“I’ve been very impressed with the caliber of people around Obama. There’s great hope they won’t fall down a partisan path.”
– Kevin Hassett, John McCain’s top economic advisor in a Fortune article
Still, Obama’s plan will be a government driven economic model in the short term, so we’re not going to see the deficit go down any time soon…
“Government is the most reliable source of short-term growth, the only part of GDP pulling out its wallet these days,” says Obama economic advisor Jared Bernstein. “There is a time for budget austerity – this ain’t it.”
In the coming weeks and months those purse strings will be loosened, first for another major stimulus package that includes ready-to-launch infrastructure construction projects – and then for producers of clean energy like hybrid-auto technology and low-emission coal.
His advisors say he’s determined to pursue his $150 billion, ten-year energy plan despite the unexpected federal outlays caused by the recession and near collapse of the financial markets. The purse will open again in the form of tax breaks for small businesses and for big companies that create new jobs – but not for firms building operations overseas and not for oil companies, which face the prospect of a windfall-profits tax.
Consider it a more market-driven New Deal that not only tackles unemployment problems, but also touches on the ideas of energy independence and, by default, national security.
I know this will make budget hawks nervous, but what’s the other option? Leave America’s future in the hands of a completely chaotic market? I just don’t see that as a feasible option. You have to spend money to make money and budget cuts and inaction at this point won’t make us more competitive on the world stage or help solve any of these big problems.
But hey, if you have a better idea I’m all ears. Obama ever more so. 😉