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Obama Pushes Massive Stimulus Plan

  • Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama says he understands that many Americans are skeptical about the size of his initiative for rescuing the nation's economy. In his first weekly broadcast address as president, Mr. Obama assured the American people that the massive plan will hold his administration accountable for the results.

President Obama says he will not allow his $825 billion proposal for fixing America's economic problems to be a waste of money.

"We won't just throw money at our problems - we'll invest in what works. Instead of politicians doling out money behind a veil of secrecy, decisions about where we invest will be made public, and informed by independent experts whenever possible," he said.

Mr. Obama met with his economic advisers on Saturday to discuss the federal budget. In his broadcast address, he warned that if nothing is done, the U.S. unemployment rate could reach double digits and the economy could fall $1 trillion short of its capacity.

"In short, if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse. That is why I have proposed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to immediately jumpstart job creation as well as long-term economic growth. I am pleased to say that both parties in Congress are already hard at work on this plan, and I hope to sign it into law in less than a month," he said.

The president met with top Democratic and Republican lawmakers Friday to discuss efforts to get his economic plan passed. Leaders from both parties indicated that they believe the proposal will get congressional approval by Mr. Obama's mid-February deadline.

One of those leaders, House of Representatives Minority Leader John Boehner, Saturday, gave the Republican Party's weekly address. Boehner and his fellow Republicans are proposing more tax cuts and less government spending than the president's plan offers.

"We let families, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and the self-employed keep more of what they earn to encourage investment and create millions of new private-sector jobs," he said.

Boehner said the Republicans would cut taxes for every taxpayer. He said Americans "cannot borrow and spend our way back to prosperity."

Mr. Obama's plan aims to create at least three million new jobs and reform the country's education, health care, energy and transportation systems.
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