President-elect Obama's speech on the economy this morning is designed to hammer one point home: if the government does not act aggressively, the recession could linger for years.
His speech is peppered with dire warnings.
If we do not act, the President-elect says "We could lose a generation of potential and promise, as more young Americans are forced to forgo dreams of college or the chance to train for jobs of the future."
While admitting the cost of the plan will be considerable, doing too little or nothing at all is not an option, because the risk of inaction is too high.
Here he confronts critics of government spending head-on: "at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe."
He also touches on familiar themes: getting credit flowing, addressing the foreclosure crisis, preventing the further failure of financial institutions, and reform of the financial regulatory system.
But the main thrust of his speech is to convince Congress--and the American people--that we need to act immediately.
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