Speaking at the Brookings Institution, an important Washington think tank, Barack Obama called for a jolt of federal spending in the region of $150 billion+ to goose the economy into a more vigorous recovery and to help bring down unemployment that has broached the 10% line. This speech was the third time in a week Obama has focused on jobs in a high-visibility event. Why? The calendar is the key: the congressional midterm election takes place in November 2010 and candidates are already jockeying for position (and who is to blame) on an issue like the level of unemployment. Calling on classic Keynesian economic doctrine, Obama said that the country has to “spend our way out of this recession”, even as he stressed he was - really, truly, cross my heart - mindful of the need to deal with rising federal deficits. Action on such proposals are dependent on congressional approval under the US system. It was the third time in a week the president had presided over a high-profile event on jobs, responding to rising pleas in Congress that he spend more time discussing unemployment as midterm election season draws near. For details on this discussion and the stimulus package, read the AP
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