President Obama’s Speech at Signing of Stimulus Legislation

Originally published on February 18, 2009, at


President Obama spoke briefly today in Denver before signing the stimulus bill. His remarks and the event were thoughtfully orchestrated to make clear the President’s vision of an American renewal through public investment.  The President’s entire speech as well the introduction by Blake Jones of Namaste Solar, a Denver company aided by the stimulus legislation, is well-worth viewing.

View the CNBC broadcast of the President’s speech here.

President Obama made plain that he believes investment in public education, green technologies, traditional infrastructure, and health care information technology contained in the bill is a recipe for America’s long-term growth, prosperity and leadership.  The President made references to John F. Kennedy’s Mission to the Moon and Dwight Eisenhower’s interstate highway program as examples of large-scale public investment that stimulated private enterprise and served a national purpose.

President Obama did not shy away from his accomplishment, just three weeks into office, calling it, “the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history.”  The President touted its support by governors and mayors and, in a comment aimed to shore up support among skeptics, proclaimed,

“What makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save three and a half million jobs over the next two years, including nearly 60,000 in Colorado. It’s that we are putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done in critical areas that have been neglected for too long – work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come.” (Transcript)

He noted jobs saved, but focused on education, noting that 14,000 New York City teachers will likely keep their jobs because of the bill.  Over and over he attempted to demonstrate that the spending was in areas that were necessary to meet the needs of tomorrow.

The President also brought up discipline and responsibility to remind Americans that the road ahead will not be easy.  But he returned to his belief that the stimulus bill achieved a balance between public and private, present and future. 

Obama was introduced by Blake Jones, a Denver area entrepreneur in solar technologies.  Mr. Jones aptly discussed his firm’s difficulties because of the recession and the likely benefits to his firm and his industry because of the new legislation.  He enthusiastically pointed out that in green technology, the legislation was good for employment, for the environment, and for America’s bid for energy independence.

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