Chicago: Promising to lose no time in acting on the economy front, US President elect Barack Obama has assured the nation that his administration will be all geared up to address the financial crisis when it assumes office.
Faced with the task of resurrecting a flagging economy, Obama, who assumes office on 20 January, said that he did not underestimate the enormity of the task ahead of him and his administration will hit the ground running on 20 January.
In his first weekly radio address since being elected to the US top office, Obama asked the nation to unite in the face of the ongoing economic crisis and expressed confidence that a resilient America will see the crisis through.
Asserting that there is not ‘a moment to lose’, Obama said that he is working to put in place a team that is ready to address the issues immediately after he takes office in January.
“While we must recognise we only have one President at a time and that President Bush is the leader of our government, I want to ensure that we hit the ground running on 20 January because we don’t have a moment to lose,” Obama said.
The senator from Illinois, who held a meeting with his economic advisers days after winning the landmark US election, also asked the nation to unite in the face of the ongoing economic crisis.
“We’ve taken some major actions to date, and we will need further actions during this transition and subsequent months. Some of those choices will be difficult, but America is a strong and resilient country,” he added.
The first black President elect of the US, who defeated Republican John McCain comprehensively, praised voters for exercising their franchise and said that he would work with President George W Bush in a transition of power.
”This speaks to a fundamental recognition that here in America we can compete vigorously in elections and challenge each other’s ideas, yet come together in service of a common purpose once the voting is done,“ Obama said in his address.
“And that is particularly important at a moment when we face the most serious challenges of our lifetime,” he said.
He reiterated essentially in his address that the economy and the handling of the loss of jobs will be his first priority when he comes to the Oval Office.
Obama argued for urgent actions during this transition and subsequent months, saying that a rescue plan is needed for the middle class in the wake of nearly 1.2 million people losing jobs this year.
“The 240,000 jobs lost in October marks the 10th consecutive month that our economy has shed jobs. In total, we’ve lost nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, and more than 10 million Americans are now unemployed. Tens of millions of families are struggling to figure out how to pay the bills and stay in their homes.
“First, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear,” the president-elect said.
Finally, he said that government will move forward with a set of policies that will grow our middle-class and strengthen our economy in the long-term.
Earlier, addressing his first press conference after being elected to the office of President, Obama vowed to act swiftly to ease the economic turmoil by focusing on a stimulus package involving job creation and giving tax reliefs.