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Thread: Obama says fiscal restraint will be his economic guide

  1. #11
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    Obama: Plan will create 4.1 million jobs

    We should all be so lucky! In addition to the more than 3 million private sector jobs this plan would supposedly create, it would swell the ranks of government jobs by more than 600,000. Typical socialist!

    Obama advisers: Plan would create up to 4.1M jobs - Yahoo! News

    WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama countered critics with an analysis Saturday by his economic team showing that a program of tax cuts and spending like he's proposed would create up to 4.1 million jobs, far more than the 3 million he has insisted are needed to lift the country from recession.

    Congressional Republicans reacted skeptically, just as Obama acknowledged that he would be forced to recant some of his campaign promises given the economic crisis facing the country. Even the president-elect's own economists acknowledged their two-year estimates could be wrong.

    The 14-page analysis, which was posted online, says estimates are "subject to significant margins of error" — because of the assumptions that went into the economic models and because it is not known what might pass Congress.

    "These numbers are a stark reminder that we simply cannot continue on our current path," Obama said in his weekly radio and YouTube broadcast address.

    "If nothing is done, economists from across the spectrum tell us that this recession could linger for years and the unemployment rate could reach double digits — and they warn that our nation could lose the competitive edge that has served as a foundation for our strength and standing in the world," he said.

    Obama has provided few details of his $775 billion plan so far. This fresh report does not include the specific construction of his tax cuts, the amounts dedicated to state aid or public works — key questions that Obama aides have closely held.

    On Saturday, economic aides and advisers declined to lay out even rough estimates for the plan's components. They said they worked with broad instructions from Obama but didn't want to limit negotiations with congressional leaders by outlining their limits in public.

    "I want to be realistic here. Not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace we had hoped," Obama told ABC's "This Week" for an interview set to air Sunday.

    For a second time since his election, Obama increased the number of jobs his jobs program would create, taking the number to as many as 4.1 million jobs saved or created — a benchmark his critics charge cannot be measured. During the campaign, he promised only 1 million new jobs.

    The analysis came out one day after news the unemployment rate had jumped to 7.2 percent, the highest in 16 years. The nation lost 524,000 jobs in December, bringing the total job loss for last year to 2.6 million, the largest since World War II.

    GOP lawmakers have insisted on carefully targeting any aid and on a politically popular tax cut for the middle class, as well as loans to states.

    "We want to make sure it's not just a trillion-dollar spending bill, but something that actually can reach the goal that he has suggested," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate's top Republican.

    Obama's plan has met with lukewarm support from lawmakers in general, despite economic news that has dominated the new administration even before it begins.

    In hopes of having the new president gain immediate access to bailout money already approved by Congress when he takes office Jan. 20, his economic team and the Bush administration have discussed the possibility that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson would ask lawmakers soon for access to the $350 billion remaining in the Wall Street rescue fund.

    The transition team also has asked the head of the rescue program at the Treasury Department to remain in that position for a short time after the inauguration to help assure a smooth transition, according to an Obama official.

    If Congress fails to enact a big economic recovery plan, Obama's advisers estimate that an additional 3 million to 4 million jobs will disappear before the recession ends. Obama's team also noted that with or without the plan, the jobless rate by 2014 would be the same.

    The president-elect agreed on Friday to modest changes in his proposed tax cuts. Democratic congressional officials said his aides came under pressure in private talks to jettison or significantly alter a proposed tax credit for creating jobs, and to include relief for upper middle-class families hit by the alternative minimum tax.

    The new report is likely to intensify debate as economists outside the Obama team begin delving into the analysis. The report, for example, estimates that the unemployment rate at the end of 2010 would be 1.8 percentage points lower if the plan is enacted.

    Top Democrats on Capitol Hill say there is far more agreement than disagreement on the major parts of the recovery plan: aid to cash-strapped state governments, $500-$1,000 tax cuts for most workers and working couples, and a huge spending package blending old-fashioned public works projects with aid to the poor and unemployed and a variety of other initiatives.

    But it needs restrictions, Republicans say, to ensure prudent spending.

    University of Maryland economist Peter Morici said the analysis attempted an economic justification for a political decision. He said evidence suggests that working class families would spend the modest tax credits — $500 per individual or $1,000 per family — on low-cost, imported products that do little for the U.S. economy. He also said state and local governments don't need as much aid as Obama is proposing.

    "They should stick to the infrastructure spending" in the plan and jettison much of the rest, Morici said in an interview, because that is the most likely proposal to provide a short-term economic boost and long-term benefits.
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

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  3. #12
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    Obama wants changes in disbursement of remaining $350 billion of bailout money

    Obama team promises changes in use of bailout - Yahoo! News



    WASHINGTON Seeking to reassure wary lawmakers, President-elect Barack Obama's top economic adviser told congressional leaders Monday that Obama intends to broaden the goals of the remaining $350 billion financial bailout and impose tougher restrictions and oversight on how the money is spent.

    Larry Summers, Obama's choice for National Economic Council director, told House and Senate leaders in a letter from the transition team that the need to tap the second half of the $700 billion fund is "imminent and urgent."

    The letter spells out how Obama intends to use the Troubled Asset Relief Program to help community banks, small businesses, consumers and homeowners as well as large financial institutions. He also specified that Obama intends to launch a "sweeping effort" to mitigate foreclosures.

    Obama on Monday asked Bush to seek the remaining bailout money so that Obama can have it at his disposal promptly after taking office Jan. 20.

    Summers' letter included tacit acknowledgment of bipartisan congressional dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Bush administration has administered the first half of the funds.

    "The president-elect also shares the frustration of the American people that we have seen too little effect from this rescue plan on jobs, incomes, and the ability of responsible homeowners to stay in their homes," Summers wrote. "He believes the American people are right to be angry with the way this plan has been implemented."

    The White House said that Bush agreed to notify Congress after Obama requested the money. Congress has 15 days to reject the request, but efforts were afoot to have the money available for Obama much sooner.

    The request would give Obama, who takes office Jan. 20, not only the opportunity to get quick access to the money, but also to change the program's goals and conditions.

    Obama's request comes as Democrats in the House of Representatives prepared to act on legislation that has some of the same aims laid out in summers letter.

    Earlier Monday, Bush told reporters that he would not request the money form Congress unless Obama "specifically asked me to make it." Obama called Bush at 10:25 a.m., EST, after the news conference ended, Obama transition officials said.

    Bush's assertion that the decision to tap the money rests with Obama was an acknowledgment of what has been an extraordinary ceding of power to the incoming administration. In fact, when it comes to the economy, Bush in recent weeks has let Obama be the driving force behind most recovery efforts.

    A vote in Congress is likely soon, possibly this week, several senators predicted after a briefing from Summers Sunday on the Wall Street bailout, as well as on Obama's separate plan for roughly $800 billion in spending and tax breaks to spur the economy.

    At his news conference, Bush said, "I readily concede I chucked aside some of my free market principles when I was told by chief economic advisers that the situation we were facing could be worse than the Great Depression."

    But he credited the program for improving the lending environment, saying that "lending is just beginning to pick up."

    Congress approved the program in October, authorizing $700 billion to assist the financial industry.

    The current administration has already committed the first $350 billion, using it to inject capital into banks and to bail out ailing major companies considered too big to fail without further damage to the economy. Money from the program has gone to insurance giant American International Group Inc. and automakers General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

    Lawmakers from both parties have criticized the administration's handling of the fund, in part because the financial institutions that have received the unconditional sums of money have done little to account for it.

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson originally promised the money would be used to buy up toxic mortgage-related securities whose falling values have clogged credit markets and brought many financial institutions to the brink of failure.

    A request to Congress would force a vote within days on whether to block the funding, but the deck is stacked in favor of Bush and Obama winning release of the remaining $350 billion. Congress can pass a resolution disapproving the request, but the White House could veto the resolution; then, just one-third of either chamber would be needed to uphold the veto and win release of the money.
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

  4. #13
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    How in the world can anyone call this "restraint?"

    Obama hitting the road to sell his economic plan - Yahoo! News



    WASHINGTON Seeking an early victory on a top priority, President-elect Barack Obama is pitching workers in the ailing Midwest on his plan for some $825 billion in new spending and tax cuts to spur the troubled economy.

    The president-elect on Friday was to tour a northern Ohio company that manufactures parts for wind turbines, a fitting backdrop to promote alternative energy dollars included in the mammoth stimulus package that could top $1 trillion by the time Congress sends it to the White House.

    Obama's campaign-style event is the first of a series he's expected to hold to generate support for his plan to pull the country from recession. His trip comes a day after the Senate approved giving him access to the second half of last fall's $700 billion financial industry bailout and after House Democrats unveiled a stimulus plan largely shaped by the president-elect's team.

    Citing an economy in crisis and worsening, Obama has spent the past two weeks securing lawmakers' backing for the eye-popping plan that has drawn skepticism from both Republicans and Democrats because of its price tag and tax provisions. He's now taking his pitch directly to the public and trying to sell the sweeping package to lawmakers' constituents.

    The stakes are enormous for Obama. Passage of the plan, and bipartisan passage in particular, would mark a significant achievement at the outset of his presidency as he inherits a recession in its second year from President George W. Bush. Defeat would be a blow, coming not just in his first weeks in office but also as joblessness increases, bank failures continue, investment portfolios shrink and home prices drop.

    Either way, the success or failure of the plan could well set the tone for his first 100 days in office, if not his first year or longer.

    After nearly two weeks in Washington, Obama scheduled a meeting with workers at the Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co. in Bedford Heights, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb, to explain how he believes such companies and their workers would benefit from his plan.

    Founded in 1968, the company recently announced the creation of a wind power division to respond to what the company says is a surge of demand for their parts in the wind turbine industry. Obama argues his plan would create nearly 500,000 jobs by investing in alternative energy.

    Ohio is among a large swath of the industrial Midwest that's been hit especially hard by the recession.

    The most recent figures available show that Ohio's unemployment rate was higher than the national rate at 7.3 percent in November, with 435,000 out of work, up from 5.7 percent the year before. Foreclosure activity rose 26 percent in Ohio in 2008, putting it among states with the highest foreclosure rates. And demand for food stamps, Medicaid and unemployment benefits are on the rise.

    Little more than two months ago, Obama won the state by four percentage points over Republican John McCain, part of his electoral landslide. Obama posted large numbers of votes in the state's heavily Democratic northeast corner that is home to many blue collar workers and liberals.

    A Democratic-aligned group, Americans United, was airing a TV ad in the state urging people to call GOP Sen. George Voinovich to express their support for Obama's plan.

    One of the largest bills ever to make its way through Congress, the legislation calls for federal spending of roughly $550 billion and tax cuts of $275 billion over the next two years to revive the sickly economy. It focuses heavily on energy, education, health care and jobs-producing highway construction.

    Energy-related proposals include $32 billion to upgrade the nation's electrical distribution system, more than $20 billion in tax cuts to promote the development of alternatives to oil fuels, and billions more to make public housing, federal buildings and modest-income homes more energy efficient.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have promised Obama they would send him the legislation for his signature by mid-February.

    The plan already is running into resistance.

    House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio accused Democrats of thinking they can "borrow and spend their way back to prosperity" and complained that there weren't enough tax cuts in the measure.

    And House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., suggested more even money was needed, saying: "This product may undershoot the mark."
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

  5. he shows his restraint by only spending 170 mil on his inageration.

  6. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by fibertech View Post
    he shows his restraint by only spending 170 mil on his inageration.
    Don't you just love the way they spend tax payers money? Why don't they just take it and flush it?
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

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