WASHINGTON â€” President Barack Obama promised at a White House jobs forum on Thursday to take “every responsible step to accelerate job creation,” including some ideas he said could be put into action quickly. He cited an expanded program to help make more U.S. homes energy-efficient as an example.
He also mentioned trade measures and possible new tax incentives among ways to stop job losses that are the worst since the 1930s.
“This has been a tough year, with a lot of uncertainty,” Obama said as he wrapped up the half-day brainstorming session with more than 100 CEOs, academics, small business and union leaders and local officials. “There’s no question that it’s difficult out there right now,”
The president said there were some ideas that could be put to work almost immediately and other ideas that will become part of legislation for Congress to consider. He listed “moving forward on an aggressive agenda for energy efficiency and weatherization” as a prime candidate for quick action.
With unemployment levels above 10 percent, Obama said “We cannot hang back and hope for the best.”
But, mindful of growing anxiety about federal deficits, Obama also tempered his upbeat talk with an acknowledgment that government resources could only go so far and that it is primarily up to the private sector to create large numbers of new jobs.
He said while he’s “open to every demonstrably good idea … we also though have to face the fact that our resources are limited.”
In an interview with USA Today and the Detroit Free Press, the president rejected calls for a follow-on to the $787 billion economic recovery bill he signed into law shortly after taking office.