[Marxism] LA TIMES: Obama pledges to create jobs via public works

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Dec 7 10:20:30 MST 2008

Mike Davis discussed these in his critique of the infrastructure
projects right after Obama won the election. He put it this way:

"We are now at a crash site, and our priority should be to save the
victims, not change the tires or repair the fender, much less build a
new car. In the triage situation that now confronts the
president-elect, keeping local schools and hospitals open should be
the first concern, rebuilding bridges and expanding ports would come
next, and rescuing bank shareholders at the very end of the line. 


Of course, as we saw in the case of Hurricane Katrina, there's plenty
of infrastructure repairs which really do need to be undertaken and
completed, but full employment could more easily be brought about by
reducing the work week, an idea which none of the pundits seem to be

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California
Obama's New Deal

Barack Obama announced yesterday his plans to launch the biggest public
work programs since Eisenhower built the federal interstate highways. It
will include, says The Washington Post, "a renewed effort to make public
buildings energy-efficient, rebuild the nation's highways, renovate
aging schools and install computers in classrooms, extend high-speed
Internet to underserved areas, and modernize hospitals by giving them
access to electronic medical records." Obama did not offer many details
or a cost estimate. "It's going to be big," said Pennsylvania Governor
Ed Rendell. "I have no doubt that it's going to be substantial. [Obama]
didn't blink an eye when we talked about $136 billion." Obama is hoping
that Congress will have the legislation on his desk when he takes over
on January 20, but even with new Democratic majorities, Congress may
struggle to move it along that quickly after resuming on January 6.

Read it at The Washington Post:


>From the Los Angeles Times
Obama pledges to create jobs via public works
'We will create millions of jobs by making the single-largest 
new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation 
of the federal highway system in the 1950s,' he says.
By Peter Wallsten

December 7, 2008

Reporting from Washington — President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday
pledged to launch the biggest public works program since the
construction of the interstate highway system in the 1950s as part of
his plan to create 2.5 million jobs and stem an economic tailspin
that is growing worse by the day.

"We need action -- and action now," Obama said in a weekly address
broadcast on radio and posted as a YouTube video.

His comments came the day after the government said that 533,000 jobs
had been lost in November -- the worst monthly job-loss report in 34
years. The address marks the latest effort by the incoming president
to shape events and build momentum for his agenda before he takes

Obama aides and Democratic lawmakers hope that a new economic
stimulus plan, which could cost as much as $700 billion, will be
passed by Congress in January so that Obama can sign it into law
within hours or days of his inauguration Jan. 20.

The plan, as Obama laid it out Saturday, would include massive
investments in roads and other infrastructure programs reminiscent of
President Eisenhower's highway program, which employed millions of
people and cost tens of billions of dollars. Obama said he would
compel states to move quickly on construction projects or risk losing
the help from Washington.

"We will create millions of jobs by making the single-largest new
investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the
federal highway system in the 1950s," he said. "We'll invest your
precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we'll set a simple
rule -- use it or lose it. If a state doesn't act quickly to invest
in roads and bridges . . . they'll lose the money."

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office has estimated that
the state could initiate $28 billion worth of infrastructure projects
within four months.

"Equipment could be ordered and shovels could be in the ground
virtually immediately," said David Crane, a Schwarzenegger advisor
who has met with Obama aides.

On Saturday, Obama said his plan would include a push to make federal
buildings more energy-efficient by installing new heating systems and
energy-saving lightbulbs. Such initiatives, he said, would save
billions of taxpayer dollars and "put people back to work."

Additional provisions would upgrade school buildings, enhance
broadband technology and create a system to ensure that Americans
have access to electronic medical records.

Obama did not say how much each idea would cost, nor did he attach an
overall price tag to the proposals. He said he would provide details
in the coming weeks.

But his comments reflected the growing belief among his advisors and
Democratic leaders that the plunging economy requires massive
spending -- despite the national debt.

Since the recession began a year ago, about 2 million jobs have been
lost. Obama has said that his plan would aim to create 2.5 million
jobs by 2011.

"We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or
create at least 2 1/2 million jobs so that the nearly 2 million
Americans who've lost them know that they have a future," he said

Several governors and local officials embraced Obama's initiative,
including Schwarzenegger, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and
Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-Pa.). The three issued a joint statement
through their nonprofit, Building America's Future.

"We applaud President-elect Obama for focusing on the crisis . . . ,"
they said. "With the latest grim economic news, now more than ever,
we need this investment in infrastructure to help create and retain
jobs and lay the foundation for future economic growth."

Obama and his team had hoped that they could remain largely detached
from current events until his inauguration, planning for his
administration behind the scenes. But the demise of the economy,
instability in the financial markets and the collapse of several big
banks -- combined with President Bush's current lack of clout -- have
heightened pressure on Obama to assert himself.

Wallsten is a writer in our Washington bureau.

peter.wallsten at latimes.com

Obama: Need of Jobs Creation and Preservation

Washington, Dec 6 (Prensa Latina) US President-elect Barack Obama announced a
few key parts of his Economic Recovery Plan to put people back to work, which is
focused on the need for both job creation and job preservation, since November
was the single worst month of job loss in over three decades.

"We'll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we'll
set a simple rule: use it or lose it ", said Obama on Saturday, December 6,
2008's Radio Address on Jobs.

Obama's Plan contemplates the creation of at least 2,500,000 jobs.

According to US Department of Labor, US unemployment rates climbed to 6.7
percent, with 533,000 jobless people.

Therefore, with the sum of these hundreds of thousands of citizens, the number
of unemployed then topped the 10, 300 000 mark.

"We need action, and action now", Obama said, after announcing his economic team
is developing an economic recovery plan for both Wall Street and Main Street
that will help save or create at least two and a half million jobs, referring to
his promise of investing in public infrastructure to help those families of law

The plan of Obama seeks massive efforts to make public buildings more
energy-efficient, to replace old heating systems and install efficient light
bulbs. It will put people back to work, Obama expressed.

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     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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