Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama Opens With Bang: First, Rebuild US

President-elect Barack Obama is not just "hitting the ground running" - he's been getting ready for his presidency since last September, according to Time mag. And now he's unveiled how he'll tackle job one: the economy.

The President-Elect has also signaled the country what he wants to do: enact an "Economic Recovery Plan" that will mean 2.5 million more jobs by January of 2011. In his words (from Saturday's radio address) a plan "big enough to meet the challenges we face ... a two-year, nationwide effort to jumpstart job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy." Again, I have no inside knowledge, but I'd expect it to be about $600 to $700 billion.

Its focus will be on infrastructure of a sort that will not only put people to work but also improve the productivity of the economy. His words: "We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."

People have been complaining about lack of investment in infrastructure for years, and it's a great sign that Obama is planning to shore up the economy the old-fashioned way.
By putting his economic team in place barely three weeks after he was elected, and telling the nation what he plans to do immediately after he takes office, the President-Elect is asserting leadership at a time when the the Bush administration has all but abdicated.

Even the markets are looking to Obama now rather than the fast-fading Bush. Obama's leadership shows signs of both strength and direction/purpose. That's cause for optimism, something I didn't have during Bush's reign. Many others, I'm sure, agree.

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