Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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Monday, January 19, 2009

The 'Obama Express' rolled into Washington this past weekend, bringing with it the next President of the United States. The festivities are in full swing at the Lincoln Memorial and the balls spread throughout the city of Washington D.C. As soon as Barack Obama is sworn in as President, a new bill will be waiting for him to sign on his desk in the oval office. It will be the $825 billion Economic Stimulus package which will be used for economic issues during the first 2 years of his presidency. It includes $550 billion in new spending and $275 billion in tax relief. There will be no pork-barrel projects attached to the bill, and the money will not be destined for anything else. At the present time, at least 2.6 million jobs have been lost and the bill is expected to create jobs, as Obama claims he can create 3 million jobs with the bill. So in a sense, it will create only jobs that have been lost, and will create only 400,000 more than prior to the economic recession. Well at least that is a start, but somehow jobs need to be created by other means.

According to the blueprint that is now known of the plan, businesses would get "bonus" depreciation for investing in new plants and equipment. Also, if companies show loses in 2009, they will get refunds for taxes paid as far back as 2003. At the moment, law only allows companies to recoup only 2 years back. Now they can recoup up to 3 times longer. But there are hitches for companies that plan to make use of bailout monies. They will not be eligible for the tax provision which would affect some of the biggest banks and auto makers, like General Motors and Chrysler.

Also included in the plan is Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit of $500 per worker and $1000 for couples. Unemployment is still expected to grow from 7.2% to 8.0% by the end of the year, but it should be noted that if there was no plan in place, it would likely reach double digits.

The following is a list of details that the House Democrats released regarding the use of monies from the package.

Lower Health Care Costs - $26.8 billion

Science and Technology
    1) Wireless/Broadband grants - $6.0 billion
    2) Other - $4.8 billion
    3) National Science Foundation - $3.0 billion
    4) Biomedical research - $2.0 billion
    5) Energy Department - $1.9 billion
    6) University research facilities - $1.5 billion

    1) Electricity grid - $11.0 billion
    2) Renewable energy loans - $8.0 billion
    3) Renewable energy block grants - $6.9 billion
    4) Federal Building efficiency - $6.7 billion
    5) Other - $6.6 Billion
    6) Home weatherization - $6.2 billion
    7) Renewable energy research/advanced batteries - $4.0 billion

    1) Kindergarten to 12th Grade - $26.6 Billion
    2) 21st Century classrooms - $21.0 billion
    3) Higher Education - $16.1 billion
    4) Early childhood - $4.7 billion

Transportation, infrastructure
    1) Highway infrastructure - $30 billion
    2) Clean water - $9.5 billion
    3) Transit - $9.0 billion
    4) Department of Defense - $8.3 billion
    5) Water resources - %5.6 billion
    6) Other - $4.6 billion
    7) Public lakes/parks - $3.1 billion
    8) Airport improvements - $3.0 billion
    9) Environmental cleanup - 2.3 billion
   10) Border crossings - $1.2 billion
   11) Intercity rail - $1.1 billion

Help workers hurt by the economy
    1) Unemployment benefits - $36.0 billion
    2) Cobra health-care for unemployed - $30.3 billion
    3) Alleviating hunger - $21.0 billion
    4) Housing crisis - $13.5 billion
    5) Others - $9.5 billion
    6) Medicaid for unemployed - $8.6 billion
    7) Job training, etc. - %5.1 billion

Public sector jobs and vital services
    1) Medicaid to states - $87.0 billion
    2) State fiscal relief - $79.0 billion
    3) Local school districts - $41.0 billion
    4) Other - $7.5 billion

All of the billions upon billions of dollars will be used to jump start the economy, and at least now you may have an idea where the money will be going. Note: In each group listed above, you will see one stated as 'other' and monies set aside for that group. The congress will not be able to just throw in projects that suit their needs just because the money will be there. In each case, the money will be specifically designated and approved by the President, with a public report stating the use of the money as it is spent. The main goal here is 'accountability', which is what President Obama will demand from the lawmakers in Congress.


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