Thinking squarely outside the box for solutions to heal the economy, a college student had a rather innovative and unorthodox idea idea for the president at his Friday jobs speech in Allentown, PA.
Following the speech, a second-year student asked Obama: “I was wondering if, maybe if, you checked out some of the statistics about legalizing prostitution, gambling, drugs and non-violent crime in order to stimulate some of the economy?”
The crowd chuckled and Obama smiled. “I have to say this, I appreciate the boldness of your question,” he replied.
Not leaving anyone hanging, he quickly declared: “That will not be my job strategy,” to laughs and applause from the attendees at Lehigh Carbon Community College.
“Part of what you’re supposed to do in college is question conventional wisdom,” the president jested. “And so you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, which is thinking in new ways about things.”
Reports today revealed that November job-losses were the lowest in over a year at 11,000 — unemployment fell for first time in the Obama presidency, albeit marginally, from 10.2 to 10 percent. Obama deemed it a “hopeful sign” Friday.
Later in the session, Obama expressed frustration at Congress’ often-sluggish pace on legislation, and slammed the GOP for what he deemed its over-usage of the filibuster.
“Congress works incredibly hard, but moves, well, deliberately,” he said, to laughter. “It takes time to get things done… The public thinks, What are these folks doing? Sometimes it gives you a headache, but that’s democracy. It’s not easy to get anything done, but it keeps us stable. But it’s frustrating.”
Hitting Senate Republicans for frequently using traditionally rare moves to slow down his agenda, he said: “You need 60 votes for everything, because now the opposition evokes the filibuster for everything.”
Watch the video of Obama’s exchange with the college student:
Additional reporting by David Edwards