Obama: ‘dramatic action’ needed now to fix economy

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio— President-elect Barack Obama made a pitch for his massive economic stimulus plan at a Midwestern factory that manufactures wind turbine parts, saying Friday his proposal would make smart investments in the country’s futu

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio— President-elect Barack Obama made a pitch for his massive economic stimulus plan at a Midwestern factory that manufactures wind turbine parts, saying Friday his proposal would make smart investments in the country’s future and create solid jobs in up-and-coming industries.

“Renewable energy isn’t something pie in the sky. It’s not part of a far-off future. It’s happening all across America right now,” Obama told workers at the Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co. in this Cleveland suburb. “It can create millions of additional jobs and entire new industries if we act right now.”

Just days before taking the oath of office as the 44th president, Obama used the factory as a backdrop as he sought to generate support from the public — constituents of skeptical Republicans and Democrats in Congress — for his pricy plan to pull the country out of recession.

Seeking to counter critics’ claims of excessive spending and too few tax cuts, Obama cast the package as necessary to create long-lasting, well-paying jobs in industries such as alternative energy, and help hard-hit industrial states such as Ohio now and in the future.

“It’s not too late to change course — but only if we take dramatic action as soon as possible,” Obama said. He pledged: “The first job of my administration is to put people back to work and get our economy moving again.”

“We’re not looking to create just any kind of jobs here,” Obama added. “We’re looking to create good jobs that pay well and won’t be shipped overseas. Jobs that don’t just put people to work in the short term but position our economy to be on the cutting edge in the long term.”

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