November 5th, 2008
11:00 AM GMT
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LONDON, England – It's been the most expensive presidential campaign in history, a grueling slug fest. But as difficult as the campaign has been, it's nothing compared to the challenges of dealing with the economy, the toughest economic challenges facing any president since the 1930s.

A deepening recession, consumer confidence at a record low, rising unemployment, the continued fallout in house prices, massive write-downs by financial institutions, the cost of a massive bail out, not to mention the looming huge health costs for retiring baby boomers. 

The reality is that a lot of priorities and promises such as health care reform are likely to be pushed to the back at least for now.

The number one priority for the Obama administration will be dealing with the deepening recession. A second government stimulus package will be pushed out quickly. It won't turn the economy around, but it will send the right signal.

But the challenges of spending their way out of recession are compounded by the huge deficit that the new administration will inherit.

The deficit for fiscal 2008 which ended in September was $455 billion or 3.2 percent of GDP. Analysts say it could be a trillion dollars for the current fiscal year or more than 7 percent of GDP.

But like so much else in this financial crisis, the immediate goal is getting the financial system and economy back on track; deficit reduction will have to wait.

Bill Clinton realized early in his administration he couldn't afford to fulfill some of his campaign promises and that fiscal restraint was more important.  It was an act of political courage, and when he left office, the Bush administration inherited a budget surplus.

George W. Bush pushed through tax cuts, Medicare prescription drug benefits and entered into a war on two fronts, and the cost has been enormous. During his administration the national debt has nearly doubled to more than ten trillion dollars. President Bush is leaving the new administration a country that is in a weakened position fiscally.

A lot of hopes are riding on Barack Obama. Not only will his leadership be tested in getting the country through its current economic crisis, but once times get better, it will be tested again in making fiscal discipline a priority.

His economic legacy, and the country's, is riding on both.

As always I welcome your thoughts.  Are expectations too high in terms of what the new president can accomplish?

Will it be possible to make good on campaign promises and still leave a fiscally responsible legacy?

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. d. griffith

    That depends on who will win.

    November 3, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  2. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    What d. griffith said.

    I think it's understood that the mind-blowing budget-deficit is going to expand enough to swallow the Moon, before it can be turned around. Unfortunately, the problems the new president will face are going to take longer than eight years, to fix. By the end of a second term, barring all the usual unforseeable factors, the hole should be close to full.

    That's assuming Barack Obama wins.

    If John McCain wins, all bets are off. Firstly, he is not strong on the economy, and the people he trusts would not be willing to apply the brakes in the right ways, and on the right problems (such as closing corporate tax-loopholes, which drain $billionsUSD in corporate taxes out of the economy every year). Secondly, I don't think he is temperamentally suited to the task - and nobody knows whether he is physically up to it.

    Yes, it will be possible - but not within the two terms allowed. The best the new President can do is start at once, and not stop slogging along.

    I trust someone who graduated at the top of his class from law-school, with a specialisation in Constitutional Law, to be enough of a swot to really learn what is necessary, to set the economy on the right path. I believe he'll do his best, even if he can't finish the job, in his two terms! Barack Obama has a serious disposition, and he knows that he can't keep all his campaign promises immediately, and has said so. He has already been doing his homework, and he has an impressive list of inefficient and/or overpriced government and corporate expenses, which he could cut, thereby funding the next step in the process.

    The class clown, who preferred drinking and wenching, to learning his flight-manual (and nearly killed himself because he didn't know how to eject from his 'plane, when it crashed), when he was at the Naval Academy, and graduated fifth from the bottom in a class of 850-odd... not so much. There is reason to doubt that John McCain would last two terms - either because of his health, or because the country would not re-elect him. There is significant reason to doubt that he has the necessary impulse-control, and stick-toitive-ness, to get the job done, if he were (all gods forbid!) elected.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:35 pm |


    OBAMA 08

    November 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm |

    What will be the achevement of africa in the american election 2008.becouse africans are unrest untill the next us president is elected.

    Dexter joe jr.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  5. John Nicholas

    Question to be asked: What can the new President NOT do.

    He can NOT create crude oil out of thin air. At current prices, no new project is economic, so forget it. Energy prices must be allowed to go up substantially, to support investment in new projects and renewables.

    Nor can he create water, fertile land or copper ore.

    He can NOT get housing prices back to levels where again no-one can afford to buy a home with real money instead of irresponsible debt underpinned by irresponsible government.

    He can NOT intervene successfully in the market. The US housing boom was engineered by government intervention via Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The US regulators have no track record in intelligent intervention, so should be kept in their boxes.

    He can NOT use traditional fiscal measures to guarantee a return to sustainable growth – the stresses being caused by Chinese and Indian growth prior to the sub-prime bust were about to cause a bust anyway – BRIC was a boom, ergo bust. He can NOT beat the market.

    He can NOT reduce deficits in the short term without causing even more misery, which will impact directly and devastatingly the weakest sector of the economy – the housing market.

    He CAN pursue a policy whereby stimulus, as much as possible, is targeted towards projects from which the country as a whole benefits, so that people retain faith in his ideals (whoever wins). He should attack health care reform because he CAN, and it will make a difference.

    November 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  6. rick keller

    I think the new president Obama will make good on all his promises.
    I am sure he will pull all the troops out of Iraq and Afgahnistan. I am also sure he will put the economy back on track

    Furthermore Obama will be much more diplomatic on Foreign Policy than McCain. He will be much more accepted around the world.

    We should concentrate on U.S.A. Thats where the real problem lies, with a sagging economy.

    Let the other 2 countries mentioned fight their own war. They made the bed ,they should lie in it.

    If John McCain is voted in biggg mistake..... He is too war orientated. And staying in Iraq and Afgahnistan is not a solution for Corporate America. Wake Up America plssss. Vote for change not 8 more years of a failed leadership. This is what John McCain supports.

    November 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  7. Tim F.

    Are these "Institutes" and "Centers" for this, that, or the other funded by Tax Dollars? If so, lets eliminate funding for guesses by so-called experts who do nothing more than squander OUR money ... for their 2 seconds of fame. There have been more "experts" from this "Center" or that "Institute" re: anything one can imagine. I guess old (mostly liberal) professors never die – they become a "Fellow" or a "Bubba" or ... God kows what ... another "expert". If they are so damn smart, why don't they run for Congress or for President? I am thinking we could use other professions besides Law or Political Science grads in government.

    November 3, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  8. Daryl Harvey

    I couldn't say this any better than the quote by Andrew Jackson below;

    "Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out."

    Andrew Jackson

    To a delegation of bankers – 1832

    Isn't it funny how History repeats itself?

    November 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  9. Marcus Cyganiak

    Vote Today For Real CHANGE

    The time is now, we have gone past midnight.

    Across all of the United States of America, voting has begun for the 44th President.

    As a Canadian I don’t have to care, but I do. Just as I care for my next door neighbours, I care for America too. When I see my neighbour sad, I feel sad, but when I see them happy I feel happy.

    I want to see that America I once loved during the 90’s. President Bill Clinton was commander and chief and riding high with an economical surplus. Times were good.

    With all the hits Barack Obama has taken from media, John McCain, and Sarah Palin, he has shown the strong will needed in order to survive in the oval office. After all, it’s not about how hard you can hit, but rather how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward without any deviations.

    There’s no question that Barack Obama has taken the hits from every corner, and while none of them have been warranted, none of them have affected him either. He’s stayed true to his word.

    As a Canadian I unfortunately do not have the privilege of voting. What I can do though is impact your vote and I feel as if I have done so. Many Republicans have taken their time to email me and thank me for the insight I have opened them up to. As a result they will now be voting for Barack Obama.

    Obama has been there with the middle-class of America right from the get-go. He’s lost both parents and he’s suffered through financial pain. He knows what it’s like to be hampered with health care payments. His mom was even being bombarded with insurance bureaucracies while she was on her deathbed with cancer.

    Americans suffer through those same pains everyday and as President, Barack Obama looks to eliminate as much of those pains as possible by lowering taxation for 95% of Americans. So if you’re making less than a quarter of a million dollars, then you will see your taxes reduced. Big corporations and the upper-class can once again see their taxes due in the same amount as they were in President Bill Clinton’s term.

    I’ll retort to my earlier comment in the fact that when I see my neighbour unhappy, I feel unhappy because it’s an atmosphere around me that begs for help. Big corporations and the upper-class of America should share those same feelings.

    Vote Barack Obama for President and Joe Biden for Vice President once your polls open.

    If instead you choose to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin, then do not complain when your country is not on its way to financial surplus. As a result, your country would once again be viewed in the light of President George W. Bush. If that becomes the case, then you ‘my friends’ are cowards because you know you voted for the Republicans and missed the opportunity for REAL CHANGE.

    If you know your role, then Democratic Barack Obama is your vote. Your role is to uphold the American Dream once again, as it was in the 90’s. The time for talking is no longer needed. The time to vote is now.

    I bid you good luck with the fulfillment of “CHANGE” in the most important Presidential Election in the history of the United States of America.


    Marcus Cyganiak
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    November 4, 2008 at 8:42 am |
  10. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    @ Daryl Harvey

    Spectacular quotation!!! Could you please tell me where you found it? This is something I should like to read.

    Thanks! :-)

    November 4, 2008 at 8:50 am |
  11. Joel Rudinas

    the next US President may have to make hard decisions to cut back on some promises and make harder decisions on what to do....

    by January whoever wins the Presidential election has huge economic problems he must sort out like the [huge] budget deficit, the financial crisis and stuff. first he must try to restore confidence in the financial markets and then he must try to sort it out and tightly regulate the markets

    Obama can win it...if he wins it he would be acceptable when it comes to foreign affairs and he can be the big deal...he's the embodiment of how multicultural America is and my belief is that he can make good on his promises depending if the situation turns up favorable

    November 4, 2008 at 9:07 am |
  12. Peter Millar

    The promises of any President depends on the willingness of Congress to agree with the Presidents ideals.
    I would doubt if in the present financial turmoil Congress will agree to spend billions on socialistic programmes

    Peter Mliiar

    November 4, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  13. Peter Millar

    Have just read Daryl Harveys quote o f Andrew Jacksons comments to Bankers in 1832. Such comments are true today abd should also be adressed to Brokers and jobbers on the worlds Stock Exchanges.
    Gambling on the exchanges should be prohibited, such as short selling, selling stock they do not ownwaiting fro the price to go up before having to pay for the transaction.

    Gone a little into what should be done to correct the Economy if we ever get out of our present financial mess

    Peter Millar

    November 4, 2008 at 12:18 pm |
  14. Rod

    If McCain gets in, it will be FIGHT,FIGHT, FIGHT and I'm sure he'll clean up Washington, too. This is great news for our capitol's janitors. They'll have some help. Might I suggest Palin can do the windows, while JM gets fitted for a push broom. I'm sure the war on terror and the war on drugs will continue. There will be more dire warnings of a terrorist hiding in every dark corner, while the drug companies will continue to flood our air waves with advertisements of drugs that if you take them and you're alive and breathing, you're guaranteed to have side affects. You should then discontinue use and see your doctor. JM will continue to use the ideology of big business of taking from the poor to make ourselves rich, rich, rich. Kind of a twisted version of Robin Hood. And second to last, we will continue to have government that operates behind the curtain. Lord only knows that if the told us what they were really up to, what might happen. The idea is to take control of government, so only the right people might have privilege. You all know who they are; the real Americans that live in real America. Would sombody please tell me where that is, I thought I did live in the real America and now I found out there is another one. The one Sarah Palin and Phil Gramm live in; the one without the whinners and a place that you can become the type of person your dog thinks you are. And LAST. I'd like to thank all of the news media for exposing the treacherous activity that has been transpiring over the years. Mind blowing stuff, when exposed to the light of day. Keep up the good work. P.S. If Obama gets in, the world will breathe one big collective sigh of relief and thank God.

    November 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm |
  15. Sam in Spain

    So to-day is D-Day for America, (I hope that the D does not stand for Doomsday?). It doesn't really matter to me who wins as I am not an American and whatever they are both promising will be unattainable not even 50%. Not that it will matter to U.S. citizens, I think that Obama will "romp home".
    He reminds me very much of the election of Tony Blair and all you have to do is ask the British Public what their opinion is to find out what may befall U.S.A. over the next 8 years + if Obama follows the same direction. I wish you well in who gets the poisoned chalise.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  16. G. Bendon

    I believe if Obama wins the elections we can only see change. Things have becme very abismal for our economy and our country with the current president.
    Mr. King on CNN has an electorial map that you can manipultate to see different scenarios of how the election would turn out with the canidates winning different states. They say that no president has ever won without the state of Ohio. I gave McCain both Pennsylvania and Ohio and McCain still did not come out on top.

    November 4, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  17. Wayne Silverman

    Well I'll admit first off that I voted for McCain. But I'm open to Obama's ideas, I didn't vote for him because I am afraid he will not have the spine to stand up to congressional liberals.
    I find the idea of 'spreading the wealth' abhorrent and anti-capitalist (perhaps even communistic). I don't think anyone in politics (from either party) has enough of a grasp of the financial complexities we face to deal with them appropriately, and when I look at the economic situation we find ourselves in I am deeply troubled by the general lack of financial knowledge among most of the people in this country.
    I think there is a connection between people's personal finances and the macro seems that no one knows how to save anymore, no one knows how to manage their own personal balance sheet. The US government doesn't know how to do it either...and when the blind lead the blind...well you know what happens.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:17 am |
  18. Wayne Silverman

    oh, and btw Peter, short selling is borrowing stock from a broker's inventory and then selling it back after the price goes DOWN. Please look this up before posting.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:22 am |
  19. George Perreau

    I would like to quote a phrase from Franz Seraphicus Grillparzer, whose words underlie a very fundamental failing of the Bush Admin.

    "Here lies, all his celebrity forgot
    Legitimacy's famous Don Quixote
    Who, twisting truth and fact, thought himself wise
    and ended by believing his own lies;
    An aged fool, who'd been a knave in youth:
    he could no longer recognise the truth"

    Reconstruction works best when dealing with the facts, managing risks combined with lots of self sacrificing leadership, not with cowboy ideolgies, patriotic theories, religous revivals, self interests etc. This would be to me a good enough start.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:44 am |
  20. Asim Qureshi

    Metaphorically...Be the change

    Globally.. end the wars which is costing the american economy more than the objectives met so far. In turn it is creating all the other related economies to turn towards china and other nations for funding one way or the other. Resort to dialogue to resolve real conflicts, learn from history.

    Locally, fix your own problems before policing the world and bombing others.a strong robus american economy will help make better investments including in globally troubled areas which in turn will help stimulate development which is the ultimate response to deprived regions resorting to terrorism. And guess expands the american trade and brands which in turn will create a positive image of the USA if it is all done with the spirit of equality and freedom.
    Otherwise..China is the there to take on the leadership economically.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:32 pm |
  21. Peter Joseph

    Curtail (furthermore) the powers exercised by the multinationals and greedy Financial institutions who’s immoral behavior (by their manipulation of people and companies in such a way, that just a few gain excessive wealth!) and who, ironically enough, have allowed the USA to be susceptible to change as envisaged by the president elect mr. Obama. Moreover I would certainly overhaul all domestic institutions who currently only adhere to strong capitalistic (selfish!) views. At the same time I should promote public awareness for the injustices of the capitalistic system, while at the same time I would advocate the personal responsibility of individuals who, when united, can achieve the impossible as shown in the USA today! Mr. Obama is really the right President at the right time for the USA!!! God bless him and his crew.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  22. Jessica

    I do believe that if Mr Obama wants to fix the economic crisis in the USA then the greatest contribution he could make would be to resign immediately. When the shallow symbolism wears thin, and there is nothing left but colour and movement, the people of America will wonder where their substance has gone.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  23. Jessica

    Incidentally, I am writing this from Australia, where we had the great misfortune of the socialist Rudd emerge as our Prime Minister almost one year ago. God help us here, and may God truly have mercy on the poor souls in America who voted for Mr Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  24. d. griffith

    Yes he will and yes we can. God exposes his power through the impossible and He is certainly in this.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  25. america

    america is blind deaf and stupid it worked for that one girl but the chances of our nation being normal again or even close to it are slimmer than a strand of afraid we wont live to see the day of CHANGE it simply wont happen and who knows how much time we really have. this election is not a breakthrough quite the opposite its a joke... neither one of these cannidates can make the RIGHT choices. the reason for our failure is the simple fact that were human. we had a good run. our original presidents will look down in shame. we have become to complex as a nation, for it were the earlier times where our supperiors realized simplicity is the key to life. the more complicated you make things the more impossible it becomes. i have hope for myself but not for my country.. maybe thats whats wrong with america everyones out for themselves...its only human instincts and i shall die a human. what we really need is to stop asking for more and depend on anyone but ourselves. stop the bullsh** and do what our anciestors already knew that we obviously havent figured out.. im 18 and the young are the future..our future is over.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  26. Lauren

    I believe the Obama has wonderful intentions but not enough experience to know what limits he will have in Washington. Obama lacks knowledge and experience.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  27. idk

    you'r all fools if we leave iraq terroists come over here and if we stay they still come over were screwed either way.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  28. Steve

    I think its a sad day for America, a new president with no real experience, it reminds me of Tony Blair, all promises and no delivery.

    Not the McCain was much better, I would'nt have picked either, one a bad choice, the other representing "oil & war"

    Will he fix the economy of America, thats headed to the worst depression since the great depression, NO.

    Considering that Alan Greenspan has long gone, I dont think anyone at the Fed has the wisdom and the strength to KNOW what to do.

    So as for the new president leading the Fed into making the right descisions for the country, I have little hope.

    I just recently look at California and Florida to see the number of home foreclosurses and got scared for every American, because now is NOT the time to try something new, now should have been the time to have something tried and true.

    The real problem was no candidate that fitted that bill.

    A sad for for America, sad for all its hard working class that are facing fears much more real than any "supposed threat", and with a new leader that does not have a clue what to do.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  29. Kevin Massie

    Congratulations to senator Obama for his victory! A Victory for dialogue and peace...

    Without a doubt, Americans have spoken. I beleive Barack Obama will tend to his promises and will do his utmost for America and the rest of the world and use his credentials as an exceptional speaker to regain America's credibility along this long, steep path to change the world's view of America.

    Although his victory was a clear message of change, I am curious to know what would have been the outcome of this historical election if Mr. Obama would have been a Republican.

    Kevin Massie In France

    November 5, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  30. Victoria

    This guy's agenda is to steal from the "rich" i.e. the DEBT FREE and those who've worked hard at putting money away into offshore accounts. That's what he'll be known as, a thief, who learned well from his mafioso buddies in Chicago. This extreme leftist of a "muslim in the closet" will wreck the country. Abortion is legal GENOCIDE, and he supports it. Homosexual filth, he supports it. As an American expat living in France, all I can say is good luck, Americans, count today's blessings because tomorrow is the beginning of your great sorrows. You should have voted for a black man that at least had the merit of being a true descendant of slavery one who understands pain. You voted for a rich guy who only thinks of #1. As for me, nope, I ain't going back to the USA.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  31. Dani

    I do hope that Obama is going to keep in mind his promises and make the dream comes true. To my mind I think his program isn't completely possible, particularly cutting taxes. Today, the american government has a trade gap because of crisis,... So cutting taxes for middle classes will increase the national deficit.

    We'll see soon...

    "Yes, we can"

    November 5, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  32. siyaad

    w hat a defining moment for both american people and the rest of the everyone can feel the diversity and democracy wind that has overcome the dreadfull past. congratulation president obama and congratulation for the american people. peace for the world

    November 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  33. peter Van Eijkelenburg

    it is al very simpel:1) get our troops out of Iraq, and use the 56 biljon
    for the infrastructure, that means the money stays here, and people get a job.
    2) give the people under 250k a tax break.
    3) start looking seriously for alternatives for oil, and take that dependance away from those oil producing countries.
    4) help the people who have problems paying there mortage.
    5) What is already helping the lower price of gas.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  34. Bryant Arms

    As a hard core cynic, I am surprised at myself for feeling the hope that Obama gives so many people. I am hoping that the kind of fundamental reforms that can prevent people like the Bushies from undermining American ideals in the future will happen. And I am hoping that we will once again be as good example for the world to follow.

    But the Democrats have already demonstrated over the last two years in Congress that they are not effective leaders. And the pattern of history will probably repeat itself. Power quickly corrupted the Republicans after the 'Republican Revolution'. The Democrats will probably also succumb to the temptations of special interest's bribes and pork barrel spending. With Obama as President, the Democrats have some extremely high expectations to live up to. I hope they can, but I have my doubts.

    The backlash to failure may be as spectacular as Obama's win. Since the Republicans are likely to become more radicalized under the like of Palin, and if the Democrats fail to live up to expectations, there may be an excellent opportunity for a third party to be promoted to replace the Republican party... or even the Democrats.

    Bryant Arms

    November 5, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  35. Aiden Magee

    Who cares if Obama fulfills his long as we see the back of Bush and Cheney. Hurray Obama!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  36. LK

    You were on the right track about a short seller waiting for the price to go DOWN-but he would then BUY the stock back.
    Maybe you and Peter should both have looked it up before posting!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  37. randy

    obama will not be able to keep all of his and see.After the media hype goes down,we will all keep waiting on something to be done.Obama immediately start with the repair of the economy.2.send $600.00+ Stimulus -checks to everyone.3.Fix the health plan.4.Re-do the entire government to fit the people not the politicians.I wont hold my breath.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  38. Sandi Harrison

    I think Obama is facing a huge hill that he must climb, but I believe with the support of this country, he will accomplish much of what he promised, if not all. It is going to take time to clean up the mess left by GWB. I think he will repair the damage that GWB has done to world relations and bring about global cooperation between nations. As a man of color, I believe he will have a special ability that JM would not have had. Obama is a very convincing, charasmatic individual and I'm sure that will help in repairing relations in the world. He is also a very passionate American and I believe he will do his best to get us out of this financial crisis and heal this country internally so we can move forward stronger and more united.

    My pride in this country increased with Obama's election. It was nice to see Americans united no matter what ethnic or racial background they were, no matter the religious background, old, young, rich, poor, all wanting change for this country they all love. My son and grandchildre are all multiracial, and now I can truly tell them that they can be anything they want to be in life! It's been a long time coming, but I KNOW a change gonna come!

    God bless Obama and keep him safe and wise in his decisions. And God bless the people of this country that they unite and move forward to help Obama make the changes that are necessary to make this an even greater country for all of its citizens.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  39. Straight Shooter

    Everyone involved in the subprime mortgage backed paper crisis needs to be prosecuted. ALL OF THE MONEY NEEDS TO BE RETURNED. All of the executive bonues need to be clawed back. The greatest financial crisis of all time was based on fraud between inventment institutions and banks. How did we punish them? We gave them another $700B, which they prompted stole in a matter of days, by short-selling. Why is this crime allowed? The US invades countries to protect oil under a razor thin veil of lies. 100,000s were killed to curb terrorism and free up the flow of oil, I mean democracy.

    My question to all of you out there is this? Osama Bin Laden has a death warrent on him for the world trade centre crash and the turmoil it put the US in. 1000s were killed and $billions were lost. Immediate action was taken,.......So now we have investment banks and regular banks sending the entire planet into financial crisis over fraud, theft and lies.

    Why is this not considered "Economic Terrorism" ?

    This is more damage than Osama Bin Ladin could even imagine. So I guess it is perfectly OK to commit terrorism with a computer, but not OK with an AK-47 or an airplane ?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    November 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  40. wes Chin

    I could not vote for Obama because I am 100% pro-life. However, I believe him to be one of the most intelligent people that we will have elected to the presidency. Having suffered through 8 years of insanity, this country is long overdue for sound judgement and intelligent thinking.

    I sincerely hope president-elect Obama surrounds himself with the best and the brighest as Kennedy did. This country faces some enormous challenges ahead but I believe Obama is the right man for the job.

    He may not be able to immediately follow through on his campaign promises, but I'm sure he will make the best decisions possible for the country as needed. I hope and pray for him and his family, as America still has some lingering pockets of hatred and racism.

    After months of venom and rhetoric, I can not help but think that some nutcases may have bought into some of the misinformation. It is unbelievable but in some states like Texas, the majority of folks still believe Obama is muslim (he is not, he is Christian), associates with terrorists and who knows what other nonsense.

    This kind of rumor mongering is dangerous, and may spur the more radical and violent elements of our society to act out or stirke out. We are not so far removed from our days of racism and prejudice, that we have eliminated these attitudes from our country. Some day we may say the KKK, skinheads, or white supremicists are no longer present in our society. Unfortunately that is not the case today and that may be a long ways off.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  41. Ramerah

    Last night was one of the most happiest and rejoiceful days in my life. I have so much more faith in the United States. And so much faith in the promises that Obama has made. I already feel a sense of change and progress and look forward to the restoration of our economy!!!! Go Obama!!!.....

    November 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  42. Harold

    America has advanced itself. President Elect Obama is the first black man to sit in the President's chair. Let us hope he will not be the last. I congratulate the American people and salute the American flag.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  43. Teddy Choi

    All Americans are already bankrupted. Do you remember you have owed trillions of federal debts? Mr. O., please don't cheat the whole world by saying 'Change'.
    God only bless those who says the truth.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  44. Eleng Stephen

    Thank you obama , you' ve make all African proud for a dream come true.

    November 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  45. ali k

    I believe the only way to fix the economy as much as we don't like it is to raise taxes combined with tough regulation on lending. American public got to be able to come through these tough times but it won't be free.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  46. claire tsang

    The idea of his tax system is good! look at Denmark, Danish pay a lot of taxes, and that's what make them so strong today! free to see doctor, hospital, free education and a very good welfare system. Those are very important issues. It doesn't happen in one day, but it works. Everybody benefit from it. People should help each other to make the country or the world stronger and safer place.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:37 pm |
  47. savee

    Obama may make a good delivery of his promises, yet it will just take sometimes a bit BECAUSE THE IDIOT ADMINSTRATION OF THE BUSH AND REPUBLICANS AS WELL, have made this beautiful WORLD IN TOTAL MESS, not just AMERICA.

    GOD BLESS YOU B. OBAMA, may you use that POWER properly that THE GODS have given you and restore this ailing world TO ABUNDANCE in everything! Let there be peace on earth (even just for TEMPORARY) while you are about to deliver these changes into HEAVEN which the government of the republicans MADE HELL..!

    November 5, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  48. savee

    B.Obama- Let there be an Economic abundance among all nations, and FIND ways to ovecome the ECONOMIC UPHEAVAL the REPUBLICANS have done, not only to AMERICA but to the whole world, before leaving office(this is their last chance to command the market with devilic power) THE REPUBLICANS MADE SURE TO MAKE MOUNTAINS OF WEALTH at the expense for the world to suffer. The evidence: the republicans SECRET ROLE among BIG – SWINDLING CORPS. in AMERICA that causes oil prices to its steepest IMPOSSIBLE point IN JUST A SHORT WHILE , thus to add more to the injury and pain for the world, the UNIMAGINALBE falling of the markets especially recently.

    All these evils that were thrown to the world, not only for the Americans – were EXPLICITLY AND STRATEGICALLY PLANNED for those who are in the WHITE HOUSE, these were their last cards to make A GREAT BOUNTY, by hooks or by crooks!

    November 5, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  49. Jordan

    I do believe that Obama can change America, and he will keep his promises. I think he will do excellent during his first term of being president. Like hell, who couldn't do better than Bush!!! :p. If we the American people could tell that Obama wouldn't keep his promises then we wouldn't have voted for the good man. McCain had nothing on Obama, hell, Palin would of done a better job!! Lets hope she runs in 2012 because I would like to see Obama in the White House again for his 2nd term.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  50. dave sully

    It doesn't matter who is president, the US economy will come back, it always does.

    But now Obama is in a win/win situation because he knows the economy will come back even if he does nothing. And if it doesn't he can say that the Republicans messed it up too much. And of course when it does turn around, in true Obama fashion he will take all of the credit for it, and lay his claim to being the greatest president of the world, not just the US. He is dead wrong that a free market economy can be built from the bottom up. It has to start at the top. It does not matter if a person has all the training and education in the world, if there is no employer to hire him or her, what have you got? A very educated unemployed citizen.

    Holy crap people! How did you not see through the stale rhetoric that this guy was throwing out there? Read between the lines for Christ's sake. This guy will absolutely ruin this country because he thinks that
    there needs to be tremendous change in America. He is wrong. This country doesn't need change; maybe a little tweaking.

    I am glad that I live in the greatest country on the face of the earth. I don't need my president telling me that my ideals are wrong and that I should think differently. I don't need my president travelling to Europe and apologizing for my country and ultimately, me. I like living in a country where I have the freedom to choose how I want to live my life. I do not need the government telling me how much electricity or gas to use, or what damned light bulbs I should be using.

    I hope I am wrong about Obama and that he does a great job as president, but I fear that will not happen. We'll see what happens in the '10 elections after 2 years of Obamanomics.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:08 am |
  51. Shouvik Chatterjee

    The question is how long and how much do the government need to send to get over this crisis. If it takes longer than expected not only the policies but the faith in the financial system and the government will be tested.

    Also do we now have more , bigger government after this. There is a need to take a relook at the policies and redraft the rules.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:35 am |
  52. thomas

    Thank you DarylHarveys for the fantastic quote!

    November 6, 2008 at 9:49 am |
  53. Angela Henshaw

    Trully, our expectations are out of this world! Lets not hope for too much b'cos as usual he's promised a lot but we all know that getting into office and delivering are two different things!no doubt he'l be a performing president,but thats how far it'l not a pessimist but truth be told,in our type of world everything is neither here nor and see...

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  54. Uma in Liverpool, UK


    You're not the only person who has compared Barack Obama to Tony B Liar. I don't see it.

    Barack Obama is definitely not any species of reptile...

    November 6, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  55. Patricia sangiwa

    Expectations on the President Elect are over the top. If I'm correct the American economy is the only one that is almost completely independent of the Government, unlike most where the government has a massive stake in it. The new administration can create new policies that may stimulate the economy, but there are no guarentees as this is really a crisis of confidence, and the fall out of an economy that was built on credit as opposed to fiscal restraint.
    What the new President can deliever is hope whether wallstreet or other markets buy into it is a different matter altogether, now it seems not, the markets are still as volatile as ever.

    November 7, 2008 at 6:10 am |
  56. Eric Johnson City,TN

    November 7th, 2008 1519 GMT
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    One major move i think would be a real boost to our economy, would be to pass the Fairtax into law, It would give stability to a shrinking economy. It would bring offshore business to the U.S. Common working people would have more money to take home from there pay checks, therefor preventing anymore forclosures. The government would still get there money too, but would have to live on a budget just like we do. The people of this country would be empowered again. It’s a no brainer bt yet nobody wants to talk about it or even give it a second thought. Ireland has a similar tax code, and they are really a thriving economy. Don’t be put off anymore by stupidity in our leadership. Go to the website and sign the petition to congress to get the bill to the congress,house,and senate. We really need this.

    November 7, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  57. CTaylor24

    The federal government needs to control social security spending. Once we control spending then the government could pay our debt down and spend money on green energy, roads, and scientific grants. But, Obama is too out of touch with reality and so is his party.

    November 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  58. Ron Olson

    I hope so I voted for him on his promise of change not more of the same partisan politics. It is time to walk the talk

    November 7, 2008 at 11:51 pm |
  59. Darwin

    I think quite a few people, including our resident DJ, Ms Uma, of that great city, Liverpool, are being a little hasty with their recommendations of what Mr. Obama is, or isn't. For now, he has talked his way into the job, just as any other aspiring first timer would, I hasten to add, spending mountains of money to get there. Everything leading up to the election played in his favour; a problematic economy, a 'too traditional' opponent and a community desperate for a change.

    It just seems a little odd that everyone is embracing this man in a way that suggests he has already sorted out the problems. It has always been the way of the world; the most successful leaders attained their powers of seduction through rhetoric and charm, not deeds.

    I would prefer to wait a year or two before deciding whether or not to throw rose petals at his feet, as indeed I would with any other leader and I would certainly wait a year or two before deciding whether he/she had traces of "reptilian" overtones within their structure.

    The key to his success will ultimately depend on his chosen team. It will be these people, whom shall be selected, we hope, for their prowess and experience in dealing with the current situation as it is. I am perhaps here underlining my belief that most leaders are purely symbolic and hand picked by the backroom boys as a means of attaining power.

    Mr. Obama's first, and perhaps only real task, will be to elevate levels of confidence, if he achieves this he is already more than half way there to solving this debacle, the rest he can leave to the capable hands (we hope) of his team.

    I wish, for all our sakes, the very best to Mr. Obama and his team, lest we forget the importance of that great nation of infectious hope and relentless determination.

    November 8, 2008 at 8:32 am |
  60. Tom

    Obama won graciously and McCain lost with dignity. Personally, I think the outcome of the election would have been positive either way. Both men promised to reach out to the other side, and McCain demonstrated that several times and I am sure Obama will do the same. The election may have been closer if McCain gave more speeches like Tuesday night and if he had a better running mate. Obama's election brings many positives and I am looking forward to his presidency. Foreign affairs will demand most of his attention as there is actually very little a president can do to influence the economy, but I think a boom is on the way given the drive for alternative fuels, bio tech research, and technology.

    Incidentally, for those who criticize McCain for finishing at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, finishing last there is harder than finishing first just about anywhere else. Patton was at the bottom of his class at West Point and he turned out to be a great General and leader and Eisenhower was average in his class but highly regarded by historians. And for those criticizing Obama for Rev Wright, come on, we all have that friend whom we pray never gets a microphone. Finally, for those who still believe Obama is a Muslim, my question is, would it matter if he was? It is his vision and leadership; I'm glad we chose substance

    November 8, 2008 at 10:19 am |
  61. Deep

    Obama has the intensity to make the differene. Though the economic repairs can't be done in days. The first task in front of him is to boost confidence in the markets, that his promises will be actioned with some ground work too.

    Obama should make sure that the $250 B distributed to the 9 finacial institution eases the credit crunch that lays in the US market. It should not be diverted as the top managment salaries who are the culprits for this economic mess

    November 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm |
  62. Iftakher

    Let's hope for the best!!! At least OBAMA have the Intelligence and smartness as well as courage to make major American's understand to be unite and slap to the face of Snobbish American's. made them bound to Vote for him for the sake of Change.

    Now All young American should raise the voice to change the name of "WHITE HOUSE" And Name it " RAINBOW HOUSE" .

    To me whole world should change in every respect. because after 2nd world war the same player playing same games and contaminated the playing ground. So, let's be unite for the sake of next generation and Change the World.

    November 8, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  63. Dinesh

    Its a difficult task for Obama, he has got his plate full from day 1 – thanx to uncle Bush. We should not expect miracles but give him 18 months to clean 8 years accumalated shit by the Bush ministry.

    For financial crisis he should regulate all banking and market operations and stop any further Interest rate cuts as it makes NO SENSE to further reduce interest rates as there is no money in the system and there is no confidence. He has to push the banks to lend, rebuild the confidence and then reduce the interest rates. Why should banks lend at low Interest rates and no confidence and so the banks are hoarding funds.

    Current Global wars – US will have to exit in a respectful manner. Easy exit will only create more chaos and social unrest.

    Africa is the next hope for this world. Let the people of Africa enjoy their natural wealth which will increase their purchasing power and economic growth in Africa will benefit the entire world as it would create demand and a bigger market for everybody.

    Economic growth for Africa alongwith China & India is the only best equation for Global co-existance in harmony.

    November 9, 2008 at 11:29 am |
  64. jenny

    Obama might can change some good things for his country,but i will really expect that all leaders in all countries will do their own effort too to help the worldwide crisis and have talked about it serioulsy and work for it..Brilliant leaders think what is good for everyone and i hope Muslim country leaders will contribute and do the same..

    November 10, 2008 at 3:40 am |
  65. Rich

    Will Mr. "O" do anything about the Hedge fund managers siphoning all the money out of our 401k plans? Check out these bonuses for just the managers,, that doesn’t include all their minions... (source Wikipedia "Hedge Funds")

    Under which president’s watch did the banking system become so deregulated that they could write so many bad loans in the first place?

    John Paulson, Paulson & Co. – $3.7 billion
    Philip Falcone, Harbinger Capital Partners – $1.5-$2 billion
    Jim Simons, Renaissance Technologies – $1 billion
    Steven A. Cohen, SAC Capital Advisors – $1 billion
    Ken Griffin, Citadel Investment Group – $1–$1.5 billion
    Chris Hohn, The Children's Investment Fund Management (TCI) – $800–$900 million
    Noam Gottesman, GLG Partners – $700–$800 million
    Alan Howard, Brevan Howard Asset Management – $700–$800 million
    Pierre Lagrange, GLG Partners – $700–$800 million
    Paul Tudor Jones, Tudor Investment Corp. – $600–$700 million

    November 10, 2008 at 7:19 am |
  66. Tad

    I don't think Obama will get us out of this recession. He talked about the Republican party and how we've had 8 yrs of this administration. What people forget is that it's the Democrats that got us in this recession, starting with Carter. Now we're seeing what happens when you encourage to much spending without collateral.

    November 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  67. Ron

    At this point President Obama is only a figurehead until "We the People" get rid of every Congressional representative that voted against democracy, which is based on rule by the majority. The will of the people that cried out for "NO BAILOUT" for the wealthy elite financiers of the financial institutions of this Nation was in the majority. Congress ignored the people's will in favor of rule by a few wealthy elite financiers. The wealthy financiers clearly demostrated that their power and wealth controlled our government at its highest level, including the President by simply squeezing the credit market shut forcing our government to its knees to vote in favor of the wealthy elite. Congress did what the Nazis and the communists could never do they soldout the "People's" democracy to the wealthy few without a shot ever being fired putting the people of this Nation in servitude to the very individuals that created the economic crisis. President Obama will only be allowed to do what those who now control our government allow him to do until the people of this Nation take back the control of their government.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  68. david paulaski

    the issue was not about how the big three ceo s got to washington the issue was to ask for money to help the american taxpayer auto worker for help and how dare goverment turn its back on an american taxpayer in their time of need and where is our beloved president and what is his commitment to his fellow americans who are loosing their jobs as we speak he adn congress should take action in some positive way to insure the auto workers will survive failure is not an option 1 out of 10 jobs will be affected in this country if the american auto worker doesnt get help from the goverment they voted for and truested david from delaware and a prowd american retired auto worker

    November 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  69. Larry

    The auto industry should receive a bailout under the following conditions:
    (1) all senior executives (at least all Section 16 executives)are terminated for cause, eliminating any severance benefits
    (2) the companies are deemed "bankrupt" so that all nonqualified deferred compensation is lost,
    (3) organized labor contracts are "renegotiated".

    November 20, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  70. Phil Gatchell

    If President Bush was smart, he would order the release of all Gitco terrorists all at once, 1 day prior to his tour's end, however, make sure they are all released in Washington, D.C. This would make Obama a happy Pres. as that is exactly what he wants. He indicated that all terrorists will be released when he takes over. Make sure that all the terrorists are given instructions on how to get into the White House. This way Pres. Obama has one less promise to fulfill. After all, he does have his job cut out for him. This will give him more time to distribute everyones wealth, BUT NOT HIS.

    November 21, 2008 at 9:18 am |
  71. Diana Davidson

    Long ago my dad told me, "politicians, during pre-election fever, will always promise you what they think you want to hear. But no where do they put their promises in writing and sign off on them." Since then, I have never expected much from anyone running for a public office. Haven't been disappointed either.

    Even though I voted for Obama, sadly, reality will set in, national and international circumstances will change, the stock market will continue its downward plunge, Iraq may flare (or not), and he won't be the first president to not fulfill what he promised us.

    Since his promises were not signed and sealed, he may not be able to deliver on everything he promised us.

    November 21, 2008 at 8:21 pm |
  72. June -- southern U.S.

    For Obama to dig us out of the economic mess he may well be advised that corporate bailouts and federal take-overs are unconstitutional. See Does he want to go down in history as the greatest American president–the one who led the country back to the Constitution?

    But one type of bailout likely wouldn't be unconstitutional, and that's a direct bailout of the consumer. Give American taxpayers some of their money back. We hear the wailing that GDP is down, down, down. Consumer spending is two-thirds of that, so how much logic does it take to see that the answer is clear: Stop handing money to corporate entities and hand it directly to American citizens–so they will SPEND. Not a good idea? Have you seen a better one–an idea that works? Didn't think so! it would have to be a huge tax rebate, huge, billions–like corporate entities have been getting. Which has not helped the economy visibly, by the way.. Call it trickle-up economics. I buy something I need, the retailer has the sale he needs, the manufacturer, the manufacturer's suppliers...on up the ladder. Trickle up. The effects wouldn't take years but would be immediate. And it would be constitutional.

    But making consumer credit easier, what a ridiculous idea. Who wants credit–more debt–at times like these!! It will only set the stage for an increase in personal bankruptcies. I do hope Obama has more insight into the real problems of this country and what has some chance of fixing them than his economic advisors. They are completely out of touch with the average struggling hard-working American–the all-important American consumer, the one part of our economy that cannot be allowed to fail. And hey, Mr. Obama, a jobs program that will put people to work two years down the road is not it for think of this very January and February when with heat to pay for and groceries beyond our budgets GDP will go down even further. No, the economy needs help NOW. Use the only tool available before it's too late. One more thought: Do this not to "help the poor" or get re-elected but from cold hard consideration of the ECONOMY.

    December 2, 2008 at 12:07 am |
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    October 10, 2012 at 5:30 am |

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