Friday, February 6, 2009

Stimulus and Econcomic Advisory Board

President Obama has aggressively argued for his proposed 900 billion dollar stimulus. Even writing an op-ed piece in the Washington post:

I have become more in support of the stimulus lately. The following reasoning makes me support it: 1) do nothing and nothing will change, we shall stay in this disaster. 2) tax cuts will do nothing but give people a little more money not to spend, and no spending leaves the economy as it is. 3) Funding things like education, health care, green jobs, and infrastructure creates jobs, employs people, and therefore puts consumer dollars back into the market.

Noted economist Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed for the N.Y. Times this morning stating the case for Stimulus (he thinks we need one at least twice as big as Obama proposes!):

The President will be speaking to us on prime-time television on Monday to pitch the package.

Meanwhile the battle rages in the senate. The republicans oppose any stimulus at pretty much all costs, so we will see what a final bill looks like.

But we must recognize that the economy is a disaster and simply cutting taxes will do nothing. Obama, knowing this, has picked an economic advisory board supposedly to get advice from people who are not Washington insiders. I don't know enough about this board to evaluate them yet. But here is the video of Obama announcing the team:

The members of the board are listed as follows at

"The President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Paul Volcker

Staff Director and Chief Economist
Austan Goolsbee

William H. Donaldson, Chairman, SEC (2003-2005)

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO, TIAA-CREF

Robert Wolf, Chairman & CEO, UBS Group Americas

David F. Swensen, CIO, Yale University

Mark T. Gallogly, Founder & Managing Partner, Centerbridge Partners L.P.

Penny Pritzker, Chairman & Founder, Pritzker Realty Group

Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO, GE

John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

Jim Owens, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc.

Monica C. Lozano, Publisher & Chief Executive Officer, La Opinion

Charles E. Phillips, Jr., President, Oracle Corporation

Anna Burger, Chair, Change to Win

Richard L. Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO

Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Dean, Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley

Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University"


  1. "The republicans oppose any stimulus at pretty much all costs"

    This is most certainly not true. Many Republicans are seeking a stimulus package that is more "centrist" - i.e. it doesn't allocate funds to programs that many Republicans are ideologically opposed to (e.g. Planned Parenthood), and they want to see more tax cuts. McCain proposed a stimulus package that called for less spending and more tax cuts (corporate and the bottom two tax brackets), but it was shot down yesterday. I have to say, I'm siding with the Republicans here. We can't just rush to pass any old stimulus package - it's got to fund the right things (e.g. public transportation). And tax cuts should be a part of the stimulus as well.

  2. Yes, we cannot fund any old stimulus. But I cannot side with the republicans here.

    They want to essentially eliminate most funding to health care, education, and other essential programs. And the people they want to give tax breaks to are big corporations and really rich people.

    By all means give tax breaks to small businesses, the middle class and the poor, but increase them on the rich and big corporations! Repeal the Bush tax cuts!!

    I side with Paul Krugman on this issue. We need a much bigger stimulus, more spending, not less! Much more funding for public transportation should indeed be added.

    But we should not be voting to diminish this bill and make it even weaker!

  3. You said they want to eliminate funding to health care, education and other essential programs, but that's not true. First, "other essential programs" leaves things to the imagination. What are these "other essential programs"? Second, paring down the stimulus proposals for education and health care still provides more funding in these areas than there currently is. Third, the bottom two tax brackets aren't even close to comparable to big corporations and really rich people. Fourth, it's the big corporations and really rich people that are in need of the stimulus. The stimulus is just a bailout in a different form, and, remember, it's these big corporations that are "too big to fail." Fifth and finally, there is something deeply immoral about the stimulus. It calls for taking out a national loan that increases the national debt which essentially means that future generations must bear the burden of paying for goods the fruits of which they will likely never enjoy. That's simply unjust.

  4. Well here is my position. To employ people we need to spend. We have to fund programs for infrastructure, health care, public transportation, education, and so-called "green jobs."

    We cannot boost these areas and employ people without spending. Tax cuts won't do anything but give people a tiny bit more money that they will not spend. It will not boost the economy. Although I favor them for the poor, middle class, and small business.

    But at this point we must spend - and spend a great deal - or the economy will crash and no one will find work.


Comments from many different points of view are welcome. But I will not publish any comments that are hateful, insulting, or filled with profanity. I welcome and encourage dialogue and disagreement but will not publish any hate speech.