Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama's call to Michigan's manufacturing soul

Senator Barak Obama called for a national manufacturing agenda to develop green energy and create up to 5 million jobs in a talk at Macomb Community College today.

"It’s time to recapture the spirit of innovation that has always fueled America’s economic success. It’s time we had an economy that was driven not just by foreign debt, but by the power of America’s imagination. It’s time to tap the ingenuity of engineers and entrepreneurs, policy experts and working folks to meet the challenges of our time," Obama said.

His proposed plan would invest $150 billion over the next ten years in the green energy sector via a Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund, and "create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund that will invest in innovation and job creation in places that have been hard hit by the decline in manufacturing," Obama said.

Obama alluded to unfair trade practices that have undercut American manufacturing, but didn't give specifics as to how he would enforce international agreements, saying he would make sure "that countries like China aren’t breaking the rules and putting American workers at a disadvantage."

The senator also called for a universal health care plan to alleviate economic stress on families, claiming he would implement a plan by the end of his first year in office. "Unlike John McCain, I have a universal health care plan. It’s a plan that will cut health care costs by up to $2500 per family per year and reduce costs for business and their workers by picking up the tab for some of the most expensive illnesses and conditions," Obama said.