Obama:`Dramatic action' needed to fix economy

January 16, 2009 10:43:09 AM PST
Taking his economic pitch on the road, President-elect Barack Obama promoted his plans to create long-lasting, well-paying jobs in cutting-edge industries like alternative energy as part of his mammoth plan to pull the country out of recession. "It's not too late to change course -- but only if we take dramatic action as soon as possible," the president-elect said. He pledged: "The first job of my administration is to put people back to work and get our economy moving again."

Obama spoke to workers at a chilly Midwestern factory that makes parts for wind turbines, a fitting backdrop as he talked of alternative energy dollars included in the mammoth spending package that could reach $1 trillion by the time Congress sends it to the White House.

"We're not looking to create just any kind of jobs here," Obama said. "We're looking to create good jobs that pay well and won't be shipped overseas. Jobs that don't just put people to work in the short-term, but position our economy to be on the cutting edge in the long-term. That starts with new, clean sources of energy."

Earlier, wearing clear protective glasses with his dark business suit, Obama stopped at several work stations on his Bedford Heights, Ohio, tour to watch people demonstrate the various steps to manufacturing the large screws and bolts used to hold wind turbines together.

Citing an economy in crisis and getting worse, Obama, who will be sworn in Tuesday, has spent the past two weeks securing lawmakers' backing for the eye-popping plan that has drawn skepticism from both Republicans and Democrats because of its price tag and tax provisions.

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