The American President-elect has left no doubt about the priorities facing his new administration. Barack Obama gave his first news conference since winning the election, flanked by his new transition economic advisory board. And he promised to hit the ground running.
“We need a rescue plan for the middle-class, that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provide relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life-savings disappear,” he told reporters in Chicago.
He said the global financial crisis is the “greatest economic challenge of our lifetime,” and singled-out car-makers for special attention.
“The auto-industry is the backbone of American manufacturing, and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said. “I would like to see the administration do everything it can to accelerate the re-tooling assistance that Congress has already enacted. In addition, I’ve made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto-industry adjust.”
Obama said a fiscal stimulus package was long overdue, and said if the outgoing Bush administration does not introduce one, then it would be the first thing his team would do after his inauguration in January.