The Answer Is Two Trillion Dollars

The question is "how much will the economic recovery plan that Barack Obama will propose when he becomes President in January cost?"

My buddy and I have been tossing this idea back and forth lately. Well, actually, I've been the one pushing the idea, and he has gradually started to see how it could make sense.

We have already charged $700 billion to the Credit Card of the USA. Whether we have already drawn down the remaining $350 billion is not a matter of if, but when it will be spent. If $350 billion is only a stopgap measure, designed to gain a little breathing room until somebody in charge figures out what to do, another $350 billion on top of that won't go much farther.

From what we have seen so far from Mr. Obama, he does not lack the capacity to think big. It seems that the only way he looks at things is on a gargantuan, comprehensive, all-inclusive scale. So I've been giving my buddy food for thought on a regular basis the last month or so with this idea of a two trillion dollar "economic realignment" plan. This two trillion, in my mind, needs to be on top of the money that has already been spent trying to stem the tide of this recession that is threatening to become a depression.

It is a number that should take your breath away.

But what we are doing right now - spending a 100 billion here, loaning 25 billion there - is the equivalent of fixing a car that has four flat tires by replacing one tire at a time. Until all the tires are replaced or repaired, the car isn't going to go very far.

I'm no economist. I don't crunch numbers of this size for a living. But if you look at the things Obama says he will address in his plan - bridge and highway projects, green job retraining, energy efficiency upgrades in government and school buildings, broadband internet access for all school children, and the creation of 2.5 million jobs through FDR style public works projects - you don't have to be an economist or a number cruncher to know that these things will cost a boatload of money.

We are already on the hook for almost 11 trillion dollars in debt. Most of it was accumulated by doing the same thing we are doing now - funding Band-Aid solutions with just enough money to get back to doing the same thing that caused the problem in the first place.

I haven't read John Talbott's "Obamanomics" yet, but the things he focuses on about Obama in his book align almost perfectly with the stated goals of Obama's economic recovery plan, which should indicate how much of a commitment Obama has made to consistently return to the same core principles that anchor his beliefs about America and about the role of government.

Obamanomics blurb from Amazon.com

The change that Talbott sees from a Barack Obama presidency is one based on justice and cooperation, principles that have not held sway in Washington, DC for a very long time. Obamanomics, infused with Obama’s speeches, campaign policy statements, and other writings, describes not just a government but a NATION acting according to democratic principles to reform lobbying, banking, and housing as well as restore economic growth, address the healthcare system, improve education, and find solutions to our aging population and declining energy sources.


So I will repeat - I think the answer to the question "how much will the economic recovery plan that Barack Obama will propose when he becomes President in January cost?" needs to be "two trillion dollars".




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