His initial statement talks about one of the criterion for a recovery is if families have more money in their pockets..when his multi-trillion budget saddles this country with even more debt so more of our money has already been spent.
A historic investment in early childhood education? I’m wondering what this means?
Our success will be also helped by controlling spiraling health care costs? Socialized health care..it won’t be less expensive..it also won’t be of higher quality..
1149: How can education be restored as a right in America?
GET GOD BACK INTO THE SCHOOLS!!!!!!!(my emphasis)
Our schools are designed for 19th century in the agricultural age. NO details given on how to change it.
Obama says we need to improve teachers and teaching methods without dependence on standardized testing.
Obama mentions early childhood education again..no details on what this is.
He brings up charter schools and performance pay..how are you going to measure performance Obama?
1151am: What benefits are for the ones who are paying our mortgages but living paycheck to paycheck?
The stimulus has multiple components.
1. the gov’t will step in and subsidize the difference between what they can pay and what their payments are.
2. Some folks are getting killed..they are making payments but they are having issue. The credit markets are down to historic lows in terms of interest rates. We are using fha and other areas to allow folks who may not be eligible for refi are now eligible for refi(sounds like Clinton’s programs)
when can we expect outsourced jobs to come back and be made available to American workers.
Obama: long pause. We have had a massive loss of jobs over the last several months in decades..possibly as bad since the great depression. This is caused by the frozen credit markets and the credit crisis. If we don’t fix credit and get credit back into the market then businesses shrivel up. Long term….so much of our economic activity was in financial services..(and he also says consumer saving as if that’ a bad thing). My budget is designed to fix education, reduce healthcare costs and go after green energy jobs. Outsourcing has to do with the economy being dependent on low-wage low skill jobs. We have to go after the high-wage, high-skill jobs of the future. We need new green energy jobs of the future that pay more. Not all of those jobs are going to come back..some of new need to stay gone.
(what about IT jobs that pay 20 an hour or more obama? Those are high paying, high-skill jobs and they aren’t coming back either.)
1159: obama talks about smart meters that will tell you when to reduce energy usage. It will also tell you when to sell energy back, use your plug in car as a battery to sell energy back during the day and charge the car at night.
(sounds like big brother to me).
We are going to continue to lose jobs throughout the rest of this year.
1202: he’s talking about how employment is a lagging indicator and he is confident in his plan about creating jobs of the future.
1203: why can we not have European healthcare based on universal need instead of the ability to pay?
(you can go to the emergency room and get treated for nothing whether you pay or not..so this question is bogus)
I held a meeting with various groups here in the white house to reduce the cost of healthcare. It is a drag on American in all aspects. It makes Americans less mobile. it is a drag on state and federal budgets. Medicare and Medicaid is the biggest drivers of our long-term deficits. If you add up the recovery package we have already passed and everything else we are doing it amounts to a fraction of the long-term deficit and the costs of healthcare. Better to pay now instead of waiting and not being able to fix it? My goal is a universal healthcare system to give everyone health insurance. The classic example is single payer..you pay higher taxes but everyone is covered. You walk in and say i am sick..you get treated…and that’s it. We have a legacy system that isn’t easily transformed. We have an employer based system..it’s not the best if we built from scratch. The best way is not to scrap this system..rather we should build upon the system we have and fill some of these gaps. I’m asking for congressional help..as per my campaign..leveraging IT…medical reimbursements…investment in preventative care…all to save money to be able to provide coverage to all people.
1209: Obama is joking about legalizing grass..it is not a good strategy to grow our economy.
1210: Our veteran unemployment is higher than the national average. How can we get them employed?
Obama: talking about medal of honor day and those present . He mentions we would not be here without the sacrifices of our veterans. Our safety and security and liberty would not be what it is. our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans deserve the benefits that are too often denied them. I have increased my budget to the highest levels ever to make sure the backlogs are removed, the homeless vets are taken care of. Vets should not be homeless. We are going to improve the treatment of brain injury. gov’t alone cannot do it all..private sector please hire vets. Citizens honor the veterans when they come home.
1214: what proposals do you have to make college more affordable and when will the national service done for the scholarships?
Obama: National Service may be done in the next few weeks. Let’s setup a service where any young person who is so inspired can serve in the community in exchange for college financial assistance. I want to improve student assistance better. Most of the student loans programs are run through banks…and they make profits from this even though they are guaranteed by the federal gov’t. I want to make all of the loans direct from the gov’t and will allow us to give more loans are increase grants because the profits the banks are now getting can be used to help students afford higher education. Grants are better than loans. The average student assistance in my time was 70% in grants and 30% in loans. Today it’s reversed and students are now getting crushed in debt. This makes career decisions extremely tough. We want our young people to be able to be much more flexible with their lives. We are devoting a considerable amount of money towards this issue. What is driving our deficits was bush tax cuts and Medicare and Medicaid. Short-changing our families is not the way to grow our country.
1222: What specific steps is your administration taking about the auto industry’s health?
I have several announcements coming in the next few days. I am not going to elaborate here. Speaking in general, we need to preserve our auto industry. it is a huge employer along with all of its suppliers. My job is also is to protect taxpayers. Toyota is even losing a lot of money. 14 million news cars are sold every year on average and it’s gone down to 9 million due to the credit crunch, job losses, and job security. Are there ways to provide help the us auto industry needs? The price is the auto industry MUST restructure. The current model is not working for auto industry economically. The suv, cheap gas model is not working. We will provide the auto makers help in return of them restructuring. If they are not willing to restructure then the taxpayers will not chase bad money which will still be painful.(Ford has not taken gov’t bailout money..the issue is the unions not that their model is not working although that’s part of it).
1227: How are you going to make it more competitive for SMB’s in the federal procurement process?
Obama: The gov’t is a huge customer. The gov’t often gives one huge contract to one vendor and tells them to figure it out themselves. Most smb’s can’t bid on this huge conglomeration because he cannot bid on the small part he specializes in. We are trying to figure out how to unbundle some of these huge lump contracts. We can’t do it on everything. There are some things we need the economies of scale. Having everything bundled then things get distorted.
1231: nurse’s question: Nurse wants proper representation on any medical councils. We need prevention and education to reduce the loads on emergency rooms. We need more community based facilities.
Obama: I am biased towards nurses. When milea was being born we only saw our OB for 15 minutes the rest was being done by nurses. Sascha got meningitis. The doctors were nice but it was the nurses who did most of hte work. We have a non-sensical shortage of nurses due to bad pay, bad working conditions. Nursing teachers are paid worse than nurses themselves so this creates a huge bottleneck.
1234: As a small business owner. My company is still profitable and we are hiring. Under current tax codes the money i pay off on my business loans in counted against me as income. Could you please step up enforcement of veteran employment?
Obama: I want small businesses is for them to have the least burden when they are small and as they grow they increase their tax burden. I am elimination capital gains taxes for smb’s..although it does not kick in for 5 years. We will work very hard to enforce the veteran and other employment laws.
1237: What are your definitions of charter schools and how do you define teacher performance metrics?
Obama: The teacher is the most important member of the education system so we must have teacher by in(What about parents?????) The definition of charter school is straight forward. It is a public school but they have a charter that allows them to experiment and try new things. They are usually partnered with an NPO(museum, arts programs,..etc). They ahve flexibility to try new things, get the parents involved. There are some charter schools that are doing a great jobs with huge student improvement. These schools are non-selective which means they cannot just pick the highest performing students. Some are doing well and some are not. The ones that are not need to be shutdown. How we measure teacher performance. i have been a critic of only using standardized tests. This is the biggest failing of no child left behind. It doesn’t make progress so well performing teachers and students in a low performance areas being punished. You are also seeing curriculums designed to teach to the test instead of actually learning and it’s boring and the students get turned off from education. There’s a role for these tests. We don’t want it to be the only thing…we want peer review. How can we use technology to profile successful teachers and provide that to other teachers. Beginning teachers are usually isolated and don’t get any feedback. Once we have done everything we can to improve teacher pay and performance we can more easily identify teachers who don’t need to be teachers. We need some kind of accountability.
1245: if pre-existing conditions are a symptoms of out bad healthcare how ca we fix it?
Obama: My mother died of ovarian cancer at 53. She was working as an independent organization. She had insurance..when the bills started mounting they said it was a pre-existing condition so they would not pay. We fought long and hard and got them to pay because ovarian cancer is usually caught too late. Most times once you develop a chronic condition you can’t get health insurance. If an employer wants to cover somebody in this situation can’t due to their costs going through the roof. If you can’t get insurance through a private plan then there will be a public plan. That’s the principal..we don’t have the details yet. The insurance companies have now said we’ll take the people with pre-existing conditions if you make health insurance mandatory like auto insurance. Most people don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it. If we drive down costs then everyone can have it.
I am out of time thanks for participating.