President Barack Obama unveiled a new job creation initiative, including tax cuts and stimulus spending, while vowing to also divert funds from a Wall Street bailout to trim the deficit.
In a major speech on Dec. 8 in Washington, Obama promised to help alleviate the human cost of 10% unemployment, largely by boosting the capacity of small businesses to keep more of their profits and hire new workers.
He said he would use remaining funds from the unpopular Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to unlock frozen credit which is hampering the growth of small and medium sized enterprises.
But he warned that job creation measures could not come at the expense of fiscal responsibility, given a budget deficit projected at well over a trillion dollars which is clouding the economic recovery.
"Today, I want to outline some of the broader steps that I believe should be at the heart of our efforts to accelerate job growth," Obama said at the Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington.
He vowed to concentrate on "those areas that will generate the greatest number of jobs while generating the greatest value for our economy."
Among measures announced by Obama was a new zero capital gains tax for small businesses to encourage investment and a new tax cut to encourage hiring.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009