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Obama Says Indians Buying More Cars

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WASHINGTON: Visiting Buffalo in upstate New York, a city that has been badly hit by the current economic crisis, US President Barack Obama did not repeat his 'Buffalo to Bangalore' rhetoric but did say the fact that Indians and Chinese are buying more cars would put a lot pressure on fossil fuel.

Arguing in favour of public transportation system instead of depending on cars for commutation, Obama at a rally in Buffalo said mass transit system would be good for the environment.

"Because one of the things, obviously, that we have to recognise is, is that no matter what we do, oil prices are going to be going up over the long term.

I mean, year to year, they may vary. Sometimes it's four bucks a gallon at the pump, sometimes it drops back down to two-and-a-half," he noted.

"You're not always clear what's going on, but the long-term trend is just because countries like China -- they're starting to buy cars and countries like India are starting to buy cars, and so the demand on petroleum and fossil fuels are going to be greater and greater -- we've got to get a first-class transit system," Obama said.

"We don't have one right now. We used to be at the top. Now you've got China -- they're building multiple high-speed rail lines all across the country, leaving us behind," he said.

"But it's not just transit. It's our ports, our airports, our sewer systems, our water systems.

We're going to figure out how do we make those kinds of long-term investments, but do so in a way that doesn't increase our deficit, and that's going to be a challenge, but I think it's going to be a priority," said the US President.

About a year ago, Obama had raised the rhetoric of 'Buffalo to Bangalore' when on May 4, 2009 he announced end to years of tax incentives to those US companies which create jobs overseas in places like Bangalore.

"It's a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York," Obama had said as he announced end to years of tax incentives to those US companies which create jobs overseas.

Instead the incentives would now go to those creating jobs inside the US, in places like the Buffalo city, he said.

This was Obama's first visit to Buffalo after he became the US President.

Obama said the economist might have juggled with the figure to declare that recession has ended; and the stock market might have bounced back, but he believes that recession is far from over as still a lot of people are unemployed.

"Economists have all kinds of fancy formulae and mathematical equations to measure the exact moment that the recession ended.

It's great that the stock market has bounced back, but if you're still looking for a job out there, it's still a recession. If you can't pay your bills or your mortgage, it's still a recession.

No matter what the economists say, it's not a real recovery until people feel it in their own lives, until Americans who want work can find it, and until families can afford to pay their bills and send their kids to college," he said.

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