Obama: Costly Stimulus Needed



CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama promised on Monday to jolt the faltering U.S. economy with a costly stimulus package next year and introduced the team that will help him navigate the global financial crisis.

Obama, who warned again that the economy would likely get worse before it got better, declined to put a price tag on the two-year stimulus proposal which other Democrats have estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars.

The scope of the economic crisis has widened in the 20 days since Obama's White House win. Auto companies warned they were short on cash, unemployment numbers rose and the government injected $20 billion into Citigroup.

"These extraordinary stresses on our financial system require extraordinary policy responses," Obama said, adding his administration would honor public commitments made President George W. Bush's team to address this crisis.

Separately, the president-elect indicated he had not decided whether to roll Bush's 2001 tax cuts for the wealthy early or allow them to expire at the end of 2010 as scheduled.

Obama said his team was already working on the details of a package to save or create 2.5 million jobs and urged the next Congress to act on it immediately in early January.

"We have to make sure that the stimulus is significant enough that it really gives a jolt to the economy," he said, describing its price only as costly.

"I want to see it enacted right away. It is going to be of a size and scope that is necessary to get this economy back on track."

Obama had harsh words for the struggling U.S. auto industry, acknowledging he did not want the sector to fail but criticizing company executives for failing to present a clear recovery plan when they testified before Congress last week.

Obama, who takes over from Bush on January 20, confirmed his economic team at the news conference.

Timothy Geithner, 47, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, will become Treasury secretary, and Lawrence Summers, 53, a former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, will be director of the National Economic Council.

They did not speak at the event, which Vice President-elect Joe Biden also attended.

U.S. stocks rallied late on Friday after news leaks about Geithner's appointment.

Stocks pared gains during Obama's remarks on disappointment over his refusal to specify a figure but then rallied strongly on the back of Washington's move to support Citigroup and on general happiness with Obama's new team.

"People are confident in what (Geithner) can do, he's more market friendly, or he's perceived that way," said Neil Massa, senior trader at MFC Global Investment Management in Boston. "That's helping the overall tone of the market."


DEFICITS, SACRIFICE, AUTOMAKERS

Obama said the country would see a substantial budget deficit next year, which he described as "bigger than we've seen in a very long time."

"American taxpayers are understandably concerned, if we already have a big deficit, and now we're added an additional stimulus, how are we going to pay for all that?" he said.

"The right answer is that we have to first focus on getting the economy back on track."

Obama said he would discuss steps toward a "sustainable and responsible budget scenario" at a news conference on Tuesday at which he is expected to announce further members of his economic team.

"We'll have to scour our federal budget, line by line, and make meaningful cuts and sacrifices, as well, something I'll be discussing further tomorrow," he said.

Obama supports a bailout for Detroit automakers but said he was disappointed that the chief executives for General Motors Inc., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler LLC did not present a concrete plan in their testimony before Congress.

"I think Congress did the right thing, which is to say, 'You guys need to come up with a plan and come back before you are going to get any taxpayer money,'" he said.

Obama has kept a low public profile since his November 4 victory over Republican John McCain, remaining in Chicago to pick his Cabinet but not formally announcing any of his choices. Geithner was the first official Cabinet announcement.

Obama also named University of California, Berkeley, economics professor Christina Romer to head his Council of Economic Advisors and Melody Barnes to head his Domestic Policy Council. Barnes, a former chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was a policy advisor to Obama's presidential campaign.

Summers is also a possible successor to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in January 2010.

In Washington, Bush said the government stood ready to help the banking system as it did with Sunday's Citigroup deal.

Bush, speaking after a meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, said he had also spoken with Obama about the Citigroup rescue and promised to inform the incoming president and his economic team of any future major decisions.

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Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

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Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:


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