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In a move that is expected to ease speculation amid the continued roller coaster ride that is the economy, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will introduce his new economic leadership team today. a major step toward enacting an economic recovery plan that aims to save or create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.
The plan, announced over the weekend, will likely exceed the $175 billion Obama proposed during the campaign. It would include new money for infrastructure projects, new environmental technologies, modernizing schools, and tax cuts for low- and middle-income taxpayers. It won’t call for tax hikes for the wealthy, something Sen. John McCain warned voters about. Throughout his campaign, Obama had a keen emphasis on the economy. However, the scope of the recovery package is far more ambitious than Obama had spelled out during his presidential campaign, when he proposed $175 billion of spending and tax-cutting stimulus.
Obama aides on Sunday called on the new Congress to pass by the Jan. 20 inauguration legislation that meets Obama’s two-year goal of saving or creating 2.5 million jobs. Democratic congressional leaders said they would get to work when Congress convenes Jan. 6 with bigger Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.
Most likely heading Obama’s economic team will be Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary and Lawrence Summers as head of the National Economic Council. Obama also has reportedly settled on New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as his commerce secretary.
“I have already directed my economic team to come up with an Economic Recovery Plan that will mean 2.5 million more jobs by January of 2011 — a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face that I intend to sign soon after taking office,” Obama said during his weekly address. “We’ll be working out the details in the weeks ahead, but it will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jumpstart job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy.”
Obama may delay any tax increases to 2011, when current Bush administration tax cuts expire.
Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at BlackEnterprise.com