Today at the White House: Nov. 28, 2011

The Obama administration zeros in on the payroll tax, European economic crisis, presidential travel and youth entrepreneurship.

Posted: 11/28/2011 04:16 PM EST

We share many similarities with our European allies, but the economic crisis isn’t exactly the kind of common bond anyone welcomes. President Obama met with members of the European Union at a summit that focused on ways European leaders can take proactive measures to avert an economic collapse.

 

The fear is that in an increasingly connected world economy, problems overseas can bring problems to our shores.

 

Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, told reporters in the Brady Briefing Room today, “This is a global economy and the events in Europe obviously have an impact on our economy. It’s created a headwind for much of the year. And that’s why we believe it’s in the United States's interest, but, most obviously, in Europe’s interest to act decisively to deal with this profound challenge.”

 

During today’s press briefing, reporters also asked about the president’s planned trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to pitch the upcoming vote to extend the payroll tax. The White House believes Congress should act to extend the tax, saying it could help 160 million Americans.

 

But reporters focused on the president’s travel schedule, asking whether recent trips to battleground states amount to election campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime.   

 

But Carney shot back, “I think the salient point is, then-Sen. Obama and his presidential campaign expanded the map dramatically, made states battleground states that had not been for a very, very long time. And to then say that he can't travel to those states because he won them and made them competitive I think would severely restrict this President's ability to travel.”

 

The White House also played host to a conference aimed at sparking the entrepreneurial spirit in young people. The Young Entrepreneurship Council along with the White House Office of Public Engagement assembled a group of about 150 young people together with business leaders under 35, to get advice about how to start a successful business.

 

The conference featured panel discussions and break-out sessions to educate prospective entrepreneurs about the harsh realities faced in the current market, access to capital and the tools needed to run a company.

 

The panel discussion included Tina Wells, who at 15 years old started a youth marketing agency.  As the CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, she predicts trends in youth culture with a network of 9,000 “Buzz Spotters.”

 

Wells shared with the audience that a simple idea can turn into a lucrative business venture if they simply believe in their own vision.  


Ronnie Cho, associate director, Office of Public Engagement, said, “President Obama has always had a special relationship with young people going back to his days as a law professor. He believes this generation will unleash innovations that will change the world.”

 

The hope is that participants become entrepreneurial evangelists of sorts, spreading the word about what they learned. 

 

John Carson, director of the Office of Public Engagement, said, “We want you to dance and sing on the streets about what you learned and the skills you gained. You have a voice and networks that are more powerful than any of you realize. You are able to break through and pass along valuable information.”

 

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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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