>The Hill – Leading the News
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday laid out his plan for dealing with the snowballing economic crisis, calling for a “rescue plan for the middle class” amid reports of the highest national unemployment rate in more than a decade.
The Illinois senator, in his party’s weekly radio address, noted that President Bush remains in office for two more months, but emphasized his intention to hit the ground running.
“First, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear,” Obama said.
“Then, we’ll address the spreading impact of the financial crisis on other sectors of our economy, and ensure that the rescue plan that passed Congress is working to stabilize financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners, and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance.”
The Labor Department on Friday released a report showing that the unemployment rate had shot up to 6.5 percent in October and that the economy shed 240,000 jobs last month.
Obama also called for renewed emphases on clean energy, healthcare, education and middle-class tax relief.
In his weekly radio address, Bush said his administration is also focused on a smooth transition and the continuing economic strife.
“Yesterday, we learned that America’s economy lost jobs in the month of October, and I will continue working hard to return our Nation to the path of prosperity and growth,” Bush said. “To help address the global financial crisis, my administration will host an historic international summit in Washington on November 15. We will also keep urging Congress to approve America’s free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea.”