President Barack Obama, speaking from the White House's State Dining Room on May 11, hailed the healthcare industry's promise to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years as "a watershed event." The president hosted a meeting attended by health insurance, medical device, pharmaceutical, and hospital CEOs, three physicians (all officers of the American Medical Association), representatives of the Service Employees International Union, and administration officials.
You know the economy is in the tank when officials hail the loss of 539,000 non-farm jobs in the U.S. economy during the month of April as good news. President Barack Obama termed the latest unemployment figures "somewhat encouraging," despite the fact that unemployment rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent nationally. Obama was somewhat encouraged in part because most economists had expected April job losses to be higher than 600,000, as had happened in each of the first three months of 2009.
President Barack Obama revealed new details in his fiscal 2010 budget on May 7, with a statement saying: “We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits don't matter and waste is not our problem. We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration — or the next generation.”
The hundreds of thousands of Americans who attended Tax Day Tea Parties on April 15 may now be asking themselves, "What's next?" After all, freedom from the unjust taxes of King George III did not end automatically after the original Boston Tea Party. The colonists had much hard work ahead of them.
Speaking on April 20 in a conference call with reporters after returning from the Summit of the Americas, U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk indicated that the administration has no plans to reopen negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But he also said that NAFTA could be strengthened with labor and environmental standards, without the need to reopen negotiations. During last year's presidential campaign, Barack Obama supported reforming NAFTA, but strengthening NAFTA was undoubtedly not the kind of reform many of his supporters had in mind, particularly those economically devastated by job losses caused by NAFTA.