Prognosis

Obama Warns of ‘Catastrophe’

How’s this for a bleak outlook: At his first prime-time news conference, Obama gave an unvarnished appraisal of the deep recession gripping the nation—the “worst since the Great Depression”—and warned of severe consequences if the stimulus bill is not passed quickly. “A failure to act will only deepen this crisis as well as the pain felt by millions of Americans,” he said. “Doing too little or nothing at all will result in even greater deficits of jobs, incomes, and confidence. Those are deficits that could turn a crisis into a catastrophe, and I refuse to let that happen.” He also called out Republicans, urging the “folks who presided over the doubling of the national debt…not to be engaged in some revisionist history.” But he did offer a sliver of hope, saying he thought the economy could get back on track by 2010.