzaman

    Oh Jack, not you too....PLEASE get the quote straight. Obama did not say as M,cCain did that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." He said to (paraphrase), we need to focus on those aspects of our economy that ARE fundamentally sound.

    Please recognise the difference and phrase the question to accurately reflect the so-called quotes.

    Oh Jack, I respect your usual take on "what's going on" but this time you are not paying attention!
    Come back Jack!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  201. Joan B

    Those of us who understand what is going on know that Obama does not know what he is doing, & Geither is nothing more than a suit.
    Joan B
    Minnesota

    March 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  202. eric in tucson, az

    The White House needs to make up it's mind? Looks like the media does, too. For weeks news organizations criticized Obama for talking the economy down and urged him to express more optimism. Now he's doing just that, and the media is criticizing him again – this time for showing too much confidence. Just the media playing another game of "gotcha".

    March 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  203. Gigi in Alabama

    Maybe we need to know the meaning of the word "is". But then I think we have heard that statement before, haven't we?
    I really do not care who says what when . . I only want this mess to turn around and start getting better. As you say Jack, "It's getting ugly out there" and our middle class needs help now.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  204. Carmelo - Guilderland NY

    Obama HAS to lie about the economy. It is consumer driven and confidence is key. If he can convince EVERYBODY that things are fine, then, the hope is, everything will be fine.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  205. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    listening to all the news shows to me the urgency to focus the world on facing climate changes and build green economies around the globe...look at all the threats and they are all linked to the power of oil!
    Enough wouldn't say! Don't you think we do not need to repeat the so many mistakes of the political past over and over again! The country needs to lead again about its values and principles to learn from these many situations and start expressing proudly how the true power of a nation lies with its people and how one nation treats its own people and does not lies through any pipelines!

    March 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  206. Julian

    no, I dont think its a good idea , they shouldnt lie to the public. How can America fix the economy and pay off its debts when we owe interest and the interest is greater than the amount of money that is printed. "There is something wrong here".

    March 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  207. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Obama needs to focus on positive outcomes and point to whatever change in the numbers might have a positive impact. I'd like to see Obama setup business consulting teems to help gather small groups of entrepreneurs into viable green businesses. With just a few hundred of these start-up companies up and running and hiring more employees because of increased demand for their green products Obama would have a real example to showcase.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  208. Doug

    Jack,
    Has the government ever told us the truth? They have to make things sound up beat, but in my eyes the worse is yet to come. Stories of the great depression will be small compared to 6.5 billion people waiting on a line for bread and milk. Until the general public has the money to spend, none of these companies getting bailed out will survive. We the people of this country, spending our money is what makes it work. So they can say what they want, the American people are not stupid and have learned how to read between the lines of a politicians speech. I myself have not spent any money I haven't needed too. Just food, house bills and gas for the car. I've taken a second job to make ends meet but don't spend a penny for anything other then my necessities.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  209. Patti Williams

    Not with so many automotive jobs and all the thousands of jobs connected to the industry still hanging in jeopardy. If GM goes under hundreds of thousands will be affected creating more unemployed,more people losing homes,signing up for welfare and food stamps Its going to cost the taxpayer a bundle.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  210. Stephen Miller

    Jack,

    You wouldn’t have a show I guess if you didn’t find someone to beat up on with your populist banter, however the next time you go after the only hope we’ve had since “w”., you ought to be honest about your quotes. Obama said something to the effect that his administration wants to focus on the fundamentals that are strong. Your problem is not that the glass is half empty, it is that there is no glass.

    South Bend, Indiana

    March 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  211. Guy Pennsylvania

    The American people needs to understand what is going on AIG. first, stop asking young people about the economy and bailout plan, because they think they know but do not. What is happening is Treasury Secretary committed fraud. He gave that money away and other companies will do the same. What I am about to tell you is an old democratic-republican playbook. The 166 Million is gone. The current administration is circumventing the system by saying its to late, AIG will not give back the money, but we will attach it to 30 billion dollars to justify this mistake. You will never see that money now but have to wait years. The company and the administration just got away will criminal action. The admininstration should demand that money be returned now, if not all copmpanies will do the same

    March 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  212. Harlan Brooks

    Yes, In this environment you must speak with a positive outlook. I say the glass is half full, not half empty.
    Mechanicsville, VA

    March 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  213. Jeri Wright

    With every passing day, it becomes so obvious that these people have no idea what they are talking about. This Independent voter is regretting her vote.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  214. Obamanomics

    Obama was criticized for being too negative about the economy, now he is being more positive and getting criticized for that. The simple difference is that unlike McCain no one believes Obama does not understand the difficult situation that the Bush administration left behind. And Obama is helping banks, small businesses, homeowners, the unemployed, students, the sick... McCain wanted to do nothing because the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  215. Susan in Tx

    No,but the Admin. is walking a tightrope here.I don't think they have quite figured out how to reassure people and be honest and believable at the same time. I don't envy them in this.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  216. James in TN

    I guess he's gotten the briefings from his advisors, and they've not mention the unemployment rating or the thousands of jobs lost every month and despite a four day up swing on wall street we've still got a long to go.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  217. Donna Rundell

    Well, now, just a few weeks ago, the critics were saying that the Presidents negative comments were driving the economy downward and that he needed to speak more positively about it. So, look who is flip-flopping now. Interesting.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  218. ART BEDFORD PA

    It is a bad Idea. There are some people still left in this country that donot hide their heads in the sand affraid of the truth.
    We want to know the truth as we were told in his campaign.We have the sorriest people in the world in our country.The people that are affraid of the truth and have let this countery get in this sittuation.
    Wake up America you have sold our country and your grand children down the drain.
    Art Rathjens
    Bedford ,Pa

    March 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  219. edwin n.c.

    it may be better to be positive about our economy to encourage the public to start spending again and getting some money back into it.

    this could help toward ending the downward spiral.

    all media being so negative all the time on everything is instilling more and more feer (negativity is not helping the situation)

    also istead of putting billions into bailing out banks and other business perhaps give the money to the public in the way of a debit card with a $50,000.00 credit that must be spent within a year on goods and services in the usa or loose balance not used.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  220. Robert

    From Gardena, Ca.

    Just a few weeks ago, people were complaining about Obama talking down about the economy, and now that his administration spews a little optimism, people complain about that.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  221. George from NYC

    It's an attempt to restore our confidence, along the lines of Roosevelt's "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

    March 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  222. Thom

    There is no extensional difference between the locution 'half empty' and the locution 'half full'. The point of the "half empty/ half full" expression is to suggest that there are two ways to look at any problem. They differ however in connotation. Your question then seems to be about whether it's fair to be optimistic given other's pessimism. My question is what's the difference as long as they acknowledge that the cup isn't full?

    The bigger problem seems to be what anyone means by "sound fundamentals". Which fundamentals? The workers? The Tech? Those seem like political answers. What we really want to know is which economic principles are "sound". Which part of our current economic theory is worth saving, and which part needs to be cast aside?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  223. evelyn hudyma

    Obama has a high approval rating, people trust him, and most of us want to believe him. Throughout his campaign he claimed he would address the economic CRISIS at hand. 2 months into his presidency and the economy is "sound", sorry, not buying it, and neither does my neighbor who lost his job or seniors who have lost their savings.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  224. Marnie Weeks

    I knew when the President used "fundamentals" and "ecomony" and "sound" in the same sentence that thedia would jump all over him because of the similarity to McCain's ridiculous assertion during the campaign. The difference? Time and circumstance. Action has been taken and we need to be positive about the future.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  225. Scarlett, IL

    I think the government has always spent too much time babying the public. If it's bad, say it is. Then tell us how you are going to fix it. Stop sugar-coating things that we need to understand the seriousness of. Stop hiding everything. Regulate the areas which OBVIOUSLY need it (hint: financial everything, medicine) and stop wasting time on coming up with more laws to infringe on our freedoms. So much attention is focused on the wrong things, that the special interests and big corporations are getting away with the unabashed theft and destruction of people's livelihood. If you are not solely controlled by big corporations and special interests, then stop acting in their favor instead of the people you are supposed to be representing.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  226. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, probably not, I think Dr. Romar should be taken to the wood shed on this one. Our economy is still on shaky ground, you don't have to be doom and gloom but don't be a cheer leader either. Just wait and see how things progress before you open your mouth.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  227. andy

    The economy is not sound but the joke is what the Government calls small businesses. Small business is 500 employees? That is rediculous, a small business should be defined more clearly. Out of our entire state (Idaho) there are probably less than 10 businesses that have over 500 employees. Let's redefine small business to what it should be, small ( 50 employees or less) smaller (20 employees or less) give these companies better tax breaks so we can compete with Home Depot's and Walmarts.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  228. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: The President can legitimely say the economy is sound because the fundamentals are: thanks to the mandates that were put in place during the Great Depression: e.g. FDIC. We need to see 3-4 months of job growth and credit easinsg before recovery from the current recession is felt. While he can't take the credit for the fundamentals being in place, he can take a bow when the jobs losses decrease as well as unemployment goes down.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  229. Lynn - Mooresville, NC

    Funny, how when McCain said the economy is sound he was condemned, but when Obama says it , it is the gospel. I think President Obama has went the complete opposite from when he was running for the office. Examples his reversal on earmarks and his constant saying, "I inherited or Next time we will do differently.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  230. Rob in Warwick, NY

    Part of Obama's job is to be "cheer leader in chief", so yes, he needs to play up any good news we get on the economy.

    Now the media will start with their, "but you criticized McCain....", but I think anyone knows there is a big difference between being the guy running for president and being the guy who IS president.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  231. Victor Phelemba

    Sure its a great idea, its called mis-direction. David Blane uses it all the and it works!! While everyone is stupified about the comment, we have already forgotten about the "..Trust based system " being served for the main dish.

    – Few to little Jobs
    – Stock market bouncing like a ping-pong ball
    – Able home owners facing forclosure
    – Retirees raped of there nesteggs

    The American public is being shafted and they know it. Its time to pose the question of a resource based economy. Scary times indeed.

    Victor
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

    March 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  232. Harlan Brooks

    Jack, Why do you always ask the question so that it implies how YOU want the people to vote? Why not just ask: "Is it a good or bad idea for the Obama administration to say the economy is sound." Leave out: "despite the worst recession since the Great Depression."

    Mechanicsville, VA

    March 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  233. Uchenna Okafor

    When he tries to be honest, we say he's talking down the economy. When he tries to lift our hopes, we say he's riding the wind. Gosh Jack, make up your mind!

    Uchenna
    Atlanta

    March 16, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  234. Marilyn Dzaman

    Hi Jack, I just posted a comment but did not include my address. I am in Whiteorse Yukon, Canada, where I can keep an eye on the Palin woman. Ya know, I can see Alaska from our cabin, you betcha!
    Marilyn fom the Yukon.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  235. andy

    Not a good call, just like calling a small business up to 500 employees? That is ridiculous, a small business should be up to 25 people. That is why there are so few left because all breaks go to Walmart and Home Depot, etc.
    Andy – Boise

    March 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  236. Sharon

    I would say that it is NOT the words that flow in a mesmerizing, hypnotic way from President Obama that will save the day. You judge a person, even a President, by their Actions. Only what President Obama Does will matter, not what he "says". His words don't cause me fear or cause me comfort because I can see that they are just hype, another method to control people's emotions. The words don't match the reality. Am I the only one here who can see past the words and know that we are all being played like a violin needing a badly needed tuning?

    March 16, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  237. Ron from Chicago

    Jack, there are good days and bad days in this economic crisis and hope from President Obama is always a good approach when telling America the truth.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  238. a freind of Bill W in California

    Honesty still is the best policy, even for
    Politicians

    March 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  239. l lake

    Mr Cafferty,

    It appears the economy is sound only for the executives and employees (who received their $1000 to $3 million dollar bonus for the great job they did in sinking our US economy) of those financial institutions that took my taxpayer bailout money.

    It is NOT a good idea for Obama to say anything that echoes the words of John McCain (on the campaign trail).

    Every time Obama says or does something that he promised he would NEVER do to the American voters ..his credibility slips more.

    If he is now voicing the same position(s) that McCain took before (and was ridiculed for by Obama and the press), then maybe American voters should have voted for the right candidate to begin with.

    thanks for the opportunity to provide these thoughts,
    Linda
    Shelton, Wa

    March 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  240. Jeff Crocket

    Ah yes Jack, you pilloried McCain for saying the basic economy is sound, which was and is still true. The auto industry got slammed by fuel prices and credit issues. The only other sectors affected are the housing and Banking markets. We will spin out of this soon while you still whine!

    Jeff Crocket
    New Britain, Ct

    March 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  241. Ben from Boston

    It depends on what you mean by what part is fundamentally sound. If you mean the workers, small businessmen, entrepreneurs, and local government the answer is yes, the economy is fundamentally sound. If you mean the big financial houses and large corporations and big government, they are so out of touch with the common man/woman that it is a major weakness of our economy.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  242. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    nice to hear you...and you are right about parenting...I remember as a kid the sentiment that it was better if I played and stayed in the traffic..in fact it is a french expression...not sure if it exists in english but you get the picture...! I am happy for you to hear the number of years that saved you and are still there for you! Always take care of the memories that saved you because it gives the privilege to all of us to see the real you and appreciate you every day!

    Diane Dagenais Turbide

    March 16, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  243. Joe the Mechanic-Pa.

    Jack, as I see it; President Bush said the same thing, yet, stated the economy was sound only to keep the Republican Party's validity in check. President Obama says the same thing, but its context are known not to say that the Democratic Party can save the Union, but with in the social structure he has to dictate policy, & make sound decisions. President Obama's is dealing with the greastest economic problem since the great depression. Millions of unemployed Americans must get their jobs back. The American people have lost hope in the private sector to get them their just rewards, & want the goverment to tackle the problems given to them by Wall-Street, High Finance, Banks, Insurance Companies, ect. It's a good idea for President Obama to say "The Economy is Sound", knowing the REAL facts to attack whatever situation comes up.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  244. Doris/St. Louis

    The operative words should have been "Sounder than under the Bush administration.

    March 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  245. niles

    What do we want from the President anyway?

    When he says the economy is poor ... oh no he is too negative. He should give hope to the people. So this week, he is painting a better picture and reassuring us ... oh no, is this a good idea?

    Give the guy a break. We should get behind is guy and do our bit. Look at the kind of things he has to do, at home and abroad. The pressure is insane.

    Niles

    March 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  246. Griff...... The Truth

    I used to fix your IBM Selectric. Your Remington. Your Xerox! Your Facit. Your Word Processor. Booze! They were my lntoxication. Your Problems...

    March 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  247. Allen in Hartwell GA

    He did quality the statement, unlike McCain during the campaign. We have the makings of a great cake – we just need the dough.

    March 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  248. Jorge in NC

    I think it is a good idea this country needs some good news through these tough times

    March 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  249. Grace

    I don't understand why adults need coddling. As adults we know the recession didn't happen over night, and we know it won't be corrected over night. I'd rather hear the truth and realize that it's up to me (all of us) to invest, spend, and work to correct it. I had my fill of being talked down to with the Bush administration.

    March 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm |