President Obama couched his calls for more government spending and tax increases in the spirit of American can do in this primetime address Tuesday evening.
"People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway," Obama said, "And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day. Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here."
Obama applauded Congress for delivering his $787 billion stimulus bill and beginning work on a $75 billion plan to increase lending and subsidize homes for people who can no longer afford their mortgages..
President Obama said he understood the "enormous responsibility" that comes with implementing massive programs with "good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending." To combat waste, fraud and abuse Obama announced Vice President Joe Biden would lead the administration's oversight tasks. "Because nobody messes with Joe," Obama laughed.
Republicans embraced Obama's calls for accountability and transparency and urged him to follow through on them in current budget battles, specifically the $410 billion omnibus spending bill House Democrats unveiled Monday.
"Republicans agree with the President on these commitments, and we assume Democratic congressional leaders do too," a group of House Republicans wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) Tuesday. "It is in this spirit that we urge you to scrap the so-called 'omnibus' spending bill being rushed to a vote this week and instead bring a “continuing resolution” to the floor that freezes federal spending at current levels and includes no earmarks, Democratic or Republican."