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. orlando*IOWA 4 OBAMA*

    I believe you will get the USA back on track Mr.Obama...This is a president that is for main street and not wall street!!!

    2016...Obama (michelle)/Sebelius
    2020...Obama(Michelle)/ Sebelius

    November 22, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Armando

    First question.

    How is it going to be paid for?

    November 22, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Meka

    Thank you, President-Elect Obama. As you share your vision to 'CREATE JOBS', our current President is in Peru, in support of FREE TRADE with 3 more Countries (taking more jobs out of the US). He states "there was only 3 Countries that had a Free Trade Agreement, when he took office-now there are 14!

    November 22, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Simmy

    I'm proud of you! You are showing that you mean business!

    You are working harder than Bush, who is officially still President?

    Keep up the good work – we will continue to believe in you, and pray for your success!

    November 22, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. CAW in MD

    Don't forget the energy infrastructure - the outdated electrical grid. Working on that would modernize it to handle all the new sources of energy that will be added in our new green economy, and it will provide high-paying jobs to boot.

    November 22, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. America's New Challange

    America’s challenge of the past was to be #1 in GDP and in military strength (these two being connected. When we don’t have enough GDP, either the people suffer at the expense of the military (N Korea) or the military suffers at the expense of the people (European countries whose people are healthy and more protected by the government, but military is not #1). It is now apparent that our new challenge for the 21st century and beyond is to build and maintain a healthy, sustainable, more peaceful population whose rights are perfectly intact as laid out in the Constitution. This is our new definition of freedom. Our new definition of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Building and maintaining a healthy, sustainable, more peaceful population whose rights are intact is our new challenge whose hurtles we have been developing for too long now, the effects of which are seen in our mental and physical health, and the health of our education system. Therefore, our new goal for America will require that we address the unchecked free market and reprioritize where we want our strengths to be, because right now we have a market so free that we are having much trouble protecting our people, to the extent that the unchecked free market is stomping on most people’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We have to be allowed to say “No, you can’t put that poison in anyone’s food. No, you can’t take away the teacher’s retirement plan. No, you can’t make your workers work so much they never see their families. No, you can’t pay teachers a measly salary. No, you can’t build energy inefficient cars. No, you can’t be greedy and steal people’s money. No, you can’t build that factory right next to that wildlife park, our watershed.” Don’t you think that above all the founding fathers wanted protection of its people and of their health and rights? And healthy is a big umbrella: it is mental health (either there are more studies being done and the testing instruments are more sensitive than ever, or there is a rise in anxiety and stress in our population and a rise in stress+environment related diseases). It is physical health – we must be able to get hydrogenated oil, BHT, TBHQ out of our food and we must encourage more local production and distribution of more whole foods, and we must do more to get contaminants out of our water. More and more people are being diagnosed with autoimmune diseases that have to do with stress and environmental contaminants. Same with Autism. And cancer. And people need to also protect themselves. They have to help themselves by using their time to help themselves and their family, to improve family relations which will inevitably relieve stress and increase well-being and overall health. This will decrease disease, which will decrease the amount that insurance companies should be allowed to charge us, and it will decrease doctor’s office visits. It’s becoming ever clearer that our well-being and pursuit of happiness is tied to this population’s sustainability on earth, and their healthful existence on earth. That is our new challenge of the 21st century and beyond. If we do not meet this challenge with new priorities, our population will be nothing but an unhealthy, diseased, poor people, with a poor education system (and lack of education means we elect poor leaders who don’t really want to protect us). If we do not mandate that we do things for each other (in the microcosm and macrocosm) that promote our health and well-being, this is what will happen. And then you can kiss the American Dream goodbye. This is where we are heading, b/c of an ideology and philosophy that we should believe in unchecked capitalism and every man for himself. As of now capitalism is being allowed to breathe on only: greed, money (the bottom line) and looking out for ones self. We need federal regulation to change that, to tell capitalism what it can and cannot do. If we do not mandate that we do things for each other that promote our health and well-being, this is what will happen. And then you can kiss life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness goodbye.

    November 22, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. no hope

    please post a blog about the h4h should be called the no hope for homeowners!!!

    November 22, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Sounding OFF!

    I think America's expectations of this man are "too high",
    even though I think he is up to the challenge. I think this team he is putting together is a brilliant team, despite the nay sayers. I think ONLY OBAMA can make them work together. Even though some of the leadership faces will look the same...The biggest "Change" I think he will make is the "Attitude" in Washington and the "Attitude" of the America people and what WE can do to make change!

    He will and already has made us examine ourselves and how we view each other. He will encourage us to look deep into our soul to see what how we can help change the fate of this country. It's not just BUSH, and corporate GREED, but our own GREED, that has gotten us into this MESS! It took 8 years to get here. It will probably take another 8 years to get out!

    President Elect Obama is a visionary. We have not had that kind of leadership in a long time. We need to stop this petty bickering and nitpicking. He will not be perfect and will make mistakes, like all the other previous Presidents, and he probably want be able to keep ALL his promises.

    But for once I do believe that he will be a President .. By the people and For the people, because he does have 3.5 million lobbyist!

    So let's not crucifying him, yet. We may not understand all that he is doing, but neither did Hillary, Bill, John McCain, and millions of others...who now call him PRESIDENT- ELECT OBAMA!

    Give him a chance and give him Time, I think he is on the right track!

    November 22, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Ken

    It looks like we have entered into a new era of American history. The era of Centralized planning. It started with the Community Re-investment Act, and will end with the complete bankruptcy of the nation. Interesting thing is that world history has much to teach us about the expected results of centralized planning and Government job creation, but no one seems interested in learning from history. As we as a Nation continue to look to politicians to save us, rather than standing up as a free people and solving our own problems, we shoud anticipate more wasted tax dollars, more political corruption and more wealth distruction, for all. Here comes the change, again!

    November 22, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. A sad day

    The selection of Geithner tells me that nothing has really changed.I voted for Obama in hopes that real change could be achieved.Geithners selection tells me that those who control the money,truely do control the monoply board.

    November 22, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Ann

    where does he get money for that?

    November 22, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Ted:Canada


    Finally somebody with some brains! Holly Cow!

    Good Team – Getting Better Each Day.

    Canada investing on infrastucture as well – should be able to buy more US products!

    Best Wishes

    from your BIGGEST customer!

    and your Best Friends!

    November 22, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Terry - Ontario,Canada

    Leadership !!!

    Too bad he can't start now !!

    November 22, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Walt, Belton,TX

    Economic Recovery Plan: Spend, Spend, Spend; Tax, Tax, Tax!

    November 22, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    It seems that many of these new jobs are in construction, an area that is rife with illegal aliens taking American jobs. i'd like to hear how he will make sure all the jobs in America are held by Americans rather than illegal aliens. With 12-20 million illegals in the country, there are millions of jobs that could be filled by American workers. Yet Obama proposes just the opposite, figuring a way to let them all stay and welcome in even more.

    November 22, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Tracy M.

    Think how great it will be to have wind- and sun-generated power across our country; workers engineering, building, maintaining our own energy. Once again America will be in the forefront of technology while creating jobs and digging ourselves out of this huge hole we put ourselves in. I also look forward to almost-silent cars and seeing the stars again. Maybe someday, if we stay on course, my grandchildren will be able to eat the catfish out of the river without fear like I did when I was a kid. This will be a defining moment in our history - and it could never have happened without Bush! It's always darkest before the dawn, and our dawn is coming. Work hard, take care of each other. We're going to be okay.

    November 22, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. linda from South Dakota

    sounds like barack is well on his way to make america a better place,, you go barack,, im with ya,, 100%

    November 22, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. facts are facts

    Hopefully everyone regardless of political affiliations joins in to get this moving as quickly as possible. At least the country gets something back for the money it will spend.

    November 22, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. TexasLady

    How is he going to pay for it? It sounds wonderful, but where is the money going to come from?

    November 22, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. gary n.

    Very ambitious. I just hope he can pull it off. McCain would have never been able to do it. Too old , not energetic enough anymore.

    November 22, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Texas Teacher

    Thank you, President Obama Elect. I know we are on the brink of a new age. And That One will herald the beginning.

    November 22, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. thomas

    We "will rebuild the nation's roads and bridges, modernize its schools and create more sources of alternative energy"... and we must invest in technology that will enable American industry to become more productive and competitive in world markets. In addition, we must develop systems that will allow us to identify economic deficiencies and react more quickly to resolve problems. This entire economic crisis could have been averted if the government had been more proactive and moved to resolve the problem before it got out of control. Once we resign ourselves to accept the failure of the people and American business, we are headed for disaster. We are one people, one nation, and we must support and protect each other or we all fail.

    November 22, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Lee, BC

    From C O to C E O ~ a giant step for mankind!

    What a sweetheart of a genius this incredible man is
    Now just about every State will receive upgrading ~ no need for any special pork projects as all are included in his brilliant plan
    Plus this work is already overdue for needing to be completed, and so many sectors of industry will be required to even make a start; even re-training will become useful for real work with years of benefit to all the communities.
    See how C O is one of the most efficient training a person can have !!
    Get it done NOW, get it done RIGHT, get everyone INVOLVED
    YAH Bless this man and his family
    Go BO & ARROW !
    May something of special importance be named after Pres Barack Obama ~ while still in office !! to congratulate him and his vision for all citizens

    November 22, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |

    Thank you Mr President Elect.... It is wonderful to see someone in your position who has the ability to think, reason, and act...

    I personally have long spoken against any operation that needs to form a committy to make a decision. Take in knowledge and wisdom yes, but to make a decision..... no. I was particulary interested in
    Warren Buffet's statement regarding the auto makers, if new rules
    were to be set down for them to survive they should be hammered out with the President... not with Congress. One individual with the ability
    to think, reason and act... and sign their work every day so everyone
    knows who made the decision. No log rolling here... just lead-follow-
    or get out of the way... CHANGE IS COMMING and America will be so much better for it.

    Yup its that retired-white guy from Ma. former republican
    (69yrs) and getting younger every day... New morning America


    November 22, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Joe Regis

    I think the month of November will continue to be sluggish. But the most likely scenario is that we will see the beginning of an Obama recovery by the middle of December of 08.

    November 22, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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