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Channeling Eisenhower, Obama Proposes Major Public Works Projects

Inheriting a major economic crisis, President-elect Barack Obama unveiled plans Saturday for the largest public works construction program since Dwight D. Eisenhower's interstate highway system over 50 years ago, reported The New York Times.

To bolster a weak and shrinking job market, Obama's public works plan will include new jobs to make buildings more energy efficient, repair aging highways, implement electronic medical record systems in hospitals, and install new computers in schools, reported The Washington Post.

Adopting a "New Deal" attitude, Obama said more government intervention is necessary in order to reverse the economic downturn, create more jobs for middle- and low-income workers, and modernize the United States.

Conservatives, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), strongly oppose throwing the government's weight around, however, saying strong government presence in the economy is the wrong direction.

"Anyone who has talked to the American people knows that while they are hurting, they don't believe that more Washington spending is the answer," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner.

While conservatives support lowering taxes to promote consumer spending, Obama's plan reveals he is not afraid to spend money to fix the economy.

“I think he understands if you’re trying to reverse the economy and turn it around," Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat and chairman of the National Governors Association, said in an interview Saturday, "this is not the time to do it on the cheap. This is not the time to do it in small doses.?