There's no mistaking the snap of electricity in the air as the Obama-Biden team slips into high gear to ensure one of the quickest--and, I think we all hope, smoothest--transitions of power in the last 40 years if not all of U.S. history.
I'd be remiss not to pause here and salute President Bush for echoing the incredibly gracious concession speech by Senator McCain Tuesday night and demonstrating, too, that he understands just how awesome the power of the Presidency is by flat-out instructing his White House staff yesterday to do all in their power to ensure a swift and sure transfer of the keys to the executive branch to President-elect Obama and his incoming Cabinet.
“For the next 75 days, all of us must ensure that the next president and his team can hit the ground running,” the President said in an emotional speech to hundreds of employees of the executive branch, reported The New York Times. He urged staffers to “conduct yourselves with the decency and professionalism that you have shown throughout my time in office.”
But amid all the media coverage of the speculation about who will be tapped to fill key posts in the Obama Adminstration, not to mention the ghastly post-mortem being done on the spectacularly failed McCain-Palin bid, you may not have heard that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has read the election tea leaves to mean Americans want something more done on the economy now, if not sooner.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), right, at meeting with auto executives yesterday
Pelosi is calling for a two-part stimulus package , according to The Wall Street Journal. This effort would be aimed not at rescuing Wall Street but jump-starting the Main Street economy most of us live in day to day.
Her one-two punch would consist of a $60 to $100 billion stimulus package to be passed this month followed early next year by a measure that would include a "permanent" tax cut.
"'The economy needs something sooner' than next year, Rep. Pelosi said, adding that any measure enacted in a lame-duck session of Congress this month would be a down payment on additional stimulus enacted later," reported The Journal."'"Let's see if we can't do something, working together now, that gives us a two-month jump," she said. "We'll take the longer view as soon as we take over in January.'"
According to the newspaper report, Pelosi said a tax cut would have a more immediate impact on the economy. "The impact is faster than a rebate, which takes a few months to get into people's hands," she said.
Whatever the mechanism. it is obvious that with the economy now by anyone's measure in a severe recession anything that can be done to get money flowing-- and bear in mind consumers, not bankers, are the true lifeblood of this economy-- should be seriously considered by Congress... which just might wind up being the least Lame Duck Congress there ever was.