In his weekly radio address president elect Barack Obama urged the quick passage of his stimulus package titled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Obama argued that without immediate action the economy could slip even deeper into recession.
Here is the video:
Obama argued for a long term economic outlook, “We must make strategic investments that will serve as a down payment on our long-term economic future. We must demand vigorous oversight and strict accountability for achieving results. And we must restore fiscal responsibility and make the tough choices so that as the economy recovers, the deficit starts to come down. That is how we will achieve the number one goal of my plan – which is to create three million new jobs, more than eighty percent of them in the private sector.”
Making a long term argument to members of Congress who are prone to only thinking ahead as far as their next election is a tough sell. What I think will put this package over the top is emphasis on job creation and tax cuts. Many of the things that Obama wants in this package, middle class tax cuts, infrastructure spending, alternative energy, and electronic medical records are parts of bills that came close to passing in the last administration.
There is a great deal of pressure on members of Congress back in their districts to do something for their constituents. Americans watched in anger and frustration as Wall St. and the financial sector got bailed out as they lost their homes and jobs. The American people will favor this package to the same degree that they despised the various corporate bailouts.
Getting this legislation passed quickly will get the Obama administration off on the right foot. However, Congressional Republicans do have a valid point, in the respect that with a package this big, there should be time for debate. We have seen the government rush in and throw money at problems with poor results too many times. Let’s think this one through, because there is too much at stake for us to allow history to repeat itself again.