5 Years After the Crash: The White House Wants to Hear From You

Five years ago, we experienced the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans lost their jobs and homes. And confidence in our financial and economic institutions plummeted.

Earlier this week, the White House published a special report [link opens in PDF] that looks at what has been done to combat the crisis, while also considering where we stand now. As part of its effort to better understand this devastating event, the White House would also like to answer questions from The Motley Fool's community.

What would you ask the Obama administration? We encourage you to post questions for the White House in the comments section at the bottom of this article. After administration officials have answered your questions, we'll publish the Q&A right here on Fool.com.

Fighting our way back
In the special report, the administration notes that "five years later, America has fought our way back." Here are some of the achievements mentioned in the report:

  • The Treasury has received nearly $422 billion in total cash payments back from the government's investments in TARP and support for AIG. This is more than the $421 billion it disbursed through TARP.
  • Ford, GM, and Chrysler are profitable and gaining market share for the first time in 20 years.
  • The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) led to 7 million homeowners getting government or private mortgage modifications. The White House concedes, however, that "more work remains to be done to improve wider access to affordable mortgage credit, address the uneven recovery across communities, and move to a more sustainable equilibrium where government does not back such a high percentage of the mortgage market."

To learn more about the response to the financial crisis and to help shape questions you may want to ask of the administration -- remember, you can leave your question in the comments section below -- the White House has provided some brief audio clips from key administration officials:

Healing the Housing Market

Supporting Business

Reducing the Deficit

Saving the American Auto Industry

Stabilizing the Financial System / TARP

Protecting Consumers

Reforming Wall Street

What needs to be done
Clearly, we have come a long way over the past five years, but much remains to be done. Unemployment is still too high, and chronic long-term unemployment needs to be effectively addressed.

Meanwhile, the financial crisis didn't help our already shaken retirement system, which investing great John Bogle has said is headed for a serious train wreck.

And five years later, our big banks are arguably still too big to fail, and their managers are possibly too big to jail as well.

The White House agrees that we still have much more to do. As part of its effort to better understand this complex crisis, it would like to hear from our Foolish community. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions that are of particular importance to our investing community.

Again, just use the comments section below to send in your question. We'll choose some of the most representative ones, and then publish the White House's answers next week.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 1:59 PM, seacoastnh wrote:

    Wall Street has been doing great that past few years. Its Main Street that is still limping along economically speaking. If the Federal Reserve were to "pull the plug" on all of the TARP and Monies its providing our USA Economy would be in much worse shape. So all in all this is worse IMO than the Great Depression we have the 0% Federal Bank Loan rates and are propped up by Ben Bernanke and crew. What a mess !

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 2:14 PM, DeeDee2013 wrote:

    Tell the White House that this has been the longest and slowest economic recovery since the Depression - and it took a war to get us out of that. Reagan inherited a recession with unemployment peaking at 10.8%; Obama inherited one with unemployment peaking at 10%. Reagan encouraged private sector growth. Nearly 20 million new jobs were created under Reagan, so even though tax rates went down, tax revenues increased because of the larger tax base.

    By Reagan’s 2004 election, the unemployment rate had declined by 3.6% to 7.2% and it declined to 5.4% by the time he left office. Under Obama, it has so far only declined 2.6% and that is even questionable given the very low job creation numbers - it is more likely people ceasing to look for work or taking very low-paying jobs.

    Real median family income grew by $4,000 during the Reagan period; it experienced a loss of almost $1,500 in the immediate post-Reagan years. Real median family income is down by $4,000 since Obama took office, and down by over $3,000 from the "end of the recession."

    The percentage of the total population below the poverty level dropped to 13% under Reagan - today, the poverty rate is 15% - the highest rate in nearly 30 years.

    Tell them I know middle-class working people who cut their expenses to the bone to try to keep making mortgage payments and they were told they were ineligible for HAMP (and were told to stop paying their mortgage to try to qualify!!) I also know people who qualified for HAMP and are among the worst of the bad-debt offenders who contributed to the problem in the first place - see the NACA (Neighborhood Assistance Corporation) website and you'll see how political the mortgage help was and how the same people who failed to pay are still getting mortgages and refinancing. Look up City Journal, Winter 2000, "The Trillion-Dollar Bank Shakedown That Bodes Ill for Cities" that predicted the bad loan bubble years in advance.

    Tell the White House that September polls show that a majority of Americans (51%) now actually even favor a government shutdown until Congress cuts Obamacare funding! And that dovetails with a CNN poll this past week showing that in January, 51% of American said they favored all or most of the provisions of Obamacare, but now that figure has dropped to only 39% who favor all or most of it. The poll shows support has dropped in virtually all demographic categories, AND it has fallen the farthest among two core Democratic groups - women (56% now oppose most or all) and Americans who make less than $50,000 (58% now oppose most or all). Maybe that is not really surprising given what people are now learning about how truly awful the law really is.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 2:41 PM, blondie9916 wrote:

    Please advise White House that "tweaking" the unemployment numbers do not instill confidence.

    Why is there no mention of the number of people who are not receiving unemployment benefits but are still out of work? These are the 'shadow people' that I fear the White House wants to ignore as it makes the recovery look worse than the picture they are painting.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 2:45 PM, Johny205 wrote:

    The government should have done a better job with HAMP and they should have expedited it, instead of waiting so long to help people out. They should have had bank regulators allow banks to refinance properties that were under water. Many people made their payments until the arm or balloon matured and the interest rates/ payments went up and were unaffordable. Banks could not refinance these loans and keep the payments the same because the house would no longer appraise for what the loan balance was. Instead of letting people stay in their homes and make their payments, they were foreclosed on and the housing inventory expanded, therefore driving housing prices even lower.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 3:08 PM, Pmiller1129 wrote:

    Ask why didn't the government actually bail out the people instead of corporations? It would have been better to give cash to people with students loans or home loans who needed help. Restrict the bail out to the people to only allow them to use government bail out money to pay there loans off. My home value is less then what I'm paying for due to the bad housing mess created by the banks and then we gave them money to help them. That makes no sense while the public still struggles to pay them back. The banks get double the money and the government wants us to have the disposable income when all our money goes to our house payment and student debt. Would have been a win win if we were given the cash to wipe our overcharged debts and have money to spend again.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 3:24 PM, wingunder wrote:

    When can we expect Obamas resignation??!!

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 3:41 PM, dockofthebay wrote:

    The White House couldn't care less about our views. Look at how President Obama has ignored the desires of a large majority of consumers who desire that genetically modified foods be labeled. He has stacked government agencies, such as the USDA, with appointees who have ties to Monsanto and others of that ilk. Every government decision favors agribusiness over the smaller, conventional farmer who tries to succeed without planting GMOs. The whole thing is a disgrace and it won't change.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 3:41 PM, kydon wrote:

    I'm not sure why the "Fool Staff" is asking a question for the President. He doesn't give a damn about our opinion, because if he did he wouldn't be going against everything this country was built on. He has been completely dishonest about every crisis he has created, from Bengazi, the IRS, etc..

    He has been blowing smoke ever since he got in office and is continually insulting our intelligence, as is the people around him.

    How in the world can anybody believe in Washington anymore when we have a leader stand up and say "you must pass this Bill to find out what is in it".

    If you don't want an answer, don't ask the question.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 3:43 PM, radiyojo wrote:

    Where does congress fit into this discussion?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 3:55 PM, TMFBane wrote:

    @radiyojo,

    If you have a question about the financial crisis that involves Congress, go ahead and ask it. Later, the White House will be attempting to answer the questions that our community provides. But asking about the role of Congress is certainly fair game.

    Foolishly,

    John Reeves

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 4:57 PM, LgBch wrote:

    When will the Obama administration stop messing with capitalism more than any administration has done before?

    The banks started the road to failure some years ago when the government decided to force banks to take riskier loans-- saying it was "discrminating".

    Yeah, it was discriminating-- using good business sense to not loan money that the bank felt might not be repaid.

    Banks, unlike the federal government, don't print money-- it comes from the investors and depositors.

    The "economic stimulus" just kicked the ball down the road. As the government prints money our dollar is worth less and less. Total economic collapse is being deferred. Anything left will be gobbled up by Obamacare -- the biggest boondoggle ever foisted on the American people. Polls are now showing the pubic is waking up to this.

    Equality-- If the Affordable Health Care Act is so wonderful-- go FIRST "leadership"!! Put all the government employees on it, including the administration and Congresss. Then in five years let's evaluate and see if it will sell to the public. It sure isn't popular now, and as the bills roll in it is going to be much, much worse.

    Truth in employment-- The fraudulent unemployment figures are a disgrace. They hide the people who gave up looking, hide those working only part-time since they can't find full time work. The part time group is going to grow astronomically in short order as employers cut hours to try to not be bankrupted by the health insurance costs go racing skyward.

    Debt ceiling-- the government won't stop trying to be "big brother" to anyone that might vote for them as long as they can spend,spend,spend, and do "magic" with the figures to try to make it look like they are "controlling costs"

    Principle: Government should do ONLY what the public is UNABLE (not unwilling) to do for themselves.

    Can the present administration contain their wild and reckless spending?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:09 PM, HayZeus wrote:

    Buy more bonds that will be worthless.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:13 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    Isn't Obama 'focusing like a laser beam' on jobs? lol.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:27 PM, deafelephant wrote:

    Will the White House bring back the Glass-Steagall Act?

    Secondly, will the White House address the price gouging of the private medicare industry? Their billing practices are outright criminal. 18% of the GDP goes towards healthcare. Americans already pay far more in healthcare via taxes than Western countries that have public healthcare. What will the White House do to ensure fair practice in medical billing?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:31 PM, Howard1ii wrote:

    Why at every opportunity does Obama try to stifle our opportunity for energy independence i.e. the Keystone pipeline. Besides the oil, Industry would have created thousands of jobs at no cost to the taxpayer, but Obama, being the gutless guy that he is, chose to blame his Secretary of State.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:34 PM, BritInCA wrote:

    Crooked bankers should have gone to jail. Why didn't they?

    Why are the wars not being paid for by tax hikes up-front?

    When is the military industrial complex *really* going to be put in its place?

    Why have 500 people been aloowed to amass $300,000,000,000 MORE dollars? that should be going to our teachers and to benefits and roads?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:37 PM, jvgfool wrote:

    I believe this question defines the 21st century and beyond. How do we move to a sustainable economy where we consume less for the health of the earth’s environment, and yet maintain a sound economy for all countries? Are the people of the world doomed? Thank you.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:37 PM, Tennjed859 wrote:

    I have two questions:

    1) Why do you think your jobs programs have primarily increased part-time jobs and not full-time jobs and what will you change moving forward?

    2) Do you think our national debt is a problem? If not, why not? If so, how will you deal with it?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:39 PM, lonewolf2 wrote:

    It all sounds great, but millions of Americans lost their homes, their savings and their jobs while the big bankers who caused the recession are free and keep in raking millions in salaries and perks. They should be in jail, or like they did in Iran, hanged for their greedy crimes. But Washington, and Eric Holder are too scared because after all, why bite the hands that feed their campaign coffers.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:43 PM, hamerhokie wrote:

    Why haven't you pressed criminal charges against the Wall Street CEOS responsible for the crisis?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:47 PM, xetn wrote:

    I would ask them how they think that creating money out of thin air and increasing debt can somehow create wealth.

    The only way to create wealth in through investment in capital and production.

    What the government has been doing is consuming capital and, through increased government intervention, driving jobs off shore.

    You might also ask why the average family in the US is earning less that they were in 1989.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:47 PM, sksaxena wrote:

    Unless Healthcare costs are reduced drastically and the unlimited compensation for top 1% is curbed no one can turn the economy around. Good earnings need to be shared with everyone in the company and not just the top 1%. Greed will get us just like it got other civilizations before us.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:51 PM, notallhere wrote:

    1. Why does the White House and the Fed focus on Wall Street, and inflating stock prices instead of improving the long term Standard of Living for Americans? Long term distortion and destruction of our currency does not let markets do their job of allocating resources efficiently.

    2. For more jobs, why not cut corporate taxes? If the public sees a sincere desire to reduce government control of the economy, they might more readily buy into raising taxes on the very rich.

    3. Our unemployment problems are partly structural, caused by the automation of America, which is a good thing. When is Washington going to recognize the structural part of the problem?

    4. The massive rise in medical costs is partly caused by insurance companies -- paperwork, lack of price transparency, and insurance companies taking the job of rationally choosing medical options away from the consumer and the doctor. Americans need less insurance (catastrophic only) not more. Yet Obama Care goes the opposite direction. When will Democrats learn that the Nanny State can only bring mediocrity and eventually poverty to the populace in the long run?

    5. Why has Obama never proposed a balanced budget -- ever? There is always an excuse. They never run out of excuses. Watch India and Greece to see where we are headed. We'll just get there a little bit later, and so the decline will be that much more difficult to take.

    6. Since when is it mandatory that some banks are too big to fail? How can this be right?

    7. What does Obama intend to do as medicine keeps pushing out the average life expectancy, with more and more expensive treatments, making Social Security and Medicaid an even bigger joke? Why can't they admit there is a problem and propose a solution?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:52 PM, TriForce1 wrote:

    After exempting Congress, government employees and probably soon to be unions from the cost burden of the PPACA when can the average American private sector person get their exemption? From the way it looks, we're all going to go bankrupt trying to pay for our insurance. At this rate we won't even have to wait for a catastrophic illness.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 5:58 PM, HappyJen100 wrote:

    What has the current administration fixed for the small business person? I know that I am working more hours and have had to deal with more new laws while watching more people work less and getting more benefits from the government--free phones, free internet, rent as low as $95 month for a 2 bedroom nice apartment, more unemployment for going to school--all in a state that has some of the lowest unemployment in the country. Why doesn't the government give incentives to move where the jobs are?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:00 PM, Perry88 wrote:

    I would tell President Obama to take a look at how Iceland reacted to their banking crisis. He should start prosecuting corporate executives and banking staff that allowed our economy and system to spiral out of control. If he is really serious about getting to the bottom of what happened and to insure it never happens again, he can start with prosecuting Larry Summers.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:00 PM, rtofeinberg wrote:

    Break up the biggest banks, reinstate Glass-Steagall, aggressively prosecute violators at the highest levels using existing law, get criminal convictions and significant financial penalties whenever possible.

    Penalties should be an incentive to not repeat illegal activities, not a cost of doing business.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:01 PM, Bunnyman7 wrote:

    Get the banks out of the leveraged investing business. Their purpose should be lending to people to buy houses and start businesses which might help stimulate employment. Not advising and betting on the next market opportunity.

    My humble opinion.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:03 PM, framedb wrote:

    Why is it that when such a "monetary catastrophe" occurs it's always that "1% top earners" that get bailed out? The Bank CEO's, Carmaker CEO's, on and on and on. Why not bail out the little people?

    Pay off everyone's mortgage, that is in good standing. Give all the little people a raise. I'm always told that the consumer is the foundation of this economy. Yet we consumers (the little people)

    are the ones that continually get beat down in times of crisis. Oh Yeah, that's right! It'll trickle down!! Just let the Bank CEO's tinkle on me! :-)

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:06 PM, notallhere wrote:

    In a time when our population is squeezing almost all resources, even water and air, over the entire planet, why does the Obama Administration constantly push for ways to subsidize children -- thus encouraging more babies -- and extending human the human life span? Isn't this a long term recipe for poverty, famine, and worse?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:08 PM, Dragonsmyth wrote:

    When is the white house going to start looking at the linch pins that can make the most different. Example: the high tech industry relies on rare earths to make magnets and other key parts. But we buy our rare earths from China and let our mines here with no help. Only Alaska has made any effort to develop a rare earth industry with the Bokan-Dotson ridge and a little company called Ucore. If China shut down rare earth exports our high tech industry grind to a halt.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:10 PM, RFRensing wrote:

    Please have the White House explain why it was necessary to 'bail out' firms such as GM and Chrysler when the bankruptcy laws were designed for these types of situations and were readily available.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:12 PM, MVPanther wrote:

    Question; Where is it written that government has the responsiblilty to financially subsidize the citizens of this country? We all have a social responsibility, all the citizens of this great country, to assist those who truly can't help themselves. But where has personal responsibility and accountability gone. How can we, as a people, expect our government to get involved with the very personal decisions about our finances, about how and where we spend our money? Isn't that precisely what is being done when the government steps in and dictates how housing can or should be financed? If my neighbor can't afford the payment on his house, he needs to live in a smaller house! He doesn't need to knock on my door and ask me to help him make his payment! In essence that is what the government is doing by subsidizing housing, student loans, medicine, etc.

    Rhetorical Question; Why don't you educate yourselves on the role of government and start all over again?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:16 PM, razzamatazzer wrote:

    I did everything financially right,like buying a house that I knew I could afford.living below my means,saving up money and investing.I lost my job,have not been able to get a job(almost 4yrs now) and have been living of of my checking/savings/investments(that were supposed to be for my future) and have managed to keep up on my bills and remain debt free(for now). Where are the programs or help for people like me,who have done everything the right way??? Apparently,the help is for the people who were either greedy(too big a house,vacations,buying "things" or for people who were just plain stupid! They are able to get modifications and help and I cannot?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:19 PM, MVPanther wrote:

    Why are we concerned with the massacre of thousands, including children, in Syria, but continue to ignore the thousands of children that are slaughtered every year through abortion?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:22 PM, Middy52 wrote:

    Congress has failed. They should not get salary increases even though they did.My understanding is many on the staff are exempt from HAVING to take Obamacare. talk about hypocrisy-All should get same avg. haealth reduction as the average American.. ALL preferential treatment, incl coffee, doughnuts, personal favors eliminated. More importantly they need to vote for TERM LIMiTS.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:27 PM, srsuter wrote:

    Why was no one in the bond rating industry, banks and Wall Street held accountable for the fraud done to investors and borrowers?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:31 PM, playbytherules wrote:

    Mr President,

    Our laws should apply to everyone equally. NO EXEPTIONS for congress, they should not have their own pension system and healthcare etc.etc,

    (That makes us no better than a third world country.)

    The same laws and rules for Congress and constituents alike and they should not have the power to pass laws that do not apply to themselves.

    The same retirement system and basic healthcare for every one.

    If you want more you pay for it yourself.

    Right now we ordinary taxpayers( "the little people who who dutifully pay} foot the bill for Cadillac healthcare and pensions for Congress.

    How about it Mr President, let us see you

    propose this. We would see some REAL reforms in a hurry.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:34 PM, Stagewalker wrote:

    I want to know why none of the perpetrators of the fraud that created the disaster went to jail. The American public was sold fraudulent securities for a long time before the bottom fell out. None of these people has gone to jail. Why is that?

    Quite the contrary, the people who most benefited from the fraud are still busy perpetrating new frauds for us unsuspecting fools to buy.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:35 PM, JinianVictoria wrote:

    Whatever happened to the basic concept in economics that if you cant manage your business legally and ethically and make a profit...you go to the wall! I can see nothing has changed the same banks and firms are still doing business and investing the same way. They have gotten fatter and wealthier while the middle class is losing homes, businesses and their retirements. The government is no longer the *last man standing. I f another crisis hits or the government goes under because of debt overload who bails out the government? I dont think you will see the banks ponying up the money! I am sorry but I think Paulson et al were sold a bill of goods if not actively colluding in the government bailing out the banks, etc. Your soft words and actions at the time of the crisis were a travesty of capitalism and an insult to the taxpayer. All you did was shear the taxpayer and fatten the fat cats wallets. TOO BIG TO FAIL? If thats the case then they should fail corporately and individually. Call me a disgusted taxpayer!

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:38 PM, imharv wrote:

    Why won't the government accept some responsibility for the crisis by recognizing that this all started with the idea that everyone should own a home? That premise led to "no doc" loans, no down payment loans, higher and higher acceptable limits on mortgage guarantees by Freddie and Fannie which led to higher and higher home prices until the bubble burst. Sure, mtg-backed securities and Wall Street caused the financial crisis, but it all started before the. Unless the underlying causes are acknowledged, we'll repeat the same mistake again.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:42 PM, crycryagain wrote:

    what a joke-- obama's attention span is too short for him to do anything of substance. an embarrassment and a failure.getting as many people on the dole as possible is not an economic policy.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:42 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    Little faith that you will pose and the WH will actually answer, but here goes:

    1. WHEN will the White House and the "public servants" ( I use the term loosely) in the administration actually negotiate and get approved a US budget acceptable to Congress and as austere as most of the citizens have endured for the last 5 years in their personal finances?

    2. WHAT will the White House do to effectively combat the cronyism and waste in government expenditures?

    3. WHICH corporate beneficiaries and government employee grantors of "lost" investments at Solyndra, Solopower, A123, Revolt, GM, and every other obvious scam in the past 5 years will be prosecuted and/or fired and banned for life from government contracts or employment?

    4. When will the tax losses from subsidies to supposedly private enterprises like the production tax credits for wind and solar, or the agriculture subsidies to ADM, or the ethanol subsidies be removed and used to fund tax reductions for people who really pay taxes?

    5. When will the White House adopt a policy for taxes of "everyone should pay SOMETHING" and give the 43% of residents who pay nothing a serious stake in eliminating corruption and waste? (yes I will be holding my breath) ; -)

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:47 PM, Mssfit wrote:

    What problems will this new health care law have on the economy? It's causing many businesses to lay off full time employees and hire all part timers. This is not a good situation going forward. In addition, many employers are dropping health coverage and giving employees credit to go buy in the exchanges. Again, not a good issue for the economy.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:55 PM, Mssfit wrote:

    I agree that congress should NOT be exempt from the new healthcare, nor should big business, etc. if its so great, why all the exemptions? Why do we, the little guys, get this shoved down our throat? Does the word fairness have any meaning to this administration? Middle class Americans haven't got a chance in this country any longer. We are simply the bearer off all the tax burdens and receive nothing in return from our government. I for one, am disgusted.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:56 PM, edallan wrote:

    Why has the Obama Administration given de facto amnesty to essentially every bankster involved in crashing our economy?

    Bernie Madoff is about the only one to be jailed, and that is primarily because he defrauded other multi-millionaires, not the public at large.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 6:57 PM, gsturgis wrote:

    Welfare greed and dependency on the government promoted by Obama has destroyed any desire of self responsibility nor economic improvement and no family togetherness.

    The Obama quoted positive results of government bailout of auto companies, GM and Chrysler fail to compare the self improvement Ford on it's own.

    The increased undocumented voters, welfare dependents and unemployed Americans all are evidence of Obama's Democratic Failures!

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:03 PM, Panther007 wrote:

    Really? They want to hear from this particular community? Why? I don't buy it. There has been so much upheaval and foreclosed homes and tightened banking issues why now? The high ranking advisors don't know, do they, how bad things were and still are for many people. The home mortgage modification "thing" you mentioned just gave the mortgage company the illusion they were helping and they have illegally taken homes from people after telling them not to pay their mortgage to "qualify" for assistance and then, foreclosure notices start coming in and you are destroyed. So much talk and not enough assistance for many people while we have to celebrate Ford and Chrysler doing well? Geeeez.

    I think this was a lame attempt at getting traffic to your website and that's all. If I want to talk to Washington I call my representatives.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:13 PM, Horn1925 wrote:

    Why delay the KeystonePipe line anymore.the oil will be used in China, why not in the U S?ralphie

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:21 PM, georgehhaas wrote:

    saying too big to fail has been fixed is not true, banks are bigger than ever and will lead us into another mess.

    Much of the sub prime mortgage problem was jointly caused by the banks and unqualified borrowers and the fix was to screw people that were doing things right.

    The zero interest rates are helping banks and borrowers and giving savers and retired a bad deal .Low interest rates are causing social security reserves to be depleted faster as they can't get returns on investments

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:29 PM, Fool09182013 wrote:

    I have never felt that the banking and mortgage company decision makers who created the house of cards received any consequences as a result of their behaviors. The horse has left the barn for sure, but the lack of significant consequences sends a bad message to business leaders.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:34 PM, mtprx wrote:

    Dear Mr. President, First put someone in jail, second put someone in jail, third put someone in jail, etc... Wall street will never be serious until the regulatory authority has some teeth. Wall street is NOT manufacturing, they manufacture profits from thin air in ways most don't understand. Apparently not even the banks themselves.

    And before anyone refers to Ronald Reagan and his economic policies please remember that his believed in supply side economics and deficit spending. Try selling that to people with little or no money in their pockets.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:35 PM, alpha012 wrote:

    Why is no CEO who fooled investors on junk securities and rating agencies who rated those junk as AAA are not in jail for life?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:40 PM, hbofbyu wrote:

    Regarding the auto bail-outs (too big to fail): You (the Obama administration) have said that “years of bad decisions had caused them to progressively lose market share to foreign competitors” and that “we will not get back all of our investments in the industry.”

    Few of us want the auto workers or the auto industry to disappear forever. But many of us disagree fundamentally with the principle of giving a government-backed “loan” to companies that made bad business decisions – and we disagree even more with a loan like that which will never be repaid.

    Haven’t you set a dangerous precedent with these bailouts? Isn’t the positive propaganda on the auto bailout by the your Administration - or that of George Bush who originally extended $17 billion to Detroit - an acknowledgement that some favored companies will always be “too big to fail?”

    Including the banks, is the end all of corporate success in being so large that one can essentially hold the American economy hostage with no personal or criminal consequences for irresponsible decisions and practices?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:46 PM, Robertssj2 wrote:

    If the US is part of a global marketplace, which incorporates populations willing to work for dollars a day; how can the US regain strong, middle-class jobs that pay a living wage when the supply and demand of the global labor market will inevitably push common wages downward?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:49 PM, Heidikitty wrote:

    We have a dictator rather than a president and when the rest of the country is on a tight budget we are paying Obama's to travel all over the world.

    We do not need Obama care and he forces things thru any way he can when we do not want it.

    When you are tight on money you tighten the budget not print more money. We are constantly giving to foreign countries when we need to get this country back on track. Another thing! Where were you Obama when Benghazi went down and why did they not have help. We are sick and tired of lies, cover up and pushing things thru any way you can when we say NO! we do not want it! You are a president of Muslims not Americans.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:50 PM, kydon wrote:

    Every one of those videos promote the President and those around him, and you are promoting him. I signed up for investment advice, not political crap. Please cancel my subscription.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:53 PM, vfy5 wrote:

    In reading all of the above so far, everyone has pretty much summed up questions I would have asked. For the administration to ask to hear from us is a meaningless venture. The administration is made of up more Islamic people than any previous administration. Has anyone noticed that every country where we destroyed the dictator the Islamic people are taking over or attempting to and they are more dangerous than the dictators. The 932 executive orders that Obama has signed to date is destroying America. Those executive orders are really scary. From Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton to Bush right into Obama (because he was a senator at the time) this financial meltdown should never have happened had. The banks are still not making commercial loans. And if they do make one they charge 6% while paying less than 1% on savings. And last, but not least, not one single person of the those responsible for having a part in the financial meltdown went to jail. That is absurb! I would be sent to jail for not paying a parking ticket and these people ruin the lives of millions of people worldwide and not one went to jail. The Obama administration should not be patting themselves on the back because main street USA has not recovered yet!

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:55 PM, garypensgen wrote:

    When are we going to get both parties to work for the American Public instead of their reelection?

    When are we going to have term limits? These positions weren't meant to be jobs for life.

    When are we going to get rid of all means of giving to people in government? This purpose is to buy votes.

    When are we going to force government workers to comply with the laws the rest of us have to follow?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 7:56 PM, mountain8 wrote:

    I agree and completely support the following excerpts from all the posts. They just repeat what I've overheard from hundreds, and what I also believe.

    This is a personal summary for the MF who will see the president.

    1. "this is worse IMO than the Great Depression ."

    2. " (I)favor a government shutdown until Congress cuts Obamacare funding" (and perks and pork barrel funding)!

    3. "Why is there no mention of the number of people who are not receiving unemployment benefits but are still out of work?"

    4. "pmiller1175" YES!

    5. "The White House couldn't care less about our views" (neither does congress)

    6. "If the Affordable Health Care Act is so wonderful-- go FIRST "leadership"!! Put all the government employees on it, including the administration and Congress. (and the presidential butler)

    7. "The "economic stimulus" just kicked the ball down the road. As the government prints money our dollar is worth less and less. Total economic collapse is being deferred." And is inevitable.

    8. "Principle: Government should do ONLY what the public is UNABLE (not unwilling) to do for themselves."

    9. "Will the White House bring back the Glass-Steagall Act?"

    10."Why at every opportunity does Obama try to stifle our opportunity for energy independence i.e. the Keystone pipeline, the gulf oil shutdown etc.. Besides the oil, Industry would have created thousands of jobs at no cost to the taxpayer, but Obama, being the gutless guy that he is, chose to blame his Secretary of State."

    11."Crooked bankers should have gone to jail. Why didn't they?" Instead they got bonuses and stayed employed. At least fire 'em all.

    12."Do you think our national debt is a problem?" Friends, it is the end result of all our problems.

    13."The banks started the road to failure some years ago when the government decided to force banks to take riskier loans-- using discrimination as another dam excuse."Damn Straight. Which leads to...But that makes the government the builder of national failure.

    14."When will the Obama administration stop messing with capitalism more than any administration has done before?" (make that the whole congressional, executive and judicial branches.)

    15." The massive rise in medical costs is partly caused by insurance companies" AND PHARMACUITCAL INDUSTRIES. Who but the rich can put out $800 a month for ONE prescription? (and that's not in the least the most expensive)

    16."Good earnings need to be shared with everyone in the company and not just the top 1%. Greed will get us just like it got other civilizations before us."

    17."exempting Congress, government employees and probably soon to be unions from the cost burden of the PPACA (not to mention church and charities. WHY SHOULD ANYONE BE EXEMPT! Isn't this to be 'for the people'?

    18."Break up the biggest banks, reinstate Glass-Steagall, aggressively prosecute violators at the highest levels using existing law, get criminal convictions and significant financial penalties whenever possible.

    Penalties should be an incentive to not repeat illegal activities, not a cost of doing business.

    19."Where is it written that government has the responsiblilty to financially subsidize the citizens of this country?" It's on a memo in the trash.

    20 "MVpanther"

    21."need to vote for TERM LIMiTS." I don't want an 80+ year old dottering fool responsible for passing laws that effect me. There are minimum age limits for those running for office, There are age limits for drinking (etc.). There are age limits for retirement. Why not age limits on congressmen. Make them HAVE to retire at age 65 no matter what. And make it illegal for them to becoming a lobbyist.

    22."Why was no one in the bond rating industry, banks and Wall Street held accountable for the fraud done to investors and borrowers?"

    My additions:

    1. pass laws to FORCE any organization that includes the word "bank". to invest CONSERVATIVELY. Make derivatives and swap etc illegal.

    2. Do you remember how the US complained so much about the USSR invading a country and force them to follow communism? Looks like we are doing the same for our flawed political system. We have invaded just about EVERY country in the middle-east. And we force them to be democratic. When do we get out of the "Police Action" guru mentality and arrogance. George Washington was called "the father of our country", not the "Big Brother of the world."

    3. Last for the president (non-cap by choice)... Why do you believe we are incompetent to run our own affairs? Why do you think we are so stupid as to believe anything you or congress says anymore? My neighborhood gang is more competent than all you.

    Thanks everybody for the effort. Fool on!

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 8:14 PM, jeff1818 wrote:

    You make everthing sound like it's back on track. ^ years ago I lost my great paying construction job due to cut backs. I do have a job today but it is literally half of what I use to make. I have to make up for the shortfall by working two jobs and pizza delivery just isn't enough.

    When can we REALLY expect this to get back to the way it was. Please no polictical BS

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 8:16 PM, wisterialane wrote:

    It seems to me the financial crisis was basically caused by greed. Greed by Wall Street bankers looking for short term profits, greed by mortgage loan companies and their employees wanting instant profits and bonuses, greed by the rating agencies who did the will of the banks and institutions they were supposed to regulate totally without concern of what their greed would do to our economy. It seems to me that something needs to be done to disincentivize these groups from tanking our economy again. What is being proposed to stop the greed.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 8:36 PM, bevbug72 wrote:

    Everyone I know has to earn a living to survive and beg and bite for enough money to make it through month to month. What are you doing to earn you monthly wages? I would like to see you check into a shelter after standing on a street corner all day in the rain, Mr Average American.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 8:39 PM, FooLawson wrote:

    Wow nice comments guys like kydon, MVPanther, etc... This website is meant to educate, amuse and enrich, your comments do none of the three...

    "Do you think our national debt is a problem?" is not a real question, take a look at the US national debt clock...

    Will the US government accept an outside audit from America to check the Federal Reserve, the IRS, Obamacare, etc...?

    (preferably from an outside auditor in the US)

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 8:52 PM, Shedidit wrote:

    Like wisterialane I also believe that greed coupled with a broken moral compass of the players involved caused this whole mess. It seems that at one time post depression the safeguards were in place. The idea of Wall Street policing their own though well-meaning appears to have failed. Will the safeguards be re-instituted? My second question. Are these people going to jail? Particularly those who used their bail out money to provide rather large bonuses for themselves. The excuse was that they needed to keep their top executives from fleeing. Not having been born yesterday I wonder where after the crash were they going to go? Were the other failing businesses hiring? Did I miss something? Thankfully there are many rather large entities who have the understanding that they can make a substantial profit while maintaining ethical business standards.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:06 PM, Davis102 wrote:

    Five years into the economic recovery, GDP growth remains sluggish at best, a record number of Americans are out of the work force entirely with no hope of getting a job anytime soon, more part-time jobs are being created than full-time jobs, and a strong majority of Americans believe that we are on the wrong track. What else has to happen before the Obama Administration makes a substantial change in its economic policies?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:08 PM, JohnTransue wrote:

    As part of the fool community, I find it strange that we still have some who believe everything they read on the internet. I hope they do not do this for their own investments. All of Congress have paid into SS since 1984 and are governed by their rules. They also have a FERS retirement and a TSP (401K) type plan that they can choose to participate in. Normally that means that they cannot collect until age 62, unless they have put in 25 years, at which point they can retire at any age under FERS, but to draw SS they follow the SS rules. Their FERS pension is based on a formula taking their highest 3 years of pay. A 25 year Congress person would get around $68,000 a year, which is pretty good, but not near what they make in salary on a yearly basis. Once they reach 62 (reduced benefit) or full retirement age, they can also draw their SS like every other citizen that has paid into the system and can draw from their TSP (401K) if they have participated. Personally, I think serving in Congress should be considered a privilege and they should only be offered SS and the TSP which I believe has a 5% match. As a side note, all federal workers will participate in the ACA by 2014 unless they are specifically exempted before that time.

    As far as questions for the President:

    1. When will he unleash the energy potential of this country which has the ability to produce thousands of jobs overnight, with no significant cost to the tax payer? Since releasing plots of government land for exploration is under government purview, environmental considerations should be minimal since the government can control the terms and it is up to the energy companies to decide if it is a good deal or not for them.

    2. Why is he not holding the green energy companies to the same standard that he holds fossil fuel companies? Here in California, our wind turbines and solar power facilities have killed more fowl, including endangered eagles, and disrupted more desert eco environments then most fossil fuel companies ever have if you base it on amount of energy produced.

    3. How does he balance his conviction against fossil fuels with the reality that the poor are adversely harmed first by high energy costs?

    4. How did he come up with his proposal for a $3.4 million dollar limit on retirement accounts? Why does he feel those that have maybe gotten an education, worked hard, moved up in the pay scale, and saved, or have just been lucky in life, should be limited in the amount of their own money they can save? I believe this might be the same question, although asked another way, that some of those that have been responsible and made their payments on houses that are currently under water are asking as to why they should be penalized for doing the right thing for their circumstances, while those that have been irresponsible have gotten a pass.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:11 PM, Bluesman2050 wrote:

    Penny wise, pound foolish:

    Obama's suggestion to move from the CPI to the "chained" CPI for social security, federal annuities, and military pay cost of living adjustments violates a contract made when services were rendered for stated benefits and pay. This reduction in the cost of living payments will mean that more people, year by year, will need additional governmental support for subsistence. So, you take a little from the cost of living adjustment and then have to pay more than that amount with a geometric increase in recipients that need government subsidies and then have an added layer of administrative costs added in. The argument is similar to removing a Federal employee and replacing him/her with a contractor, who costs 30% more, in the phony name of reducing the federal workforce (an inside the beltway insider reality). The savings is illusory and the view point comes from someone who refuses to tell the emperor that he has on no clothes.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:33 PM, Wooly48 wrote:

    It seems that all things are possible under the Obama umbrella. Fine, how are you going to pay for that?

    The U.S. dollar used to be the gold standard and the reserve currency of the world. What is it now? The federal reserve continues to print "funny" money and no one in the world want the diluted dollar. How are you going to pay for that?

    Our national debt is so great that we are barely covering the interest due on our loans. How are you going to pay for that?

    Is the installation of a socialistic system going to be the answer when it has failed in ever attempt all over the world. Do we have to try to do what has failed already? How are you going to pay for that?

    Insanity is defined as trying the same thing over and over expecting a different result. How are you going to pay for that

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:39 PM, iamnik77 wrote:

    What will the administration do to create greater availability of desirable jobs?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:39 PM, jigricom wrote:

    When are the CEOs etc on Wall Street going to be made to face the music for the mess they created? They should be prosecuted for the scams they pulled.They are still pulling down multi-million dollar salaries and the rest of the US is making less in real terms than ever before.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:41 PM, jatta wrote:

    Why weren't the voices of itelligent non partisan people like Sheila Bair and organizations like NCLC taken seriously instead of rewarding and glamorizing people who helped create the near catastrophe eg. Timothy Geither who was star struck by the mega bankers, the regulators who were equally mesmerized and the CEO's of the banks who were creating bogus value and selling it as value based on real things. What a joke!

    It seems that our whole economy was run by if not quite "Animal House" but a fraternity non the less.

    Please!! Get some grown ups in the key positons.

    All our lives are at stake.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:41 PM, circa1850 wrote:

    What happened to the U.S. Postal Service cutting Saturday service as a way of saving money? That was the smartest thing I've heard suggested by the government in years. Please, is it going to happen? All I'm seeing is $$$$$ spent in advertising a sinking ship,..I get it, making the USPS cost effective would hurt the unemployment figures and make the economy look bad. IT IS BAD.

    Don't favor all the debt being put on the backs of graduating college students with the government in control of the loans. A college education isn't required for far too many of the available jobs. Is this one way to fund O'Bama Care?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 9:50 PM, circa1850 wrote:

    Ditto on jigricom comment at 9:39 pm on financial institution CEO's!. A travesty to have bailed them out. They still need to pay up.

    The big question. What ever happened to common sense?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 10:05 PM, 56reds wrote:

    Every financial crisis is caused by greed and stupidity but the ingredients for recovery change each time depending on the public's knowledge of (or lack of) understanding what caused that crisis. Keep in mind that the banking/financial deregulation that caused the crisis started during the end of the Clinton administration and snowballed during Bush Jr's eight years. Senators went to him/or his aides in 2002 warning about what was happening. No one in charge listened.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 10:05 PM, 18Chelsea wrote:

    We have seen this country declining steadily since the end of WW2. No one person, be it a President or a Congressman, is responsible for the mess that we are all suffering. We have been dumbed down by 'entertainment', allowed sporting events to overtake the educational systems that used to produce educated people that spoke correctly, we have lost our moral compass and thus are afraid to express indignation for fear of being politically incorrect. If we really want to know who is to blame for our nadir, look in the mirror,the real cause is US!

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 10:13 PM, Retirestocks wrote:

    Ford did not need a bail out. As a reward for Ford, the Ford motor company and all employees should get a tax free year. I will always buy a Ford product from now on. My 401k took a 35% hit and I still retired at age of 63 in 2012. My retirement accounts have again attained the per recession level but I am still missing my planned 8% compounded growth for the 4 recession years.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 10:23 PM, pamstuart wrote:

    I am very appreciative of the efforts of the Obama administration to minimize the effects of the crisis of 2008 and to try to jump start the economy. My comments are directed at fine tuning the efforts of the administration and to point out that it is not just those who work in construction and the manufacturing sector who were deeply impacted by the devastating effects of the Bush economy. In my view, the Government needs to be putting more effort toward getting the taxpaying economy back to work -- and by that I mean those taxpayers who are professionals or other previously high earning taxpayers who got laid off or whose small businesses were devalued by what happened in 2008. I am an attorney and the entire legal profession has been upended by the fallout from the crisis. The older members of our profession were quietly let go in record numbers and the younger, newbie lawyers are not getting snapped up by law firms because the corporations have said they will not pay for a young lawyer who is not yet "experienced." Why should anyone care about this? Because lawyers generally earn and pay taxes at consistently high rates. With a highly graduated tax rate structure, the government should be paying a lot more attention to jump starting the industries and demand for legal and professional services that return a high rate of return in tax dollars that can support other segments of the economy. Putting more asphalt on the ground is commendable and definitely puts money in paychecks for the middle class but in terms of return on the tax income front, perhaps more effort should be expended in thinking about how to beef up the demand for legal services, consulting services, health care practitioner services and other (previously) highly compensated sectors of the economy.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 10:26 PM, dbb032 wrote:

    ...........there was a time when we believed it was necessary to support recovering foreign countries with favorable tarifs. How can that still be true? Their safety standards are lax, if they exist at all. Americans workers, thankfully, are protected by stricter laws, making foreign goods, (and lives) cheaper. Why so we not penalize such countries with higher tarifs, and invest to restore jobs and customers for Americans homemade products? I realize that its not that simple, but we should demand bettter. Lets not win the War, only to goof up the peace. Mary-Lou

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 11:17 PM, Mitchmds8 wrote:

    I think they asked everyone to post questions not what they think about the issue!

    What has the government down with the money that was paid back? Was it applied to our national debt or used for something else? If it was used for something else why?

    What is the government plan to stop giving hand out to people?

    Why are my medical costs more expensive this year than four years ago and why do they keep going up?

    When is congress going to get a pay cut in their paychecks and have their medical coverage the same plan I have to be on?

    Who determines what congress and other government workers get paid, we the people or congress and government paid people?

    Why is the government in debt? Answer Because of greedy people that know how to play the system.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 11:37 PM, HonkieHK wrote:

    Obama has eluded to a plan where both Fannie and Freddie play a decreasing role in the mortgage market and an interest in private corporations stepping in as a replacement for this service.

    Q: Can the administration please provide more information on its plan for this transition and how long they think it will take? Its the ultimate goal to have both Fannie and Freddie disappear, or simply play less of a role moving forward?

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 11:49 PM, cardman61 wrote:

    I would just like to ask King Obama; How much longer until the transformation of the United States of America, into the United States of Illinois is complete? Unfortunately, I am a lifelong resident of the worst run, most corrupt state in the country (Illinois), and I am sorry that the rest of you have been dragged into this mess.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 12:48 AM, charliedoe wrote:

    Mr. President:

    I'm intrigued that banks and other "respectable" business institutions have so readily resorted to "gotcha capitalism." I understand that tricking dumb customers is profitable to the seller. But there is no social gain from these transactions, as Adam Smith pointed out so long ago. So, I'm wondering what government can do to foster the perception of true, free market transactions as those in which buyers and sellers disclose (not conceal) the terms of the exchange. This issue is, I think, fundamental.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 12:57 AM, RODSTEIN wrote:

    Encourage small businesses to hire more people.

    They employ more people than all of the Fortune 500 companies. Women owned businesses succeed at a higher rate than male owned enterprises. -- Go to W.E.D.C. enterprises; C-200 businesses; the International Women's Forum. And there are many, many more such groups who have DONE it without much government support. There aren't any Solyndras in these closets. -- When the government of a country that has business as their main occupation doesn't have any business people in the Cabinet, that government's ability to lead successfully is suspect.

    LillianLeeIn@aol.com Los Angeles

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 2:02 AM, ejcarter89 wrote:

    I went back to school full time in the beginning of this terrible market (April 2009 to may 2010) thinking that I could take 20 years of solid, long tenured, corporate experience and come out of school with a Masters better and stronger.

    Well, I have had 4 jobs in 4 years. The first one last 18 months and since Sept 30, 2011 three lasted for 3 - 4 months each with at least that long in between. The last two were a complete shock to me the day I was let go.

    I am currently unemployed since 6/28 (BTW terminated on the 89th day before a 90 day sign on bonus was due to me) and my state is denying my UI benefit claims even though I have a separation agreement that clearly states this is a no fault separation, without cause and they will not contest a UI claim.

    I have greatly reduced my salary expectations even though at 51 years old I have gone through my 401(k), have $37k of student loan debt, maxed out my credit cards and do not have any medical insurance. I have a part time college teaching job that pays half of my monthly expenses. It is not consistent. I do not know what I will have come retirement, but I will say one thing. This has brought me closer to God because I pray A LOT these days!

    Its been my experience that companies are not hiring, they are delaying hiring to some indefinite unknown time in the future and are lying right to your face about the permanency expectations.

    Working employees are WAY over worked and there are too many non working folks looking for work. What is wrong with this picture?!

    I think it is way to easy to get rid of employees now. I was in middle management, forget about being there now. So I have trained myself to be a productive, creative, current line staff employee in campaigns marketing and project management and I continue to have large gaps in my employment. Its such a different game. No one is looking at long term, strategic actions. If I am lucky and secure something in the next few weeks, I might make half of what I made in the 2008 time frame.

    If I can suggest one thing. Companies need to HIRE folks in reasonable jobs paying reasonable salaries and keep those folks on the books for longer than 3-4 months. We need jobs that last and nothing else really matters.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 2:33 AM, bozo0330 wrote:

    We have spent a lot of money bailing out the fat cat bankers that irresponsibly did things that they knew were unsustainable only to line their pockets, knowing the fall would come.

    This country really needs new infrastructure. The programs that build many of the bridges, damns, roads, etc as part of the recovery from the great depression helped to build a strong economy and country. Has any thought been given to this kind of spending now? We have spent billions, and now the banks are making record profits again, but our infrastructure is weak, and these billions haven't done anything to help our long term prospects.

    We are simply making the rich richer and not creating a sustainable infrastructure....for example better electrical grids and towers to carry wind energy around the country, etc.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 3:35 AM, Skyblue172 wrote:

    What can you do to get a full court press by all government employees, elected officials and agencies of the government to on a national level to: reduce imports, increase exports, reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, increase the minimum wage, increase job creation domestic capital investments, reduce all foreign travel, encourage tele-commuting, reduce government travel, increase the postage cost of junk mail, reduce the national waste stream, raise the social security earnings cap and generally simplify government processes to reduce all kinds of waste...

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 5:42 AM, JZ88 wrote:

    Come on folks, we are asking questions we know the answer to. Why are the rich getting richer? The market went down with the crisis, and people who already had capital for investing, such as "rich" folk just bought more, I think there was even a story on the fool about how when people get scared and the market trends are down you buy. So people who already had money made more at the oppurtunity.

    Why are big bankers not in jail? Are you really asking that? I dont agree with the lending practices that came to light but you have to put the blame evenly. Yes they gave bad loans and yes people took them. You should know what your means are and try to live within them. Granted there are many cases i am sure of people losing jobs and unforseen problems. We all know there are many that went well beyond there means with credit and the banks willingly gave it out.

    Do I agree with many of the opinions posted here...no because I choose to look at the world for what it is, not what I want it to be. Do I like President Obama's policies? Absolutely not, but we live in this democracy that elected him.

    I agree that infastructure is in bad need of proper sound investing. Our trade deficit and national debt, specifically the cost of medical treatment and billing needs to be addressed and finally to end this rant we all need to sit back and remember that proper education is key to making the people remember that we vote these people in to office, we can still change the course of the country if people just wake up.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 6:21 AM, Tiingall wrote:

    Thomas Jefferson made it clear about 200 years ago that bankers are the major threat to the Nation's aims and aspirations when he said:

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."

    Numerous Fool articles related to this latest plunge into banker created human suffering and financial turmoil have highlighted that they system has been taken over by those bankers, accountants, auditors and related financial experts who are in it solely for the money and see the public and genuine businesses as their legitimate prey and victims.

    A lot of the nation's smartest have gone into the banking and finance industry, because it's easy money. If those people had gone into businesses that create ideas or products and generate genuine productivity and benefits for other people - jobs, income, services, technology etc - the country, and the world, would be in a far better state.

    Many modern banking products are simply gambling. They are not related to taking our saving and pension funds to invest prudently in sound business ideas. They are just thinly disguised and convoluted snake oil created to provide opportunities for them to make a fortune; at our expense. And at the expense of the nation that now has high unemployment, high medical expenses, and a retirement crisis.

    The bankers take no personal responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. They can create scam schemes to scim off our savings and pension funds, and they never pay the fines that government imposes for their unethical behaviour. We pay the fines through lower interest, higher fees and less services. It's time the bankers and other finance experts suffered the financial consequences of their greed and gambling.

    If we borrow money from the bank for a business idea and it fails, we lose our house and other assets to repay it. When a banker borrows our savings and pension funds from the vault to "invest" in one of their scams, they do not pay back what is lost or vaporised. We do, again, via tax support, lower interest, lost wealth, lower house values,

    When bankers get involved in illegal activity - laundering Mexican drug cartel money, funding wars and falsifying international currency transactions to make money by funding terrorist organisations - the Senate fines the company. The bankers who perpetrated these crimes pay nothing. We pay via lower interest, higher fees and poor service.

    It's time to eliminate the deliberately convoluted banking and finance schemes that can be abused by the insiders to benefit themselves at the nation's expense. These get-rich-quick-at-our-expense scams serve no purpose than to cripple the nation and create many of the problems Fools have highlighted.

    Get rid of the financial gambling so there is less to fear from bankers.

    Get rid of the parasitic banking and finance scams so smart people can put their brains - and the investment in their education we have all made - to benefit the nation with better products and services so costs of health care can be reduced, so the value of human effort and savings is not vaporised or stolen, and so the retirement crisis can be addressed.

    The nation and the world does not need the parasitic financial burden of a corrupt and self-serving banking and financial industry. This industry should be working for us, not sucking our blood to the point where they destroy us.

    A document highlighted via an earlier Fool article comes to mind as an illuminating read for the White House policy makers. "The History of the Money Changers". Find it with an internet search.

    Harking back to Thomas Jefferson again, the yoke of colonial exploitation for which many people suffered and died to create the great US of A, has been replaced by the yoke of banker exploitation. The nation and it's people will continue to suffer until that burden is removed and the people have control over the bankers; rather than the reverse.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 7:01 AM, cmrk3 wrote:

    Is the $85 billion-per-month bond-buying in the budget? How can the fed afford to buy so many bonds when the country is so broke? And since this money mainly helps rich bankers, isn't it like trickle down economics?

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 8:31 AM, Jurkekr wrote:

    Nice going Fools! You had me going there, for a while I thought it was April 1 and this was your April's fools day joke...

    Why would we want to ask anything from this administration? We have not been given a truthful answer in 5 years. It truly would not be Foolish to expect one now.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 9:05 AM, colt1210 wrote:

    Wall street is doing great and that is all the president cares about. Bail out business and bankers and watch the the small investor/savers go down the crapper.

    colt1210

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 9:41 AM, MFAbbott wrote:

    I suggest the President watch Michael Moore's 'Capitalism, A Love Story'... and ask himself why there have been no prosecutions on Wall Street?

    Why is Main Street so broke while Wall Street is flying high? Don't get me wrong, I like investing, but I also like living in an America where all the jobs haven't been shipped to China.

    Actually, that sums up all the anyone needs to know about out economy. Bob Dylan should have played 'Union Sundown' at the White House... instead of that quaint version of 'Blowin' in the Wind'.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 9:44 AM, ramfool2 wrote:

    interesting comments; even the mean spirited ones who don't appreciate, much less recognize, that president obama had been an effective, steady leader when we need one........

    I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO GIVE THE "THUMBS UP" OR DOWN TO EVERY COMMENT I READ....... maybe the foolish powers that be, can enable that to happen here....... IT WOULD CERTAINLY CREATE MORE READERSHIP OF THE LETTERS WHEN PEOPLE HAVE THAT ABILITY TO AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH OTHERS' COMMENTS..........

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 9:54 AM, sevenheart wrote:

    Where does this Administration believe tax revenues come from, the people or another source? Is the Administration committed to taking more money from the taxpayers in order to provide "more help" for the people, or would they consider letting the people take care of themselves by letting them keep more of what they earn for investment, education and every day life?

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 9:55 AM, slickandjake wrote:

    I need to review the report before making additional questions. However, in general I would like to know if the Obama Administration believes in the principle that people who achieve and have success should be rewarded postively for their efforts, while those who fail and are unsuccessful should receive negative consequences? Then, to follow up, does the Obama Administration believe those who were successful and achieved were rewarded more versus those who did not succeed, or was it vice versa? And I am asking my questions in terms of the banking/lending industries as well all businesses in general during the financial crisis of 2008. In other words, were there businesses who were succeeding and going to continue to succeed even after the economic problems of 2008 and how were they rewarded versus those who required the bailouts?

    One additional question. One of the achievements above claims "The Treasury has received nearly $422 billion in total cash payments back from the government's investments in TARP and support for AIG. This is more than the $421 billion it disbursed through TARP." Would the Obama Administration consider this a good return on the taxpayers' investment? Or were there other ways to spend $422 billion in total cash on entities who were succeeding in order to help them take over the market share and reward those who were succeeding versus rewarding those who were failing?

    In general, my overall big question is this: What principles do the Obama Administration and Congress adhere to when it comes to economics and how the economic system is supposed to work? How do the actions after the financial crisis compare to the principles answered in the first question?

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 10:00 AM, GagasPeter wrote:

    Mr. President...

    I proposed this long ago so...

    Why haven't you held a summit at the Sand Dunes National Park (near Alamosa, CO) and raced Putin to the top of the High Dune?

    Seriously, nothing like nature's wonders looking down on a few men making worldly decisions...

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 10:11 AM, szcz wrote:

    This is now a socialist country where governments (federal, state and local) regulate most of our lives (except the right to play video games and smoke pot) and take more than half of what we earn.

    Yet, the Fool engages in such mindless exercises.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 10:16 AM, Jamesband wrote:

    I would ask him, and all the cronies in W/DC, if they, would like to leave willingly, or do we have to get rough! Eventually the commoners a.k.a. the middle class, will wake up to the fact that the Fiat Stock a.k.a. the dollar, no longer provides interest in the Bank's savings accounts because it is worthless i.e. why do you think everyone with a lot of Fiat Stock traded it for real company stocks in the Market yesterday? Maybe the knowing folks know that if they continue to hold the Fiat Stock they will lose even the little bit of stored value left in the borrowing aspect of it. Anyway, billions of the stuff shifted from Bank deposit accounts to the market meaning Bank will take a crap as their capital/cover flies out the door... i.e. more bank failures on the horizon! So go ahead and make my day, tell me you want to get ruff with the American people, especially the middle class! After they catch on to the fact that they are ruined, they will want to take large pieces out of you and your minions! So please… make my day!

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 10:25 AM, denialbrecht wrote:

    1) What does it mean to be transparent?

    2) How does one borrow to get out of debt and be prosperous?

    3) Why is the middle class suffering when the President's speeches indicate he is trying to help it?

    4) Why do people who continue to work hard and pay taxes keep getting asked to do more - for those who don't (illegals, criminals, lazy people, etc)?

    5) How is the administration rewarding the long term dedication of those of us who have worked at whatever job we can find that pays, remained out of bankrupcy, paid our bills and taxes, and been legal?

    6) When the President says he's a christian, what does he mean by christian? For centuries it has meant a follower of Jesus Christ.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 10:38 AM, Easygoingtoo wrote:

    All of the programs created out of the financial crisis rescued bad or irresponsible behavior, not a great message for future generations. I am in favor of repealing the Affordable Health Care Act and replacing it with open nationwide competition for all health insurers, equal tax treatment for individuals deductions for health care premium just as businesses and self employed can deduct their health care premiums, establishing high risk pools, pushing medical malpractice reform.

    Disband the Department of Education turn education back to the states. Education for all is the key to the future and states with the best education systems will attract more citizens. Look at the states with pension and revenue shortfall issues. They are losing popultion

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 10:45 AM, Lloyd44 wrote:

    Your new OMB director Silvia M has some terrific spin re the national debt being reduced at a rate not seen since WW II. Tell me how adding over 6T to our structural debt in 5 years...now over 16T and bumbing against another debt limit is helping our country? How much is too much? I guess printing 85B a month and pumping it into the bond market is the answer. When will the madness end?

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 11:07 AM, ForThePeople wrote:

    What plans does the government have to revamp federal income taxes, to give the American public more spending power? The last election had people talking about a Flat Tax. Believe me, I would much rather pay a 8-10% flat tax on my gross income, than the 30% I pay now on my adjusted gross income. This gives me roughly 10% more income to invest or spend on things like a vacation, new clothes, home improvements, etc.

    I'm no economist; but, it seems that when the American public has money to spend, the real unemployment rate would drop causing the government to spend less on unemployment & welfare benefits. Which leads me to another question. How much does the government save in unemployment and welfare benefits for every 1% decrease in unemployment?

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 11:27 AM, 67NEWT wrote:

    First let me say that socialism has never worked in any country and will not work in America. Since the Great Depression and maybe even before then we have had creeping socialism. This is why today we have this huge government that's on everybody's back and in everybody's wallet.

    In America we have a constitution that guarantees our freedom and protects our rights and property. Now, it's common sense to see that our constitution and socialism can not exist together at that same time in this country. One or the other has to go.

    My question to the president and the congress is when will you start to reduce the size of the government and reduce taxes and regulations; in others word when will you start to reverse the ruinous effects of socialism. Thank you.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 11:30 AM, PhyllisHarold wrote:

    I would like to ask the White House and Congress

    1. Why they can pass Health Care Reform and they don't have to abide by it. They should never pass legislation that does not apply to them (since they represent the people).

    2. Congress should have term limits and be limited to 2 consecutive terms - just like the President. I have never met a constituant who did not agree with this.

    3. The Health Care Reform should be abolished and get some voters, congressmen, doctors, and insurance experts to design a simple plan that everybody can understand -

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 11:34 AM, PhyllisHarold wrote:

    When our company felt the effects of endless costs, it began to reduce by studying what had to be done. Government just gets bigger (hires more people,makes more laws, puts a bigger strain on the people. Government should look at just how few workers it needs (this includes congressmen), how to reduce paperwork, travel, etc.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 12:02 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    All very interesting. Let me add a couple of PRACTICAL questions:

    - The most perverse, damaging and IRONIC activity of the White House and this president is sitting on the approval of the Keystone Pipeline, billions of private (non government) investment, thousands of jobs and infrastructure reducing energy costs for decades, all while promising to work on getting jobs and helping the middle class- WHEN will the WH quit ditzing about and approve the pipeline? Meanwhile, the producers in N. Dakota and Montana ship by truck and train because of pipeline constraints that Keystone will solve, burning excess fuel to do so.....

    - From about 1950 to roughly 1990 the US Forest Service paid for all of its operations, built roads and recreational facilities AND RETURNED A SURPLUS to the US treasury through timber sales. Thousands of middle class jobs at logging operations and mills produced families and taxes. Since 1990 or so due to "environmental interests" their lawsuits and Federal Judges, very little timber has been harvested from the taxpayers assets. Instead it has been eaten by bugs and gone up in smoke (literally. thousands of acres of burned and scared land) This will continue until our policy of wasting taxpayer assets is reversed. The shift (from USF producing surpluses to consuming tax dollars) has to be over a billion. WHEN will the White House reverse this waste, and/or give individual taxpayers the right to sue government officials, individuals bringing the lawsuits that waste our assets, and individual Federal Judges for their waste of our dollars and resources?

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 12:39 PM, williambonney wrote:

    The president is concentrating our military and monies on Syria. A country 1/2 way around the world that has done nothing to us. If Obama did not put foot into mouth we would not be involved in their war. Instead we are now supplying arms to AL Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood which are the rebels.

    This is the most divisive president I have ever seen in my 74 yrs. Racism, spying on citizens, illegals and using the IRS for his own gain is just a partial list of what is wrong.

    He has accomplished NOTHING for the economy. Businesses have shrunk and workers trminated. That is why the market is up.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 12:44 PM, DoomStar wrote:

    Oh how the mighty have fallen! The late and great US of A once a bastion of the brave and the free has succumbed to becoming a kleptocracy - basically - ruled by thieves! From free and open markets to a centrally planned economy compliments chairman Ben & company. The US can no longer dictate free market principles to likes of China and Russia given recent antics on Wall Street and the financial raping of it's citizenry and honest savers therein. Shame on you America your fathers most likely would have revolted by now letting the culprits hang in full display in front of their altars of deceit. Wake up America it is too late for your country time to save yourselves from encroaching tyranny. Good luck with that. DoomStar

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 12:53 PM, sanjac20 wrote:

    I would ask President Obama why he and his administration have failed to push a transition of the American transportation systems to utilizing natural gas as our primary fuel source.

    Since the US economy is some 70 percent consumer driven, lowering transportation costs by an estimated 40 percent by using American natural gas reserves has the potential to 1) eliminate or materially reduce our $1 billion dollar a day purchase of foreign-sourced and priced imported crude oil which enriches OPEC and results in continuous geo-political entanglements that require us to pay for the world's largest military establishment and 2) deprives the US economy of the economic advantages that that massive sum could generate in the American economy if it remained here to circulate and multiply its economic potential in our economy.3) vast improvements in our air quality with the attendant benefits that would entail. 4) increased national security through use of an American based fuel source.

    The transition to American natural gas will require private investment to build out the nation's re-fueling infrastructure, but the government has myriad ways that it could aid and support that transition.

    Consider how our consumer-driven economy would benefit by reducing its cost to fill up our gas tanks from $75 to say $40...that's $35 to buy the goods and services we all need that should themselves be cheaper due to that same 40 percent reduction in distribution/transportation cost.Its not an unreasonable myth that our present national energy "policy" is costing American tax payers one trillion dollars each year we fail to power our economy with our own domestic fuel source.

    An "extra" trillion dollars a year has the potential to do wonders for our severely compromised economy. We need leadership to get this accomplished....much like President Dwight Eisenhower exhibited in building out the National Defense Highway system more commonly known as the "Interstate Highway System"

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 2:32 PM, 51politeMan68 wrote:

    The USA will not solve it's economic problems without addressing the massive trade deficit with China & other countries we have large trade imbalance. Also immigration must be solved, we cannot afforded to have an open immigration system, immigration restrictions is needed to protect American Jobs. NAFTA is a fiasco, benefits Mexico & Canada at the expense of American Jobs. Canada & Mexico has trade surpluses with USA. The playing field has to be leveled with China & India & other countries. My children has to compete with Indian & other illegal migrant children for education, healthcare,jobs, housing, and so on. "Washington need to get it's act together", quit the partisan stupidity.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 3:22 PM, 1981gmac wrote:

    Please list all of the paid employees, or those in the huddle he listems too, of the Obama administration who actually have any business acumen, either large or small business.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 3:53 PM, herminator45 wrote:

    Wake up America! Obama is a modern day Hitler. Compare their programs & characteristics, the attitudes of the populace, the socialist mandates, the assault on human rights and religious freedoms. I wonder when he's going to tell the Muslins to stop clinging to their guns and religion. He's a great orator but lacks guts and leadership skills. He's out to destroy our democracy and all the freedoms our patriots have earned over the last 200+ years. We need to put a stop to his non-sense asap.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 4:48 PM, kathyklok wrote:

    Why have there been no prosecutions of the men who caused this tragedy? Why are they still having a wonderful time living the life of Riley while across the length and breadth of the US tax paying Americans are still loosing their homes, loosing their jobs, living on minimum wage, not getting raises year after year? The courts don't protect the American people, they only protect the rich.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 5:06 PM, LittleMaz wrote:

    Reinstate Glass-Steagall

    Prosecute corporate criminals to the full extent of the law with significant penalties.

    Break up the large banks.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 5:11 PM, Snertie wrote:

    The White House really doesn't want my advice. The biggest problem with our economy is the government continuing efforts to "fix it". Since monetary, fiscal, and regulation policy is always in flux, it is impossible to form a cogent business plan and execute it without fear of having the rug pulled out from under you. The only people who don't seem to have this problem are the big players (banks and largest corporations) with their fingers all over policy in Washington. The rest of us and "main street" are at their mercy.

    Washington is comfortable with this state of affairs, and will not change it. zero-percent interest rates and the equities bubble continues to steal wealth from the middle class for the benefit of those pulling the strings in DC. So 2% growth and 10% unemployment will be the "new normal", just like is is in most other social democracies.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 5:33 PM, LUMAHAIBLUE wrote:

    SIMPLIFYI ALL THE BS, OBAMACARE GOOD INTENTION- TOTALLY FLAWED IMPLEMENTATION. SMALLER GOVT. NOT 7' OF REGULATIONS. YOU PEOPLE ARE LOST, GOD HELP US ALL. FED. SALES TAX, NO MORE IRS, SMALLER GOVT. LETS GET ON WITH LIVING THIS MOMENT, GOD'S MOMENT. WALL STREET- PIGS! ABOLISH ROBO TRADES, SHORTS, OPTIONS, FUTURES, DERIVTAVES! THE STOCK MARKET WAS FOR CAPITOL "INVESTMENT" AHH, THE MATERIAL PIGS BOUGHT THE HOUSE AND SENATE TO GET THEIR PIGISH LAWS. GOD HELP US ALL!

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 5:38 PM, LUMAHAIBLUE wrote:

    ON THE WING, PF. WONDERFUL MUSIC/PERSPECTIVE.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 6:56 PM, rdwicker wrote:

    when there was obvious corruption and wrong doings throughout the lead up to the melt down, and this corruption has been identified, why was no one prosecuted for this mess?

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 7:57 PM, bullheaven wrote:

    I second these comments:

    Reinstate Glass-Steagall

    Prosecute corporate criminals to the full extent of the law with significant penalties.

    Break up the large banks.

    The big banks have only gotten bigger about 30% bigger and we headed down the same path. It's only a matter of time before it happens again.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 9:00 PM, brittlerock wrote:

    WOW - I read every comment. That's a whole lot of venting, but very few substantive questions. I don't disagree with some of the things people are angry about (c'mon, really, we can't prosecute and convict a single person for the financial debacle?) And yeah, that would be the government's job, but I really don't think it lands on the president's doorstep. Maybe he could've jaw-boned a little more for some action to be taken.

    And many of the other comments are simply misinformed. I would just encourage folks to get the facts (try some sources other than Faux Noise). Do a bit more research. Understand the issue better before you blame the president for things that are simply untrue or for which he has little responsibility (if any).

    So, what would I ask the president? Two things:

    What can you do to institute true campaign finance reform (especially now that you don't face any future elections)?

    When can we expect true tax reform and a complete rewrite of the tax code?

    There - that was not easy to do without a lot editorial comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 9:30 PM, bigbobby50 wrote:

    We need to return "undocumented individuals" to their homelands & from there, inform those of the entitlement mentality that the free ride is over.

    If you do not want to work, regardless of what the job is, then we no longer want to support you.

    There is no individual sense of personal pride or accomplishment when the government provides an

    Un- married mother of 2 the equivalent of $20/hr in benefits to stay home. She stays home, makes more babies and the taxpayer gets the bill. That's an issue.

    Also, we need to make government more business-friendly. Innovation & entrepreneurial spirit are all but gone in America. "If it's sold here, it better be made here"

    Last comment-make our legislators accountable. ANY LAWS PASSED APPLY TO THEM JUST AS THEY APPLY TO US. No more separate benefits programs or lifelong pensions- if you're not serving, you're not collecting a 'pension'

  • Report this Comment On September 19, 2013, at 10:35 PM, beastofbodmin wrote:

    If you take military action in Syria, will you return your Nobel Peace Prize?

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 9:17 AM, petermcmullin1 wrote:

    What was the connection between the community redevelopment act & the dissolution of Glass-Stegall. I believe this was the first step off the cliff. Neither should have happened. Mortgages were too easy to get encouraged by the Federal Government. The merger of commercial banks & investment banks encouraged speculation with shareholder funds. It is a travesty that the government is suing banks which tried to help the situation by acquiring problematic financial institutions.-another victory for the lawyers. There should be term limits in the Congress & Senate.to encourage better legislation & less deadlocks,

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 10:37 AM, steve411 wrote:

    JZ88, in my opinion you are on the right track. The "greatest generation" (WW2 vet era Americans) wouldn't sit on their hands and watch a hand full of ulta-conserviative representatives and senators hold the world economy hostage. America- wake up! how many contributors to this forum have contacted on your senators and congressperson to express your opinion on pending legislation?

    Mr. President, leadership is your responsibility. How will you lead the the citizenry to become more active in political activism? It is our civic duty. You need to tap into the strength of the 70% of voting age citizens that take what ever comes out of Washington and get them involved.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 10:39 AM, fernholtz87 wrote:

    I would ask the administration why they don't seem to support implementing the Fair Tax, & doing away with the IRS. If they are really serious about solving some of our most nagging problems, especially the economy, then the Fair Tax is the way to go.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 11:05 AM, deversrich wrote:

    The Obama recovery has been hard on retired people. Any one who saved any money for retirement and planned to use interest income to help with their retirement expenses has been hosed by the artificially low interest rate that the government created. Those that had their retirement funds in the stock market saw their nest egg shrink considerably at the beginning of the crisis and are just now seeing the nestegg return to its 2008 values (if they have not had to pull out any money to live on). Those that put some or all of their money in bonds or money market funds have suffered from the low interest rates and have had to pull money from their savings to live on rather than being able to live on the interest from their savings.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 11:11 AM, deversrich wrote:

    The whole message from the federal government sounds like a campaign speech for Obama and his administration. Lots of praise with very few facts; only the the facts that tend to make them look good and none of the many facts that do not make therm look good. For example, why don't they mention that GM has not paid any corporate income tax since they came out of their bankruptcy.

    While President Obama campaigns on “tax fairness” – eliminating loopholes for the wealthiest one percent, the oil companies and other big corporations -- his favorite corporate giant is enjoying an unprecedented, under-the-table multi-billion dollar tax break.

    In addition to the more than $50 billion given to General Motors in the bailout, the Obama administration quietly snuck in a special tax break for GM, which allows the company to write off approximately $45 billion in post-bankruptcy losses against post-bankruptcy profits.

    The result? In 2011, GM paid nothing in federal income taxes despite claiming record profits of $7.6 billion, the “highest profits in the 100 year history of that company” according to President Obama.

    In fact, that’s not quite right. GM paid a tax rate of negative 1.5% on its record profits – less than nothing.

    That’s right, while you were paying your income taxes last month, the IRS was sending General Motors a check for $110 million. And GM’s tax break is a gift that will keep on giving every year at tax time.

    It’s good for twenty years.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/05/18/what-gm-bailout-re...

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 3:21 PM, Mickum wrote:

    I would ask the WH how it manages to live with itself. While it gives campaign-like speeches about growing the economy, it's agenda is not concerned with a vibrant market-based economy but, instead, control of the populace and a re-education in the theme of group-think.

    So - I get that - the WH doesn't like a free thinking, free-market based society. What I find galling and at the same time fascinating in a perverse sense of scientific interest, is the WH's ability to lie through their pretty teeth. Controlling society apparently doesn't involve integrity, save integrity for the cause. 1984 was more prophetic than I knew.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 4:50 PM, rolandstoan wrote:

    An awful lot of ill informed and silly rants here. First, I had to listen to everything being Bush's fault, now it's all Obama's fault. Both presidencies proved we need better leaders but we can thank the greed of many, including ourselves for our current economic difficulties. Presidents actually have little to do with the economy. This has been demonstrated in lots of studies. Our competitiveness in a global economy comes with many questions that are and will continue to be very difficult to answer. I tend to think our educational system and policies have greatly failed this country and has greatly diminished our competitiveness. We can't afford too many products made in our own country anymore and have fooled ourselves into believing our dollar still has a lot of purchasing power by importing far more than we export including falling for the idea that our enormously inflated real estate values could be a piggy bank for buying more things we really don't need.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 5:18 PM, Retirestocks wrote:

    The "too big to fail" bail out seems to be the biggest scam ever done on the American people. With the results so far are a slow recovery and delaying the next bank infection on the American economy. All the TARP, bailout and bond buying money should have gone to Main Street, but not everyone. Only those people that have actually paid taxes for 7 consecutive years and were 62 years or older. The following requirements would also have to be met: 1-retire from the work force within the next 2 years and the money could only be used to pay down mortgage, auto, student or long term care debt. This would have helped the current unemployment rate and would have helped stabilize Main Street. My only reference was the "cash for clunkers" program that was popular with most no Main Street. Also the best foreign policy we have is our economy, so please Congress don't default the US!

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 5:26 PM, 092326 wrote:

    If President Obama wants to be remembered as a Great President, I believe he should address the problems in the African American community in an honest and forthright manner: Yes their is still racism and bigotry in America. But the real problem in the African American community is a break-down of the family, too many babies born to young, uneducated and unskilled young women, too many school drop-outs, an unwillingness to accept and address the problems by the Black Leadership and the silencing of Black Leaders who want to discuss the problems. African American children are not stupid, too many of them just do not care. Unless the President and the Congress address this problem it will only grow worse.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 5:43 PM, Epiphany11 wrote:

    Mr. O'Bama:

    I doubt that you will actually read these comments, nevertheless, I must say that I feel the same way as most Americans and most of the comments here. Our government is currently completely corrupt - bought by greedy, unethical corporations that influence all legislation. I don't need to tell you the numbers...the huge disparity in wealth (made larger by current legislation), the fake unemployment numbers that don't count the underemployed, etc. Half of all jobs are now contract jobs with no benefits. I personally work in Silicon Valley, where most of the jobs now go to people from India because they can pay them less. I know lots of people who can't find a job - there is no shortage of Americans to fill those jobs. I KNOW - I see it every day. It's a scam by greedy corporations (how much money is ENOUGH for you Zuckerberg)? So - is THIS what you want your legacy to be - the anhilation of our country's middle class and a huge increase in poverty?

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 5:59 PM, MYRIVER1014 wrote:

    Why is it that irresponsibility seems to be rewarded? Many able bodied people are gaming the system to get grants, handouts, education benefits, medical benefits, and a myriad of other "government assistance programs" while people who pay down their debts, live within their means, are trying to follow the rules are punished through stricter requirements for anything involving government, high education costs for kids, higher taxes, etc.

    Why isn't more being done about the fraud and waste in so many government programs? (I've heard there is up to 40% waste and fraud and outright theft on many government entitlement programs, medicare and food stamps just to name 2)

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 6:04 PM, JoeRocket10 wrote:

    Wall Street is up and Main Street is, at best, the same, but probably down. Since 1985 we've had three stock market crashes and a couple of near misses. We've had bubble after bubble, and then crash after crash. No wonder the public doesn't trust the stock market. Meanwhile we've watched income inequity grow. The middle class is losing ground. Are we better off than 5 years ago? Yes? Are we where we should be? No. We're entering another Gilded Age.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 6:08 PM, invafl wrote:

    WOW, all of the above! To be held RESPONSABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS and to receive the SAME BENEFITS as the people. This of course includes the President and Congress.

    The President and congress to be held RESPONSABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS! Also all benefits

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 6:41 PM, jrj90620 wrote:

    1)An honest,money based currency,that is a store of value

    2)A flat tax with no,or few deductions,not higher than 15% Federal and 3% state

    3)No govt borrowing,They have proven irresponsible to be borrowing.This would result in a balanced budget

    4)No fascist orders,such as forced minimum wage,buying insurance,etc.

    This would be good start.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 6:47 PM, jrj90620 wrote:

    1)Capital gains tax 0%,for holdings,over 5 years

    2)Capital gains tax 15%,over 1 year

    3)Capital gains tax,same as other income,under 1 year

    4)No state capital gains tax

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 7:26 PM, kmtominey wrote:

    I want the following done:

    1. Reinstate the 1908 Antibucket Shop Law thus banning naked CDSs; declare all existing Naked CDS contracts null & void - issuer refunds half of payments.

    2. Do what Senator Cantwell said - no exemptions of any kind for derivatives clearing through clearinghouses with complete visibility. She said any exemption is like a hole at the foot of a dam it will inevitability fail the dam.

    3. Apply SS Payroll tax to all salary income; increase medicare premiums by $100/month per $100K increment in AGI over 100K up to an AGI of 2M AGI.

    4. Use some of extra SS to Infrastructure investment.

    5. Implement income tax surcharge for income over 150K AGI of 10% to retire debt associated with Iraq, unfunded medicare drug benefit & subsidies paid for medicare advantage.

    6. Suspend all subsidies & depletion allowances in all farms for mining, natural resource extraction oncluding tax payer subsidies for farm revenue stop loss insurance.

    7. Apply a transaction tax on all HF/HS transaction & securities transactions - just like when i do an on line yrade say 0.001% for HS/HF & 1% for regular trades.

    8. Apply sliding scale income tax surcharge going from 1-5% on all income to fund infrastructure investments.

    9. Modify tax law so that no deductions are available for expenses to off shore jobs; no corporate overhead can be deducted from taxable income for foreign revenues not repatriated and taxed. If 80% of gross revenues are foreign and not repatriated and taxed, then only 20% can be deducted for tax purposes.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 7:27 PM, emdtech1 wrote:

    I concur with most of Fool respondents. It is important to separate banks from investment houses again. As Elizabeth Warren says banking should be boring. Banks should do due diligence on borrowers and collateral. Banking instruments should be limited, regulated and approved.

    It should not be high stakes, low risk (for them) gambling/scams with mortgage backed securities, credit/debt swaps, hedge funds and other complicated instruments. The depositor money banks play with should not be exposed to this level of risk. Rather the money should be lent out to legitimate businesses and home buyers as in the past.

    Also, any business who pays depositors 1% and charges borrowers 6% has a guaranteed profit. How nice, if only all businesses had such a sweet setup. It is time to get the financial/banking system monkey off the American taxpayer's and business owner's back. It is also time to end the unrealistic low interest rate. Time is money.

    Please ask the President to reinstate the Glass/Steagall Act that separates banking from investment firms.

    It would also be wonderful if the President would ask for investigations and prosecutions of individuals who perpetrated the financial collapse. This would send a much needed message that malfeasance in the financial sector will not be allowed. It would also restore faith of the integrity of banking with the public.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 10:43 PM, pjlawall wrote:

    I don't want any new taxes as some write, I want more people working and paying in - that's how to efficiently increase taxes. My question would be on the hot topic of 'Affordable' Care Act as I think it's unaffordable and unsustainable. Why would the US government implement a similar health care system to other socialistic countries which are basically going bankrupt from all their unsustainable spending - health care being a major contributor to the bankruptcies? Free market is the only way to keep costs down and keep services provided the highest quality.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 11:39 PM, jjjklte wrote:

    Remember Bill Clinton-- he's the one who decided everyone needed a house. Remember

    George Bush, --he tried to get Congress to investigate the housing mess. Remember Barney Frank, he's the one who talked republicans facing a run off not to investigate. Remember how banks were told by our gov. that they had to lend to home buyers or else. Wouldn't it be great if we could put all of them in jail..along with the bankers. Obama should go too, along with Nancy who pushed this health care on us. Until we get rid of all the regulations that starting a business or operating a farm,etc involves and putting the EPA back in hands of our representatives and making the tax base better for businesses, I see way too few people wanting to start a business. And Ben just keeps making our $ weaker by printing more and more money. Not a bright outlook for us, our children and grandchildren.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2013, at 10:06 AM, Barkevius wrote:

    The Obama Administration (and the late Bush Administration) rescued the economy from destruction, but the Obama Administration has hampered the recovery in two ways: 1) A misapplied $800 billion stimulus program that didn't focus primarily on jobs; Rahm Emanuel said this was a good time to fund pet projects that wouldn't have been funded otherwise--bad call. Jobs should have been front and center, "shovel-ready" or not

    2) Main Streets's perception that Wall Street was saved, with hundreds of billions of Federal dollars spent without the blink of an eye, but Main Street received only grudging help with housing and jobs. Obama's political tin ear when it came to the Larry Summers Fed nomination symbolized this

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2013, at 11:12 AM, RADsqrd wrote:

    Not that Obama will read it but:

    Why was Ben Bernake rewarded with another term after being partially responsible for the disaster?

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2013, at 12:36 PM, mchairell wrote:

    We have a 30 year fixed rate FHA loan, but are unable to take advantage of any HARP or government sponsored refinancing because we are in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So, we are stuck with a 5% mortgage for two more years until out of bankruptcy. Obama's programs haven't helped this middle class worker at all.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2013, at 1:33 PM, EngineerBob wrote:

    I think one of the keys to increased employment is the activity of entrepreneurs. Does the President agree, and what steps is he taking to help entrepreneurs succeed?

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2013, at 1:44 PM, breitwd wrote:

    Back during Obama's first run at the presidency, just before he was elected, I wrote a letter to his campaign and to the New York Times with numbers from the census bureau on owner occupied homes with a mortgage. If the bailout would have been designed from the bottom up, giving the billions in bailout to pay down the principle of everyone's homes instead of just to the banks with no direct benefit to us taxpayers, the banks would have been bailed out of their bad investments and the economy would have been stimulated. I talked with an economist from a local university about the idea and was informed it was not as original as I thought and economists from all over the country had written similar letters and agreed it would work.

    My question is sadly rhetorical, because I believe the answer is obvious, but I will ask anyway. Why didn't the Federal government provide US taxpayers with relief while bailing out the banks and AIG? The way it went down instead seems like the greatest cash heist against the middle class in history. I would love an explanation, though I seriously doubt I'll get one.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2013, at 4:33 PM, longmi66 wrote:

    Too big to fail has gotten much worse. How can you guarantee that the taxpayers don't pick up the tab next time Bank of America or JP Morgan or other large bank gets into a position to wreak havoc on the economy again? How about some serious punitive measures on the "C-suite", board of directors, and those who actually cause the damage.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2013, at 6:20 PM, foolish14U wrote:

    I will never understand why the people who caused this crisis are still in their jobs with eye popping salaries and bonuses. Seems like we now have a super elite class in this nation that never suffers the consequences of their actions (or lack of action).

  • Report this Comment On September 22, 2013, at 1:10 PM, kzladie wrote:

    The problems begin with elections. We are now a country "by the rich, of the rich and for the rich". When campaigns cost millions of dollars, who is funding them?? And who gets the benefits when their candidate wins? You guessed it, the rich and the corporations who contribute. Congress no longer represents the majority of their constituents, they represent their contributors. Nonetheless, I do have a questions for the WH - with polls showing the people DO NOT want enforced health care, why has it not been defeated? I make $72 a week GROSS, and although I won't be forced or penalized for not having insurance, I also don't qualify for any program in NJ (currently).

  • Report this Comment On September 22, 2013, at 4:17 PM, ludwig86 wrote:

    The one thing that has not been done after all of the billions of dollars in fines that have been assessed & are still being assessed is why not one CEO or CFO on any financilal institution has done any jail time for causing the housing/mortgage crash considering all the "liars" mortages they gave out knowing full well these homes would be foreclosed on. Case in point Country Wide S & A.

  • Report this Comment On September 22, 2013, at 9:08 PM, deversrich wrote:

    I have several questions related to the fallout of the GM bankruptcy that fell directly on the Delphi Salaried retirees as a result of the PBGC illegally taking over the Delphi Salaried Retirees Pension Plan.

    (1) Why did the PBGC take over the Delphi Salaried Retirees Pension Plan when it was funded higher than the average of the top 100 plans that the PBGC guarantees?

    (2) Why won't the PBGC provide the documents and information that they are directed to provide by the US Federal District Court in the DSRA lawsuit?

    (3) Why wouldn't former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner answer the questions that he was asked by the congressional committees investigating the situation?

    (4) Why did the PBGC give up the liens on Delphi's foreign assets that were put in place to protect the Salaried Retirees pensions so that GM could exit their bankruptcy?

    I personally had a 32% reduction in my pension after working for over 44 years for GM and Delphi. I could have retired after 30 years, but I continued working to build up my pension so that I would not become a burden to my family or to society when I retired and then 32% of my pension was stolen by the Federal Government. What does President Obama have to say about that?

  • Report this Comment On September 23, 2013, at 1:42 AM, ronald92885 wrote:

    Why do we always have enough money to fight wars we cannot win, but never have money to keep our economy healthy?

    Why are banks allowed to do fractured lending?

    When are we going to get rid of the privately owned Federal Reserve?

    Why don't we change the tax system with a 10% flat tax on every one?

    When are we going to expose the Cabal and the illuminate and publicize all their actions and make it transparent for the whole world to judge?

  • Report this Comment On September 23, 2013, at 8:53 PM, jaljhl wrote:

    why do the big banks get the billions of dollars that actually came from the tax payers and not the people who actually need the money to stimulate the economy with their spending?why hasn't all of the stimulus money been put into the system in forms of loans to people instead of the big banks loaning it to each other to assure bonuses and commissions for the higher executives. a bottom up stimulus would have taken care of many ills but the minority who control the money supply are afraid of losing their control.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 12:23 PM, tj99 wrote:

    Too big to fail is a meaningless term because the banks responsible seem to have gotten bigger, therefore the problems can recur. Very few, if any, of those responsible have been held accountable, therefore no obvious penalty to discourage others from doing the same things in the future and the problems can recur. The author and commentator Barry Ritholz is a finance professional who hosts a discussion community that has much more detailed and complete suggestions than I could about what needs to be done to EFFECTIVELY fix the big problems that contributed to the crash. Example of "5 quick fixes" to apply is at http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/10/bair-5-steps-to-fix-wal...

    Ask the White House to take the advice of some real knowledgeable people about what must be accomplished, and then get it done.

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 9:33 PM, curlyman wrote:

    I agree with all of these questions. Please ask the President to bring back the Glass/Steagall Act which should never have been done away with.

    Please ask why no Wall street Banksters or CEOs have been charged with any wrongdoing. They caused most of our country's financial problems.

    Too big to fail has gotten much worse in the last few years. Things are worse today !

    Please ask the President to stop fudging the numbers. We on Main Street don't see much of any improvement in this economy?

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 5:25 PM, earlyseller wrote:

    Why is the most widely used comment by "politicians" at the time of difficulty, is "We will do every thing possible to see that it doesn't happen again." Those dumb reps should been good enough to see that it didn't happen the first time. I say get rid of them all; especially the newly created dunderheads who want to shut down the dysfunctional government they created/fostered/ robbed/self-aggrandized their being privy to non- inclusion re: pensions, health care, etc.

    November is coming! VOTE them OUT!

  • Report this Comment On September 29, 2013, at 5:06 PM, yogahelps2 wrote:

    Why did Congress get a pay raise when my husband, a federal employee, is not getting one for the THIRD year in a row? In those 3 yrs our property taxes, alone, have gone up about 10%, even though we could not break even if we were to try to sell our house today. All other costs of living have gone up as well. My husband is usually working on federal holidays and regularly works 60 hr weeks. I guess he's a different breed of fool.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 8:04 AM, creitsma wrote:

    I have three question areas for the White House regarding the economic recovery:

    With the capabilities of other nations increasing and creating more potential competitors to all US industries, will selection of "must protect" industries such as the auto industry become a more common occurrence, and what criteria makes for a must protect industry or company? What other avenues should we or are we pursuing to maintain US economic superiority?

    Should we expect to see more foreign nations waging economic war (as China did) with their fiscal and monetary policies, and what are the biggest threats posed?

    The economic down-turn put a real damper on American businesses, but also rooted out a lot of poor performers. Was the downturn an essential function in order to maintain US competitiveness, or more a function of delayed action or of delayed effects of US fiscal & monetary policies? Should we expect continued downturns as the world's economic & productive capacity increases?

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 10:56 AM, PLD777 wrote:

    I hear people speak of recovery what recovery the longer this charade goes on I find myself at the bottom of a deeper hole five years ago I could afford food for my family now we visit the local food bank and you would be surprised at the number of newer vehicles in the parking lot five years ago I could afford gas for the week now I have to put my account in the hole or not go to work five years ago health insurance cost about 5%of my income now it cost 20% of my income for the same coverage five years ago my homeowners insurance was nine hundred dollars a year now its three thousand a year they tell me I live in a high crime area I live in a town of less than four hundred people five years ago I could afford my mortgage payment now I'm about to lose my home after the HAMP program determined that I could afford my currant mortgage payment if I cancel my health insurance now you can tell me how am I doing after your recovery and would it surprise you to learn that I think 99% of all government officials and politicians should be DRAWN & QUARTERED

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 6:45 AM, deepseer wrote:

    Not why, but WHEN will the DOJ press criminal fraud charges against the Wall Street CEOS responsible for the crisis?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 11:10 PM, Bonefish100 wrote:

    1. Why do congress and the President get paid during the shutdown?

    2. Why is congress exempt from Obamacare?

    3. Why did we elect the most divisive, dishonest, inexperienced, arrogant and anti-business President in our history?

    4. Why do our members in congress fail to listen to the populace and instead march in lockstep to party dictates?

    5. Why does the President continue to show disrespect for the American people by failing to start his press conferences on time?

    6. Why haven't those responsible for the Wall Street meltdown been prosecuted?

    7. Why do congressional staff members never have the answers to my questions when I call them and have to always put me on "hold" while they go look for answers?

    8. Why are there no congressional staff members over the age of 30?

    9. Why does the President avoid meaningful conversation with members of the Republican Party?

    10. Why does the President "hide in plain sight" behind a podium in front of friendly audiences and avoid interaction with business and other leaders?

    11. Why does the President have the professorial lilt in his speech...as if he is talking down to us... when he addresses the people of this country.

    12. Why is it that I don't know one single person who likes the President?

    13. Why does the President continue with his third grade tactic of always blaming others?

  • Report this Comment On October 04, 2013, at 10:40 PM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    Ask the White House why they want to shut the government down just because the House of Representatives does not want to fund Obama Care.

    It should be a separate issue.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:35 PM, gooddemocrat wrote:

    we are transformed to the Chicago model. To question the dear leader may cause great trouble unless you are a high profile person. To do so would indicate a racist tax cheat who might need attention from the IRS and FBI, I love the president and all he does.

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