US president-elect Barack Obama has put forward a “stimulus” package for the US economy that makes chancellor Alistair Darling’s pre-budget proposals taste like weak milky tea.
Obama is planning some $500 billion in public spending and tax cuts over the next two years, and promising to save 2.5 million jobs.
But he intends to finance this spree by making “meaningful cuts and sacrifices” in the US budget. And the economics team he has announced draws together some of the worst elements of previous administrations.
It includes figures such as Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, who both served in Bill Clinton’s government. That comes on top of a rumoured job offer to Hillary Clinton – and rumours that George Bush’s defence secretary Robert Gates will be asked to stay on.
These appointments show that Obama is bent on making his peace with the upper echelons of the US political establishment in both the Democratic and Republican parties.
It will be up to the US people to harness the enthusiasm that brought Obama to power to break that peace and fight for their livelihoods as the recession grips ever tighter next year.