Thursday, January 22, 2009

The desperately needed leadership

It was 20th January 2009 when Barack Obama was inaugurated as America 44th President. Wearing a navy suit and red tie, Obama repeated the oath of office, his hand on the same Bible used in President Abraham Lincoln's inauguration on 4th March 1861 as the 16th President. Abraham Lincoln entered office in a crisis when America is fighting a Civil war. He was regarded as one of the greatest US president, not only leading the country out of Crisis but drove Slavery out of America.

Barack Obama entered office also in a Crisis. The world are expecting change desperately. They need the leadership and the confidence to get out of this crisis. I watched the inauguration on Channel News Asia and felt very touched with his speech. He sort of became an idol to me.

Obama promised his people 3 million jobs saved or created within 2 years and outlined an agressive stimulus package worth US$825 Billion in his country. Do you know what package is it? His plan has six components. Let me share with you.

1) Double alternative energy production in three years
$32 billion for a "smart electricity grid."
$20 billion in renewable energy tax cuts.
$6 billion to weatherize homes.

2) Modernize federal infrastructure
$32 billion for transportation
$31 billion to modernize federal buildings.
$19 billion in water projects.
$10 billion mass transit projects.

3) Improve health care
$39 billion to subsidize health care insurance for the unemployed.
$90 billion to help states with Medicaid.
$20 billion to modernize health information technology systems.
$4 billion for preventative care;.
$1.5 billion for community health centers.

4) 21st century education
$41 billion to school districts.
$79 billion to states.
$21 billion for school modernization.
$16 billion to boost the Pell Grant.
$2 billion for Head Start.

5) Invest in science research and technology
$10 billion for science facilities
$6 billion to expand broadband.
$1 billion for the 2010 Census.

6) Relief for Families
* Cut taxes by $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families.Tax cuts would be retroactive to 2007, and rebates would be mailed in Q1 2009.
* Greater access to child tax credit for working poor and expand earned-income tax credit to families with three children. A $2,500 college tuition tax credit. Allows first-time homebuyers to keep $7,500.
* Keep extended unemployment benefits through 2009 and provide job training.
* Increase benefits to the poor by $25 billion.

Data Summarised from:
Well. Hope his presence shall inject confidence and the recession be over soon...

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