President-elect Barack Obama announced over the weekend that his plan to stimulate the nation's lagging economy involves making big investments in infrastructure. CNBC asked the pros to weigh in on the president-elect's proposal.
“When we have lots of people on the consumer side and the business side reducing the amount of debt they want to use, trying to get more liquid (and) raising their savings rate, you need a sector in the economy that’s going to do some consuming and reduce its savings rate. It is no surprise that the government is playing that role. I think the fact that this is not just some checks in the mail, as the last stimulus package was, is good news. There’s some investment part of this, and I think that’s money better spent.”
Bob Doll, BlackRock Vice Chairman & Global Equities
“We need to make sure the economy’s stable, and then we need to put in place a proper stimulus and recovery package. So rather than focus on specific industries, unless they have a really central importance to the economy, we need to be stimulating the economy. So that means the plan…Barack Obama’s been talking about, in terms of helping those most in need, infrastructure projects and aid to states, that’s the way to get the economy back on track, rather than allowing each new industry to come and ask for a bailout.”
William Straw, Center for American Progress Associate Director for Economic Growth
“A stimulus package is obviously needed. The stimulus package of last spring, of $160 billion, obviously didn’t solve the problem, and in some ways was counter-productive, because it mislead some people and led us in the wrong direction. It really just delayed looking at what the economic reality was…The government construction, which is what he’s really talking about, in terms of a capital expenditure, may be coupled with changes in…fiscal policy, specifically to make the private sector as hospitable as possible to economic development and activity - maybe tax cuts.
Charles Campbell, Miller Tabak
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