Tom Baldwin
Times Online
January 9, 2009

The world is “watching and waiting for America to lead once more”, Barack Obama proclaimed yesterday as he set out the case for an economic policy that heralds a return of big-spending government intervention.

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In his first major speech since winning the election two months ago, he warned that if Congress resisted or delayed approving a stimulus package designed to counter the worst effects of the recession, “a bad situation could become dramatically worse”.

He added: “For every day we wait or point fingers or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs. More families will lose their savings. More dreams will be deferred and denied. And our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is likely to cost more than $700 billion (£461 billion) on top of a federal deficit already projected to hit a record $1.2 trillion this year.

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