Obama asks for bold action to create jobs
WASHINGTON - As the prospect of double-digit unemployment looms, President Obama said yesterday the public and private sectors must find more ways to create jobs to continue the nation’s climb out of recession.
Obama said the economy has pulled back “from the brink’’ and he credited his $787 billion stimulus package for recent upticks in economic numbers, including reports out yesterday that show improvement in manufacturing, construction, and contracts to buy homes.
But he warned that job losses will probably roll on “for weeks and months to come’’ and called for bold, innovative action by his administration, Congress, and the private sector to create more well-paying jobs. US unemployment hit a 26-year high of 9.8 percent in September, and when the next monthly report comes out Friday, it could show the national rate topping 10 percent.
“We just are not where we need to be yet,’’ Obama said as he met with a panel of economic advisers. “We’ve got a long way to go.’’
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, added to Republican criticism of the stimulus package, saying yesterday that the time has come to stop it because it has not worked as the administration planned.
Three days after the White House touted the program as creating or saving some 650,000 jobs, Romney said on CBS’s “The Early Show’’ that “the stimulus that the president and the Congress passed is not what’s helped the economy.’’
Instead, he said, things seem to be ticking up in the business world because the private sector has regained momentum on its own.
Thirteen girls joined the first lady and 18 members of the White House staff yesterday to kick off the program, which is designed to inspire 10th- and 11th-grade girls from public and private schools in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia. The program will expand slightly in the coming weeks.
The first lady said creating the program is one of her top goals. The White House says a program to mentor boys will be launched soon.
Haney is often spotted walking Bo, the Obama family’s Portuguese water dog. In fact, he’s tended to every White House pup since King Timahoe, Richard Nixon’s Irish setter.
Haney said he has always been amazed by the public’s fascination with White House pets.
“Sometimes I think they’re more interested in the pets than the president,’’ he said. “It’s real amazing.’’
Haney, 57, has a degree in horticulture from Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, N.C. He has been a White House fixture since 1972.