I’ll keep you updated tonight as Obama tries to sell his massive stimulus to the American people.
UPDATE 8:37PM: Obama says his measure of success for his plan is if it saves or creates 4 million jobs. I have a feeling it’s going to fail them. Let’s make sure we hold him to that benchmark.
UPDATE 8:31PM: Obama says that he would “love to not spend money right now.” Then why not craft a plan that spends less money with the same amount of effectiveness? But he’s pushed aside the Republicans plan that did just that, saying it only gave tax cuts to the wealth and corporations.
UPDATE 8:29PM: Obama says the reason we got into this mess was because banks took high risks with lenders. Yeah, because they were forced to by the government, through the Community Reinvestment Act; and by ACORN, where Obama helped train workers twice.
UPDATE 8:27PM: Obama asks, why wouldn’t we want to computerize health care records? Well, it goes back to the money issue (ya know because we don’t have any), but also because health care providers and hospitals are already moving to computerized records, without the government forcing them to or handing them a check to do it. The computerized records are happening on their own, without the government.
UPDATE 8:23PM: Obama is saying that he’s open to listening to Republicans who want to tweak tax cuts, yet none of the “tax cuts” in the stimulus are actual rate cuts.
He also says that the people who decry this as “wasteful government spending” can’t really call it that because Bush drove us into a deficit. Does that make sense to anyone? Obama says he inherited the economic mess and the deficit, yeah that’s true, but I want to know what he’s going to do to fix it.
Obama asks why making government buildings more energy efficient is a waste of money. He says we’re creating jobs immediately. That’s true, but they are permanent jobs. Once those buildings are energy efficient those people are out of jobs. He says “why is that a waste of money?” It may not be, but I think the main reason is because we don’t have any money to spend. Any deficit spending is wasteful spending.
UPDATE 8:22PM: Obama says he’s been “consistently civil” in regards to republicans and bipartisanship. Uhh, anyone remember the “I won” quote?
UPDATE 8:20PM: Obama is asked about the difficulty of bipartisanship. He says he believes the American people understand that it will take time to breakdown “bad habits.” I would have more sympathy is Obama didn’t setup the belief that it would change overnight.
UPDATE 8:18PM: Obama is flopping like a fish on Iran, I’m not really sure what the heck he’s talking about right now. He says we need to talk tough and act tough with them, yet he says we need to use diplomacy and there’s a possibly of a “relationship of mutual respect.”
UPDATE 8:16PM: Reuters sucks! Journalist there switches the topic to Iran. Uhhh, I’d like to hear more about the economy. Iran can wait a few minutes. Although I do think that ultimately Iran will be the biggest issue for Obama during his first term.
UPDATE 8:15PM: Obama has been answering this question from the AP for six minutes now. He’s grandstanding. I honestly think he’s in a groove and is afraid of taking more questions.
UPDATE 8:12PM: Obama says that “most economists, almost unanimously” think that the government needs to intervene into the economy. I guess it depends on your definition of intervening. If tax cuts are intervening than yes, but I don’t see it that way. I don’t think the argument is between intervening or not, it’s between spending money and cutting taxes.
Obama says that the $800 billion wasn’t a number he “plucked out of a hat.” He says that he talked to economists to get the number. Sorry, I don’t buy that. The cost of the TARP bill, $700 billion, was picked out of thin air, and I think this stimulus number was as well.
UPDATE 8:10PM: Obama brings up the example of Japan. Not a very good example for him to bring up. He mentions the “lost decade” in which Japan saw no economic growth. That’s true, but Obama fails to mention that Japan passed 10 stimulus plans during that time.
UPDATE 8:06PM: Obama says the plan that passes Congress needs to be “big enough and bold enough.” What exactly is “big enough and bold enough?”
Obama says the stimulus does not include a single “pet project” or “earmark.” I guess he forgot the lead hazard reduction and $600 million for an energy efficient federal motor vehicle fleet. How exactly does that stimulate the economy? Continuing by saying that the plan is “not perfect” and saying he can’t promise everything in the plan will work. Obama says he inherited a deficit of $1 trillion, so his plan is to spend another trillion.
UPDATE: 8:04PM: Obama says “only government” can break this “vicious cycle.” He says that government is the only entity left that has the resources to get us out of this mess. Unfortunately that’s not true. The government is $1.2 trillion in the hole. The government doesn’t have money to spend, each dollar they spend from here on out continues to devalue our currency, setting us up for failure in years to come.
Obama continues by saying that tax cuts alone cannot get us out of this mess, especially tax cuts for the wealthy. Obama, like many liberals, apparently didn’t read the GOP’s alternative plan which cut the income tax rate by 5% for everyone, and increase the child tax credit as well as many other tax credits that effects middle class families.
UPDATE 8:03PM: Obama begins his press conference stating that we have lost 500,000+ jobs last month. While that’s true, it happened during massive spending policies. Let’s try something different.