November 22nd, 2008
09:15 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama gives brief rundown of economic recovery plan

President-elect Obama plans to create 2.5 million jobs

President-elect Obama plans to create 2.5 million jobs

(CNN) - Saying that moving quickly is imperative, President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday offered an outline of his economic recovery plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011, saying American workers will rebuild the nation's roads and bridges, modernize its schools and create more sources of alternative energy.

"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis," Obama said in the weekly Democratic address, posted on his Web site. "These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long."

Details of the plan are still being worked out by his economic team, Obama said, but he hopes to sign the two-year, nationwide plan shortly after taking office January 20.

He referred to figures out this week showing that new home purchases in October were the lowest in 50 years, and that 540,000 new unemployment claims had been filed - the highest in 18 years.

"We must do more to put people back to work and get our economy moving again," he said. More than a million jobs have been lost this year, he said, and "if we don't act swiftly and boldly, most experts now believe that we could lose millions of jobs next year."

The plan will be aimed at jump-starting job creation, Obama said, and laying the foundation for a stronger economy.

"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 technology that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our
economy competitive in the years head," he said.

He noted he will need support from both Democrats and Republicans to pass such a plan, and said he welcomes suggestions from both sides of the aisle.

"But what is not negotiable is the need for immediate action," he said. "Right now, there are millions of mothers and fathers who are lying awake at night wondering if next week's paycheck will cover next month's bills. There are Americans showing up to work in the morning, only to have cleared out their desks by the afternoon. Retirees are watching their life savings disappear, and students are seeing their college dreams deferred. These Americans need help, and they need it now."

Throughout history, he said, Americans have been able to rise above their divisions to work together, he said.

"That is the chance our new beginning now offers us, and that is the challenge we must rise to in the days to come," Obama said. "It is time to act. As the next president of the United States, I will."

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Lt

    Can Gov. Richardson stop Mayor Bloomberg from increasing the MTA – fares on subways and buses ?

    November 22, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Mobius

    Can somebody call us when this guy actually *does* something, rather than talk about it? Thusfar, change is elusive to Mr. O.

    November 22, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Brett

    Vague and old story. How many times in history have we heard the same thing?

    November 22, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. Sandy

    Nice specifics there, BO. What are you going to do?

    November 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. S Callahan

    That is what American citizens want so I am happy those voices are being's the right direction for us and in the overall picture for the world. Now is the time to call on those who have the 'alternative ideas' and put them to real use.

    November 22, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. Mike

    So his solution is to make the government an even larger employer. Of course, he will need to raise taxes to pay for his new welfare state.

    NO CHANGE. Only fools voted for this guy.

    November 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. Kevin

    Glad Obama is stepping up and taking a leadership role, the markets have no confidence in Bush. I like the idea of infrastructure projects – we need to get people working so we can increase spending, hasten foreclosures and improve consumer sentiment.

    I would like to see Sheila Blair immediately replace Paulson and stay on to be Obama's Commerce Secretary, or key economic advisor. People trust her judgement. I like Richardson, but he is not qualified for Commerce Secretary, may be Labor Secretary.

    November 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. blaising

    Sounds pretty simple. It's not brain surgery, is it?

    All we needed was a leader with some sack!

    November 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Joe Green

    I have a lot of problems with this plan....

    ...but it's better than NO PLAN AT ALL, which is what the Republicans have proposed.

    November 22, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Michael watching from Canada

    I wish we had a leader that is like Obama, someone who is intelligent, focused on creating jobs and determined to do what is best for the American people. I just hope America gives him the time necessary to do things properly.

    November 22, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. Ray Fisher

    President Obama, I'm proud to see, at least has a plan versus our previous leader without a plan, clue or direction. He is making wise calculated decisions and most importantly, LISTENING TO ADVICE, something we haven't witnessed in over 8 long dark years. These cold dark days before January 20 will seem endless particularly for those less fortunate than others so we pray for relief for all and wait for better days. We should all at least save all the money we can to provide liquidity for rebuilding our economy and begin buying savings bonds to rebuild our broken treasury. Investing in America always provides a great return for all!!!

    November 22, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. strong

    Okay, we will find out after Jan 20/09 if this guy (BO) is for real or not. Let him prove himself first, and only then will we believe him. Stop yakkin' and get crackin'.

    November 22, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. Angie-OHIO

    Great!!!! You are already doing more then that loser bush & crazy cheney. he (dumb bush) is acting like he has for the last 8 years. CLUELESS unless it has something to do with war.

    November 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Bob

    With all the chatter about employees making so much more money than foreign manufactures...
    "LETS DISCUSS CEO PAY/BONUSES" by foreign manufactures....
    Also bottom line profits/dividends.....
    Which is more out of proportion????

    November 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Really?

    Bush is still the president Americans elected up until Jan 20,2009... so can the analysts get off Barack's back. It is not his fault Bush is incompetent and is unable to do his job right.

    November 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Richard Rohde

    Maybe he could start with the education of his daughters and get the Teachers unions to give up their ridiculous, self serving and unworkable positions regarding public education. But wait, that won't happen because the socialist dems need the unions to continue the dumbing down of America and turn our future generations in to lazy socialists that can be controlled by those who choose an elite private educations like the Hussein Obama family.

    November 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. carol

    I have full confidence in our President elect.....nothing will be solved overnight and patience will have to be a virtue for us all.
    We cannot expect miracles, we have such a mess to sort out and there seems to be no end in sight right now....our new President will have a powerful team to work with and put this country back to work.
    I am looking forward to the New Year with hope for all of us.....give us a new outlook on life and a brighter days for the future.

    November 22, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. JB


    Real ideas, and real solutions to major problems.

    November 22, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. JB

    Wow, it's nice to see a politician actually problem solving!!

    This isn't an R or D approach, it's just an idea to solve some problems.

    November 22, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. ROC

    Obama should let ordinary Americans know what they can do to help fix the Economy.

    I for one want to help in any way I can..

    November 22, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. katiec

    Looks like a good start. This will be an enormous job and
    requires both parties working together.
    Saw yesterday where the republicans were raising money to
    help stop "the left wing agenda".
    Will these people EVER put us and country first??

    November 22, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. ,,,

    I love how quickly he is moving. 🙂

    November 22, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Craig from NC

    Hey I heard they were going to confiscate 401Ks to pay for government programs, is that true?

    November 22, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Nick Wright

    Why did you use the "Don't make me come back there" picture?

    November 22, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. mitch

    if you want to move quickly why did you give hillary SOS? her baggage and controversy will only tain't that office. bill richardson got the shaft!if i was him ,i would just stay governor and tell you to put commerce sec in ur ear!

    November 22, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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