Obama unveils economic stimulus plan
www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-09 01:04:58   Print

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled his economic stimulus plan, designed to help lift the economy out of a deepening recession, urging Congress to approve it as soon as possible.

    "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 warned in a speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, outside Washington.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled his economic stimulus plan, designed to help lift the economy out of a deepening recession, urging Congress to approve it as soon as possible.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama. He speaks to the media during a news conference at his transition office in Washington January 7, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    The ongoing crisis "could last for years" without solutions, he noted.

    As part of a raft of stimulus proposals to revive the economy, Obama vowed to double U.S. production of alternative energy in three years.

    He also pledged to "modernize more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills."

    The president-elect, who will take office on Jan. 20, also laid out goals of making medical records electronic, expanding broadband networks and updating schools and universities.

    However, his remarks shed little new light on the details of his plan that could cost as much as 775 billion dollars over two years in tax cuts and spending intended to jolt the economy and create new jobs.

    It was reported that Obama's stimulus plan, designed to save or create three million jobs, would include money for the building of roads, bridges and schools as well as money to promote renewable energies. It may also include more than 300 billion dollars in tax cuts.

    The initial hope had been to have a new stimulus package approved by Congress in time for Obama to sign it upon taking office later this month. That timeline has slipped considerably into at least mid-February if not later, according to news reports.

    It is no doubt that Obama's stimulus plan would add to already growing federal budget deficit.

    On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the U.S. federal budget deficit will hit an all-time high of 1.2 trillion dollars in the 2009 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2008.

    The estimate doesn't include the cost of the economic stimulus plan that Obama is seeking approval from Congress.

    The 1.2-trillion-dollar deficit not only shatters the previous record of 455 billion dollars set only last year but also exceed the post World War II-era record by the measure more meaningful in economic terms, the deficit as a percentage of total economic activity.

    Meanwhile, the CBO expects the nation's unemployment rate to surge to over 9 percent early next year unless the government takes actions.

    After meeting with his economic team on Tuesday, Obama said that it was possible that trillion-dollar deficits could stretch into coming years and that he and his team want to instill a "sense of responsibility" about future budget choices.

    "I'm going to be willing to make some very difficult choices in how we get a handle on this deficit," the President-elect said.

Obama names "chief performance officer" 

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama Tuesday named a "chief performance officer," a newly-created position that would oversee the federal budget and reform government.

    "We can no longer afford to sustain the old ways when we know there are new and more efficient ways to getting the job done," Obama told a news conference at his transition headquarters in Washington as he named Nancy Killefer for the post, "an expert in streamlining processes and wringing out inefficiencies." Full story

Obama to discuss economy with congressional leaders

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is expected to meet congressional leaders on Monday on his proposal for the new economic stimulus plan.

    Obama will talk with two top Democrats in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and he also hopes to meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner, the CNN quoted congressional sources as saying on Friday. Full story

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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