In unprecedented time, President Obama got passed the largest reinvestment and recovery bill in US history. A bill so large that the numbers are staggering.
To put everything in perspective, no one knows if this thing is going to work.
With that as the context of the week ahead, this week has the potential to be an even bigger week because while we ran up a huge bill of goods last week, this week we are getting the bill for years and years of largess and poor accounting, for false budgets and failed policy. This week President Obama is going to lay out how he is going to cut the deficit in half in four years and also set forth a budget for the next few years that will account for the wars, disasters and everything that we pay for as taxpayers.
To say that this is going to be a huge eye opening experience is an understatement.
Things that we need to be looking for this week are:
What is the exact plan to cut the deficit in four years? The reports that say ending the war in Iraq and allowing the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% are going to help close that gap a lot, are a good start, but I am pretty certain that it isn't going to be enough to cut such a large amount in half.
What will the reaction of Congressional Republicans be like at the State of the Union? While I don't know how relevant most members of the GOP are right now, it is still interesting to see how they will react to President Obama during his State of the Union address.
What tone will the President set this week? We know without a doubt that he is going to hammer the American people with the real facts about how dire our economic reality is right now. But, like Bill Clinton said in a recent interview, President Obama can't just be a downer all the time, part of being the President is you have to be Cheerleader in Chief too. So how will President Obama walk that line this week?
Finally, how will the American people react? I went shopping yesterday, nothing big really, looked for a new pair of running shoes, a new Mets hat and maybe a book, but I hadn't been out shopping in a while...I mean shopping in the way that I am looking at things that aren't the bare essentials, and I didn't seem to be the only person out doing such a thing....in fact, it was almost crazy how many people were out yesterday. I'm hoping that this was a reaction to the signing of the stimulus bill, which, if nothing else, was a sign of hope that things will start getting better in the coming months. And, if we react in a way that things are tough, but they can get better, I think we will be alright.
Of course, we could hunker down even more after hearing President Obama's news this week....
I'm not sure which though.