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President-elect Barack Obama turned from national security to domestic concerns on Tuesday, telling the country’s governors that his administration would not delay in pushing an economic recovery plan that would bring relief to the states, 41 of which are forecasting budget shortfalls this year or next.

Speaking at a conference of the National Governors Association in Philadelphia, Mr. Obama said his background in the Illinois state senate made him particularly sympathetic to the needs of state and local governments. And he declared himself open to good ideas that work, whether they come from Democrats or Republicans.

“We are not going to be hampered by ideology in trying to get this country back on track,” he told the governors, many of whom he met for the first time at the conference. “We want to figure out what works.” Vice President-elect Joseph Biden Jr. also attended the meeting.

Aides to Mr. Obama have suggested that a recovery plan, which the president-elect hopes to be able to sign not long after taking office on Jan. 20, might carry a price tag of as much as $700 billion.

But even as the president-elect spoke on Tuesday, the dimensions of the challenges facing him at home and abroad continued to grow more stark. The three American automakers were due to announce more weak results and detail their revamped requests for federal aid during the day, while overseas, the terror attack in Mumbai, renewed violence in Iraq and difficult conditions in Afghanistan further darkened the picture.

In dealing with the worsening climate that faces state governments, many of them now obliged to balance their budgets by cutting jobs and programs, Mr. Obama asked the governors not just for their support but for their input in drafting a national recovery plan.

“To solve this crisis and to ease the burden on our states, we need action, and action swiftly,” he said. “That means passing an economic recovery plan to help both Wall Street and Main Street, and this administration does not intend to delay in getting you the help that you need.”

The importance of the federal help Mr. Obama offered was underscored on Monday when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California declared a fiscal emergency in his state and urged lawmakers to “get off of their rigid ideologies” to close a $28 billion budget gap. He said the state could run out of cash within two months.

nyt-logoprinter

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At a Mac Kain rally Arnie says he wants to get some meat on Obama’s bones. He also offered to put some muscle on Obama’s ideas (cough). After the muscle jokes – he went on the Mac Kain talking points attack-of-the-week – which was that Obama or his plan to raise taxes on the top 5% was socialist – and although he had to put up tax in his State of Kalifornia – that was different – because when he was a young man he left his socialist leaning country Austria for the US Land of the Free (via Britain?) —
but what he might have said – forget about the fact that the US government now owns the banks, has ploughed $700bn to prop up Wall Street – but giving that little guy – the poor and middle class worker a measly tax break – is wrong and socialist. Those poor people should be made to stand up on their own two feet – no help from government with their lives – aahh.. and what about the help given to the banks and Wall Street and those tax cuts for Exxon Mobil and other corporations under the Mac Kain plan? 

In support of Mac Kain’s theories ( or was that Joe the Plumber’s theories) Arnie talked about his old country being somewhat socialist – so lets have a look at Arnie’s old country Austria and compare it to the US Land of the Free – to see how things turned out.

Conclusion: below (look out for per capita income)

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The Alt Country – Austria

Type:

    Federal parliamentary democracy.

Constitution:

    1920; revised 1929 (reinstated May 1, 1945).

Branches:

    Executive–federal president (chief of state), chancellor (head of government), cabinet. Legislative–bicameral Federal Assembly (Parliament). Judicial–Constitutional Court, Administrative Court, Supreme Court.

Political parties:

    Social Democratic Party, People’s Party, Freedom Party, Greens, Alliance–Future-Austria.

Suffrage:

    Universal over 16 (reduced from 18 in 2007).

Administrative subdivisions:

    Nine Bundeslander (federal states).

Defense (2007):

    0.8% of GDP.

Economy
GDP (2007):

    $373.6 billion.

Real GDP growth rate (2007):

    3.4%.

Per capita income (2007):

    $44,890.

Natural resources:

    Iron ore, crude oil, natural gas, timber, tungsten, magnesite, lignite, cement.

Agriculture (1.9% of 2007 GDP):

    Products–livestock, forest products, grains, sugarbeets, potatoes.

Industry (31.2% of 2007 GDP):

    Types–iron and steel, chemicals, capital equipment, consumer goods.

Services:

    66.9% of 2007 GDP.

Trade (2007):

    Exports–$156.4 billion: iron and steel products, timber, paper, textiles, electrotechnical machinery, chemical products, foodstuffs.

Imports–$155.9 billion:

    machinery, vehicles, chemicals, iron and steel, metal goods, fuels, raw materials, foodstuffs. Principal trade partners–European Union, Switzerland, U.S., and China.

Data: US State Dept

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The Neu Country – The U.S.A Land of Opportunity and a great Movie Industry 

GDP (purchasing power parity):

    $13.78 trillion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

    $13.84 trillion (2007 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:

    2% (2007 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):

    $45,800 (2007 est.)

GDP – composition by sector:

    agriculture: 1.2%
    industry: 19.8%
    services: 79% (2007 est.)

Labor force:

    153.1 million (includes unemployed) (2007 est.)

Labor force – by occupation:

    farming, forestry, and fishing 0.6%, manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts 22.6%, managerial, professional, and technical 35.5%, sales and office 24.8%, other services 16.5%

The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $46,000. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products.

US Data: CIA Factbook

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Conclusion: You are sooo much better off in the U.S. as the average person makes $910 more per year than they do in Austria – where things are really bad – because they have socialist policies. Those poor Austrians!

Compare this to the income / person in Mexico:  $12,400 (2007 est.)

Or per capita income of Canada: $38,600 (2007 est.)

What is Arnie talking about !!

It’s the politics of fear.

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