This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.
Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass an economic recovery plan in the
next few weeks. He warned about the deepening recession in a speech in Virginia
on Thursday, less than two weeks before he takes office.
BARACK OBAMA: "Now, 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. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years."
Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the federal budget deficit
this year at one trillion two hundred billion dollars. That is almost three
times the size of last year's deficit. And the estimate does not include an
economic stimulus plan, like the president-elect proposes.
But Barack Obama warns that
without decisive action, trillion-dollar deficits will be a reality for years
to come. His proposals could cost around seven hundred seventy-five billion
dollars in government spending and tax cuts over two years. Some economists think
the plan needs to provide as much as one trillion dollars or more to be
percent of the plan could come in the form of tax cuts. That provision is
partly an effort to gain support from Republicans.
BARACK OBAMA: "Now I understand that some might be
skeptical of this plan. Our government has already spent a good deal of money
but we haven't yet seen that translate into more jobs, or higher incomes or
renewed confidence in our economy. And that's why the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Plan won't just throw money at our problems. We'll invest in what
Obama says the plan should save or create at least three million jobs over the
next few years, mostly in private industry. It includes money for needed
repairs to roads and bridges. But it would also invest in clean energy, health
care and education.
Mister Obama says
his team is beginning discussions with members of Congress about how to deal
with the deficit and control federal spending. He has to present his first
budget proposal to Congress early next month.
He says the
emergency legislation he proposes must be free of special-interest spending
projects. His plan will "help struggling states avoid harmful budget cuts,"
he says. But he added that they must use the money to support services like
police, fire, education and health care. He promises to show, online, where
taxpayer money is being spent.
On Wednesday he named Nancy Killefer to a new White
House position -- chief performance officer. She is a former assistant Treasury
secretary currently at the management consulting company McKinsey. A big part
of her job will be to look for ways to cut government waste.
that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.