With the nation suffering through an “economic crisis of historic proportions”, President-elect Barack Obama Saturday outlined an economic plan to save or create 2.5 million more jobs in his first two years in the Oval Office, a plan more even ambitious than what he promised as a candidate.
In the Democratic weekly radio address – now complete with a video version on YouTube – Obama promoted “a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face that I intend to sign soon after taking office.”
“We’ll be working out the details in the weeks ahead, but it will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jumpstart job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy,” said the President-elect. “We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead.”
“These aren’t just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis,” he continued. “These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long. And they represent an early down payment on the type of reform my Administration will bring to Washington – a government that spends wisely, focuses on what works, and puts the public interest ahead of the same special interests that have come to dominate our politics.”
With its goal of 2.5 million jobs by January of 2011, Obama’s plan is a bigger one than he has discussed before.
The decision to unveil the plan this Saturday is further evidence of the pressure Obama feels to outline action he will take on the economy despite his mantra that the nation has only one president at a time.
Just the day before, the Dow Jones jumped almost 500 points upon the news that Obama was likely to appoint the president of the New York Federal Reserve, Timothy Geithner, as his Treasury Secretary, to replace Hank Paulson.
It was also learned Friday that the leading contender to become Commerce Secretary is New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, once a former rival of Obama’s in the Democratic primary, like Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, who is on track to become Secretary of State.
The unveiling of Obama’s new economic team is expected mid-day Monday in Chicago, but the Illinois lawmaker cautioned that righting the nation’s economic ship won’t be easy.
“There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better,” Obama warned. “But January 20th is our chance to begin anew – with a new direction, new ideas, and new reforms that will create jobs and fuel long-term economic growth.”
– Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe