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How can Obama sell his economic plan?

Marketplace Staff Sep 10, 2010

How can Obama sell his economic plan?

Marketplace Staff Sep 10, 2010


STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Right now we’re gonna ask the big question. And today it comes just ahead of President Obama’s eighth White House news conference, his first since May. Reporters will, no doubt, hammer home everything from mosques, to foreign policy and, of course, the political lip-licking going on in Washington because of low Democratic poll numbers. Most Americans want to know about the economy that’s still running on too few cylinders. It’s in this climate the president announces a new top economic adviser, someone whose name is familiar in the administration — Austan Goolsbee.

Another familiar name — to us anyway — is Jill Schlessinger, editor-at-large over at CBS MoneyWatch. She joins us live from New York to talk about the president’s options this morning. Hi Jill.


CHIOTAKIS: So how does the president sell his economic plan?

SCHLESINGER: Well he’s going to chop it up into three pieces — $50 billion in infrastructure over six years, $30 billion in accelerated businesses deductions for equipment purchases and $100 billion in research and development. Basically he’s going to say that the plan serves two purposes: $180 billion will inject a shot of adrenaline into the nation’s sagging economic recovery and hopefully spur job creation and the money will help address long-term needs, like fixing the nation’s rails, roads and runways. He’s also likely to draw a distinction between this and the previous spending by emphasizing that it will mostly be paid for and therefore should not add to the deficit.

CHIOTAKIS: And he will use the word like “infrastructure,” right? We’re gonna hear that a lot.

SCHLESINGER: Oh yeah, love that.

CHIOTAKIS: Is it going to create jobs, though, Jill?

SCHLESINGER: Unfortunately I don’t think so. Economists that I’ve spoken to say that the large-sounding proposals are unlikely to make a meaningful impact on spending or jobs. And although the recession has claimed over 7 million jobs, this is actually a long-term structural change. Private employment today stands about the same level as 1999.

CHIOTAKIS: The same level? Wow.

SCHLESINGER: Yeah. Due to technological advances, globalization and corporate outsourcing.

CHIOTAKIS: Wow. Jill Schlesinger, editor-at-large over at CBS MoneyWatch. She joins us every Friday. Jill, thanks.


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