Obama: Costly Stimulus Needed



CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama promised on Monday to jolt the faltering U.S. economy with a costly stimulus package next year and introduced the team that will help him navigate the global financial crisis.

Obama, who warned again that the economy would likely get worse before it got better, declined to put a price tag on the two-year stimulus proposal which other Democrats have estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars.

The scope of the economic crisis has widened in the 20 days since Obama's White House win. Auto companies warned they were short on cash, unemployment numbers rose and the government injected $20 billion into Citigroup.

"These extraordinary stresses on our financial system require extraordinary policy responses," Obama said, adding his administration would honor public commitments made President George W. Bush's team to address this crisis.

Separately, the president-elect indicated he had not decided whether to roll Bush's 2001 tax cuts for the wealthy early or allow them to expire at the end of 2010 as scheduled.

Obama said his team was already working on the details of a package to save or create 2.5 million jobs and urged the next Congress to act on it immediately in early January.

"We have to make sure that the stimulus is significant enough that it really gives a jolt to the economy," he said, describing its price only as costly.

"I want to see it enacted right away. It is going to be of a size and scope that is necessary to get this economy back on track."

Obama had harsh words for the struggling U.S. auto industry, acknowledging he did not want the sector to fail but criticizing company executives for failing to present a clear recovery plan when they testified before Congress last week.

Obama, who takes over from Bush on January 20, confirmed his economic team at the news conference.

Timothy Geithner, 47, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, will become Treasury secretary, and Lawrence Summers, 53, a former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, will be director of the National Economic Council.

They did not speak at the event, which Vice President-elect Joe Biden also attended.

U.S. stocks rallied late on Friday after news leaks about Geithner's appointment.

Stocks pared gains during Obama's remarks on disappointment over his refusal to specify a figure but then rallied strongly on the back of Washington's move to support Citigroup and on general happiness with Obama's new team.

"People are confident in what (Geithner) can do, he's more market friendly, or he's perceived that way," said Neil Massa, senior trader at MFC Global Investment Management in Boston. "That's helping the overall tone of the market."


DEFICITS, SACRIFICE, AUTOMAKERS

Obama said the country would see a substantial budget deficit next year, which he described as "bigger than we've seen in a very long time."

"American taxpayers are understandably concerned, if we already have a big deficit, and now we're added an additional stimulus, how are we going to pay for all that?" he said.

"The right answer is that we have to first focus on getting the economy back on track."

Obama said he would discuss steps toward a "sustainable and responsible budget scenario" at a news conference on Tuesday at which he is expected to announce further members of his economic team.

"We'll have to scour our federal budget, line by line, and make meaningful cuts and sacrifices, as well, something I'll be discussing further tomorrow," he said.

Obama supports a bailout for Detroit automakers but said he was disappointed that the chief executives for General Motors Inc., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler LLC did not present a concrete plan in their testimony before Congress.

"I think Congress did the right thing, which is to say, 'You guys need to come up with a plan and come back before you are going to get any taxpayer money,'" he said.

Obama has kept a low public profile since his November 4 victory over Republican John McCain, remaining in Chicago to pick his Cabinet but not formally announcing any of his choices. Geithner was the first official Cabinet announcement.

Obama also named University of California, Berkeley, economics professor Christina Romer to head his Council of Economic Advisors and Melody Barnes to head his Domestic Policy Council. Barnes, a former chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was a policy advisor to Obama's presidential campaign.

Summers is also a possible successor to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in January 2010.

In Washington, Bush said the government stood ready to help the banking system as it did with Sunday's Citigroup deal.

Bush, speaking after a meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, said he had also spoken with Obama about the Citigroup rescue and promised to inform the incoming president and his economic team of any future major decisions.

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On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck and Pat Gray discussed a series of recent polls that suggest presidential nominee Joe Biden's expected lead may be slipping with traditionally Democratic voters.

A new poll conducted by the Jewish Electorate Institute shows that two-thirds of Jewish voters still plan to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket in November. However, President Donald Trump's support within the Jewish community is also the highest among any Republican candidate in recent history.

In more bad news for Biden, a CNN poll (yes, CNN) released last month showed growing support for President Trump among black voters in swing states. Meanwhile, his support among Latino voters remains at roughly 33%.

"I don't think it's going to go the way the Democrats hope that it will," Glenn said of the election. "If you look at the groups that the Democrats have carefully fostered ... that's falling apart. If Donald Trump can grow that by 5%, and hurt the Democrats by 5% ... that alone could swing the election."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're being set up for a civil war. The Left is grooming us for an Eastern European-style revolution this election, and they're not even trying to hide it any more. The playbook for Mainstreet USA is the exact same that has been used in places like Ukraine, initiated by the same people in order to completely upend the American system.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck takes us through a tale of three chalkboards that will connect the dots: the Obama admin in Ukraine, the State Department's relationship with George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, the Great Reset, public school indoctrination, mail-in voting. It all points to something dangerous happening in November if we don't act now.

Watch the full video below:


The only way to watch the extended episode of tonight's show is on BlazeTV. Start your free trial and get $20 off a one-year subscription with code BANTHIS.

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The left has already determined that the wildfires raging across the West Coast were definitely caused by climate change and Big Tech is determined to silence anyone who dares suggest otherwise. Facebook even announced a sweeping policy on Saturday to remove posts that claim the fires were caused by arson from far-left activists.

But on his radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck revealed multiple arrest records for suspected arsonists in California, Oregon, and Washington — and several of those charged and arrested were also instigators in Black Lives Matter rallies, violent protests, and Antifa riots. He also called out the "news gods" in Big Tech, daring them to try to censor his video.

"I asked my staff, to see if there was any evidence [of arson] on the fires. And I don't mean evidence from Twitter. I mean evidence. Is there anybody who has been arrested for arson?" Glenn said. "Well, here they are. And YouTube and Facebook, go ahead. I want you to demonetize this clip. I want you to somehow or another say that we're lying. I want you to throttle this. Go ahead. Because then you're going to have to explain what we got wrong. And I happen to have all the documents right here. So my attorney is really ready for that throttling or demonetization. You say you're a protector of the truth? Great, here it is."

Glenn read off the first 10 arrest records, which combined allege the destruction of more than 120,000 acres and 700 structures, as well as tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.

"You want to tell us, PolitiFact, how you came to the conclusion ... that there was no arson in these fires?" Glenn asked. "Can you tell me how you came to that conclusion? Because your fact-check seems to be entirely false."

Watch the video below for more details:


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Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

Find the full podcast below, on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.


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