With American families facing an uncertain economic future, one element is clear: President-elect Barack Obama will be effective from the start. By coming forward to the public today -- while acknowledging that we have one president at a time -- Barack Obama gave a thoughtful presentation during a volatile time. Saying he is certain that a president can make a difference or he would not have run, he was calm, straightforward, and deliberate.
In substance, the President-elect was straightforward: Obama laid out 4 essentials to stabilize the economy: (1) an immediate stimulus including unemployment benefits for Americans seeking work and aid to states and localities for vital services; (2) help to keep homeowners in their homes; (3) aid to industries such as autoworkers by accelerating funds already allocated and looking at what more can be done to build green cars; and (4) scrutinizing the bailout to be sure it helps people without unduly enriching banks. Obama also reiterated his signature economic plan -- a middle class tax cut for 95% of working families and capital gains tax cuts for small businesses -- to boost the capacity of the economy to grow from the bottom up.
In tone, the President-elect was calm and deliberate: flanked by a multi-generational, multi-ethnic group of economic advisers from the public and private sectors, Obama made clear that personnel and policy announcements will be made with haste and deliberation. He was candid about the severity of the recession, the tone of cooperation needed to work through differences within and across party lines, and the fact that most Americans are hurting and need relief.
In summary, while we still have just over 70 days until his inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama is already focused like a laser beam on the economy, already looking past campaigning to governing, already pushing allies and adversaries to come together to help American families, and already trying to restore confidence in the change we can bring about together, demonstrating that he will be effective from the start.
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