WASHINGTON, DC: Echoing Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 'New Deal' program that put America back to work in the 1930s, president-elect Barack Obama on Saturday outlined his economic recovery plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011, stressing that speed is imperative.
Obama promised in his weekly blog that US workers will be deployed on major infrastructure projects, rebuilding roads and bridges, modernizing schools and focussing on alternative energy.
Says the prez-to-be: "These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis. These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long."
Members of his administration-in-waiting are already working on the plan, which the new president will sign shortly after taking office on January 20. It will aim to jump-starting job creation, laying the foundations for a stronger economy
Pointing to October's new home sales data released last week – the lowest for fifty years – and news that new unemployment claims during the same month were the highest in sixteen year, Obama wrote: "We must do more to put people back to work and get our economy moving again.
He noted that more than a million jobs have already been lost in 2008, adding "if we don't act swiftly and boldly, most experts now believe that we could lose millions of jobs next year".
Aware that he will need support from Republicans as well as politicians in his own party in order to rush the plan through both Houses of Congress, Obama added that suggestions from both sides of the aisle would be welcome.
"But what is not negotiable is the need for immediate action. 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."
History, he said, has shown that Americans have been able to rise above their divisions to work together.
"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."
Data sourced from CNNMoney.com; additional content by WARC staff