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Obama signs a stimulus package

President Barack Obama signed into law a $787 billion economic stimulus plan on Tuesday, predicting the package of spending and tax cuts marked “the beginning of the end” of America’s worst economic slide since the 1930s-era Great Depression.

On Wednesday, Obama will outline another big piece of his recovery effort — a $50-billion plan to help stem foreclosures — in Arizona, one of the States hardest hit by the mortgage defaults that are at the centre of the nation’s economic woes.

Speaking in Denver, the city where he won the Democratic Presidential nomination last August, Obama said the stimulus package — one of the most costly pieces of legislation in US history — cleared the way for Americans to begin “laying claim to a destiny of our own making.”

By signing the bill outside of Washington, a highly unusual move, Obama signalled he would continue taking his message directly to the American people as he tries to stay above the partisan tensions still gripping the Capitol. Opposition Republicans in both houses of Congress were nearly unanimous in voting against the plan that Democrats hope will save or create 35 lakh jobs.

Shortly after signing the bill, Obama issued a long-expected order to boost US troop levels in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban has retaken much of the ground it lost early in the seven-year-old war. The additional brigades would add about 17,000 troops to the slightly more than 30,000 US forces currently in Afghanistan.

“This increase is necessary to stabilise a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires,” Obama said in a statement.

That was a slap at his predecessor, George W. Bush, whom Obama has accused of slighting urgent national security needs in Afghanistan in favour of the war in Iraq.

Obama’s stimulus passage, despite stark opposition, was a major legislative victory for the new President, who was closing out his first month in office under a storm of economic bad news and public pessimism.

Even with the promise of a huge infusion for the economy, the stock market tumbled about 4 more percentage points on Tuesday as investors continued selling off equities in a retreat to safer ground.

At least one State, Missouri, quickly began putting the promised funds to work. Construction crews began work on a replacement for a rural Missouri bridge minutes after the bill was signed. Officials said they believed it would be the first project supported by stimulus funds.

With the stimulus measure in place, Obama now must take vigorous steps to prop up the deeply troubled financial system, ease the pain of Americans facing home mortgage foreclosures and save the teetering auto industry.

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February 18, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. hey he should really join

    Comment by finola | February 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. hey tat money s fit for nythin

    Comment by batist | February 18, 2009 | Reply


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