January 10, 2009

Obama plans to visit Canada, create 3.5M jobs in USA

POLITICS - President Barack Obama will make his first official state visit to Canada, but that is not all that is on the new president's agenda.

Transition aides say today Obama picked the United States' northern neighbour as his first venture outside the country as president but they could not discuss the date for the trip or its agenda. U.S. presidents typically pick Canada as their first international trip, although soon-to-be-former-President George W. Bush deviated from the trend and made Mexico his first visit after he took office in 2001.

Obama says he wants to address the economic situation in the United States first, before visiting Canada to discuss economic cooperation.

Today President-elect Barack Obama's staff released an analysis by his advisers that estimates his tax cuts and public works projects would create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years and kickstart the economy back into a period of growth.

The report came out one day after news that the unemployment rate in the USA had jumped to 7.2 per cent, the highest in 16 years. The USA lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008, the largest drop since the Second World War.

If Congress fails to enact Obama's recovery plan, economists estimate that an additional 3 million to 4 million American jobs will disappear during the current recession. Over the long term the USA will recover, but the recovery plan would make it faster and help the millions of American families who are suffering during the current recession.

Ask yourself which would you prefer: Economic recovery or a welfare state with a high crime rate?

1 comment:

  1. The job-creation numbers are impressive, but I hope the other details of the plan don't get lost in the headlines. I think we need the stimulus plan, and it needs to be very large, but Congress needs to make sure that it continues providing benefits in the long term, not just a shot in the arm for the short term.

    The infrastructure spending will help keep the economy growing in the long term, but it would also be helpful if Congress could find a way to encourage businesses to invest in infrastructure as well. Possibly they could do this by making sure there are fewer unnecessary regulations that dissuade businesses from making those investments. There seem to be many businesses that have money to invest, but not as many that are actively investing in any forward-thinking enterprise. Hopefully Congress can find ways to get that money flowing.

    The tax cuts on businesses would certainly be helpful, especially on small businesses or businesses in sectors where there is potential for significant job creation. We need the businesses like that to be able to resume their traditional role as the engine of our economy. The government can certainly assist the process getting started, but businesses will actually provide the growth.

    I think the aid to the state governments is also needed, because the programs that the state governments support are needed for sustained growth. For instance, the state governments support schools and public workforce training programs. It is important to make sure both of those programs survive to make sure we are able to provide workers for whichever sectors of the economy are providing the jobs.

    I recently saw that the Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is working with Congress to make sure that they take these things into account when they are designing the stimulus package. They have a petition that I encourage everyone to sign to make sure Congress knows that we want the economy fixed - but we want it fixed for the long-term -


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