President Barack Obama takes office (CBS NewsOnline)
The transition has ended; a new U.S. government is in place with a new economic agenda.
The streets of Washington D.C. were filled this morning with hopeful Americans who came to witness a great moment in history, the moment that America’s first African-American president took office. As Americans gathered together in perhaps the largest crowd that has gathered in America and as others gathered around TV screens elsewhere in the country, they were conscious of watching their savings dwindle, their jobs disappear and their ambitions turn to despair. More than ever, the American people seek a new era highlighting the change that President Barack Obama has promised.
When President Obama addressed the nation, “amidst the gathering clouds and raging storms” of our dismal economy, his commitment to addressing America’s situation of crisis was foremost:
“That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”
President Obama acknowledges that if we do not act quickly, the recession could linger for years – and America could lose its competitive edge. He has put forth an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will save or create over 3 million jobs while investing in priorities like health care, energy, and education that will jumpstart economic growth. Key items on his agenda include:
- Doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years.
- Modernizing more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.
- Making the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized.
- Equipping tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries.
- Expanding broadband across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
- Investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries.
The President kicked off his term by reaching out to Americans with the promise of an inspired economy:
“The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.”
Can do. Will do. Fasten your seat belts folks….the Obama generation is about to take off.