- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama on Friday acknowledged that many families are suffering “incredible pain” from the economy but said his government is on a daily campaign to get credit flowing and build a long-term recovery.

“If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy _ all the outstanding companies, workers, all the innovation and dynamism in this economy _ then we’re going to get through this,” Obama told reporters in the Oval Office. “And I’m very confident about that.”

Obama spoke after meeting with economic adviser Paul Volcker and members of his business advisory board. The president largely recapped his agenda of trying to stimulate the economy, shore up banks and deal with home foreclosure.

He said more help will be announced soon for small businesses, but did not elaborate.

Pushing a big agenda for health care, energy and education, Obama said he was seeking a “post-bubble economic growth model.”

“The days when we are going to be able to grow this economy just on an overheated housing market or people maxing out on their credit cards, those days are over,” he said.

The president spoke on the same day that his top economic adviser, National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, said that the economic crisis has led to an “excess of fear” among Americans that must be quieted to reverse the downturn.

Asked to elaborate on Summers’ point, Obama pivoted optimistically to the “undiminished capacity” of American workers, businesses and universities.

“We’ve got to get through this difficult period,” he said. “And, look, there are a lot of individual families who are experiencing incredible pain and hardship right now. If you’ve been laid off at your job, if you’ve lost your home, then, you know, right now is very tough. But we’re providing help along the way.”

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