On the first day of what is to be a two-week economic tour around the country, Barack Obama said Monday that lawmakers should inject another $50 billion immediately into the sluggish U.S. economy. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee cited the largest monthly increase in the unemployment rate in over 20 years, and record highs in oil prices, food prices and foreclosures.
“Such relief can’t wait until the next president takes office. … That’s why I’ve called for another round of fiscal stimulus, an immediate $50 billion to help those who’ve been hit hardest by this economic downturn,” Obama told a crowd in Raleigh, N.C.
He said that he supports the expansion and extension of unemployment benefits, as well as a second round of tax rebate checks. Last week, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill said that the latest unemployment rate shows that Congress and the Bush administration need to do more to help workers and the unemployed. And they called for a second round of fiscal stimulus.
An economic stimulus package that passed in early February featured tax rebates that are now being sent to more than 130 million Americans. On Friday, the Treasury Department reported that so far it has sent out nearly 67 million stimulus payments worth approximately $57 billion. (Continue Reading…)