U.S. President Barack Obama says it will take an international effort
to repair the global economy, and that his administration is doing
everything it can to reduce the huge U.S. budget deficit.
At a White House news conference Tuesday evening, Mr. Obama said the U.S. dollar is strong because the United States has the strongest economy in the world. He said that at the G-20 economic meeting in London next month, his message will be that nations need to do whatever is necessary to create jobs, avoid protectionism, and get the global economy moving.
For the United States, Mr. Obama said it is important to start including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the national budget, because without being honest about the cost of the wars, the government cannot rein in spending. He also said the nation must make tough choices to cut the national deficit in half by the end of his first term.
Regarding troubled insurance conglomerate American International Group, Mr. Obama said the nation does not have the tools it needs to take over a company like AIG now and bail it out of its economic woes. He said the government needs to obtain the authority to do so.
The president took a question about his decision to lift restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research. He said he believes the guidelines his administration provided for use of stem cells for research meet ethical tests.
President Obama also addressed homelessness in the United States, saying it is important to work with the states to identify at-risk people and keep them from, in his words, "falling through the cracks."
He was asked whether the issue of race has affected his presidency. Mr. Obama, the nation's first African-American president, said Americans may have had justifiable pride on Inauguration Day in taking a step beyond the nation's legacy of racial discrimination. But he said that mood lasted only a day before the focus switched to the nation's economic woes.