The New Biden Task Force to Oversee Economic Recovery
The latest announcement from the Obama transition is that Joe Biden will be leading a task to oversee Administration policies to rebuild the domestic economy and protect jobs. You can listen to George Stephanopoulis's broad-ranging, Sunday interview with Biden on This Week.
To me a high point of the interview was Biden's answer to the question, (I'm paraphrasing): Isn't the current deficit so large that Obama will not be able to carry out all his recovery plans? Biden's answer was a decisive negative. Obama's economic recovery package is THE priority of the incoming Administration, he said.
He emphasized that the bailout package that they are now envisaging will be in the range of $700 billion or higher and that this amount is made necessary by the rapidly escalating loss of jobs in the economy. And he said, without this plan there is no way of lowering the existing $ trillion deficit. Funds must go to a real economic stimulus in order to generate the income to pay back the deficit.
The task force will not only include members of the cabinet and White House appointees who already have a brief dealing with the economy, but Biden said it would draw in representatives of labor and others from the community. He remarked that he was already discussing the need for a massive recovery program with House and Senate leaders from both parties, and that he has consulted economists ranging from extreme conservatives to their progressive counterparts and he hasn't found any disagreement about the enormity of the crisis.
The Transition Team release is a good statement on the policy objectives of the new task force created by Pres.-elect Obama.
Washington, DC – Today, the Obama Transition team announced the President-elect’s intention to form a ‘White House Task Force on Working Families,’ to be chaired by Vice President-elect Joe Biden, effective January 20, 2009. The Task Force will be a major initiative targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America. The task force will be comprised of top-level administration policy makers, and in addition to regular meetings, it will conduct outreach sessions with representatives of labor, business, and the advocacy communities.
It includes a great quote from Biden:
The Vice President-elect said: “Our charge is to look at existing and future policies across the board and use a yard stick to measure how they are impacting the working and middle-class families: Is the number of these families growing? Are they prospering? President-elect Obama and I know the economic health of working families has eroded, and we intend to turn that around.”
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Members of the White House Task Force on Working Families will include the Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Commerce, as well as the Directors of the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors.