President-elect Barack Obama has warned that a "bad situation could become dramatically worse" if Congress doesn't pump an unprecedented amount of money into the faltering U.S. economy.
Mr. Obama hoped Thursday's speech would help win congressional and public support for his massive economic stimulus proposal -- a two-year plan costing as much as 800 billion dollars. He said the plan includes tax cuts for most Americans, along with spending on roads, schools, health care, and energy.
Mr. Obama blamed the crisis on what he called "profound irresponsibility" and pledged to improve regulation to keep reckless greed and risk from threatening the U.S. economy again. The seriousness of the economic situation was underlined today, Thursday by a report showing the number of Americans collecting long-term unemployment assistance hit a 26-year high of four-point-six million last week.