AS reported on Politico.com by Victoria McGrane.
President-elect Barack Obama’s call for swift passage of a second economic stimulus package has put him at odds with President Bush early in the transition of power.
“I want to see a stimulus package sooner rather than later,” Obama told reporters during his first post-election press conference Friday, adding that if Congress and the White House cannot agree to legislation in a lame-duck session this fall, “it will be the first thing I get done as president of the United States.”
Obama also urged the Bush administration to “do everything it can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted.” And he promised to make it a “high priority” for his transition team to explore additional policy to help the ailing auto industry — statements that could signal the president-elect plans to move more aggressively on Detroit’s behalf.
Obama’s economic remarks came with a new round of grim news on the economic front: The U.S. economy shed an additional 240,000 jobs in October — a staggering 1.2 million so far this year — while the jobless rate climbed to a 14-year high of 6.5 percent.
Already, consensus has formed in policymaking and economic circles that the economic slowdown calls for a second stimulus package. House Democratic leaders have been particularly outspoken in support of a package that includes aid to states, infrastructure spending and an extension of unemployment benefits — a plan that closely mirrors the priorities laid out by Obama.
Economists say that the other two major areas Obama can address in the hopes of improving the economy are continuing current efforts to steady financial markets and taking steps to stem foreclosures.
Administration officials are currently working on plans to create a more systematic way to do loan modifications to keep more people in their homes. And there’s a good possibility that a new plan could emerge before Obama takes office on Jan. 20, 2009, though Treasury has indicated its desire to have the Obama team sign off on major decisions related to the $700 billion financial rescue plan.
Moreover, the incoming administration will be able to shape how much of the money will be used. So far, Treasury has only used the money to make direct investments into large financial institutions. “There’s certainly room to do much more,” Elmendorf said.
Possibilities include extending the government investments to other institutions — the U.S. automakers are one potential recipient already being talked about — as well as using the money to somehow entice mortgage lenders and servicers to modify distressed loans. Finally, the Obama White House could go forward with the initial plan for the $700 billion package and purchase distressed assets directly.
But for all confident words, Obama will take over the White House at a time when the country has nearly a $1 trillion deficit, a worsening economy and a still-frozen credit market — a backdrop that makes it impossible to quickly fulfill campaign promises of energy investment and health care reform.
I have been asked by many people just what is up with the economy–they were all looking for a simple definition or a simple explanation. Especially from a working class perspective. Well here goes:
Jobs creates consumers–consumers create demand–demand creates jobs and profit–the reach for more profits creates joblessness and bankruptcy–government intervention, like tax cuts to create jobs—to create consumers–to create demand……and it begins again…. it is a vicious cycle.
Simplistic–yes…..but hopefully that will give a simple yet understandable definition of how the cycle works.
These are notes that I have made and they did not make it to a post. Just thought I would share them with my reader for discussion.
1–Do Americans want change? I say no–why? They are afraid of change. In the last 40 yrs or so they have had ample chances for change but everything has stayed the same—the same system, the same types of politicians, the sam economic crises over and over…all has remained the same. There has been several opportunities but safe was always chosen. This election past is more of the same–change in name, but the tune stays the same.
2–On the day of the election, 04 Nov 08, at 0700 hrs the media was still downplaying Obama’s strength in the polls. They even went so far as to say the Ayers was voting at the same place as Obama.
3–PORK? Why is everything but military spending called pork?
4–At 0225 hrs on 05 Nov 08 the Repub mouth-pieces were already throwing Palin under the speeding bus. So much for loyalty.
5–The Repub talkking heads are still hateful. They are concerned with the option of one party rule over Congress and the POTUS. Silly! Southern Dems are more conserv than most Repubs, I do not think there should be any concern.
6–Voting–about 133 million people went to the polls and that translate into 62.5% of the population whiuch is a higher percentage than in past elections. Well done Americans!
7–What does Fiscal Responsibility mean?
8–Jobless rate the highest in 25 years–over 6% and about 1.2 million jobs lost this year alone.
I recently asked this questioon and gave a few ideas on a possible course for the GOp to be ready for the next round of elections. This was sent to me in an email, it is from Politico.com written by John Feehery.
Here are some ideas:
1) Find the right chairman (or woman) to head the Republican National Committee. Haley Barbour was the best chairman this party ever had. Bring him back. If he doesn’t want to do it, find somebody like him. Barbour combined great political instincts, a great television presence, an ability to raise money and an intuitive understanding of policy. The RNC needs somebody like him to help bring the party together.
2) Listen to the American people: Republicans need to take off their ideological blinders and conduct a series of town hall meetings, virtual and otherwise, to find out what the citizens of this nation want and expect from their government. After a long election year, the politicians have done a lot of talking. It is time for them to do some real listening.
3) Invigorate the think tanks. The GOP used to be the party of ideas, and think tanks were the place it got them. Something happened on the way to the majority, however, and the connection between think tanks — such as Heritage, CATO and the American Enterprise Institute — and Republican public policy seemed to fade away. When Reagan was president, those links were strong and the ideas were so good, they helped him become the great president that he was. It is time to go back to the drawing board, and there is no better place to do that than in the think tanks.
last time we were in this predicament, Bob Michel and Bob Dole, two old war horses, knew that they had to learn some new tricks while they were in the minority. The year was 1993, and Bill Clinton was the next president. So they coordinated with each other, with Haley Barbour, who was RNC chairman at the time, and especially with Republican governors such as Tommy Thompson and John Engler. It was Thompson and Engler who did the first welfare reforms, and their success served as a model for the welfare reform that ultimately was signed into law by Clinton. National coordination takes a lot of hard work, but it is worth it in the long run. 5) Invest in the future. Republicans need to build a farm team of political leaders. They need to invest in human capital. They have relied way too much on the so-called “self-funders” who may be willing to invest millions in their own race but have no idea how to win elections or, more importantly, how to govern. Finding and cultivating talent is extraordinarily important to our future as a party. We should have an active program that helps us find that talent on college campuses, on congressional staffs, in local government and in any other place where we can recruit smart kids who want to make a difference.
6) Reinvent the modern campaign. Win or lose, Barack Obama has revolutionized the modern campaign. We need to learn from him how he did it. We need to learn about “for us by us” marketing. We need to learn how he fused community activism with the Internet to build an impressive organization. We need to learn how he used these techniques to raise almost $1 billion. And we need to learn what we did wrong and what techniques to retire in the next go-around. Isn’t about time we stopped using those stupid robocalls? I know. Just a suggestion.
7) Adopt a 50-state strategy. Everybody laughed when Howard Dean said he was going to make the Democratic Party competitive in all 50 states. Nobody is laughing now. The fact is that Republicans are becoming dinosaurs in too many states, especially north of the Mason-Dixon line. We have become a regional party, and the bad news is that we are even losing ground in that one region. Having a truly national strategy will pull us back from the extremes and make us a more competitive party in the future.
8) Develop a coherent media strategy. It is not good enough to simply complain about NBC, The New York Times and the national media in general. We have to do something about it. We have to invest resources into learning all we can about communicating in the modern age. We need a strategy to get after the editors and publishers and television executives so they report fairly on the news. We have to keep after them to make them change their advocacy journalism, or we have to find our own outlets to get the right message out. We cannot continue to allow them to be a cheerleader for the left. We have to do something about it.
9) Simplify to unify. As we pull together our national agenda, we need to remember that simplifying our agenda to basic core principles is better than trying to give each region or each interest group its own little goodies. Republicans started losing when they tried to play special interest politics. We can simplify and unify by agreeing to a certain process for resolving conflicts, and then embracing basic, unifying values (a strong America, a smaller, smarter government, and an undying belief in the Constitution) that will help guide our party for the future.
I read these and think that it is excellent advice for the GOP, that is if they want to be competitive in the future.
20,000 workers, black and white, stage general strike in New Orleans, demanding union recognition and hour and wage gains – 1892
Apparently she was not aware that she was gonna be the “bad guy” if McCain lost, and he did and she is.
The former Republican vice presidential nominee told reporters in Anchorage that a recent Fox News report — which cited unnamed campaign sources as saying she did not know Africa was a continent and could not name the countries involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement — was false, and that her comments were taken out of context.
“That’s cruel. It’s mean-spirited. It’s immature. It’s unprofessional, and those guys are jerks if they came away with it, taking things out of context, and then tried to spread something on national news. It’s not fair and not right,” Palin told CNN in an interview. (wait! she lied about another person and that is somehow okay but when it comes to her it is off limits? The old saying, “when you throw sh*t, you will get someon you”, comes to mind.)
Palin’s fierce defense was part of a broader push-back Friday by her loyal aides as she resumes her duties as governor and tries to repair some of the damage done in the rough-and-tumble of the campaign. Although Palin has brushed off questions about whether she will run for president in 2012, her supporters are eager to correct what they see as unfair attacks.
And McCain himself has privately expressed sadness and displeasure over former staffers’ emerging criticism of his running mate, an aide said.
This is a scheming woman, she will be back sooner than most anticipate.