President Barack Obama took to the airwaves Saturday to promote his economic aid plan which he is hoping to get through Congress soon. Obama's recovery package goals are:
--- Double within three years the amount of energy that could be produced from renewable resources . That is an ambitious goal, given the 30 years it took to reach current levels. Advisers say that could power 6 million households.
---upgrade 10,000 schools and improve learning for about 5 million students.
---save $2 billion a year by making federal buildings energy efficient.
---triple the number of undergraduate and graduate fellowships in science.
---tighten security at almost 90 major US ports.
The plan would look to spend at least 75% of the total cost (more than $600 billion) within the first 18 months, either through work projects favored by Democrats or tax cuts favored by Republicans.
There is heavy emphasis on public works projects, which have lagged as state budgets contracted. Governors have lobbied Obama to help them patch holes in their budgets, drained by sinking tax revenues and increased need for public assistance such as Medicaid and children's health insurance. Obama's plan would increase the federal portion of those programs so no state would have to cut any of the 20 million children whose eligibility is now at risk. Obama's plan would also provide health care coverage for 8.5 million people who lose their insurance when they either lose or shift jobs.