A blog on politics & strategy - with apologies to Carl von Clausewitz
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Obama's legislative program: costs & priorities
Obama should LBJ things with big moves as fast as possible on his big campaign priorities. I also like the idea of him channelling Reagan in '81 and walking from the Capitol's steps after his inauguration but that may be a little much given the scale and complexity of the legislation at hand. Here's what his initial program might look like:
Education: the Obama education plan emphasizes funding for No Child Left Behind, an expansion of pre-school care and ensuring college tuition affordability for the middle class at an estimated cost of $18bn per year.
That adds up to roughly $354bn in new spending for FY2009 at a time when tax revenues will be down and debt reaches historic levels.
So, the key questions are: how many of these pieces can he afford in terms of both political capital and actual money? How fast can he move them legislatively? And what, if anything, gets cut back, cancelled or even expanded?