January 10th, 2009
09:45 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama: stimulus plan could create, save up to 4 million jobs

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama now says his plan to pump up the ailing economy could create or save three to four million jobs, more than the 2.6 million jobs the government says were lost last year.

In his weekly radio and YouTube address, the President-elect gave details on a report released by his transition team. The report details the types of jobs that would be created or saved by Obama's stimulus proposals, officially known as the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan."

"The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create three to four million jobs. Ninety percent of these jobs will be created in the private sector – the remaining 10 percent are mainly public sector jobs we save, like the teachers, police officers, firefighters and others who provide vital services in our communities," says the President-elect.

The report, however, acknowledges that all of the estimates "are subject to significant margins of error" since it is unclear what the final economic package will look like once it emerges from Congress.

In his address, the president-elect once again warned that the road to economic recovery will be long and hard. "Given the magnitude of the challenges we face, none of this will come easy," he said. "Recovery won't happen overnight, and it's likely that things will get worse before they get better. But we have come through moments like this before."

Obama's economic team is negotiating with congressional leaders over the details of the plan. Senate Democrats will meet tomorrow with Obama's advisors in a rare Sunday event on Capitol Hill.

Filed under: Congress • President-elect Obama • stimulus plan
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Joe in NJ

    While I think Obama may have good intentions, he's still too vague on what he plans to do. My concern is that these jobs he is going to create will pay a lot less than what many people who are out of work had been getting.

    January 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Sandy and Ricky, You got that right. Use some of the stimulus as a bounty for turning in illegals. If they offered $500 for every illegal reported to the gov't and subsequently deported, we'd open up millions of jobs in a few weeks. Sure most are doing minimum wage jobs, but not all. Even minimum wage is better than welfare or unemployment.
    @Joan, it's been proven that illegals actually drive down wages. Without them, the 'jobs nobody wants' will have to pay more, and eventually someone will take them. Especially if you tell them to take the job because you're stopping their welfare check! There are 11 million unemployed Americans. Don't tell me that at least some of them wouldn't be willing to take any paying job.

    January 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Sean

    It's funny that this article is even on the front page. Everyday, it's Obama says this, Obama says that, it would be nice if you posted something that was actually happening, not his Hope for something. It's also funny that every time I walk out my door, I see job openings. They might not be the most wanted jobs, and some Americans think they're better than that, but are they? We let immigrants take those, when most of us are only citizens by one or two generations. So if you've lost your job recently, please stop looking for pity, and go get your hands dirty.

    January 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Rayge

    The plan will not help, it's going to make things worse. I still say the whole government needs to be stripped of its authority and reconstructed by the people.

    January 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. martin

    at first he said it would save 2 million. then he said it would save 2.5 million jobs. then he said it would save 3 million. Now 4 million?

    it seems obama is fast and loose with numbers as much as Bush was fast and loose with the English language.

    his plan has no specifics and even Democrats are criticizing it.

    January 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. tax payer

    To Ken:

    Ken I think your comments are heart felt. I think it is true that Americans have given up some freedoms and it would be nice to get some more ... especialy personal freedom such as unions or marriage. I think though it is not correct to say that America is funding all of these bailouts. Bailouts are being funded by different countries all over the globe. If your comments are specifically to America then I would say it is not correct either that America did not get anything in return. We did. These companies either directly or indirectly did furnish a huge tax base and even now, struggling, they still do. Those taxes support each person directly or indirectly in this country, though like you I would like to see even more freedoms given to us. It would really be nice to see a struggle such as this bring people together and have those that deny rights to others or freedoms to remeber what they went thru in this time and to not limit other people's freedoms .. that being said I really do not think it is a bad thing for a neighbor to keep his/her yard clean 🙂

    January 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. RC

    There's no sure solution in these daunting economic times. This is the worse economic and fiscal crises since the Great Depression. But both republicans and democratics agree that if nothing is done, the economy WILL get worse and head into depression. The American people need to understand that nobody knows what will work and there will need to be a combination of things tried to see if the economy can improve. This is problem is global and WE, America started the dominoes falling... producing less, consuming more with money we did not have. Everything from government waste, subprime lending, consumer credit, to the expensive and costly war in Iraq. There is still lots of unaccounted for billions spent on war contractors in that war.

    January 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Steven

    I mostly agree with you Shabba Rommel. Just another attempt of people trying to fight the inevitable (look up the definition). We are simply going to go into a recession/depression and these attempts to fight it are just going to make the bottom at lot deeper. So called "bailouts" and funding take years to even raise the cash and are definately un-American, the tax-cut approach he is supporting is the best way (especially for corporations, which will simply relocate in this global environment if they don't have incentives to stay in the US). I do believe though, that this funding towards infrastructure is a great approach and should be the number one priorty, above tax-cuts or any other spending. Look towards the past, Roosevelt's New Deal was designed to give jobs (not money) to the unemployed, trade jobs would definately be created as result. You have to create incentives/jobs for people to work, not just give out handouts. Build an interstate railway system (Fully Federally & State funded), alternative energy infrastructures, and other public works that will kill two birds with one stone (creating jobs and bringing our infrastructure into the 21st century).

    January 10, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Ken Sawyer

    If it is the illegals taking all the jobs ,why is no one who is drawing a welfare check and perfectly able to work not going and demanding their jobs at the same pay? In the real world I, my father and grandfathers did not start at the top. Socialism and its effects are now catching up. The time will come back when you ask for a job first and not what the benefits are. Oh about the first question. Answer. If you take a job and blossom you might lose the government check.

    January 10, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Joe

    Yeah a report says jobs will be created!

    Name one government report there has ever been correct...

    January 10, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. bernie from maryland

    I agree with President elect Obama that most of the jobs created should be in the private sector.

    I also agree that any package should not include congressionally added earmarks. This is no time to be adding on a bunch of pork. I also agree that we are going to need some long term fiscal discipline.

    (See the movie "IOUSA" on CNN today and tomorrow.)

    I personally favor a reduction or elimination of the employer and employee FICA tax for a year as a way to stimulate the economy. The break tops out at about 100 K per person and only applies to wages earned while working and not dividends and interest income. It would also encourage the hiring Americans by reducing the cost by about 7 per cent. It would not require extra bureaucracy and manipulation by lobbyists, politicians, or politically powerful businesses

    Almost all economists think something needs to be done and I trust President Obama a lot more than I trust congress

    January 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. sue


    If those immigrants were not here, the price of you lunch or dinner in a restaurant would go triple or more, the small business will not exist. Illegal immigrants by the way can not buy a house as no credit company gives money to them, they don't have SSN, no credit, so the legal residents and citizens are the ones whose houses went to foreclosure. These people can be thrown on the street and never get unemployment benefits, don't have the right to file complaints with federal government even if they are verbally abused, offended at workplaces. They don't have the luxury to visit a dentist, doctor for a pain but they suffer with that pain because not only they can not afford the money to visit the doctor but they can not afford even the time to see a doctor. You are lucky to be born in this country and I don't wish you to try living for just a single day as an immigrant in another country and see what does it really mean. This country was build on immigrants' work (your grandparents might have been in the same place as those immigrants now) and this is the most welcoming country in the world. BTW those people contribute to this country more than receive, by paying the rent, living expenses, redicilous lawyer fees to get their papers, stay away from their families for years and their lives are destroyed and at the end they have nothing left because their salaries are so low. If they were legal residents, do you know that when filing taxes they were going to take money back fro the government because of the minimum wage they have, their were going to claim children as dependents, and many other deductions. So be more tolerant and generous. They are human beings as you are.

    January 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Optimist

    We will finally have a sensible and intelligent president that cares about the people of this country and will do his absolute best to make it better and get us out of this mess. Can you image what situation we would be in for if we were in the middle of a Bush presidency or if Obama had not won at a time like this? Those free-trading Republicans who criticize his spending plans to jolt the economy as huge burdens the future generation has to bear do not think twice about how shipping of jobs overseas effects the future generation at all. Desperate times demand desperate measures! Ready-Set-Go!!!

    January 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Ken Sawyer

    If I remember right ,it was a Democrat president. Bill Clinton who signed into law the NAFTA treaty which has seen the loss of millions of jobs to cheap labor to countries who do not depend on government handouts for a living but just want to eat.

    January 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Titanv8man

    Anyone out there that worked the whole year of 08, paid taxes out of their checks and still didn't pay enough? Ask Obama for a bailout and see what kind of response you get. I'll bet it's in the form of a visit from the IRS.

    January 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Mr Magoo

    Buth, I personally dozens of illegal aliens making way more than $4/hour. In fact, I know dozens from my church making $7,000-$13,000/MONTH doing housecleaning and landscaping and yes, they are stealing jobs from American companies which of couse cannot compete given taxes, insurances and other expenses illegal aliens do not care about.

    If Obama is serious about this, he should start by enforcing the laws and we have and sending this people back home. They already made enough money. It is proved already that enforcement works and yes, 20 million people can leave mainly on their own.

    Also, I believe legal skilled immigration is the way to go. However, the H1B program must be suspended immediately. There is no need to bring more people in when thousands of IT professionals are losing jobs.

    January 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. TruthWillSetYouFree37

    First it was 2 million, 3 million, 3.5 million, now 4 million but Obama can always fall back on I saved 4 million but created 0 jobs. The only jobs that will be created is the 600,000 government jobs. The Government's of 41 states want bailout money. Obama wants to create 600,000 government jobs. Tax cuts for people (40%) THAT don't even pay federal taxes. Stop the bailouts! The country is broke! Government is not the answer. Do you want private sector jobs or government jobs? Who will pay for the government jobs? Obama plan is large government. The man is good at memorizing lines.

    January 10, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. David in West Virginia

    Public Works programs like faster Rail systems for Amtrak and the firing of Amtrak personnel being paid huge salaries and providing their ridership nothing in return. Also, the return to American manufacturing companies and stopping the greed of corporate America, hellbent on destroying the U.S. so long as they paid handsomely in the process.

    January 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    Is Team Obama going to do a Bill Clinton and count all the new fast food joints opening as new career jobs? It’s really Team Clueless taking over for a few short years until the adults get back.

    January 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Chuck in LA

    A simple suggesstion; Let's give the new administration a chance. We have a lot of issues to work on, let's work on them together. If some don't work, let's change them and try new things.

    In the meantime, let's all get in the boat and row together. I know it's an old cliche, but we put a man on the moon, we have helped many nations recover from terrible disasters, and now we get to work on some things here at home.

    Here's hoping for a better 2009 for all Americans, I wish us all the best as we work together to solve the many challenges we face. We can do it!

    January 10, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. from Canada

    The greatest resource of any nation is it's people – when you have a educated, skilled, healthy population who are capable of taking risks and new creative ideas – your nation will be powerful. The USA will not only be known for it's military might but the spirit of survival and leadership to prosperity. Obama and his team are right on and Canada is looking forward to new conciousness of America.

    January 10, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Harry

    If I thought that ANYONE who had any bering on the state of things was watching this, I would have a lot of suggestions. But nobody listens they just play with computers.

    January 10, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Evan from Idaho

    Unless Americans learn to live within their income, save for a rainy day, don't buy it until you can pay for it, own a home you can afford to pay for on your worst possible income, get out of debt accept for an education, use the technology you have until you save enough for the newer better technology, Unless we learn this, the Government will never be able to help us enough.

    January 10, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. John

    Save a job, yea that is a slick word isn't it. What does it mean to 'save a job' more clintonese.

    January 10, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. bastilledude

    Go back to the fundamentals, the first and second laws of thermodynamics apply to economics and govt as well. When you funnel money through the govt, waste is ALWAYS present, no matter how many "Oversight Czars" you appoint, it's a law of nature. Free markets (voluntary exchanges between individuals) are nature's way and are how America became the most prosperous and free country in the world. Either politicians are completely ignorant of basic science or are power hungry and know that only by abolishing free markets can they control everything. Americans need to quit whining and work as hard as they can all the time, or America will slowly sink into mediocrity.

    January 10, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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