Washington, Nov 23 : US President-elect Barack Obama has reportedly said that he would direct his economic team to craft a two-year stimulus plan with the goal of saving or creating 2.5 million jobs.
Signaling that he would pursue a far more ambitious plan of spending and tax cuts than what he had outlined on the campaign trail, he said that it would be "a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face."
In the Democrats' weekly radio address, Obama said he hoped to sign the stimulus package into law soon after taking office on Jan. 20. He is already coordinating efforts with Democratic leaders in Congress, who have said they will begin work next month.
Advisers to Obama said that they want to use the economic crisis as an opportunity to act on many of the issues he emphasized in his campaign, including cutting taxes for lower- and middle-class workers, addressing neglected public infrastructure projects like roads and schools, and creating "green jobs" through business incentives for energy alternatives and environmentally friendly technologies.
In light of the ongoing downturn, Obama is also said to be reconsidering a key campaign pledge: his proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Obama said: "The news this week has only reinforced the fact that we are facing an economic crisis of historic proportions. We now risk falling into a deflationary spiral that could increase our massive debt even further."
His address was part of an effort to calm financial markets roiled by the failure of an outgoing president and a lame-duck US Congress to come up with a plan to lift the economy and restore investor confidence.
On Monday, Obama plans to introduce his economic team, starting with his Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner. News that Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, would get the job helped send the stock market up by nearly 500 points on Friday after days of sharp losses.
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers is to be the director of the National Economic Council in the White House, the president's principal economic adviser and policy coordinator, according to an Obama aide. The economic team will also include Peter R. Orszag, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, who will be the next White House budget director.