Thursday, January 08, 2009

President-Elect Discusses American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

Jan 8: Twelve days before the Presidential Inauguration, President-elect Obama delivered a speech at George Mason University on his new American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. The overall plan, which is expected to be on the order of $750 billion (low end) could stimulate significant economic activity in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Obama said, "I am confident will save or create at least three million jobs over the next few years." He also said, "It is not just another public works program." Obama said, "Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy -- where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit. That is why we need to act boldly and act now to reverse these cycles."

Major elements of the Plan include: Doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years; Modernizing more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills; Making the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized; Equipping tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries; Expanding broadband across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world; Investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries; and, 95% of working families will receive a $1,000 tax cut -- the first stage of a middle-class tax cut.

Precisely, the President-elect said on the alternative energy plan, "To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years. We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills. In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced -- jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain."


On the infrastructure and technology portions of the plan, he said, "To build an economy that can lead this future, we will begin to rebuild America. Yes, we’ll put people to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools by eliminating the backlog of well-planned, worthy and needed infrastructure projects. But we’ll also do more to retrofit America for a global economy. That means updating the way we get our electricity by starting to build a new smart grid that will save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack, and deliver clean, alternative forms of energy to every corner of our nation. It means expanding broadband lines across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world. And it means investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries."

Obama indicated that the Plan "won’t just throw money at our problems -- we’ll invest in what works. The true test of the policies we’ll pursue won’t be whether they’re Democratic or Republican ideas, but whether they create jobs, grow our economy, and put the American Dream within reach of the American people. Instead of politicians doling out money behind a veil of secrecy, decisions about where we invest will be made transparently, and informed by independent experts wherever possible. Every American will be able to hold Washington accountable for these decisions by going online to see how and where their tax dollars are being spent."


He said he is asking Congress to work with him and his team day and night, and on weekends if necessary, to get the plan passed in the next few weeks. Most observers are now saying that it will likely be early to mid-February before Congress can get the Plan to the President's desk.

Access a summary and the full text of the speech (
click here). [*All]

1 comment:

Andy said...

This is a bold plan and far reaching. If it is as effective as the 1950's highway modernization then it could indeed get us out of this recession. If now, it's another trillion dollars of debt.