Monday, January 12, 2009

Six heads talk about Obama's stimulus plan

Some more specifics about Obama’s pending cash avalanche—also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan— through the voice of his policy team. Yesterday the administration released a video of Christina Romer, who spent 9 rambling minutes explaining how they’ll create up to 4 million new jobs through this plan. Today’s video is different. I have a better idea what his team is trying to do. I see their faces (cool… lots of minorities!). Their talking points are more focused, but some of the ideas are still vague.

Here’s a breakdown:

Mona Sutphen, Incoming White House Deputy Chief of Staff
Main point: The plan will create millions of jobs and at the same time place a down payment on our economic future.
Notes: Similar sympathetic vocal tone as a Save the Children commercial

Carol Browner, Assistant to President-Elect for Energy and Climate Change
Main points: Train workers for green jobs in wind farms and solar. Create a green economy by making fed buildings and lower-income homes more weather-efficient.
Notes: They have a point. I spent $3 to weather strip my front door and it made a difference. But how does a lower fed energy bill help the economy?

Madhuri Kommareddi, Economic Policy Team
Main points: Filling potholes creates jobs, Bush administration didn’t do jack, build more labs, expand broadband footprint.
Notes: I should’ve taken shop in high school. Who needs calculus in times like this!

Tom Daschle, Secretary-Designate Health & Human Services
Main points: Help states who are trying to provide Medicaid and childrens’ insurance assistance. Modernize healthcare IT systems as a preventative measure.
Notes: I smell a bidding war between IBM, HP and Oracle. Love the glasses, Tom.

Melody Barnes, Director-Designate, Domestic Policy Council
Main points: Fed will help schools facing budget issues. Superintendents don’t have to lay off teachers, they can keep their programs and maintain their reforms.
Notes: Do these policies give under-performing teachers a lifeline too?

Lawrence Summers, Incoming Director, National Economic Council
Main points: War on wasteful spending. Greater accountability of government through a Web site that monitors investment projects and a new board of officials.
Notes: Check out Summers’s remarks on monitoring the bailout plan from last fall.

Mona (encore)
Main points: One thousand dollar tax cut!
Notes: I know, I’ll invest it. No, I’ll put it in my savings and earn 0% interest. I know—I’ll pay of a percentage of my mortgage with it.

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