"Step Right Up to the Economic Package Roller Coaster!"
Sorry I missed your call President Obama. I tried to email you back,but the system was supposedly down. Anyway, I'll be brief as I know you are busy:
I was wondering if you like roller coaster rides, because the next six months we're all going on the granddaddy of all ( economic recovery) rides; these are not the Disney Teacup ride-sort-of-days ahead. Whether you like them or not, you get to be at the helm of the roller coaster. And as you are finding out, you do not really get to steer the ride or stop the ride just because "you won". Your role is to help us get onto the ride and somehow make sure we enjoy this adventure.
I do not particularly like roller coaster rides, but being an empty nester Mom, I have ridden more than my fair share of roller coasters and would like to offer you the following suggestions for making this new economic coaster trip the most fun and riveting experience you can make it:
Put on your Safety Belt:
Being safe doesn't sound all that fun but without it the ride will be a disaster. Here are a few safety features I would implore:
Have everyone wear the safety belt the exact same way;
Use plans that have a proven record of success; not ones that failed in other countries, such as Japan;
Once your plan is in place, spend a good deal of time and money on maintaining the plan. The details can be a real buzz kill later on in your political career.
Keep Your Eyes Open:
Some of your most trusted advisers may suggest items for this ride that are not in any one's best interest. Some, like Nancy Pelosi, will want to "pad the seats" with unnecessary items. When deciding which padding stays and which padding goes, always ask yourself the question, "is this padding making the ride smoother and more comfortable for all the people sitting on this ride?" My experience has been most of the best rides are not well padded, but they are technically-advanced and secure, so pad in the R&D and innovation areas such as tax incentives on capital investments by businesses and avoid ones which make the ride all cushy and easy for some of your riders. It's a proven fact that when riding a roller coaster with your eyes always wide open, you will feel less turbulence and thus not feel sick at your stomach.
Make Sure Every Seat on the Ride is an Enjoyable One for the Public, Whether They are in the Front, Middle or are Sitting in the last row.
Currently, the plan you seem to be leaning towards spends entirely too much attention on the middle (class) and the back seats (lower class). The engineering of the best roller coaster spreads the "weight" evenly to insure a smooth track and one that won't pop right off the tracks! Remember, it doesn't matter if your family income is $24,000/yr or $310,000/yr, if that salary is cut in half tomorrow and your expenses (rent, mortgage, etc) stay the same, your family is going to have a hard time making it.
Go For the Gusto; Make Sure the Ride Gives Us a Thrill:
Most people prefer the newest, fanciest and most technically-sound roller coasters. We get a little leery if the ride isn't sparkly-new with bright lights and loud music, so err on the high side of spending to make this the best ride ever. Go ahead, do just about everything that's been proposed on both "sides of the table" then, just weed out the unnecessary padding features (see above). For example, many economists have suggested temporarily lowering the capital gains tax for a year so we can compete with the rest of the world, right? Well, you should turn around and suggest keeping it at the lower rate for 5 years. And instead of 95% of the people getting $500 or $1000, why not just say everyone gets $2000. The best roller coaster designs are way-over-the-top and that's what makes then so successful.
The second part is a very important part: that is selling the thrill to us. You should like this part and you're good at it. For all of those people who "drank the Obama kool aid" during the election campaign, if you tell them to get on the ride and have a blast, they will for the sole reason that you told them to in your own words. To them, if you say it's safe and fun, they will believe. To the others who were sitting on the Obama fence or those of us who really disliked your approach to solving problems and your policies, you can still entice us to get on and maybe even enjoy this economic ride. Tell all of us that this is going to be one heck of a ride. Tell us the ride has all the whistles and bells, something for everyone. Make the program go as fast as possible. Be our cheerleader. After all Barry (I hope you don't mind me calling you that, now that I am one of your blogging consultants and I read recently that you were called Barry when you were younger, which is so cute) this economic roller coaster ride IS supposed to be stimulating, right?!