by Matt Saldaña
3:32 p.m. Borosage says that the Campaign for America's Future's proposal is "just the beginning" of a "broad restructuring of the economy." He says that the "thrust" of the proposal is "parallel" to Obama's economic recovery plan: retro-fitting public buildings, building and repairing schools, holding governors accountible for spending infrastructure money, and undertaking a green public works program larger than any other infrastructure-building program since Eisenhower initiatiated the interstate highway system.
3:18 p.m. Galbraith says we must enact changes that are "non-controversial" first. More fundamental changes that encounter environmental and planning objections, must be taken more slowly. Gerard says we must always think about creating new jobs, modernizing infrastructure, and greening economy (e.g. retro-fitting schools).
3:10 p.m. Galbraith says practice of bilateral agreements has been "deeply politicized." He says bilateral agreements "masquerade as free trade agreements," but are instead an avenue for lobbying, and providing political favors to constituencies.
3:05 p.m. Galbraith says a strong middle class, rebuilt infrastructure, and "a more sustainable pattern of energy production and consumption" are essential moving forward. Borosage and Gerard point to regulating the financial sector, and re-thinking America's foreign trade policy.
2:59 p.m. Robert Borosage, co-director of Campaign for America's Future, says "this debate's changing very rapidly," and expects Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans to fall behind a massive-scale bailout by the time Obama takes office.
2:55 p.m. The Campaign for America's Future is proposing a two-year, $900 billion economic recovery plan, which they describe as a "floor," not a ceiling. When asked for the ceiling, Galbraith says that he would "go for as high a number as you can get" because this recession is unlike any previous recession since the Great Depression. He describes post-Depression recessions as "shocks to a healthy system;" by contrast, he argues we are now experiencing a "fundamental collapse" of a "system of trust." An unprecedented recession calls for unprecedented solutions, he says.
2:50 p.m. Leo Gerard, international president of United Steelworkers, says there must be a "massive investment in green infrastructure," and is pleased that Obama mentioned a similar priority in television interviews over the weekend.
2:42 p.m. James Galbraith, economist and University of Texas professor, says that “the diagnosis of the problem" as merely a credit crisis "was fundamentally incomplete and misdirected," describing the financial sector's collapse as "poisoning the well" that drives the rest of the economy.
Galbraith says that a "substantial, sustained, strategic plan" must begin with providing revenue to local and state governments, which can begin on the first day President-elect Barack Obama takes office.
He also mentions funding capital improvement plans, and extending additional income to the elderly.