Historic in its own right, the path to the inauguration of Barack Obama echoes much the same path and content as that of President Abraham Lincoln. With a train ride to Washington D.C., to the very bible that Lincoln was sworn in on, Obama looks to mimic Lincoln in as many ways as he sees fit. Even to rhetorical quotes of the past, Obama reminds that:
“They were willing to put all they were and all they had on the line – their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor – for a set of ideals that continue to light the world: That we are equal. That our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness come not from our laws, but from our maker. And that a government of, by, and for the people can endure.”
The challenges Obama warns that the people must endure are that we will continue to face a troubled economy, and that we are still fighting two wars – one in Afghanistan, the other in Iraq that he plans to draw down and begin bringing troops home in the masses. As the country faces these huge challenges, the incoming White House press secretary says that all won’t be taken care of in week one or even month one. This comes as Obama says while in Philadelphia, “our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not.”
One problem he referenced was the already devastated economy. And, along with Congress, Obama is already working tirelessly on the passing of a gargantuan stimulus package that would cost $825 billion or more.
In a Fox News report, some goals Obama would like to have appear in the bill would include:
-Doubling renewable energy production ($8 billion).
-Making public buildings more energy-efficient ($31 billion).
-Bringing high-speed Internet service to more communities and rural areas ($6 billion).
-Extending health care subsidies for the recently unemployed under the COBRA program, and for former Medicaid recipients under programs such as TMA, or transitional medical assistance ($39 billion).
-Extending supplemental grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ($2.5 billion).
As Obama laid out these goals, incoming White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said “we have got to invest in things that work in a different way.”