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Obama’s Economic Plan: What Do You Want to See?

President Obama will ddress the nation again tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time to talk further about the steps his administration is taking to bolster our uncertain economy. What would you want to ask him? What steps would you propose he include in his administration’s efforts to correct our economic situation?

We can’t know for sure whether tonight’s presidential address is a form of damage control in the wake of public outcry over the $165 million A.I.G. executive bonuses or simply a continuation of reassuring public appearances akin to FDR’s depression-era fireside chats. But one thing is growing increasingly clear: it is unlikely President Obama will be able to “fix” our economy in his first 100 days in office. After all, 63 days have already passed.

Despite spending trillions on bail-outs and economic stimuli, we are still losing jobs. Credit is still not flowing. For us young Americans, our futures are uncertain. Career paths we envisioned for ourselves a year ago now may seem unattainable. Our dreams of owning our first home or even our first car may be indefinitely on hold. For many, even the security of health insurance may not be available.

What Do You Think?

Let us know: What do you think President Obama should do to boost our economy? What steps could the government take to brighten your future?

Published or updated on March 24, 2009

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


We invite readers to respond with questions or comments. Comments may be held for moderation and will be published according to our comment policy. Comments are the opinions of their authors; they do not represent the views or opinions of Money Under 30.

  1. CJ says:

    We recently were late on a payment where we replaced windows in our home. We were paying an interest rate of 12.5% and now we are forced to pay 26.9% this is no better than subprime lending and yet the government will do nothing to control interest rates on Credit Card spending for major home improvements for the working class.

  2. CJ says:

    Government needs to formulate loans for the working class individuals that will allow them to by pass CRA’ criteria with interest rates set at no higher than 5% with maximum loan to meet current debt, set over a 20-30 year period and allow consumers to regain strength, confidence and reinvest what they can in the economy allowing for greater purchasing power. Design a plan that would be backed by the Federal Government no MIP insurance requirments, and straightline simple interest on mortgages so homebuyers could afford to purchase homes in light of runaway tax in large cities where often tax is equal or greater than mortgage and interest.

  3. Nick says:

    Big government got us into this mess and somehow BIGGER government is supposed to get us out. Somehow I don’t have much confidence in Obama’s plan right now…

  4. Matt says:

    I just want to clarify my previous remark. I honestly think that tax cuts and not bailouts are the best course of action. Why? Because a tax cut would apply to all tax paying citizens. If all taxpayers have a slightly higher paycheck, I think they would be a little more confident about their financial situation and perhaps be more likely to spend. If they just save the money or pay off debt, that would be a way to help recapitalize the banks, rather than just give them bailout money. Either way you would get some stability. In all likelihood you’d see a little bit of both spending and saving going on. Furthermore, a cut in corporate tax rates could help lower costs to the consumers and free up corporate capital to higher new workers. If they are low enough, they may even attract companies from overseas who could then export goods to foreign countries, thus bringing in more wealth to the US.

    Spending would only assist certain key industries such as the concrete industry that would work on “much needed” infrastructure projects. Sure their profits would help the rest of the economy somewhat, but the bulk of it would remain concentrated in these industries. Furthermore, if any new programs such nationalized healthcare are started, they will cost this country a lot up front and even more in the future. The massive debt accumulated would be something that our generation will have to pay off. Right now each American owes about $36K, not including interest. If you don’t think spending needs to be cut drastically, you need to get your head out of the sand.

    I do agree that appropriate legislation would be need to regulate industries from unsafe business practices.

  5. Layneh says:

    ““small government” is kind of ten years ago.”

    Wow, thats at a middle school intelligence level… explains your point of view too.

    With that argument, the bailout themselves are worthless (which I agree that they are, and capitalism should run its course), but look back at the great depression. Do you know why its called that? Because every country coming out of the war was going through a depression, what made America’s “great” was FDR’s “new deal”.

    His “bail out” actually worsened the situation because it creates a bubble in the financial system, much like the current president is doing. The bubble causes inflation, which will make the dollar decrease in value. -Thats why China no longer wants out debt-

    If you have not read anything by Peter Schiff, you and everyone else, ought to. This is something that he saw coming years before it hit… and I dont mean he got up and said, “hey things are bad”; he named names, and you know what.. He was and still is correct.

    Matt and Amy have it right.

  6. Henry says:

    “The best think he could do is make it as short as possible by massively scaling back government spending and making the government much smaller.” That’s a very strange fantasy – that somehow leaving this alone will let it fix itself, instead of, you know, ending up in total disaster. Like it or not, some intervention is necessary and holding onto the old tropes of “small government” is kind of ten years ago.

  7. Amy says:

    I think he needs to step back, stop bailing stuff out, and let the recession run its course. With every bailout he’s just creating a new bubble that will eventually burst and leave us in an even worse position in the future. There isn’t anything he can do to stop the recession. The best think he could do is make it as short as possible by massively scaling back government spending and making the government much smaller.

  8. Matt says:

    Tax cuts. Tax Cuts and more Tax cuts. Followed by spending cuts of about 30% of the total budget.

    He can start by cutting aid to those in foreclosure.

  9. DanK says:

    He certainly hit on the big ones tonight: healthcare, energy, education. But I just don’t see how those long-term goals are going to reverse the economic situation we’re in now. People spent too much money they didn’t have. Banks got greedy. People stopped paying, the banks went broke, and now those people are broke. We have to start from scratch, and I honestly don’t think any amount of government tinkering is going to help that go any faster.

  10. Emily says:

    I think one of his priorities has to be ensuring adequate student loan availability. I have several classmates that had to drop out of college because their lenders froze future student loans.

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