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Obama's Economic Team Works To Create Jobs

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Gas and oil prices are falling because consumer demand is slowing down along with world economies. And on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, President-elect Barack Obama warned Americans not to expect our economy to turn around quickly.

(Soundbite of NBC show "Meet the Press")

President-elect BARACK OBAMA: This is a big problem, and it's going to get worse...

INSKEEP: And to help the country climb out of the recession, Obama called for the most ambitious stimulus program since the 1950s. NPR's Ted Robbins reports.

TED ROBBINS: Stimulus packages in the last few years have been aimed at getting consumers to spend more. That's not what President-elect Obama is talking about. He told reporters in Chicago, Sunday, that his economic team is working on a stimulus package that would create jobs to rebuild roads and bridges and go far beyond.

(Soundbite of NBC show "Meet the Press")

President-elect OBAMA: Making our economy more energy efficient, school construction, laying broadband lines, instituting medical information technologies that can drive down costs.

ROBBINS: Skeptics have questioned just how fast these projects could begin, but Obama says a number of governors tell him they have projects that are, as he put it, "shovel ready." Other projects, Mr. Obama said, could have long-term economic payoffs beyond the recession.

(Soundbite of NBC show "Meet the Press")

President-elect OBAMA: We can emerge leaner, meaner, and ultimately more competitive and more prosperous.

ROBBINS: Congressional leaders say the emerging stimulus program could cost between 400 and 700 billion dollars. The Obama team has not disputed those figures, but the president-elect says now is not the time to worry about a growing deficit. Ted Robbins, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

As supervising editor for Arts and Culture at NPR based at NPR West in Culver City, Ted Robbins plans coverage across NPR shows and online, focusing on TV at a time when there's never been so much content. He thinks "arts and culture" encompasses a lot of human creativity — from traditional museum offerings to popular culture, and out-of-the-way people and events.