Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama announced his proposals for reviving American manufacturing at a town hall meeting in Michigan. The plan includes a $150 billion fund to promote and develop clean energy technology over 10 years, a $60 billion infrastructure fund and a $1 billion-a-year start-up fund for small and mid-size manufacturers to convert to clean technology. He said a cap-and-trade system that would auction permits for carbon dioxide emissions could be used to pay for those programs.
"This is a moment of challenge,” Obama said. “It’s also a moment of opportunity, and the question you’ll face in November is: Which candidate can lead America to seize those opportunities? Now, when John McCain came to Michigan in January and said that we couldn’t bring back all the jobs that had been lost back to America, he was right. We can’t bring back every single job. But where he’s wrong was in suggesting that there’s nothing we can do to replace those jobs or create new ones, to build off the incredible skill of the workforce here in Michigan and throughout the Midwest and to build off the expertise that we’ve created in manufacturing over decades here in this region.”
Obama said his proposals would create up to 5 million new ‘green’ jobs over the 10 years.
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds responded to Obama’s proposals saying, “"It’s weak leadership and poor judgment for Barack Obama to make empty promises of billions upon billions in new spending on more government programs when he has no way to pay for it. John McCain believes that we can grow our economy and help workers by lowering taxes, ending wasteful spending, reducing health care costs, reforming our unemployment system and promoting energy independence.”