WASHINGTON (RushPRnews) 03/17/09-U.S. President Barack Obama is challenging critics of his budget proposals to offer constructive alternatives, saying the nation needs good ideas rather than political bickering.
The president spoke Tuesday after a White House meeting with the Democrats who head the Senate and House budget committees.
Mr. Obama said it is crucial to get the economy going again in the short term, and make the long term investments needed to cut medical costs, improve energy supplies, and boost education.
Earlier Tuesday, a report from the Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts rose 22 percent in February, meaning that 583,000 homes would be built if construction continued at that pace for a whole year.
The economic crisis – the country’s worst since the 1930s – was sparked by problems in the housing sector. The new report may encourage investors who were expecting continued declines.
The central bank, or Federal Reserve, has already cut interest rates to historic lows, but is expected to continue using other methods to make it easier for businesses and consumers to borrow money and get the economy moving again. Officials are scheduled to announce their plans on Wednesday.
Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg, AP and Reuters.