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Obama hopes to bring back US economy on track
Lalit K Jha in Washington
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March 23, 2009 13:31 IST

In the midst of a global economic crisis, US President Barack Obama assured Americans on Monday that all his decisions are aimed at making sure that the economy starts moving again.

This is what he is focusing on, and not distracted by what is happening every day, Obama said in an interview to the CBS news.

"The one thing that I've tried to emphasize, though, throughout this week, and will continue to try to emphasize during the course of the next several months as we dig ourselves out of this economic hole that we're in, is we can't govern out of anger," Obama said.

"We've got to try to make good decisions based on the facts, in order to put people back to work, to get credit flowing again. I'm not going to be distracted by what's happening day to day. I've got to stay focused on making sure that we're getting this economy moving again," Obama said in his interview.

Obama said neither he nor his team was surprised over the angry reaction from the people on the AIG bonuses issue. "I wasn't surprised by it. Our team wasn't surprised by it."

Referring to the legislation passed by the House of Representative which imposed a 90 per cent tax on the bonuses received by AIG executives, Obama said in general he thinks that legislations should not be targetted towards individuals.

"I think that you've got a pretty egregious situation here that people are understandably upset about. So let's see if there are ways of doing this that are both legal, that are constitutional, that uphold our basic principles of fairness, but don't hamper us from getting the banking system back on track," Obama said.

Observing that he would have a careful look at he legislation, he said the AIG folks getting those bonuses didn't make sense.

"One of the things that I have to do is to communicate to Wall Street that given the current crisis that we're in, they can't expect help from taxpayers but they enjoy all the benefits that they enjoyed before the crisis happened. You get a sense that in some institutions that has not sunk in, that you can't go back to the old way of doing business, certainly not on the taxpayers' dime," he said.

"Now, the flip side is that Main Street has to understand, unless we get these banks moving again, then we can't get this economy to recover. We don't want to cut off our nose to spite our face," the President added.

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