Jul 4, 2009 10 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
In remarks on the Fourth of July holiday, President Barack Obama said Americans needed to “summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence Hall 233 years ago today,” and tackle â€“ not defer â€“ the major problems facing the nation.
“We are facing an array of challenges on a scale unseen in our time,” Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. “We are waging two wars. We are battling a deep recession. And our economy â€“ and our nation itself â€“ are endangered by festering problems we have kicked down the road for far too long: spiraling health care costs; inadequate schools; and a dependence on foreign oil. Meeting these extraordinary challenges will require an extraordinary effort on the part of every American. And that is an effort we cannot defer any longer.”
Echoing a theme he pressed during his Inauguration, Obama drew parallels between the country’s triumph over past struggles, such as the Depression and World War II, and its ability to confront the current set of challenges.
He made the argument as he heads into a critical, five-week period in which Congress is expected to complete work on a health care reform bill. Republicans and some Democrats have argued that Obama is trying to do too much too quickly by telling Congress that he wants action this year on health care, immigration, energy, and financial regulation, among other things.
“These naysayers have short memories,” Obama said. “They forget that we, as a people, did not get here by standing pat in a time of change. We did not get here by doing what was easy. That is not how a cluster of 13 colonies became the United States of America.”