President Obama's jobs plan is a start but does not have the magnitude of government spending to bring down the unemployment rate, said Phil Angelides, who chaired the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Angelides spoke about the causes of the financial crisis at the University of Florida's Bob Graham Center for Public Service before the president's speech and returned afterward to react to the speech.

He said the president seemed to understand that the nation will not climb out of the deep economic downturn without significant public expenditures needed to reduce unemployment. Without putting people back to work, "we're never going to balance the budget." "I viewed what I heard tonight as a start, but I don't think now is the time for timidity," said Angelides, a Democrat who also served as California state treasurer.

Former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, also a Democrat, said the fact that President Obama chose to unveil his jobs plan before Congress shows that he is attempting to reach a compromise rather than "drawing a line in the sand."

"The question will be in the next 48 to 72 hours are there others, particularly in the Republican House, who will say at least we'll start a serious discussion from the outline that the president has given us, that it will not be rejected out of hand," said Graham, who also served on the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Graham said his hope is for more cooperation but "my pragmatic assessment is it's not very optimistic."

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was convened by Congress to root out the causes of the financial crisis. Read more