Saturday, January 31, 2009

Larry Summers' Impact on Economic Policy

Time magazine has a profile of Larry Summers this week...or Dr. Summers as he is called by folks in the Obama administration. His role in this White House as special economic adviser to the President is on par with senior intelligence advisers. A quote in this article is that having a debate with Doctor Summers is like "getting run over by a tank with a Lotus engine, and finding the experience educational."
Summers' immediate task is to convince skeptical Senators that shelling out nearly $1 trillion over two years isn't another exercise in traditional pork-barrel spending but a vital step needed to save jobs and invest in the future. Some Republicans call the current plan wasteful; free-spending Democrats long for more investments over years, not months. Summers argues that the stimulus bill splits the difference: not only will most of the money go to reviving the economy in the next 18 months, but much of it will also go to projects that could save money over the long term, such as weatherizing 75% of federal buildings and computerizing medical records. "The bill does a good job of marrying the twin imperatives of putting people back to work and doing the work that needs to be done," he says. "No $825 billion bill is going to not have some projects that any individual disagrees with."
Here is Larry Summers in his own words. The topic is unemployment and labor unions.

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