Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

You can watch Obama's transition people talk about it here, in the sort of kitchen table manner which doesn't actually give very many facts:

Interesting that the majority of voices belong to women in that video. I'm pleased with it, naturally, being of the girly persuasion myself (and thus belonging to the majority), but it immediately made me a bit worried lest the preponderance of female voices are intended to hide something in the contents of the plan. I'm probably too cynical?

Here are the contents: The plan appears to include green jobs, work on infrastructure: roads, bridges and construction, help to the states in covering Medicaid and public health insurance programs for poor children, help to health care industry in pushing promotion and better information technology, and help to schools so that they don't have to lay teachers off. There's also going to be a war on waste, with monitoring systems set to follow how the money is spent.

See how good I was at condensing the whole video?

Note that the video doesn't tell us how much money will go to each of those targets. I should probably do research on that, because the value of the plan for various Americans obviously depends on that division of the pot. For instance, it's good if schools don't have to lay off teachers. But are we going to give schools money to do more stuff than they are doing now, especially in underprivileged areas? What about after-school programs? Arts, music, exercise?

Still, I'm pleased to hear about these plans, because we do need something of this sort.
Added later: I got too guilty for not having the numbers so I looked up the details of the plan, available here as a pdf file. I'll have to think more about the gender distribution the report discusses.