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The Economic Policy Consensus Emerges...

  1. The current financial crisis means that the Obama-Biden administration should do more, not less.
  2. Reform as the first priority.
  3. Investing in America as the second priority.
  4. Medium-term deficit reduction as priority number three.

Ed Luce of the FT:

Obama set to push ‘big bang’ reform package: US President-elect Barack Obama intends to push a comprehensive programme of social and economic reform beyond an immediate emergency stimulus package, Rahm Emanuel... indicated on Sunday. Mr Emanuel brushed aside concerns that an Obama administration would risk taking on too much when it takes office in January. He said Mr Obama saw the financial meltdown as an historic opportunity to deliver the large-scale investments that Democrats had promised for years.... Mr Obama will meet Mr Bush on Monday and is likely to seek the outgoing president’s reassurance that he would not veto any stimulus package that could be passed as soon as next week when Congress meets for a “lame duck” session.

Sunday’s comments also reinforce the impression that Mr Obama’s transition economic advisory board – which includes leading lights of the Clinton era, such as Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin – is tilting heavily towards a “big bang” approach that would combine a short-term stimulus with large public investments.... “We can’t afford to wait on moving forward on the key priorities that I identified during the campaign, including clean energy, healthcare, education and tax relief for middle-class families,” said Mr Obama. “We also need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear.”...

In contrast to 1992, when Mr Clinton postponed longer-term investments in favour of urgent budget deficit reduction, advisers to Mr Obama, including Mr Summers, who is tipped by some as his first Treasury secretary, are tilting towards investments. They emphasise that Mr Obama will stick to a medium-term goal of restoring fiscal discipline.

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