Over the weekend, President-Elect Obama outlined the economic challenges that our country faces, and how he plans to take them on. Here’s what he had to say, in his own words:
“…we need an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that not only creates jobs in the short-term but spurs economic growth and competitiveness in the long-term. And this plan must be designed in a new wayâ€”we canâ€™t just fall into the old Washington habit of throwing money at the problem. 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 planâ€”which is to create three million new jobs, more than eighty percent of them in the private sector.”
So… It appears that the primary focus will be on job creation. Another major focus (not mentioned in the above snippet) is reducing dependence on foreign oil. Both of these are laudable goals, but how will we achieve them?
Here’s a list of initiatives that he’s proposing:
- Doubling of renewable energy production
- Renovation of public buildings to make them more energy efficient
- Rebuilding of American infrastructure (roads, bridges, and schools)
- Updating and computerizing our healthcare system
- Modernizing classrooms, labs, and libraries
- Providing “direct tax relief” to 95% of American workers
Taken together, the components of this plan are estimated (by Obama’s advisors) to cost somewhere between $675 billion and $775 billion, though other expect the costs to be closer to $1 trillion. It’ll be interesting to see how much pork gets piled on top while these things are making their way through Congress. Note that there’s no mention of a second stimulus check.
If you’re interested in seeing his address firsthand, here’s the video: