Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Obama points to stimulus plan

CORAL GABLES — Sen. Barack Obama wants an economic stimulus package to directly help consumers but would otherwise defer to federal chiefs to resolve the immediate economic crisis roiling the nation.

Obama declined to reveal a detailed economic plan but spoke broadly Friday about wanting programs to help homeowners, businesses and students struggling with loans during a 30-minute news conference and during a speech to nearly 8,000 at the United Center at the University of Miami. He said he wants to give some space and support to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"I think that it's critical that they have confidence their work might not be impeded by partisan rankling," said Obama, standing beside former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker who advised Obama in a morning meeting, which included Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet by phone.

During his first visit to Florida since the market turmoil heated up, Obama hammered away on the economy and how his philosophies ranging from stronger regulation of markets to revamping health care, would have helped prevent the current financial upheaval.

"There's been a quiet storm going on for a lot of families for years now," he said. "It's not news to them that the economy's not working."

Obama criticized his opponent, Sen. John McCain, who earlier this week said he wanted a high-level commission to study the crisis and come up with a solution.

"That's Washington speak for: Folks, we'll get back to you later," Obama said. "We don't need a commission to study the crisis. We need a president who will solve it and that's the kind of president I intend to be."

Last month in St. Petersburg, Obama unveiled a stimulus proposal that would pump $50-billion into the economy to help states meet their budgets and fund infrastructure projects. He also wants to send $1,000 to households to counter higher energy costs, paid for by taxing "windfall profits" on the oil industry, Obama economic advisor Jason Furman said.

While Obama called for a bipartisan congressional effort to stabilize markets, his push for an economic stimulus package could set the stage for some political bruising. Republicans have been wary of expanding on any proposal the Bush administration sends to Congress and it's unclear whether a stimulus package will be in that mix.

"We have yet to see the proposal from the Treasury Department, but anything beyond what they request will just slow down the help people need," said Michael Steele, a spokesman for House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio.

While the event was originally billed as a rally to woo women in an area that is home to many Hillary Rodham Clinton fans, most attendees said they expected and were relieved Obama had focused on the economy.

Times staff writer Wes Allison contributed to this report.

Obama points to stimulus plan 09/19/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 20, 2008 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  5. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.