Obama says fiscal restraint will be his economic guide
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Thread: Obama says fiscal restraint will be his economic guide

  1. #1
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    Obama says fiscal restraint will be his economic guide

    I've heard this before, from both Democrats and Republicans. Only with Obama, his socialist inclinations lead me to believe otherwise.

    Stimulus aside, Obama vows future budget restraint - Yahoo! News

    WASHINGTON To a public wary of government spending, President-elect Barack Obama is offering a salve with his massive economic stimulus package: the promise of long-term fiscal discipline.

    Budget-conscious lawmakers are pressing Obama to embrace deficit-reduction goals even as he promotes a spending and tax-cutting plan expected to cost about $775 billion to jolt the economy out of its downward spiral.

    "Part of the discussion that needs to happen right now is not what we do just right now, but what we look to in the future about how we get back to a balanced budget and then start to deal with this horrible, horrible national debt that we have," said Rep. Dennis Moore of Kansas, a member of the congressional Blue Dogs, a coalition of conservative and moderate Democrats.

    Two weeks away from assuming the presidency, Obama vowed Tuesday to "bring a long-overdue sense of responsibility and accountability to Washington" and called the need for budget reform "an absolute necessity."

    On Wednesday, he was expected to announce his selection of a chief performance officer, a White House official who will work with federal agencies to set performance standards and hold agency managers accountable for progress.

    "The fact that he is making these comments publicly about fiscal responsibility gives me encouragement that we will see something," said Rep. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana, one of the leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition.

    With Democrats in control of both chambers in Congress, Obama's reassurances to budget hawks from both parties already appear to be making a stimulus package more palatable. Obama said this week he would like Congress to complete action on an economic recovery plan by the end of the month or the first week of February.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was expected to press fellow Democrats on Wednesday to pass the legislation by mid-February. She, too, has reassurances for cost-conscious lawmakers.

    "Many will focus on the upfront cost of this legislation," she was to tell a House Democratic Policy and Steering Committee forum, according to an excerpt of her prepared remarks. "While we are not discussing small sums, focusing on the price tag alone ignores the cost of inaction and the real payoff in terms of job creation and increased revenues to our Treasury."

    While promising to fight waste and to make tough budgetary decisions, however, Obama warned that the nation could face trillion-dollar deficits for years to come. Eight years ago, the federal budget ran a surplus; the deficit on Sept. 30 was about $455 billion. That was before the government began spending nearly half of a $700 billion bailout fund for the financial sector.

    Obama said Americans will accept his proposed stimulus plan only if they believe the money is being used wisely to boost the troubled economy and to make smart long-term investments in public projects.

    Lawmakers and budget watchdog groups want Obama to promptly spell out a process for addressing long-term deficits.

    "Short-term stimulus does need to be combined with long-term discipline," said Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates fiscal restraint. "The deficit numbers are going to be astronomical for the next couple of years. People need to know that there is some end game to this."

    Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., agreed that trillion-dollar deficits are likely for a few years and must be tolerated as the government pumps money into the badly weakened economy. But the nation must confront long-term problems facing Social Security and Medicare, he said, which will be "very, very tough."

    "It would send a very healthy message to the markets and the American people if President-elect Obama were to simultaneously announce an economic recovery package and the beginning of a bipartisan process to deal with our long-term imbalances," Conrad said.

    Obama has not detailed solutions for vexing problems such as growing demands on Social Security and Medicare. His prescriptions to make government accountable could easily run aground, much like those of predecessors who vowed to tackle government waste, fraud and abuse.

    But lawmakers are not short on ideas. Conrad and the Budget Committee's top Republican, New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, have proposed a bipartisan fiscal task force of lawmakers and administration officials that would create a plan to reduce budget deficits and lower the national debt.

    Blue Dog Democrats would like to see legislation that would force Congress to pay for spending proposals with equal spending cuts or with new revenue. House Democrats this week plan to consider legislation that would require all federal agencies to undergo new audits and would call for congressional hearings when agency inspectors general find evidence of waste or fraud.
    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. #2
    Did he mean fiscal restraint or that he would like to see us in restraints?
    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

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    Did he mean fiscal restraint or that he would like to see us in restraints?

    It's not that he wants to see us in restraints. It's just that his idea of restraint will push us so close to socialism that we'll feel like we are.
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

  5. #4
    gpbarth Guest
    So $775B is fiscal restraint? Gosh! What is runaway spending? No, wait! Don't tell me!

    That's $775,000,000,000.00!!

  6. Obama

    I think it is really funny. I saw an article that says that AlQaeda is accusing Obama of being responsible for the air strikes in Gaza. Gee, I didn't know a president-elect could order foreign countries to attack. ROFLMAO.
    A man without a gun is a subject; a man with a gun is a citizen.
    I'll keep my freedom, my guns and my money. You can keep THE CHANGE.
    An armed society is a polite society.

  7. #6
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    Obama: recession could linger for years without a stimulus

    Obama warns of dire consequences without stimulus - Yahoo! News

    WASHINGTON President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday the recession could "linger for years" unless Congress pumps unprecedented sums from Washington into the economy.

    "I don't believe it's too late to change course, but it will be if we don't take dramatic action as soon as possible," Obama said in a speech set to be delivered at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., outside Washington. Excerpts from his prepared text were released in advance by his transition team.

    It was the fourth day in a row that Obama has addressed this front-burner issue and it was the highest-profile appearance yet on an issue that can define his early months in office.

    His events have increasingly taken on the trappings and air of the presidency, with the speech coming a full 12 days before he takes over at the White House a particularly showy move. Presidents-elect typically stick to naming administration appointments and otherwise staying in the background during the transition period between Election Day and Inauguration Day, but Obama has clearly made the calculation that a nation anxious about its economic outlook and eager to bid farewell to the current president, George W. Bush, needs to hear from him differently and more frequently.

    Indeed, the economic news is grim.

    "A bad situation could become dramatically worse," Obama said, painting a dire picture including double-digit unemployment and $1 trillion in lost economic activity that recalled the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

    Consumers and companies are folding under the negative forces of a collapsed housing market, a global credit crunch and the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. The recession, which started in December 2007, already is the longest in a quarter-century.

    A report due out the same day as Obama's speech is expected to show that the number of newly laid-off people signing up for state unemployment insurance last week rose to 540,000, up from 492,000 in the previous week. The number of people continuing to draw jobless benefits is projected to stay near 4.5 million, demonstrating the troubles the unemployed are having in finding new jobs.

    For all of 2008, employers probably slashed payrolls by at least 2.4 million. That's based on economists' forecasts for a net loss of 500,000 additional jobs in December, as well as the job losses previously reported. Some, however, think the number of jobs cut last month will be higher, around 600,000 or 700,000. The Labor Department will release that report Friday.

    A day after the release of a stunning new estimate that the federal budget deficit will reach an unprecedented $1.2 trillion this year, nearly three times last year's record. Obama acknowledged some sympathy with those who "might be skeptical of this plan" because so much federal money has already been spent or committed in an attempt largely unsuccessful so far to get credit, the lifeblood of the American economy, flowing freely once again.

    Such statements are coded to appeal to budget hawks in both parties, whom Obama wants to win over so that approval of a package draws wide, bipartisan support in the Democratic-led Congress.

    To answer their concerns, he promised to allow funding only for what works. He also pledged a new level of transparency about where the money is going. A day earlier, he promised to tackle the out-of-control fiscal problem posed by Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs and named a special watchdog to clamp down on all federal programs.

    Obama made broader arguments, too, saying that the private sector, typically the answer, cannot do what is needed now.

    "At this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe," he said.

    Obama's transition team and Democratic congressional leaders are working daily to hammer out the still-evolving package, expected to total nearly $800 billion. The initial hope had been to have a new stimulus package approved by Congress in time for Obama to sign it upon taking office on Jan. 20. That timeline has slipped considerably, into at least mid-February if not later.

    The package is expected to include tax cuts for businesses and middle-class workers, money to help cash-starved states with Medicaid programs and other operating costs, and a huge share for infrastructure building, investments in energy efficiency and a rebuilding of the information technology system for health care. Much of the latter portions of the plan are aimed at what Obama likes to talk about as the need for "reinvestment" and not just "recovery."

    Obama also promised action to address the economy's ills beyond the package, such as tackling the massive wave of home foreclosures many experts expect, preventing the failure of financial institutions, rewriting financial regulations and keeping accountable the "Wall Street wrongdoers" who engage in risky investing.
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

  8. #7
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    More government, bigger government, socialism at it's finest!

    From the Desk of:
    Steve Elliott, President, Grassfire.org Alliance

    Please forward this message to your friends and ask them to
    join you in this historic Patriotic Resistance. -- Steve

    President-elect Obama landed in Washington, DC, yesterday and
    immediately began pushing his $1 trillion "stimulus" plan.
    Obama proudly boasted that "80 percent" of the new jobs he
    wants to create will be in the public sector.

    But that means Obama wants to add 600,000 to the already
    bloated government payroll!

    And pressure is already being put on Congress to fast-track Obama's plan.

    + + 11,000 Resisters needed today!

    Grassfire's Patriotic Resistance just crossed 330,000 members. That
    means we need to rally 11,000 new Patriotic Resisters every day to
    reach our goal by Inauguration Day -- so we are ready to fight for
    our liberties from Day One of Obama's administration.

    Please forward this message to your friends and ask them to Join
    the Resistance today:

    GrassFire.org - Real Impact Online.

  9. #8
    gpbarth Guest
    Good example of the old lie:

    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you!"

  10. #9
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    Rifts show as Obama urges quick action on stimulus - Yahoo! News



    WASHINGTON Lawmakers are under orders to finish action on President-elect Barack Obama's nearly $800 billion economic recovery plan by mid-February. But already it is plain that a set of serious fissures need to be bridged if the bill is to be completed within five weeks.

    Obama urged Congress on Thursday to "act boldly and act now" to fix an economy growing perilously weaker, even as top Democrats said they dislike key provisions, especially the design of his tax cuts.

    Democrats such as Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad complained openly that many of the incoming administration's proposed tax cuts wouldn't work. Republicans warned against excessive new spending, with both parties signaling the incoming president they intend to place their own stamp on the economic recovery effort.

    Conrad, D-N.D., and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., also staked a firm position against using the economic recovery plan for permanent spending increases, opening a split with House Democrats hoping to use the plan to broaden eligibility for unemployment insurance and boost education spending.

    "Doing things that would have a permanent effect when we face trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see is just unwise," Conrad said.

    A call for a $3,000 tax break for job creation drew particular criticism in a closed-door meeting, and numerous lawmakers said Obama had not ticketed enough of his tax proposal for energy.

    But there was little or no dispute about the need for action, and Obama's remarks coincided with a pair of government reports showing fresh weakness in an economy already in recession. An updated reading on unemployment was expected to bring even more bad news on Friday.

    "If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years," with unemployment reaching double digits, Obama said in a speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "A bad situation could become dramatically worse."

    Obama's aides and congressional Democrats have been at work for weeks on legislation to create new jobs, help the unemployed, cut taxes and aid cash-strapped states. There also are subsidies to help the newly unemployed afford their health care, a big new effort to improve the energy efficiency of federal buildings, and tax credits for business investment in plants and equipment.

    The details are closely held and subject to change and the cost of various components seems to be bouncing around daily in the push and pull between the Obama transition team and congressional leaders.

    Obama's chief political strategist, David Axelrod, and incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, heard plenty of ideas and criticisms during Capitol Hill meetings Thursday.

    "There was what one would expect, which is constructive comments," Axelrod told reporters. "I'm not going to characterize it as push-back. I'm going to characterize it as people doing their jobs."

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., promised lawmakers would cancel next month's planned Presidents' Day recess if necessary.

    "We are not going home without an economic recovery package," she told reporters, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, at a different appearance, agreed that that allowed enough time to get the job done.

    About $300 billion of Obama's package would be for tax cuts or refunds for individuals and businesses.

    One tax provision would provide a $500 tax cut for most workers and $1,000 for couples, at a cost of about $140 billion to $150 billion over two years. The individual tax cuts may be awarded through withholding less from worker paychecks, effectively making checks about $10 to $20 larger each week.

    Democrats emerging from a closed-door meeting of the Senate Finance Committee had little positive to say about the tax cut proposals. Conrad was critical of the proposed break for workers and their families.

    "Twenty bucks a week. How much of a lift is that going to give?" he said.

    Nor did he sound positive about a proposed tax break for businesses to create jobs a $3,000 tax credit for companies that hire or retrain workers.

    "If I'm a business person, it's unlikely if you give me a several thousand dollar credit that I'm going to hire people if I can't sell the products they're producing," Conrad said.

    Republicans noted forecasts of a record $1.2 trillion deficit for the current year and said too much additional spending could be harmful. "We can't buy prosperity with more and more government spending," declared Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader.
    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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    Obama's analysis of his proposed stimulus plan

    Obama provides internal analysis of economic plan - Yahoo! News

    WASHINGTON Facing growing criticism of his economic recovery plan, President-elect Barack Obama made public Saturday a detailed analysis by his economic advisers that estimates the $775 billion plan of tax cuts and new spending would create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.

    But the president-elect's advisers concede in the 14-page report Obama posted on the Internet that their estimates are "subject to significant margins of error," both because of the assumptions that went into their economic models and because no one knows the final outlines of the package that will emerge from Congress.

    "These numbers are a stark reminder that we simply cannot continue on our current path," Obama said Saturday 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, who previously has provided few details of the massive spending and tax cut plan, released the report one day after the unemployment rate 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.

    If Congress fails to enact a big economic stimulus plan, Obama's advisers estimated that another 3 million to 4 million jobs will disappear before the recession ends.

    As lawmaker criticisms of parts of his plan grew during the week, Obama agreed Friday to modest changes in his proposed tax cuts. Democratic congressional officials said his aides came under pressure in closed-door 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 over the economic recovery plan even more, 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.

    The new report provides detailed breakdowns of how many jobs each part of the plan would create, even going so far as to provide estimates that more than 40 percent of the new jobs would go to women and that 90 percent of them would be created in the private sector. It also provides estimates of how many new jobs would be created in each different sector of the economy.

    "It's not too late to change course but only if we take immediate and dramatic action," Obama said. "Our first job is to put people back to work and get our economy working again."
    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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