Obama unveils economic stimulus plan
US president-elect Barack Obama unveiled a broad proposal to boost job growth and the troubled American economy, a top priority for the incoming administration.business Updated: Jan 03, 2009 17:47 IST
US president-elect Barack Obama on Saturday unveiled a broad proposal to boost job growth and the troubled American economy, a top priority for the incoming administration.
"Economists from across the political spectrum agree that if we don't act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double digit unemployment and the American Dream slipping further and further out of reach," Obama said in his weekly radio address
"That's why we need an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that not only creates jobs in the short-term but spurs economic growth and competitiveness in the long-term."
For several weeks Obama's economic team have been in talks over its recovery plan. The negotiations were almost wrapped up before Christmas, vice-president elect Joe Biden said in an interview.
To revive the world's largest economy, struggling amid global financial turmoil, Obama said "the number one goal" of his plan was to create three million jobs -- 80 percent them in the private sector.
"To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we will double renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient," Obama added.
He also called for "long-term investments," such as infrastructure building, updating the American healthcare system and building "21st century" learning institutions, on top of "direct tax relief to 95 percent of American workers."
"This plan must be designed in a new way -- we can't just fall into the old Washington habit of throwing money at the problem," Obama said, calling for "strategic investments," "vigorous oversight and strict accountability" and "fiscal responsibility."
Obama will meet with key congressional leaders on Monday to finalize the multi-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan Democrats hope to pass shortly after he takes office on January 20, officials told AFP.