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Americans making sacrifices to fight crisis: Obama
Lalit K Jha in Washington
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March 25, 2009 10:39 IST

As the country reels under the global economic crisis, the US President Barack Obama has said Americans are making a lot of sacrifices in their individual lives.

"The American people are making a host of sacrifices in their individual lives. We are going through an extraordinary crisis," Obama said.

"But we believe that if you take the steps that we've already taken with respect to housing and small businesses, if you look at what we're doing in terms of increasing liquidity in the financial system, than the steps can actually stabilise the economy and we can get it moving again," he told a press conference on Tuesday night.

This was Obama's second prime time live press conference from White House. The press conference was dominated by economic issues and the crisis the country is facing right now.

"What I'm looking from the American people to do is that they are going to be doing what they've always done, which is working hard, looking after their families, making sure that despite the economic hard times that they're still contributing to their community, that they're still participating in volunteer activities, that they are paying attention to the debates that are going on in Washington," Obama said.

"The budgets that we're putting forward and some of the decisions that we're having to make are going to be tough decisions, and we're going to need the support of the American people, and that's part of why what I've tried to do is to be out front as much as possible, explaining in very clear terms exactly what we're doing," he said.

With respect to the Americans, Obama said he thinks they are sacrificing left and right.

"You've got parents who are cutting back on everything to make sure that their kids can still go to college. You've got workers who are deciding to cut an entire day and entire day's worth of pay so that their fellow co-workers aren't laid off. I think that across the board people are making adjustments, large and small, to accommodate the fact that we're in very difficult times right now," he said.

"What I've said here in Washington is that we've got to make some tough choices. We got to make some tough budgetary choices. What we can't do, though, is sacrifice long-term growth investments that are critical to the future," he asserted.

That is why budget focuses on health care, energy, education; the kinds of things that can build a foundation for long-term economic growth as opposed to the fleeting prosperity that has been seen over the last several years.

"I mean, when you have an economy in which the majority of growth is coming from the financial sector -- when AIG selling a derivative is counted as an increase in the gross domestic product, then that's not a model for sustainable economic growth," he said.

"What we have to do is invest in those things that will allow the American people's capacity for ingenuity and innovation, their ability to take risks but make sure that those risks are grounded in good products and good services that they believe they can market to the rest of the country, that those models of economic growth are what we're promoting, and that's what I think our budget does," Obama said.

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