08 January 2009 17:11 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday warned that the ?xml:namespace>
In a major address on the economy delivered less than two weeks before he is to be sworn in as the nation’s 44th chief executive, Obama urged Congress to move fast.
“I urge Congress to move as quickly as possible on behalf of the American people,” Obama said. “For every day we wait or point fingers or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs, more families will lose their savings.”
He conceded that the massive stimulus bill contemplated by his incoming administration and the new Congress will add a considerable new burden to the national debt - in part because of the plan's $300bn in tax cuts for consumers and business.
“But at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe,” he said.
“Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy - where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs, which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.”
“I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible,” Obama said.
“In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse,” he said, “and our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”
Obama briefly discussed elements of the stimulus bill that he as been discussing with members of Congress this week.
He said funds provided by the stimulus package would “put people to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges and schools by eliminating the backlog of well-planned, worthy and needed infrastructure projects."
The president-elect also said funding would be directed toward initial work on a new electric utility grid to ensure adequate and expanded power across the country, and work on additional broadband Internet resources to reach small businesses and rural communities.
He said the economic recovery plan also would double production of alternative energy within three years, modernise energy use at federal buildings and improve energy efficiency in 2m American homes, “saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills”.
Obama also promised “immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of
On the policy side, he said he would ask Congress to also move quickly to address the foreclosure crisis and to “reform a weak and outdated regulatory system so that we can better withstand financial shocks”.
($1 = €0.74)
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