Chicago Sun-Times
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President Obama "radio" address focus on massive recovery plan


WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Barack Obama Discusses New White House Report on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan
Report gives by-the-numbers look at impact plan will have on the economy; lays out key priorities

WASHINGTON - In the weekly address released today, President Barack Obama discussed a new White House report on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, which outlines the tangible impact that the plan will have on our economy.

While the Obama Administration will continue to work with Congress to improve and refine the plan in the weeks ahead, the report discussed the core components of this plan that will deliver on the President's key priorities.

The full report will be available online at 6:00 am ET on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at

The full audio of the address is HERE. Footage will be available via pool feed at 6:00 am ET Saturday. The video can also be viewed online at

Weekly Address
Saturday, January 24th, 2009

We begin this year and this Administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action. Just this week, we saw more people file for unemployment than at any time in the last twenty-six years, and experts agree that if nothing is done, the unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. And we could lose a generation of potential, as more young Americans are forced to forgo college dreams or the chance to train for the jobs of the future.

In short, if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.

That is why I have proposed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to immediately jumpstart job creation as well as long-term economic growth. I am pleased to say that both parties in Congress are already hard at work on this plan, and I hope to sign it into law in less than a month.

It's a plan that will save or create three to four million jobs over the next few years, and one that recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment - the fact that there are millions of Americans trying to find work even as, all around the country, there's so much work to be done. That's why this is not just a short-term program to boost employment. It's one that will invest in our most important priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century.

Today I'd like to talk specifically about the progress we expect to make in each of these areas.

To accelerate the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and biofuels over the next three years. We'll begin to build a new electricity grid that lay down more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines to convey this new energy from coast to coast. We'll save taxpayers $2 billion a year by making 75% of federal buildings more energy efficient, and save the average working family $350 on their energy bills by weatherizing 2.5 million homes.

To lower health care costs, cut medical errors, and improve care, we'll computerize the nation's health records in five years, saving billions of dollars in health care costs and countless lives. And we'll protect health insurance for more than 8 million Americans who are in danger of losing their coverage during this economic downturn.

To ensure our children can compete and succeed in this new economy, we'll renovate and modernize 10,000 schools, building state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries, and labs to improve learning for over five million students. We'll invest more in Pell Grants to make college affordable for seven million more students, provide a $2,500 college tax credit to four million students, and triple the number of fellowships in science to help spur the next generation of innovation.

Finally, we will rebuild and retrofit America to meet the demands of the 21st century. That means repairing and modernizing thousands of miles of America's roadways and providing new mass transit options for millions of Americans. It means protecting America by securing 90 major ports and creating a better communications network for local law enforcement and public safety officials in the event of an emergency. And it means expanding broadband access to millions of Americans, so businesses can compete on a level-playing field, wherever they're located.

I know that some are skeptical about the size and scale of this recovery plan. I understand that skepticism, which is why this recovery plan must and will include unprecedented measures that will allow the American people to hold my Administration accountable for these results. We won't just throw money at our problems - we'll invest in what works. Instead of politicians doling out money behind a veil of secrecy, decisions about where we invest will be made public, and informed by independent experts whenever possible. We will launch an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called

No one policy or program will solve the challenges we face right now, nor will this crisis recede in a short period of time. But if we act now and act boldly; if we start rewarding hard work and responsibility once more; if we act as citizens and not partisans and begin again the work of remaking America, then I have faith that we will emerge from this trying time even stronger and more prosperous than we were before. Thanks for listening.

THE WHITE HOUSE, January 23, 2009.

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My husband & I are retired. Paid our taxes throughout the years, never cheated anyone. Pay our bills.

The crooks on Wall St., in D.C., have caused our 401K to tank.

Yesterday, I went to get ONE prescription filled, they wanted $253.00! I didn't have that much in the bank and had to tell them to just give me so many pills.

When in the car, I blew my top!!!!

WE are NOW FORCED to pay for condoms and abortions for foreigners, when true citizens here, cannot afford many things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This new SCHIP covers illegal aliens' kids!!!!!!!

Do I want National Health care? NO, this program will have as much fraud as all the other programs have.

Someone Please...tell me when it became our duty to take care of foreigners year after year????????

Bobc: I share your anger that irresponsibility on the part of others has made times much harder for us. That our hard-earned money is essentially vanishing due to practices we had no part is unfair and devastating!

I also understand that with things going so poorly we all want to blame someone for it. But it's also important that we make sure we get the right people.

For instance, why do you think prescriptions cost so much? I can tell you this: US aid to foreigners has absolutely no effect on prescription drug prices. What reason is there for the two to be related? Isn't it more likely that your prescription costs a ton exactly BECAUSE we don't have national health care? Exactly because the drug companies lobby extensively in Washington to prevent government regulation which would reduce prices?

Can you cite for the rest of us the programs through which "we are now forced to pay for condoms and abortions for foreigners"? Is this a reference to planned parenthood programs which extend benefits to immigrants?

Also, regarding SCHIP, it is clearly stated that coverage is only offered to pregnant mothers and children who are LEGAL immigrants, and that is not the sole focus of the new legislation.

How much fraud DO other programs have? What figures or data do you have to indicate that fraud drains any significant portion of government health care aid?

I'm sure you know this, but many other developed nations have very successful national health care and have for decades. If you were in one of many European countries your prescription would not cost you $253, because your government would agree with you that citizens should be able to afford these important things.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 24, 2009 7:46 AM.

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