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Obama Delivers Remarks On Economy

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Thursday, January 8, 2009; 11:36 AM

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you so much. Let me begin by thanking George Mason University for their extraordinary hospitality and to thank all the great friends, the governors, the mayors who are in attendance here today. Throughout America's history, there have been some years that simply rolled into the next without much notice or fanfare. And then there are the years that come along once in a generation, the kind that mark a clean break from a troubled past and set a new course for our nation. This is one of those years.

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OBAMA: We start 2009 in the midst of a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime, a crisis that has only deepened over the last few weeks.

Nearly 2 million jobs have been now lost. And on Friday, we're likely to learn that we lost more jobs last year than at any time since World War II. Just in the past year, another 2.8 million Americans who want and need full-time work have had to settle for part-time jobs.

Manufacturing has hit a 28-year low. Many businesses cannot borrow or make payroll. Many families cannot pay their bills or their mortgage. Many workers are watching their life savings disappear. And many, many Americans are both anxious and uncertain of what the future will hold.

Now, I don't believe it's too late to change course, but it will be if we don't take dramatic action as soon as possible. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years.

The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four.


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