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Likewise, U.S. House of Representative George Miller (Democrat-California), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, emphasized, "A plan of this size was not easy to navigate, and it is not perfect. But I believe it's the best possible plan that could be reached swiftly, under challenging circumstances" (quoted in Dervarics 2009:6). Indeed, part of the president's approach to improving conditions for the business community are far-sighted and will in fact take years to achieve their full impact, with other aspects of the stimulus package will have a more immediate effect. For instance, according to Dervarics, "With unemployment rising, community colleges and others will see a spike in the number of individuals coming back for job-related training programs. The bill has $3.95 billion in additional funding for adult and youth programs, including $1.2 billion to create an estimated 1 million summer jobs for youth" (2009:6).
Despite the modest gains in employment in the construction, energy and information technology as well as the other sectors listed above to date and the anticipated addition of more to come in the near-term, the American economy continues to experience some of the highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression, and pundits are placing the blame squarely on the president and his team of economic advisors, blame that is somewhat misplaced. For instance, Pfeiffer recently observed that in his remarks commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, "The President once again discussed his proposals to boost America's economic recovery -- from rebuilding America's roads and bridges, to giving businesses incentives to invest, to help for small business" (2010:3).
Unfortunately for the business community, though, many of the president's initiatives have been derailed by overriding partisanship in the U.S. Congress. In this regard, Pfeiffer emphasizes that, "If one sat back and tried to think of the most bipartisan idea the President could possibly propose to boost job creation, it would probably be providing tax breaks for small businesses, and yet even this has been blocked by the partisan Republican minority from even coming up for an up-or-down vote for months" (2010:4). In fact, cutting taxes for small businesses was one of the fundamental planks of Obama's election campaign (Fehr 2009). Because small business have been shown to be the engine of economic growth, this approach to economic development just makes good business sense. The well-entrenched lawmakers on Capital Hill may not agree on how best to solve the nation's economic woes, but at least the president has actively sought viable solutions rather than finding ways to thwart the economic development of the country by helping the small business community.
The research showed that President Barack Obama certainly had his hands full when he assumed office on January 20, 2009. The president inherited a full-blown mortgage industry melt-down and a litany of other fiscal problems that had affected first the U.S. And then the global economy in enormous ways, and Americans were rightly concerned when the president said that things would get worse before they would get better. Since that time, though, there are signs, albeit modest ones, that the U.S. economy has in fact turned a corner and is on the slow road to recovery. Taken together, it is reasonable to conclude that things would have gotten much worse much quicker had it not been for the steps taken by President Obama early on in his administration, and things might have improved much more rapidly without the bipartisanship and divisiveness that has consistently characterized the U.S. Congress in recent years. In the final analysis, the initiatives taken by President Obama since he assumed office indicate that he has the nation's best interests in mind and has taken the steps needed to help the business community in general and small businesses in particular.
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While people who work with these kinds of issues can present their best guesses, they cannot actually provide proof that the Obama Administration's health care plan is good or bad, or how much it will cost. The 'if only' propositions that are in much of the plan tend to make statisticians and fact-checkers nervous, simply because of the nature of these kinds of propositions -- they rely on the
). Can Afghanistan be part of a containment process that is developed in parallel with a dialogue with Russia? There is no straight answer to this question, but one has reasons to believe that this is potentially an approach used by the new administration. One should note, however, also the fact that stability in Afghanistan is of great interest to Russia as well, which is why the administration in Moscow has
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