Obama, Jindal Pay Lip Service to Entrepreneurs

Mark Marich

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union-like address to a joint session of Congress where he tempered his doom-and-gloom message while outlining his plans for the economy. And while the stimulus package that he's promoting as the answer to our financial crisis is largely devoid of support for entrepreneurs, he has apparently got the message that it will be entrepreneurs who will lead our economic recovery. 

My favorite lines from the President's remarks: 

  • "The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs."
  • "... government didn't supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive."

Now we'll have to wait and see if actions follow words.

In response to the President's remarks, Louisiana governor (and potential 2012 opponent) Bobby Jindal touched on "innovation" and "small business" several times. One of four Republican governors who claim they will reject atleast some stimulus funds, Jindal called the package "irresponsible," but hisfolksy delivery and conciliatory tone softened the message. My favorite line from his response?

  • "We believe that Americans can do anything and if we unleash the innovative spirit of our citizens"

Sure, it lacked substance (a criticism that many Republicans had of the governor's response), but it mirrors the message we put out through Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative to promote youth entrepreneurship in more than 75 countries... [end shameless plug here].

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