Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama Unveils Team to Fix Economy

Not wanting to let the economic woes of the US continue into the new year, President-elect Barack Obama unveiled the team that he has put into place that will begin to address the problem. On Monday, he called the financial crisis one of "historic proportions" and said that he and the Bush administration are "united" in their efforts to get the economy back on track. President Bush said Monday morning that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is working closely with the Obama transition team to ensure a seamless transfer.

As Obama unveiled his economic team, he said there isn't "a minute to waste" when it comes to rebuilding the economy. He said, "My commitment is to do what is required. President Bush has indicated that he has the same approach, the same attitude."

Obama's remarks came just hours after the federal government announced a massive rescue package for Citigroup -- which President Bush said he'd spoken about with Obama before it was announced.

The first mission over the next few weeks for Obama's economic team will be to hammer out the details of what the president-elect described this weekend as a two-year economic recovery plan intended to create 2.5 million jobs.

Estimates for how much might be spent on a multi-year stimulus package range as high as $500 billion to $700 billion. At the center of the plan are investments in the nation's roads, bridges, schools and alternative-energy infrastructure.

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In naming his economic team, Obama said, "I've sought leaders who could offer both sound judgment and fresh thinking, both a depth of experience and a wealth of bold, new ideas, and most of all who share my fundamental belief that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street."

The Obama Economic Team:
  • Timothy Geithner - Treasury Secretary - Highly respected both on Wall Street and in the Capitol's corridors, has already been playing a central role in the Treasury's and Federal Reserve's efforts to stabilize the financial system.

  • Lawrence Summers - Director of the National Economic Council - Former President of Harvard and considered one of the country's most pre-eminent economists, he served as Treasury Secretary for two years during the Clinton administration.

  • Christina Romer - Director of Council of Economic Advisors - She will be relied upon to provide economic analysis and advice to the president; she is a professor of economics at Cal-Berkeley whose expertise includes the Great Depression and the economic recovery that followed.

  • Melody Barnes - Director of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) - She is currently the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, where her focus was on policies to help middle-class families. She also served as chief counsel to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Robert Reich, the former Clinton labor secretary, discusses how Obama’s selections fit on the ideological spectrum.
All are pragmatists. Some media have dubbed them “centrists” or “center-right,” but in truth they’re remarkably free of ideological preconception. All have well-earned reputations as hard workers, well-versed in the technical details of public and private finance. They are not visible veterans of the old battles over supply-side economics or deficit reduction, nor are they well-known to the public. They are not visionaries but we don’t need visionaries when the economic perils are clear and immediate. We need competence. Obama could not appoint a more competent group.

Obama's plans to boost the economy aren't likely to be limited to investing in infrastructure and energy initiatives.

Several other measures are expected as well. Among some of the possibilities discussed: direct federal aid to states and cities, tax cuts for low- and middle-income Americans, increased food stamp payments, and a tax credit for businesses that create new jobs in the United States.

Whatever Obama and his economic team ultimately decide to include in the economic recovery package, it's expected that Congress will have the final legislation ready for the president-elect's signature the day he's inaugurated.

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plez sez: since november 4th, BARACK OBAMA has continued to prove his veracity, tenaciousness, stellar judgement, and laser-like focus on issues that affect america. we may not approve of all of the tactics (it appears the bush tax cuts will remain on the books for a while longer and more bailouts for faltering industries), but plezWorld really respects his decisive and action-oriented posture during this trying economic crisis. it appears that his action is moving the bush administration from its posture of inaction, while trying to ride out the last weeks of lame-duck-ness.

the stock market also responded with a second day of triple digit growth on the news of president-elect's movement to act on the economy. i love the phrase: "there isn't a minute to waste." he is sending a message that something is going to get done, it may not work, but it's gonna get done!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read blogger Patterico's Pontification post about Obama's economic plan.

Read the AP article about the course of Obama's economic plan.

Read the New York Times article that discusses Obama's economic team.

Read the New York Times article about how bloggers favor Obama's economic team.

Read the CNN Money article about the Obama economic team.

Read the CNN.com article about the Obama press conference about his economic plan.

Provide feedback to President-Elect Obama on your vision for America

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