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National Briefing / Washington

Stimulus will take time, Obama says

July 12, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

President Obama says that the $787-billion stimulus program must be given a chance to work before consideration is given to a second jolt for the still-ailing economy.

Obama acknowledged in his weekly radio and Internet address that people were getting nervous about continuing high joblessness -- the unemployment rate hit 9.5% in June -- but said that reversing payroll losses takes time. He asked Americans to be as patient as possible.

Republicans have labeled the $787-billion stimulus a failure. The plan "was not designed to work in four months," Obama said. "It was designed to work over two years."

Since Obama signed the stimulus into law, the economy has lost more than 2 million jobs and the unemployment rate has climbed higher than the White House predicted it would have ever reached without the stimulus.

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