President-elect Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats will present Congress with a two-year economic rescue package that will total about a half-trillion dollars. The President-elect has an outstanding economic team already in place and has given them the job of assembling a measure to not only quickly pump money into the battered economy, but also to create at least 2.5 million new jobs. The plan will send a tax cut to the poor and middle class and make massive government investments in energy-saving and other technologies designed to pay for themselves over time.
Hopefully, this plan which certainly makes sense will pass quickly. Most agree the stimulus package must be significant enough to jolt the economy in a positive manner. Obviously, putting people back to work at this stage is a critical need. It’s important that this plan restores confidence in the business community. The Bush Administration is not only leaving our economy in a mess, but it refused to admit the country was in a recession. I guess the good news is that most recessions run a course in about 16-18 months, which means this one should end in mid-year.
The Obama Administration will work to establish a “green jobs” program that will invest as much as $100 billion in projects to slash harmful emissions. This could include projects such as retrofitting buildings to make them more energy-efficient, upgrading the electrical grid and improving mass transit. Putting money into green technologies will have a very large positive employment effect. Not only will good jobs be created, but the short-term effects are compatible with long-term needs in the economy and that’s very important.
Tax cuts for low- and middle-class workers will likely be a part of the new President’s overall plan to end the recession and help save our nation’s economy. I understand one component of this plan will be a proposal to send tax credits of $500 to individuals and $1,000 to couples, including payments for people who make too little to owe any taxes. Those credits are estimated to cost about $115 billion in their first two years, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Contrary to what some GOP extreme right-wingers are saying, the recovery plan is not expected to include a tax increase for those earning $250,000 or more annually.
In addition, President-elect Obama unveiled a program on December 7th that featured the largest investment in U.S. infrastructure since the Interstate Highway System was conceived during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Obama plan, which could cost at least $500 billion, will breathe badly-needed life into the U.S. economy by creating 2.5 million jobs for traditional projects such as repairing roads and bridges, as well as 21st-century jobs in technology and alternative energy. This appears to be a well thought-out approach to creating jobs. At the same time it will take care of some badly-neglected infrastructure needs. Companies that provide services or materials in connection with such projects will do well and folks will get good jobs.
Regardless of whether you voted Democrat or Republican in the Presidential election, we all have an obligation to support the new President. He must be given a chance to put his plans for America in place and get things moving in the right direction again for all citizens. Thus far, his appointments and plans for America are very good.
Source: Associated Press
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