WASHINGTON: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama wants to make something very clear: The economy is not going to immediately recover when he takes his oath of office, but he has a plan to get the country moving.
Obama introduced a recovery plan “equal to the task” that would be the largest public works spending programme since the interstate highway system was build a half-century ago.
“We’ve got to provide a blood infusion to the patient right now to make sure that the patient is stabilised. And that means that we can’t worry short term about the deficit. We’ve got to make sure that the economic stimulus plan is large enough to get the economy moving,” he said during an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Twice during the opening moments of his most extensive interview since winning the presidency on November 4, the President-elect said the economic situation “is going to get worse before it gets better,” an unspoken plea with voters to have patience with the incoming administration.
The economic indicators have darkened since Mr. Obama’s election. Unemployment stands at 6.7 per cent, and retailers are reporting weak holiday sales.
As congressional leaders and aides spent the weekend negotiating the details of a bailout package for automakers that leaders hope to finalise early this week, Mr. Obama repeated his position that domestic carmakers must survive the current crisis.
He also accused the industry’s executives of taking a “head-in-the-sand approach” that has prevented their companies from becoming more competitive. — AP