If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass
Boy, were those exit polls ever right – it’s the economy! The good news, so to speak, is that stimulating the economy is a shared priority of our nation’s leadership. I’ve pulled significant quotes from two related stories and provided links to the full text.
As president-elect, Barack Obama faces a tricky task as he begins dealing ever more directly with the economic meltdown, grappling with the worst financial crisis in seven decades but not yet wielding the power to do much about it…
Obama’s victory emboldened Democrats and helped them expand their House and Senate majorities. “The fact is that this president goes into office with more expectations than any president I can ever remember in my lifetime,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
But some liberal Democrats may expect him to deliver more than they’re likely to get. As Pelosi was quick to note, “The country must be governed from the middle,” and that will increase pressure on Obama to make compromises. (emphasis added)
He may have to scale back some of the long-term spending programs he advocates to pay for crash legislation to keep what already looks like a recession from turning into something much worse.
“The need has never been greater for the absolutely seamless transition of economic teams,” said William Galston, who was a White House domestic policy assistant in President Clinton’s first term. “We’re in a race against time to prevent a global financial meltdown, and I think everybody knows it.”
…Congress convenes for a lame-duck session on Nov. 17, and Obama is giving all indications that he’ll play a direct role rather than keeping his distance until he is sworn in.
The federal government is preparing to take tens of billions of dollars in ownership stakes in an array of companies outside the banking sector, dramatically widening the scope of the Treasury Department’s rescue effort beyond the $250 billion set aside for traditional financial firms, government and industry officials said…
The Treasury is also making progress on an initiative that would provide relief to homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Several proposals are on the table, including one crafted by Sheila C. Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., who wants to spend about $40 billion to modify the mortgages for as many as 3 million homeowners. But several government and industry sources close to the matter said Treasury officials view Bair’s plan as flawed and are seeking ways to revise it.
Designing these new programs is difficult because the Treasury will have to hand off the $700 billion rescue package, approved by Congress last month, to the new administration before officials have finished mapping out how to use the money…
Industry sources and a former senior Treasury official said the department deliberately slowed the decision-making process on new rescue programs two weeks ago to accommodate the interests of the incoming administration. The complexity of the issues and a tremendous volume of input and requests for money from all kinds of industries also have complicated matters.
“The last thing you want to do is start something and have the new guys unravel it in 60 days. It sends mixed messages to the markets,” the former Treasury official said. “So I think the thinking was, ‘Let’s kick the can down the road to make sure we are on the right track.’ “
It’s only natural for everyone to want to see the economy respond quickly – and wise to remember
If there is no struggle, there is no progress…