Obama's stimulus package
Obama, in his weekly radio speech today, said his plan to create or preserve 2.5 million jobs will also include making public buildings more energy efficient, repairing schools and modernizing health care with electronic medical records.
“We won’t just throw money at the problem,” he said. “We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve -- by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.”
Obama spoke a day after a government report showed employers in the U.S. slashed 533,000 jobs last month, the biggest decline in 34 years. The losses are “another painful reminder of the serious economic challenge our country is facing,” Obama said.
“When Congress reconvenes in January, I look forward to working with them to pass a plan immediately,” he said. Obama takes office as the 44th president on Jan. 20.
To the states that will be the conduits for the funding, he had a simple message: “use it or lose it.”
“If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money,” he said.
In addition to investing in infrastructure, requiring energy standards on public buildings and updating health-care practices, Obama said that he will start a “sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings” and will boost broadband access across America.
Obama’s plan to make public buildings more energy efficient should reduce the government’s energy bill, which he called the highest in the world. He plans to replace heating systems and install energy-efficient light bulbs.
Obama also plans to upgrade Internet infrastructure, calling it “unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption.”
Upgrading health care is the final component of the plan. By introducing new technology and electronic medical records, he said health-care workers could “prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.”
Something for the techies...
I do think, though, that we need to think of a program like this as a baseline -- something any sane policy maker would do. Progressive? Not necessarily. Single payer, now, that would be progressive.