Obama outlines plan to create 2.5M jobs
President elect gives brief rundown of economic recovery plan.
New York (CNN) -- Saying that moving quickly is imperative, President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday offered an outline of his economic recovery plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011, saying American workers will rebuild the nation's roads and bridges, modernize its schools and create more sources of alternative energy.
"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis," Obama said in the weekly Democratic address, posted on his Web site. "These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long."
Details of the plan are still being worked out by his economic team, Obama said, but he hopes to sign the two-year, nationwide plan shortly after taking office January 20.
He referred to figures out this week showing that new home purchases in October were the lowest in 50 years, and that 540,000 new unemployment claims had been filed -- the highest in 16 years.
"We must do more to put people back to work and get our economy moving again," he said. More than a million jobs have been lost this year, he said, and "if we don't act swiftly and boldly, most experts now believe that we could lose millions of jobs next year."
The plan will be aimed at jump-starting job creation, Obama said, and laying the foundation for a stronger economy.
"We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technology that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years head," he said.
He noted he will need support from both Democrats and Republicans to pass such a plan, and said he welcomes suggestions from both sides of the aisle.
"But what is not negotiable is the need for immediate action," he said. "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."
Throughout history, he said, Americans have been able to rise above their divisions to work together, he said.
"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."