November 25th, 2008
02:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama says budget reform is not optional

Obama tapped Orszag to lead OMB with Nabors as his deputy.
Obama tapped Orszag to lead OMB with Nabors as his deputy.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama pledged Tuesday to go through the federal budget "page by page, line by line" to eliminate excessive spending and get the economy back on track.

"If we are going to make the investments we need, we also have to be willing to shed the spending that we don't need," Obama said at a news conference in Chicago, Illinois.

"In these challenging times, when we're facing both rising deficits and a sinking economy, budget reform is not an option. It's a necessity," he said.

Watch Obama call for 'smarter' government

Obama said that he has selected Peter Orszag as his nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Orszag, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, is an expert on health care, pensions and Social Security policy. He worked at the Clinton White House as special assistant to the president at the National Economic Council and served on the Council of Economic Advisers.

The move comes a day after the president-elect announced key members of his economic team, including New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner as his choice for treasury secretary and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as his selection for chief of the National Economic Council.

Obama said Tuesday that there will be more announcements as he fleshes out the rest of his economic team.

Those named to Obama's economic team already have started working on crafting an economic recovery plan. Obama's team also must figure out how best to allocate the rest of the $700 billion bailout that Congress passed in October.

Obama said he hopes the new Congress will begin work on an aggressive economic recovery plan when it convenes in January so his administration can "hit the ground running."

An economic stimulus package is central to Obama's plan. Obama on Monday declined to speculate how big the stimulus would need to be, saying, "We are going to do what's required to jolt this economy back into shape."

Estimates for how much might be spent on a multiple-year stimulus package range as high as $500 billion to $700 billion. At the center of the plan are investments in the nation's roads, bridges, schools and alternative-energy infrastructure. Obama has said his plan will lead to the creation of 2.5
million jobs.

"At this moment, we need to restore both confidence in the markets and restore confidence of middle-class families, who find themselves working harder, earning less and falling further and further behind," he said Monday.

Obama said that the recovery will not happen immediately and predicted that the economy likely would get worse before it gets better.

"To make the investments we need, we'll have to scour our federal budget, line by line, and make meaningful cuts and sacrifices," he said.

Despite the problems facing his administration, Obama said Monday that he is "hopeful about the future."

"I have full confidence in the wisdom and ingenuity of my economic team and in the hard work, courage and sacrifice of the American people," he said.

Obama also is expected to give key Cabinet positions to two of his former presidential rivals, but those announcements are not expected Tuesday.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is expected to be named secretary of commerce, and Obama aides also have said that Obama is "on track" to nominate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York as his secretary of state after Thanksgiving.

(Updated 12:30 p.m.)


Filed under: Obama transition
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. CAL

    office of president elect

    Your comments are so laughable. Why are you picking something so petty to wine about when we have a number of things going on in our country? It appears you are the only loser that's consider this an insult, after all he is the president elect, DUH!! Stop your hating and find something else to put that negtive energy into.

    November 25, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. We love Sarah

    Office of the President-Elect

    Hey, did you just step off the stupid train? Are you so angry that you rather see Mr. Obama fail as a President and the USA go down as well, than see that he is trying to help us even before he is in office?

    Hate for yourself and your country, that's all you have left.

    November 25, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Joe E.

    To "Office of the President-Elect" @12:36 pm

    His actions are being done by default, since W and crew are just busy finishing their final rape of the American people with the midnight reg changes. Leadership is needed one way or the other, because a vacuum is disastrous (just look at the markets recently, if you're in doubt of that), and since W has never been up to that task, I'm pleased as punch that President Obama has stepped up. Man up! Get with the program and on board! Or, at least stop whining and carping.

    November 25, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Cori from Colorado

    I still feel Hillary Clinton should've been the next president. However, I hope Obama will keep as many promises as possible, and do his best, but c'mon, he's using the Clinton administration to run the country, why not Hillary as their leader? What does that say when you're promoting change, only to use ideas from the past? Hmmm, that means they probably worked. Still should've been Hillary up there.

    November 25, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Brandon from WI

    Obama didn't invent the office of president-elect. He is merely detailing to the American public what he will be doing (emphasis on future tense) once he is officially in office. It is amazing how people are complaining about Obama and the man hasn't worked a day as President yet. Wait 5 minutes for him to be President and then complain.

    November 25, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. indiePA

    Hopefully, with Mr. Orszag's help, this administration will provide the funding necessary to keep Social Security intact. It was absolutely wrong for "W" and his cutthroats to use social security funding to back up their poor fiscal practices. It is absolutely wrong to consider allowing social security funding to go to illegals for their work in the U.S. If this is to be allowed, why not allow other criminals to accrue social security benefits for their work done behind bars?? Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! Those who contributed to it and worked for it (legally) should enjoy the benefits. Go for it, Mr. President-elect!! It's about time someone makes some positive moves on all of the problems facing this country. If you want to talk arrogance: Arrogance, ignorance and stupidity = Bush!! Hurry, January!

    November 25, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Charm

    To Office of the President-Elect...please don't forget how the constitution was trampled on under Bush and his administration. The fact that Obama is preparing to hit the ground running with his administration speaks volumes. He's preparing a stellar cabinet to help the U.S. get back on it's feet after 8 years under failed Bushenomics. Don't be afraid of change. Change is a good thing.

    November 25, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Joe Regis

    We also want fresh blood to compensate for the more entrenched pick thus far. Trial and error, innovation and progress are part of America's fabric.

    November 25, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Kate

    Office fo the President-Elect

    Where have you been? Obama is actually doing something because the lame-duck Bush guy is doing nothing but "having coffee with Paulson". What is wrong with you wingnuts that you cannot take a favorable and authoritative approach by the incoming President, and give it it's rightful praise. This country has had enough of George do-nothing Bush. It is time to move on. Stop stressing over your lost election and get behind the new president. People like you need to do your part, rather than continue to try to tear down the President-Elect's efforts, in the interest of your own selfish partisanship.

    November 25, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. BP

    Regarding an earlier post:
    While there is no official Office of the President-Elect, it was hardly created out of arrogance. Mr. Obama is showing that he is prepared and making the transition to be President. In a time when our current president is a lame duck (as he has been for a while), it is important for someone to step up and be a leader. Now, to you, "Office of the President-Elect," if you are going to select a minor detail rather than recognize Mr. Obama's incredible leadership and poise before he is even president (essentially saving Bush in doing so), you are proving your own ignorance.

    November 25, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Debbie

    All this "bailout" talk is not helping the American people. You continue to give money to rich people who are going to tuck the money away into their savings accounts. However there are people like me who did not bite off more than they can chew and got caught up in this mess. I think since the U.S. already has all of our names, addresses, and social security numbers they should cut the check to the American people(not $600.00, and the $300.00 I was cheated out of) who are in a positon where we can't save the money but we can pay our late mortgages, late home equity loans, late gas & electric bill, late phone bills, late car payments, buy our kids some food and clothing for winter and I bet the economy will get back on track. It is just crazy to keep bailing these idiots out. Granted there were no regulations for them to manage their business, and their was no one to reprimand them for what they were doing, and that is how we are in this mess today. For once would someone send this e-mail to Barak and his team of Financial gurues and get the ball rollin. I am tired of watching bail out crap in the morning as I get ready for work and in the evening after I come home late at night from the second job. Help me, my head is spinning, and I don't have private plains to fly in and pick up my check. I will actually drive my Honda Accord that needs maintenace work on it as well.

    November 25, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. laura

    Office of the President-Elect November 25th, 2008 12:36 pm ET

    It is all imaginary. Out of arrogance, Mr. Obama invents the "Office of the President-Elect," there is no such office in existence. It is an insult to the constitution and the history of our founding-fathers, the tradition of the American people, our moral family values. A big laugh for the rest of the civilized world, as it is no child-play.

    ___________________________________________–

    oh shut up! WE know there is no 'office of president – elect ' duh! BUT if he did not come out and speak then you people will say ' Obama is hiding bla bla bla bla ... ' So he is speaking and you write your lame speech ......

    November 25, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. proud army and navy mom

    It is so nice to have an intelligent, inspirational President and First Lady to look to.

    I understand that Obama doesn't have all the answers, but at least he understands the questions, unlike war criminals, bush and cheney.

    November 25, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. katiec

    Am impressed with Barack Obama and his team. They intend
    to attack problems head on, which has been greatly lacking in
    the present administration.
    It has taken eight years to bring these diasters to our country,
    and, will most certainly take time to try and bring our country
    back to where it once was.
    The biggest obstacle will be getting the republicans to work
    with them to undo all the damage they have done. Saw where
    they have a fund raiser going to "fight the left;s agenda",
    That sure tells you they are putting country first???

    November 25, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Office of the President-Elect November 25th, 2008 12:36 pm ET

    It is all imaginary. Out of arrogance, Mr. Obama invents the "Office of the President-Elect," there is no such office in existence. It is an insult to the constitution and the history of our founding-fathers, the tradition of the American people, our moral family values. A big laugh for the rest of the civilized world, as it is no child-play.
    -----------------
    Would you rather things go the same way as the previous 8 years? He promised change, and he's already started it, and you can't handle it. Too bad.

    November 25, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Li Li

    I'm glad to see Obama doin' his thang. He da man!

    November 25, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. inat2

    does he need to give a speech EVERY day? Geesh.

    everytime he speaks, the dow drops. We were up +42, then we go down -127 after the speech. Enough already.

    November 25, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Zaga

    Somebody sound upset, Office of the President-Elect!

    November 25, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. wwf

    I guess some of you would just as soon Obama said and did nothing until Jan. while the standing President does nothing.l Some of you still believe that Bush is a great President. Some of you believe in the tooth fairy. The rest of the world is not laughing at Obama, they are laughing at you. The only insult to the constitution has be the number of times that Bush has thrown it out the window. Office of the President-Elect, you are fool, and that is putting it very very mildly.

    November 25, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Max DeMian

    So, you would rather nothing be done until Jan 20th? If this was normal economic times I would agree. If we had a president who was interested in leading, then I would agree. But since this isn't and we don't, I stronly disagree.

    November 25, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. MikeHunt

    "It is all imaginary. Out of arrogance, Mr. Obama invents the "Office of the President-Elect," there is no such office in existence. It is an insult to the constitution and the history of our founding-fathers, the tradition of the American people, our moral family values. A big laugh for the rest of the civilized world, as it is no child-play."

    It's the economy, stupid!

    November 25, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Barb

    You idiot that is complaining about the name of an office. Are you totally out of touch with what is going on around you? Who cares about him putting "office of the presiden-elect" on his podium. The important thing is that he fix the economy so that people can have a decent life again. The economy is in CRISIS and you are complaining about a name. You are a true IDIOT.

    November 25, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. jnette

    Dear Mr. Office of the President of the Elect..check your history and records...this argument has already been challenged, there IS AN ENTITY already in existence for the offoce of the President Elect...and stop hating , it is not good for your health!!!

    November 25, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Scott102215

    I wonder about the specifics of the plan he has. I hope it is realistic. I hope Obama does well for everyone's sake. As far as all these bailout go, it does not seem like a good sign that he is supporting all these types of big business bailouts while placing the tax burden on the citizens.

    November 25, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Chris

    Is Bush taking notes?

    November 25, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.