Hey yall,

Got confirmation that I’ll be dialed in to the following conference call. There are no guarantees that I’ll get to ask a question, but please suggest some just in case. When presented with these opportunities I always like to try and represent the fam. Collectively, yall are WAY smarter than me.

**Press Conference Call**

Chief Economist for the Vice President Jared Bernstein to Brief Progressive Media and Bloggers on American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, February 11, at 4:00 p.m. ET Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist for the Vice President, will discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan on a press conference call with progressive media and bloggers.  Bernstein will discuss the impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan and answer questions.

WHO:              Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist for the Vice President
WHAT:            Press conference call
WHEN:            Wednesday, February 11, 2009
4:00 p.m. ET

I will post a followup blog as soon as I can, though it’s a crazy day. If you want faster reactions, check out my live updates via Twitter during the call. I’m at twitter.com/baratunde


Here are some good resources for comparing the House and Senate versions via cspan & propublica h/t k_michael for the tip

Update 2x:

Here are my notes. Rough cleaning. Hopefully you get the flow. Am in a mad rush… Oh, and I GOT TO ASK A QUESTION. Big up to Arlene Fenton who responded via Facebook to my call for questions

Jesse Lee intros call.

hopes this will be newly sustained tradition.
got good local bloggers on.
not a done deal till votes go through. a lot of next two years will be spend debating whether this is a good idea. we’re still debating whether new deal was a good idea

Jared Bernstein remarks

lost 600K jobs. worst in over three decades
but picture is more grim if include prior two months
US economy has lost 2M jobs in 3 months. a little less than one percent of total US employment

double digit markets like the places Obama visited are doing far worse.
“there were lots of middle class families having trouble even when economy was expanding” and they don’t have anything to fall back on now
urgency was not lost on many in congress

“this is a political process with many moving parts with lots of diffeent people… there’s no bill that comes out of this process  that everyone thinks is perfect”

this package will create or save 3-4M jobs over the next [few] years.

we need to continue and deepen energy and healthcare investments
[refers to what’s in the bill as down payments]

90 percent of jobs we create will be in private sector

Q & A

adam seigel. get energy smart now
Q: do you plan to recapture good things that were cut from house bill?
A: i have to be mindful i’m one of a team.
can’t say we’ll go back to the well tomorrow
some opponents of pieces that were in legislation were not saying we’re against school construction, fiscal state relief, healthcare etc. they were against putting them in stimulus pkg targeted at near term goals.
“my view is no windows are closed when it comes to these good ideas”

Matt Cooper TPM
Q: how much can this one piece do until we get other components [like the banking piece]?

A: All parts are needed for this to work. medical analogy. “The recovery act gets heart beating. The stabiization act cleans out carotid veins of an economy that’s been gouging on bad debt”

Baratunde Thurston, JackAndJillPolitics!!!

Q: you’ve promised a lot of transparency, and jesse mentioned that we’ll be debating in two years if this was the right thing to do. what are the quantitative and qualitative measures of success. What should we judge you on in two years?

A: the extent to which we track the progress of this legislation on the website @ recovery.gov. grade us there. this is something that comes from the very top. this is the president

quantitative metrics
unemployment rate in absence of this package is projected to get near double digits by late 2009, 2010
i think the pkg should help to reduce the rate a couple of points
instead of 9.5 to 10.5. we could be looking at 8.5… 7.5 by end of 2010 if the program is successful

caution that lots can happen between now and then and it’s impossible to predict the future so we have a wide range in our forecasts…

So you should see lower unemployment and…

more to the ground we should be looking for action that’s quite identifiable. whether talking about roads and bridges where you ive. there’s gonna be in a state like CA it’s got 12M workers who ought to benenfit

[he asked where i lived. i said NY state]

Making Work Pay tax cut should benefit 7M workers in NY State
about 1M in NY state should benefit from unemployment insurance

i lost the next question trying to type. was something technical about mortgages which bernstein wasn’t an expert on
Casey Gane-McCalla, InteractiveOne and Friend of JJP

Q: urban school systems are failing and laying off thousands. what measures in pkg prevent schools from further failing?

A: number of measures. funding for education and training. $100B
early childhood, headstart, school improvement, youth training, employment service training

Missed questioner name
Q: initial bill provided funding for family planning contraceptives. will admin put that in additional bill such as omnibus appropriation bill?

A: can’t speak to specific plans to restore cuts. there were folks who made the arg that you shouldn’t fund family planning. that’s a political judgment im not gonna speak to. the economic argument that this isn’t part of job-creating stimulus plan has a point.

Jonathan Singer MyDD

Q: lessons from japan being taken into account?
A: japan made mistake of forbearance
problems weren’t very different from our own.
they at first made an error which was not unlike the one we almost made in depression
hoover et all kicked back said let’s let market handle this
idea was there’s never role for pub sector in free mkt economy. intervention = bad.
that helped japan go into downturn that lasted almost decade

we are acting very deliberately not to make the forbearance kind of mistakes in judgment that japan made in their lost decade.

John Aravosis, AMERICABLOG

Q: income threshholds in package and other legislation. recent NY Daily News piece found that a $124K salary in NYC is equiv of $50K in houston.
at some point will the government take cost of living into account. $125k isn’t rich everywhere.how do you respond to cost of living concern?

A: The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t publish intra area price differences. there’s no BLS-bless price index that would account for cost of living differences by city

There’s a government employee Bettina Aten who’s been looking into this. I’m not saying the government will do this but it’s a great question.

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