Obama warns of dire consequences without economic stimulus

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 11:48 AM
Last updated 11:54 AM
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FAIRFAX, Virginia -- President-elect Barack Obama warned of dire and lasting consequences if Congress doesn't pump unprecedented dollars into the U.S. economy, making an urgent pitch Thursday for his mammoth spending proposal in his first speech since his election.

"In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse" if Washington doesn't go far enough to address the spreading crisis, Obama said as fresh economic reports showed an outlook growing increasingly grim, with less than two weeks to go before he takes office.

Since his November election, he has deferred to President George W. Bush on foreign policy matters such as the Middle East. But, with the urgency of the economic crisis, Obama has waded deeply into domestic issues as he works to generate support for his plan to create jobs, jolt the economy and make long-term investments in other areas.

In the speech at George Mason University outside of Washington, Obama cast blame on "an era of profound irresponsibility that stretched from corporate boardrooms to the halls of power in Washington."

But he added, "The very fact that this crisis is largely of our own making means that it is not beyond our ability to solve. Our problems are rooted in past mistakes, not our capacity for future greatness."

Obama laid out goals of doubling the production of alternative energy over three years, updating most federal buildings to improve energy efficiency, making medical records electronic, expanding broadband networks and updating schools and universities.

Still, his remarks shed little new light on the details of his plan that could cost as much as $775 billion over two years in tax cuts and spending intended to jolt the economy and create new jobs.

The speech marked Obama's highest-profile effort yet on an issue certain to define and dominate his early presidency.

"I don't believe it's too late to change course, but it will be if we don't take dramatic action as soon as possible," he said.

Governors of six states and mayors of 14 cities — a bipartisan audience that came from as far away as Minnesota and Utah to be among the few hundred in attendance — listened to the speech that lasted less than a half hour. Included were Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City.

Obama asked Congress to work day, night and on weekends if necessary to pass a revival plan within the next few weeks so that it can be ready for his signature shortly after he takes office on Jan. 20.

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sanders23
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sanders23 01/08/09 - 01:40 pm
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Politicians working nights

Politicians working nights and weekends...now that's funny.

coolette
10
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coolette 01/08/09 - 04:19 pm
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what happened to REFORM

what happened to REFORM education!!! And now GA. will increase classs sizes!! Reforming education could increase jobs.

wcr250
41
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wcr250 01/08/09 - 06:05 pm
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A liberal President and a

A liberal President and a liberal congress is going to help working people,what a joke.
They will help the food stamp and welfare crowd.
residents of Cherry Tree rejoice

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/08/09 - 08:03 pm
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I foresee a stimulus package

I foresee a stimulus package that includes returning hundreds of millions of dollars to people that never paid any taxes. I foresee the exact same result as was seen with the last stimulus package. None. I foresee four years of this mentality substituted for leadership. I foresee the AP claiming the stimulus package will be $775 billion and Obama claiming it will be $1.32 trillion. Life goes on.

aaa
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aaa 01/08/09 - 08:21 pm
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We're in trouble, folks. The

We're in trouble, folks. The incoming President doesn't have a clue.

Lorraine
140
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Lorraine 01/08/09 - 10:19 pm
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The outgoing President had no

The outgoing President had no clue during his eight years of incompetency! He was in total darkness for eight years. The aftermath of Bush's presidency is an utterly mess.

aaa
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aaa 01/08/09 - 10:23 pm
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Lorraine: You can slander

Lorraine: You can slander Bush all you want with the typical lib talking points. But you are safe tonight because of Bush. Do you have anything original to say?

Lorraine
140
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Lorraine 01/08/09 - 10:25 pm
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StandingTallAgain, I am not

StandingTallAgain, I am not safe tonight because of Bush. I am safe tonight because of Jesus Christ. Bush is not my Savior. Apparently, we have different perspectives regarding this issue. I respect your opinion. However, I am in total disagreement regarding who is keeping me safe. I do not credit Bush for my safety.

aaa
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aaa 01/08/09 - 11:17 pm
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Taking the high road is

Taking the high road is always the last refuge for the faint of heart. Yes, you are indeed safe because of the policies that Bush and many in Congress were able to put in place after 9/11. I'm glad that you have something in common with Bush and myself - we also give Jesus Christ the glory. However, to say that the aftermath of the Bush presidency is an utter mess due to incompetency is a bit disingenuous. Bush made mistakes by swinging too far to the left during the last year of his administration. He adopted many of the policies of the liberal agenda, including massive growth of the government. The nearly trillion dollar bailout package accomplished absolutely nothing - it did not work. And now, Obama plans another trillion dollar "stimulus" package. This is why I said he has no clue. To propose repeating the same mistake that was just made under Bush and the last Congress it is absolutely nuts. Read his speach or watch it on CSPAN - it was void of any specifics and full of campaign-style lofty euphamisms. But, hey - it was delivered very articulately and he looked good giving it.

Lorraine
140
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Lorraine 01/09/09 - 01:15 am
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Again, I am not safe because

Again, I am not safe because of Bush. Read my lips! Yes, I agree that Bush made many mistakes during his presidency by flying by the seat of his pants and landed wherever the wind took him. Bush had no bright or sound ideas to fix the economy. Eight years later, we now have a huge deficit while Iraq has a surplus. Very ingenious of Bush. Don't you think so? I will not be quick to say that I have something in common with Bush. Several weeks ago, Bush admitted that he did not take the Bible literally. I do not embrace Bush's perspective regarding his take on the Bible.

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/09/09 - 03:43 am
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Socialism at it's finest.

Socialism at it's finest. Only thing missing is the State taking over the Exxons and GA Powers. Businesses are designed to make a profit or fold. If they were gluttons and not penny wise, the punishment when the bill comes, is they go out of business. Normal business practices. The USA will just rebuild later when the economics is better -- and hopefully wiser. If not, the Fall of Rome is an excellent history lesson!

kissofdeath
397
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kissofdeath 01/09/09 - 06:49 am
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Standing Tall Again, its

Standing Tall Again, its delighted to hear you say President Bush kept you safe,you moron,did Bush read you a bed time story before you went to sleep. Look out here comes another shoe!

karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/09/09 - 07:22 am
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barry will make it all

barry will make it all better.........(wink,,wink)

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