In his address this week President-elect Obama talked about how his administration plans to face the many economic challenges that face them this coming year.
In this week’s weekly address, President-elect Barack Obama lays out the challenges that face us in the new year, and his plan for taking them on.
“We need an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that not only creates jobs in the short-term but spurs economic growth and competitiveness in the long-term,” he says. “And this plan must be designed in a new way—we can’t just fall into the old Washington habit of throwing money at the problem. We must make strategic investments that will serve as a down payment on our long-term economic future. We must demand vigorous oversight and strict accountability for achieving results. And we must restore fiscal responsibility and make the tough choices so that as the economy recovers, the deficit starts to come down. That is how we will achieve the number one goal of my plan—which is to create three million new jobs, more than eighty percent of them in the private sector.”
I certainly hope that they are able to create 3 million jobs, with 80% of them in the private sector. That would be quite the accomplishment, but I'm a bit skeptical. I'm always afraid when the government tries to create jobs and big programs to get things moving. When was the last time you saw the government successfully manage a program of this scope? Will they really demand vigorous oversight and accountability, or will it become a pork-laden special interest spend fest?
So here's to hoping – new roads, bridges, health care initiatives and more, that they may create jobs, and not bankrupt us in the process!
In other news, Obama stated this week that the tax cuts they want to extend may be larger than signaled previously:
The tax cuts for individuals and couples would be similar to the rebate checks sent out last year by the Bush administration and Congress in a bid at that time to boost the slowing economy. A key difference is that the tax cuts this time around may be awarded through withholding less from worker paychecks. That provision would cost about $140-150 billion over two years.
So no stimulus checks, just more in your paycheck. I can get behind that.
Obama aides have said the package Obama has dubbed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan could cost as much as $775 billion. The president-elect has refused to put a price tag to the plan.
Congressional aides briefed on the measure say it likely will include tax cuts of $500 to $1,000 for middle-class individuals and couples, as well as some $200 billion to help revenue-starved states pay for health care programs for the poor and other operating costs. A large part of the new spending would go for infrastructure projects, blending old-fashioned road and bridge repairs with new programs to advance energy efficiency and rebuild health care information technology systems.
We'll see how it all plays out once Obama is inaugurated, and congress actually gets to work.
What do you think about the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan”? Does it sound like a good idea, and if so, do you think it will work?