President-elect Barack Obama
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Yesterday, we received another
painful reminder of the serious economic challenge our country is
we learned that 533,000 jobs were lost in November alone, the single
month of job loss in over three decades. That puts the total number of
lost in this recession at nearly 2 million.
But this isn’t about
numbers. It’s about each of the families those numbers represent.
It’s about the rising unease and frustration that so many of you are
feeling during this holiday season. Will you be able to put your kids
college? Will you be able to afford health care? Will you be able to
with dignity and security? Will your job or your husband’s job or your
daughter’s job be the next one cut?
These are the questions that keep
so many Americans awake at night. But it is not the first time these
have been asked. We have faced difficult times before, times when our
destiny seemed to be slipping out of our hands. And at each moment, we
risen to meet the challenge, as one people united by a sense of common
And I know that Americans can rise to the moment once again.
But we need action – and
action now. That is why I have asked my economic team to develop an
recovery plan for both Wall Street and Main Street that will help save
create at least two and a half million jobs, while rebuilding our
infrastructure, improving our schools, reducing our dependence on oil,
saving billions of dollars.
We won’t do it the old
Washington way. We won’t just throw money at the problem. We’ll
measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve – by
the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more
competitive in the world.
Today, I am announcing a few key
parts of my plan. First, we will launch a massive effort to make public
buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest
bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our
buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient
bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of
dollars each year. It will put people back to work.
Second, we will create millions of
jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national
since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll
invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set
simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to
invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the
Third, my economic recovery plan
will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school
that this country has ever seen. We will repair broken schools,
energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to
children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to
As we renew our schools and highways,
we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that
the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here,
country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance
online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President –
because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness
in the world.
In addition to connecting our
libraries and schools to the internet, we must also ensure that our
are connected to each other through the internet. That is why the
recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system
– and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives. We will make
sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using
cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can
tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each
These are a few parts of the
economic recovery plan that I will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
reconvenes in January, I look forward to working with them to pass a
immediately. We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to
create at least two and a half million jobs so that the nearly two
Americans who’ve lost them know that they have a future. And that’s
exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States.
Thanks for listening.