Obama: Extend Unemployment Benefits
Here's a more detailed look at what President-elect Obama had to say in his first economic address earlier this afternoon, after meeting with his economic brain rust.
First, here's the text and video of his speech.
Second, here are some of the secondary highlights: (For the main points, read our entry here from earlier this afternoon.)
-- Stressing that "America has only one president at a time," Obama said the current administration is running the country and will until he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009.
That being said:
-- "We need a rescue plan for the middle class," Obama said. "We need to invest in immediate plans to provide jobs and provide relief."
To that end, Obama wants to extend the amount of time the out-of-work can collect unemployment benefits. Currently, the typical limit is 26 weeks.
-- New laws may be needed to help bail out the struggling auto industry. "I have asked my team to explore what we can do under current law and whether additional legislation will be needed for this purpose," he said.
-- This (probably) has nothing to do with the economy, but Obama was asked by a reporter if he had spoken to every "living president" to ask for advice.
Obama restrained himself for a bit, but couldn't hold back from making an I-don't-commune-with-the-dead joke: "I didn't want to go into a Nancy Reagan thing," he said, referring to the former First Lady's consultations with an astrologer. "I have spoken to all that are alive."
-- Frank Ahrens
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