Obama: 'I'm Not Going to Not Do Anything Without Congress, Not When...'

January 31, 2014 - 8:49 AM

In a speech about his initiatives to ensure Americans' retirement security, Pres. Obama explained his strategy for dealing with Congress - sort of - using three "nots" and a "without."

In Wednesday's speech, Obama declared:

"Now, I'm hoping that Congress goes along with this, but I'm not going to wait for Congress.  I could do more with Congress, but I'm not going to not do anything without Congress, not when it's about the basic security and dignity of American workers."

Huh? What? This statement seems twice as confusing as "double-talk," since it uses not two, but four, negatives.

The president then proceeded to explain how he plans to (somehow) employ this Congressional strategy to create a new, government-backed (and run?) retirement savings product that will "never go down in value":

"So here's what I'm going to do today.  This is what this little table is set up for.  I'm going to sign a presidential memorandum that directs the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings.  (Applause.)  And as soon as I sign this, Jack Lew will get the memo.  He is right here.  So I'm going to be able to just -- here, here's your memo.

"And we're calling it "MyRA."  Not IRA -- MyRA.  And what it is, it's a new type of savings bond that we can set up without legislation that encourages Americans to begin to build a nest egg.  And it's simple.  Workers can contribute through automatic deductions in their paychecks, just like those of you who have an employer-sponsored pension fund can do.  They can keep the same account even if they change jobs, so they can carry it over.  It's safe.  These account balances will never go down in value.  They're backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.  And it's affordable.  So you can open an account with as little as $25.  You can contribute as little as $5 at a time."