James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Obama’s jobs plan

December 8, 2009

A few cents from IHS Global:

The President’s speech was short in terms of the details. He did not specify how much of the remaining resources from TARP should be dedicated to deficit reduction versus additional stimulus spending. Nor did he specify any targets for spending under the four areas that were highlighted in his speech. Effectively the President has kicked the ball into Congress’s court in order to work out the details.

The problem right now is that Congress is overwhelmed with a range of high priority legislative measures ranging from health care reform to financial regulation. How soon Congress will be able to consider new stimulus measures is really hard to say, but we would not expect a bill to be proposed until January or February of the New Year.

The bottom-line is that these measures to stimulate small business in particular are critical in order to have any hope at all of getting the job market turned around in 2010.

Congress has a short window here in order to accomplish this, but if the bill is delayed beyond the January/February window then there is little chance of this happening.

Me: I think the timing issue is critical, both from a political and economic standpoint. Timing is running out given the difficulties of passing much in an contentious election year

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