President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday said Congress must take “dramatic action” on his economic aid package as soon as possible, warning that a failure to do so would have devastating long-term consequences for the nation.
“To get people spending again.”
That’s one line I heard in President-elect Barack Obama’s economic speech today.
Spending is great for an economy that is 70% or more based upon consumer spending. But the root cause of our economic woes may be that a “spending-based” economy may not be best for America.
Much of Mr. Obama’s address was long on spending and too short on meaningful, long-lasting jobs.
And there was a heavy emphasis on Congress acting quickly in the President-elect’s message; which often means Congress acting rashly and wrongly.
“In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse” if Washington doesn’t go far enough — by spending enough — and act quickly enough, the President-elect said.
The remarks were made at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., outside Washington.
In his first major policy speech since being elected, Mr Obama urged Congress to act quickly to pass his $800 Billion — some say $1 Trillion — stimulus plan.
“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,” he said.
“This is a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime,” Mr. Obama said in the speech.
“If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years.”
The New York Times said, “While the speech was mostly one of generalities, Mr. Obama offered a few details about how he hopes both to save money and modernize the economy.
And we’ve read about wind energy and putting medical records into the computer. There programs plus a lot of construction workers fixing roads will make the economy grow for a long time in a lasting way? I have doubts….
The Obama stimulus is twice as lasrge as FDR’s programs during the depression — and that was when the United States was an industrial power.
When can I expect to see my hope changed to reality. When do the lofty speeches get more specific and credible?
I admit that I listened much more intently yesterday when former head of Lockheed Martin Norman Augustine told Congressional leaders, “This is not a short term economic ill we are facing.”
He said that government spending often only yields short-term jobs and when the global economy is jump started “those new long-term jobs won’t be here.”
“We need a companion effort to these [short-term job] proposals that addresses long-term job creation,” said Augustine. “What replaces them when the jobs run out? Investments in science and technology are likely to underpin any advancement in our country, helping to solve the energy problem, and creating new jobs.”
Augustine said the needed structural reforms could come from a complete overhaul of our schools and a renewal of science and technology in the classroom.
John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
New York Times report: