Summoning the spirit of optimism that has always defined us, determined to move in a new direction, Barack Obama has brought together an all-star team to jumpstart the economy, create 2.5 million jobs, lay the groundwork for long term economic growth with investments and a net tax cut for 95% of American workers, and stabilize our financial systems through transformation, transparency and trust.
Candidate Barack Obama was "fired up and ready to go" when it came to his inspiring message for the country, management of a continental campaign, money to communicate his vision to voters, and mobilization to get the people to the polls. Now, President-elect Barack Obama is fired up and ready to go when it comes to presenting his economic team (Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury, Lawrence Summers as Director of the National Economic Council, Christina Romer as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Melody Barnes as Director of the Domestic Policy Council) and principles for a recovery plan to the nation a full 57 days before his inauguration. While pledging to honor the Bush administration bailout commitments to date, Obama has announced his economic team and urged the incoming Congress to take up an aggressive economic recovery plan in early January "so we can hit the ground running."
As with all Obama nominees, his economic teamdisplays the hallmarks of success: transformation, transparency and trust.
Team Obama reflects the president-elect's commitment to bringing people together from various backgrounds united for transformation. Obama chose people whose coalition skills and independent analyses are suited to seizing this moment of consensus among economists from across the political spectrum that we need an immediate stimulus to jolt the economy back into shape. Obama looked for both sound judgment and fresh thinking, a combined depth of experience and bold new ideas, and the unifying belief that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street - that we rise and fall as one nation. Addressing the mortgage meltdown specifically, he said his team will look at home foreclosures, "in a systematic way not only because its good for working families but because its good for the stability of our financial systems." And, Team Obama will act in accordance with his campaign pledge to restore fairness to the tax code, sacrifice to our spending, and reform to our budget.
Most presidential transitions occur in semi-secret, with few plans laid out before the Inaugural address. Not this time. Instead, we have a public announcement of the President-elect's economic transition team two months before his Inauguration. The very fact that we can have a web conversation about the people and the principles demonstrates where we are technologically as a country, and who Obama is as a President-elect. We will see more of this as Team Obama comes back from consultations with businesses, Congress, and regulators on a proposal to implement the net tax cut for 95% of American workers and the down payment investments in education, health care, and a clean energy economy. President-elect Obama was honest and transparent when it came to the pay-fors: we will need sacrifice in our spending and reform in how business is done in Washington and how the budgeting process works; and, those Americans who benefited disproportionately from the Bush high-end tax cuts can afford to pay a little bit more. While there will always be adjustments, Obama pledged to articulate the end goals - bringing "clarity and transparency to our plan."
This team inspires trust due to their credentials, experience, and unity around President-elect Obama's core economic philosophy - that America is built on a strong, vibrant, thriving middle class. Having studied every crisis from the great depression to today's credit crunch, they get the urgency of helping our families who cannot afford another month of bills piling up, dreams deferred, and savings depleted. Because world markets are interdependent and our investments will require some foreign funding, Obama chose a team with international experience and relationships to restore confidence at home and abroad.
While we still have only one president at a time, the fact that our President-elect is coming forth with detailed personnel and policy proposals 57 days before taking office is a sure sign that Barack Obama intends to seize the moment and move with 'deliberate haste" toward a solution. This is the change American needs and elected Barack Obama and Joe Biden to deliver.