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March 05, 2009

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Jmartens

I'd tell the white house to do what Reid Hoffman proposed in his post on TechCrunch yesterday:

Small Business Lending (not just tech VC)
Remove H-1B limits but add a 10% paroll tax
Matching funds for VC and angel investments

Aaron Cohen

Chris:

I would say that Reid Hoffman's discussion about venture stimulus is worthwhile and that, in general, we as an internet community will support the progressive taxation structure being proposed this Spring.

We must work on Sarbanes-Oxley and other SEC issues that have closed the public markets. Venture cannot work without exits. The public markets need new issues. I think it among the critical economic issues.

Cricket Chadwick

I would ask one simple question....

"Why are you loading debt onto our children, crippling our small businesses, and giving billions to the people that caused this mess in the first place"?

Ben Fischler

More mass transit. More funding for basic research in all sciences. More funding and emphasis for arts and science and kite surfing.

matyas gabor

- do not protect to much the economy by closing the economic exchange market, the web strategy development IS the contrary of this spirit
- find back the way to be the firsts in the innovation industry by developing the VC's confidence
- do not close your country on itself as you did it during the last 10 years... the web IS the best way to open it and safely.

Hon. John A. Kociuba

1. Ban naked short selling (Bring back uptick rule)

2. Bring back mark to model

3. Lower capital gains for small investors

4. Stop over seas tax havens

5. Enforce "Fraud, Usury Law, Malice" practiced by National backs for high trans-action fee's with out cause to inflate principle debt on credit cards.

6. Change the judical system ban "Admiralty Law!"

Aye could go on all day!

Michael Ritchie

Candidate Obama promised to liberally exercise the line item veto regarding "pork" in the Budget. Now, with a bunch of weasel-worded claims that the pork was already included in the budget when he received it, he's back-pedaling. All he has to do is VETO the entire budget until the fat is trimmed.
Your candidate became president. Now he's becoming just another politician.

Margaret

Thank you for this spectacular opportunity. I am 28 years old and have been working to make my start-up company a success for about 2.5 years. I would love to have the opportunity to speak with President Obama regarding our current economic situation and the urgency with which we need to tackle the vast cracks in the foundation of our economy. I agree that new voices need to be heard as those who are old hats at business have allowed the economic situation to deteriorate into the state we currently find.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to read some of my thoughts on the subject which I have collected and made publicly available via my blog.

To give you a quick summary: new businesses need investment to create new jobs and to bring new capital into the domestic economy. VCs will not do this because they are focused on fast money and not on longevity and employment. Angels cannot do this because they are inundated with requests which they do not have systems for assessing and so invest entirely based on personal recommendations from people they know.

That's the fortune cookie version, but again, if you have a few minutes I would really appreciate it if you would give my blog a read. It is dedicated entirely to my thoughts as an entrepreneur on the state of the economy and how it could be improved.

Thank you again for this opportunity.

Mark LaRosa

How about dollar for dollar credits for employing unemployed people in a small business for 2009. My company might pay $50-60k in taxes this year. I'd be happy to give that to an unemployed person rather than in taxes. Someone gets employed, and my business grows - which will lead to MORE employees, etc.

Peter

Mr. Sacca,

You might advise President Obama to support GE and their clean solar and wind energy projects! Steal from the rich I always say, even if they're over seas.

We need renewable gold more than foreign liquid gold!

Here's a neat site for enterpreners: http://ge.ecomagination.com/smartgrid/#/augmented_reality

He's been doing a good job. Treat him to golf, we're supposed to be civilized after all no matter how bad our economy seems to be for now.

Pete

Roberto Sequeira

Hi Chris,

I would ask the following:
1. Is our government making the same mistakes of GM and big banks by continuing to pour money into an idea or system that is broken? Phrases like 'too big to fail' and 'catastrophic consequences' are perhaps delaying the inevitable; the institutions will collapse and take all of the country's money with them in addition to their own.

2. Why continue to support the middlemen. What's wrong with giving the American people their money directly? Why do we need to 'borrow' it again so the bank can keep the spread? We saw it with the 'mortgage stimulus' where rates have NOT come down in spite of the cash injection. If we sent every taxpayer a check for $10,000 that would alleviate debt for some, pay down credit balances, spur saving which leads to banks increasing reserves and lending again, spur small business investment and consumption.

Why continue to support the existing system? Why not trust the American people with their own money?

Good luck, and congratulations on the privilege of helping shape the direction of our country.


Ram Fish

Chris

Great question. Which I think all of us have been pondering.

An idea which I have been thinking through for a while. Maybe a bit radical. Maybe a bit hard to pass politically, but worth thinking about

250K Greencards to anybody who has Master degree or above and buys a home in the US.

It brings real capital ($100 billion a year into housing market) And let the free market manage it. Best way to help foreclosures with minimal regulatory intervention.

And gets the best educated + entrepreneurial (By definition, these are the most likely to apply) who value free and open society, Brains - into the US.


It also forces the Chinese / Russians - and other semi-democratic regimes to open up - because otherwise they lose their brains. And the Chinese know how much brain the future currency

Will it increase unemployment ? I just heard a research that claimed the latest downturn is mostly effecting lower class, blue collar. If that's the case we should be fine.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Ram

BTW - If you see PeterO say hi...


Debbie Cantrell

In this down economy, as you know millions of unemployed people are struggling with meeting their monthly obligations. I would like to see a HOLD put on Lenders or Creditors reporting to the 3 Credit Bureau's or at least some new guidelines set especially for those that are currently or will become unemployed due to the down economy. I am thinking of the long term negitive impact if the FICO score is damaged during this down time.

Arjen Lentz

Venture Capital and bank lending does not fundamentally stimulate innovation or business, in fact it can stifle, distract, and destruct.
Many ideas don't need much (or any) money to get going, and can build organically (investment and further R&D from profit made).
Not having a wad of cash focuses the mind in a wonderful way, and encourages companies to keep their fixed costs down. Companies who don't do this, may find themselves in serious trouble in worse economic times, or when interest rates go up, or any number of natural economic cycle phenomena.
Fundamentally it's called bootstrapping, but there's more to it. And it's sound economics, but more sustainable.

On a related note, I would suggest that the US seriously look at its employment and social security infrastructure. Right now there's a serious disincentive for overseas companies to hire or contract US based people, as the costs (and paperwork!) become ridiculous. This while the actual benefits are lower than in any other developed country (think health care, pensions, etc).

Capping awards in law suits would be a very good thing to do. High penalties clearly don't prevent companies from doing bad things, but what they definitely do is raise the cost of health premiums, liability insurance, and thus general individual and company "operating costs". Countries that have caps have fewer lawsuits, and better coverage. It's not just that, of course. But it'll help. Seriously.

Already alluded to above, the US needs to reduce bureaucracy. I've dealt with the former soviet union, and let me assure you the US today is worse in this particular aspect. (have I got your attention? I'm not kidding.)
The amount of procedure and paperwork is completely ridiculous, and merely discourages doing anything while not actually helping or protecting anyone or anything. It's not about removing safeguards, but about operating efficiently. The objective and the means need to be considered.

Many other countries have some or all of the above right. The US needs to urgently recognise that it is not a world leader in these aspects, and must learn and adapt. In short, the US needs to get over itself and drinking its own "US is best" cool-aid.
You're a bunch of great people, but the world is a big place, there's a lot of other smart people (and countries) out there. You don't lead by saying you are, you lead by actually being the most innovative, and that includes taking care of people's health and other welfare, and ensuring that companies build sustainable businesses rather than quick money-makers. Things like that. You can do it.

Bob Gourley

Chris,

First, let me say something for you and not the White House: your personal approach to this is inspiring and much appreciated. I'm not sure I have anything valuable to say, but I appreciate the fact that you would ask.

What would I say in the meeting?: I believe businesses large and small can benefit tremendously from from better access to the power of cloud computing, much of which is available for very low cost. In our major urban environments access is easy. But the further away from the backbone you get the harder it is for small businesses to tap into the IT grid and required speeds. This might sound like something the administration already knows since broadband is part of their stimulus package, but I think this deserves to be hit again from the small business perspective. And this point actually goes far beyond just getting broadband to every house. We must also ensure security of our enterprise.

What would I ask?: Can the US government take steps to prevent or at least mitigate industrial espionage and data theft? Too much of our intellectual property is being stolen and that hurts the economy too much.

Cheers,
Bob Gourley
http://ctovision.com

TechPolicyCentral

There was some talk of this during the presidential campaign, but I'd like to see programs that make college more accessible/affordable by allowing students to receive grants or 0%-interest loans for tuition in return for doing volunteer work while they're enrolled.

I think it would encourage more young people to enter college, and it would allow those who graduate to do so without the burden of student loans that sometimes take decades to pay back.

In addition, the volunteer program would help students develop personal and professional skills so they're more prepared to enter the workforce, and it would give U.S. companies/organizations the opportunity to benefit from their talents and creativity.

Matt LeVeck

Young Bay Area professionals, overwhelmingly support the President's recovery plans. We want more jobs programs, more infrastructure investment (especially in public transport, rail, and energy). People need to be put back to work.

HOWEVER, we have sat on the sideline for so long wondering how anyone was ever supposed to buy a home without a crazily low percentage down payment + ridiculously bad dangerous terms. Turns out there wasn't. So we've waited, renting. And yet prices in many areas still have not fallen that much.

So, we might support forced write downs on values that spread the pain between the banks and the current owners. And we would certainly approve of massive rental assistance for those who lose their house. However, we are depressed by anything that simply helps current owners make payments on their overly priced house. We fear at the end of this recovery, when jobs come back, houses and condos will still be to pricey, even on relatively high end professional salaries, let alone blue collar wages.

Michael Herf

Quantify how much you're spending to keep or make a job (also revenue/job), and really live by these numbers. Spend effort on businesses that will take 2-3 years to create new jobs, as well as short-term efforts. We need both.

Also, work on creating new opportunities, rather than new entitlements.

J

I would tell him to mind his own business. Really, what does he know about running a start-up or running a corporation. Or running any business for that matter? He was a prof and journals publicist, and a career politician. He's not in sales, economics, finance, or business. He should focus on what politicians are good at: enabling safety of the country and basic fundamental services. That said, tell him to focus on universal healthcare. If it is good enough for Canadians, and the rest of Western Europe, maybe Americans deserve to have the best.

H. Corey

I would like for us to start really discussing the State of Affairs. We are actually past recession and now in a depression. No one wants to say the word just like they did not want to say the word recession. The monies that are being poured in to the system are being decided by the people who caused some of the critical issues we face, sit with millions in the bank while good hard working people who saved, went to work, paid their taxes are the ones being hit.

Once we are ready to discuss where we are then we can really recognize that we cannot continue to do the same things to solve the problems. We have moved on as a nation with a infrastructure that is failing on technology, medical, and quality of living for the common American. We pay more as a nation and get less so....what would I say?

GET REAL!!!

Begin to look at innovative ways to move forward not just doing the same thing.

1) Reward the people who actually are contributing to society
2) Get intelligent people to work together who have integrity and a purpose
3) Create a penalty system/reward system that drives the right behavior

I could go on and on but there have been great comments mentioned already above

Thomas C. Roquemore

It is pretty obvious President Obama is leaning toward a socialist government. He needs to read his history lessons. Socialism has never and will never work. I am a right leaning moderate and I believe in rewarding those who work hard, educate themselves and give an effort to making their world a better place to live. What I don't believe in is the socialist way of thinking that big govt. should take away from those that have worked hard and earned what they have and giving it to those not willing to put in the effort to improve themselves. Don't get me wrong, I am all for charity for those that deserve it, those that have been downcast through no fault of their own, however, for those that believe they are the grasshopper and the world owes them a living because they are who they are, they simply need to have their eyes opened up.
Now, seeing various state and the federal governments trying to balance their budgets by increasing taxes on anybody making over $250,000 per year and cutting things like education is totally ludicrous! Obviously, if the small business has to pay more taxes, he has to make cuts elsewhere and the first place he looks is his employees and boom there are less jobs. When cutting education you obviously cut opportunities for the people willing to put forth the effort to learn how to improve themselves and their world. It's the wrong place to cut.
Now here's my suggestion, I know it's been suggested before and faught tooth and nail by special interests and big business, but they should be ignored. A 10% flat tax on all individuals and businesses with no loop holes, no deductions, no options would bring this country out of the red and into the black in no time flat without complicated paperwork or a huge bureaucracy to oversee it. Keep it simple, everybody wins! Of course, that would also mean cutting welfare and free medical to illegal immigrants, and that's not a bad thing, it would virtually eliminate our immigration woes. If you make a dollar you pay a dime, if you make a million, you pay 100,000 no ifs ands or buts. This is getting long, I better stop. This is the tip of the iceberg.

Flavio Rump

Hey Chris.
Great initiative!
I would absolutely push for the removal of the h-1b limits, I think our economy is worse of because of it. (for me you don't need to add the 10% tax proposed by Reid)
Good luck!

Melody Martiniuk

It seems that we live in a convoluted present of products and services outsourced or made in other countries. Are we financially willing to attempt to fix the world economy in hopes of making small changes in ours? Should we return to a focus on our own purchasing and product manufacturing habits? I think, like any business in trouble, it needs some professional business clarifcation. Is ths just a government grant program or are these people for real?

Shouldn't these companies that are getting bailout money qualify under specific rules? In the past similar situations, did we let the same people run the company even after getting government money? Would they work harder to keep a healthy business environment if they thought they may lose their jobs?

I would like to challenge specific officials to wake up in the morning and use/purhase/interact with products made only in the US for a period of one week.

So many issues, so many unique situations.... How will anyone apply a few sets of rules?

Erica Baker

What's being done to insure that the money I involuntarily pay now towards social security will benefit me (as has been promised) when I retire? If you can't guarantee it will be there in the future, please allow me to opt out of it now.

Aaron

If the opportunity presents itself, pass along a simple high five.

April Femrite

If I'm 33, do I still count as a young entrepreneur?

1. Big corporations getting bail out money. I get it if money goes to saving thousands of jobs but somehow I think it will go to paying off debt, surviving current economy, etc. I don't see any new job creation coming from this money. How about some type of incentives for small businesses to create new jobs - tax credits, grant dollar matching, etc?

2. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) has put many of my fellow small clothing manufacturers out of business, including Moonfly who is mentioned in this Wall Street Journal Article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123621357629835121.html
It is not the intent of the law that we are opposing because of course we all want our children to be safe - but the way it is being implemented. The law is essentially putting small, made in the USA manufacturers out of business because of the ill-thought out testing requirements.

Phil H

Wow - great idea opening this up for comment. Thanks for the chance to participate!

My questions would be centered on the 30-50 year economic impacts of what is done between now and 2012/2016. I can't think of a single person in our age group that believes there will be a shred of Social Security left when we are eligible. I wouldn't be surprised to see the initial age increase - significantly - and the payments woefully behind today's rates plus inflation adjustment. I've written off SS payments and eliminated any payments from my future financial plans.
That, combined with the unprecedented debt we'll have to incur to get out of the situation left by the previous administration, make me extremely concerned for my and my kids' futures. Somebody is going to pay for the rescue, and it's not a 30-year fixed-interest mortgage. This will be a LOOONG recovery - far longer than any politician interested in surviving to see their next term would ever admit.
I'm all for paying my part, and have not _once_ balked at the increased taxes that I'll pay under the new tax laws. I worked my arse off and now fall into a higher tax bracket - those are the breaks. However, we're rewarding people that couldn't figure out they bought more house than they should have, and have all but eliminated pride-in-ownership at the lower tax brackets. (Meaning: if you don't pay any taxes, all of your services are free so why value them?)
So, the question: With circumstances like this, what is the benefit of being successful and/or frugal? What kind of message do these rescue plans give to our society?

IAMROMA

TELL THEM TO VOTE YES ON NO!

Keller

How about asking him where is the reward for those of us who lived within our means...worked extra to put 20% down on our houses and have no credit card debt.

The Democratic theme of perpetually rewarding failure at the expense of the able is a sickness. Vote these control freaks back to their dying, Democrat led, states.

Whew...that felt good...thanks Chris.

David

Stop propping up failing auto companies.

Instead, invest in green, next gen auto companies like Tesla. (Ask them to move manufacturing jobs to Detroit if need be, to appease job loss concerns.)

joe hentz

Thanks Chris,

Income Inequality, a primary cause of the great depression, is a primary and passionate issue to President Obama and to Larry Summers.

In the president’s most recent speech he thanked Leonard Abess, who was in attendance and received a standing ovation from Congress. Mr. Abess "opened his pay" and distributed $60M of his own money to his broader team to say thanks, I didn't do it all myself.

I would ask President Obama to endorse Silicon Valley style entrepreneurial solutions to Income Inequality. One example is,

http://www.openyear.org/

And to sign-up, which would put social pressure on CxO's and super earners to do the same.

Thanks Chris and Good Luck! - Joe

regan

Please, please, please keep your word and "scour the budget for pork" - those earmarks make me sick to my stomach...they are pure nonsense and so fiscally irresponsible - not to mention politics as usual. Be bold even if it hurts (you or us).

Erica Baker

+1 to asking what happens to those of us who have chosen to live within our means.

nelking

1. Health care reform: Both my husband and I are self employed with two teenage sons (we're in our 40's) $1300 a month goes to premiums and we have a $1000 deductible. We've already put off some routine procedures because the out of pocket is something we'd rather not spend right now. Make it so no one thinks twice about health insurance or taking care of themselves. Incent and reward preventative care. Personal Trainers and nutrionists for all.

1a. I own my own Exec Recruiting business and don't employee anyone else yet. Fix the tax code. I know this can't be done over night but the amount of complexity is sucking the life out of small business and the expense of adminstering must be huge.

1b. College education for all. This is both for selfish reasons as my family will have our first college student in the fall of 2010 followed by a second in 2012. As it looks now, tuition will increase. For us, we'll figure it out. For others, college won't be an option. That's going to continue to hold us back in the long run. If every kid had no question as to how they'd afford college, well just think about that....isn't that a beautiful thought?

1c Look the CEO's of companies that have been failing because of problems they've created and tell them no more. Significantly reward CEO's who make the hard choices and will lead the country through innovation and not through empire building and their own desires. No more focus on stock price, all focus on innovation, product and service. This will grow companies that have true value, not imaginary value that's gone in an instant.

1d. Challenge hypocrisy wherever you find it. It'll be tough to get rid of, but it's an indicator of leaders and systems that are truly out of touch with the fundamentals. They should not be allowed to drive the bus.

And thank him for having the guts to show what a modern family looks like. Equally driven partners, raising grounded, confident kids without pretension, just because they have power.

MelodyMcC

There are a lot of great ideas on this thread!

I would love to see his administration employ more merit-based rewards systems for youth; every high school could be allowed to give one or a number of college scholarships to students of merit, every city can have rewards systems for local youth who make the most impact or develop solutions to local problems all paid by the government. The point would be to promote a strong civil society, local initiative and promote entrepreneurism and innovation from the ground up.

The same idea can be applied on a larger scale for companies, think tanks, universities and public and private organizations. If the Obama administration employed a highly prestigious awards system with monetary and or even purely reputational incentives, excess intellectual capital, R&D and private initiative could be harnessed for the greater good and encourage innovation in the private sector as well.

It would also be interesting if the government submitted problems to it's Web site and allowed proposals to be submitted publicly from any organization.

The same way an api can harness innovation around a product/platform, the Obama admin can allow anyone to build a solution with their know how and tools.

S.M.

I'd focus on a combination of...

- unemployment benefits including health
- job training/(re)education
- direct small business assistance

Lots of people in America were doing jobs that don't take our country, economy, or themselves forward. Seriously, how many mortgage brokers, I-bankers, SUV makers, or Gap clerks do we need? We need to support these people while they are unemployed and looking for new work. Not doing so punishes the innocent and prolongs the depression.

At the same time, we need to train these people to do useful work in jobs where they can earn better salaries. This includes tech/green/insert-buzzword-here jobs, but also mostly regular skilled work where we have a shortage (pharmacists, nurses, various trades, etc). Just as we need to improve our physical infrastructure, we need to make real investments in our human capital. This won't have an immediate payback, but the payback is huge and will last going forward. I envision a large scale training and education initiative that makes the American worker the best in the world. We need more people doing skilled, value-added work and there is no excuse for America to not excel in this regard. Unlike the AIG/C/GM/BAC/Etc bailouts, this is an investment that is *guaranteed* to pay off big.

We also need to help small businesses bridge the gap. Local businesses are hit hard when people in the community lose their jobs or are worried about losing them. We need direct low cost lending to small businesses to help them through this difficult period. This could even amount to a kind of temporary subsidy for companies that hire and do business locally since they are shut out of conventional lending now and have no other way to survive. I would rather see local businesses that are collateral damage of the meltdown get a break or "bailout" than the irresponsible large businesses and homeowners who created this mess.

So far, the administration's plan is to spend billions to bailout all the worst actors. Let's bail out the best instead: provide support and education/training for the unemployed and direct assistance for small businesses.

Ok, this is kind of off topic...

I think there should be a change to the nature of the message the government sends to the people. We keep hearing some version of the following: "By bailing out the worst, most irresponsible offenders (banks, companies, homeowners, etc), we are helping everyone avoid a worse outcome." That may be, but there is a limit. We need to see something for all the people who didn't offend. There is an undercurrent of real rage in America now regarding the injustice of this situation and the government's response. This must be addressed if the President hopes to have his initiatives continue to receive the support and goodwill he has enjoyed so far. We need to see *action*, not just pretty promises, back this up. There must be some restoration of a sense of fairness and justice for the country to move ahead.

When difficult choices have to be made, there is usually a tension between doing what is practical and what is principled. Sometimes Obama comes off as trying so hard to be practical that he misses the fact that being principled is the same thing right now. A return to basic principles of fairness and justice, starting at the top, is what the country most needs.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts. Good luck in D.C. I hope the meeting is productive. And please say 'hi' to Tony for me.

Sean Casey


Chris,

We need to embrace entrepreneurship and create the next generation of our country's industries. This includes expanding the commercial orbital transportation system within NASA and reviewing ITAR restriction that prevents entrepreneurial U.S. space companies from competing globally. Improved government/private industry partnership along with tax breaks for start-ups would help as well.

Brian


More money is needed to give small businesses tax breaks to incentivize them to hire new personal.

Banks should by law be required to take bailout money and disperse it to the public no later then 90 days.

Less taxes to businesses and individuals; cutting governmental pork to special interests needs to happen and now it can with what is happening.

Looking at the bubble that burst in a positive light that we now have the ability to make radical change, is quite an opportunity. Like a computer, our country needs to reboot in order to come back to life.. The free markets need time to correct themselves. ''

Good Luck!!

Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

This is what I would talk about:

http://conversative.net/blog/2009/02/24/world-20-too-small-to-fail

:) nmw

Laura Kaplan

The country needs to start prioritizing what it values. For example, why do professional football players make millions while a researcher looking for the cure for cancer does not?

Science & innovation are the way out of this mess - the next big invention (there was the car, the computer, etc.), the cure for cancer or paralysis or AIDS, clean energy solutions that can be sold around the world to save money and eliminate the reliance on middle east oil. Money should be sent to top researchers, engineers, scientists, etc. not to corrupt bankers and wall street execs and financial institutions who bet the farm on risky investments. Let them fail.

Britt Blaser

2 simple ideas:

1] Consumers are not obliged to pay a company any faster than that company pays its obligations, typically 90 days in a recession. This would immediately stimulate the economy and, as companies reduce their payables cycle, stimulate the smaller businesses they are stretching out.

Yes, it would hurt credit card issuers, but we the people already own them.

2] Create a SWAT team of systems experts to help government employees eliminate their own job. If successful, the employee gets a generous package or the full salary and retirement benefits as if s/he kept working.

Why? Government is not expensive because we pay lots of people. It's expensive because of the programs they think up to justify their job and budget.

Jade Wang

The majority of minds are already on the right track of how to spend the money (mass transit, renewable energy, etc.), but the larger question is how would we pay for it. It's possible to pay for a significant portion of the bill... The solution: special-issue savings bond for expedited U.S. permanent residence status or citizenship, available in $500K or $1 million, respectively. The residency requirement should have a large positive impact on the housing market.

Ram's post above is quite a bit undervalued. At $1 million per person, over 8 years, we could let in 100,000 each year, and that would pay for the whole thing.

http://www.jadism.com/2009/01/immodest-proposal.html

David Wetuski

Pumping more money into the economy will further erode our confidence in the value of the currency and decrease our incentive to work for that money in a way that benefits society and not just our own financial situation. That's one of the main problems with Keynesian economics... it depends upon the belief that the currency has a fixed value while relying on manipulation of that currency to influence the economy (the other main problem being that manipulating the currency cannot affect single industries in isolation).

The best thing to do is get away from our current economic model and move towards an economic model that rewards people for providing useful contributions to the productivity of society instead of for just gaming the system. Reducing unemployment isn't an answer... providing people with ample opportunities to work productively and efficiently is.

Tom Teves

A Fed no-interest small biz loan/grant pgm tied specifically to new hiring. 25% grant/75% loan. Must spend on salaries, wages, benes. Fed gives my company $100,000, I spend it all on new hires, I only owe back $75,000 with no interest.

wayne

Take some bailout money and use it to create a venture capitalist fund for new technology companies -- regardless of business revenue model just fund good ideas. The small percentage that become successful should have positive equity.

Dave

Tell him that entrepreneurs are sick of being regulated and taxed at every turn. I am a young entrepreneur with two growing businesses...The first dollar I make each year is taxed at 24% then it goes up from there. Is the governement a 25% holder in my company? Do they 25% of the work? do they take 25% of the risk? They have sleepless nights worrying about their 25% of my cash flow. And that is only on the first dollar. God forbid, I make a salary equivalent of someone my age then I get taxed 40%. Then when all this hard work pays off and I am repaid for my work with making over $250K...I only get to keep 50% of it. There is something wrong with this...they do nothing to help me and they get 25-50% of my companies.

So please just tell him to give us a break. Lower taxes would really free up my cash flow, which would allow me expand. I can't hire more people when my silent partner (the gov't) is taking 25-40% of my income.

Shen

I'd say continue injecting more funds into scientific and academic research. For example, instead of $10 million to the NIH and $3 million to the NSF, why not $20 million, or $30 million, or even more than $1 billion. Wall St doesn't need the bail out. It's the minds who drive the American society and technology that need it because they are doing the real work.

Shannon Smith

Can't wait to hear how it went at White House today... and hoping that all this talk will result in action that will benefit all. I haven't heard anyone suggest that the SBA just work directly with small businesses rather than loaning money through the banks that are struggling and choosing not to make loans to certain business segments that are "too risky".

Our bank featured us as a SBA "success Story" for the loan that financed our first business - a restaurant that was chosen Orange County's best new restaurant 2008. Now the bank is struggling and despite our cash flow positive status and credit worthiness, we are being denied additional loans to build for two A+ lease sites at which we have the opportunity to build. Looking for private investors and still working our patooties off to "make it happen". So, one way or another, get money in the hands of small businesses - we can employ 40 people and hire many to build out our restaurants - and stimulate our share of the economy in Orange County

nelking

So, Chris, what did you say, or not say? More than 140 characters would be great. Thanks.

Richard Aziz Grieser

Bill Gates once said, "a computer in every home in America", but why not on every school desk?

I'm talking about 1 monitor, 1 mouse, 1 keyboard, and a web browser.

Focus your attention on education, k-12. Move it to the web, with a Wikipedia-like open-source curriculum and knowledge base, but driven with a state of the art and evolutionary interactive learning experience.

Produce brighter minds, reduce future problems. Using an analogy: you're immediately stopping the bleed, and allowing time to heal. All while spending very little tax payer money. (compared to bailouts that is)

You're my only hope O-ba-ma-kenobi.

Kane

Where is the small business stimulas package? We employ and contribute more to the the GNP than large businesses yet we are not being supported. We acquired a business that was struggling and banks could not help provide loans. We have three businesses in the marine industry and have way's to keep it afloat during this tough time yet we can't get any funding to help. We laid off 3 people and asked others to reduce their salaries. The risks we take as small business owners in many cases are not supported. Give the small business matching funds at low interests.

EA

An issue I would like to see it being discussed is The Making Home Affordable program. The program left out 50% of the people who do not have their mortgages with Freddie or Fannie. Many people in the SF Bay Area, where you and I reside, are not qualified for the mortgage modification. The Bay area also has one of the highest unemployment rates (http://www.bls.gov/web/laummtrk.htm) and keep rising. How is the Obama team going to help the responsible homeowners who are unemployed and can't get a break with their mortgages?

Mairéid

Read the book "The Secret Life of Real Estate - how it moves and why" by Phillip J. Anderson, released this month on amazon.com –to gain a clear insight on how American history was built on 18-year real estate boom bust cycle, the worst of which we are still sliding down on the bust side of now, the foundation of Neo-classical Economics.

But, there is an "intelligent" alternative: Classical Economics has the answer, but vested interest prevent implementation: Land Value Taxation - or Resource Rent, while removing taxes on income and business. The numbers show we would all be better off - no more poverty for a start.

It is good to see that President Obama is considering removing subsidies to oil companies. Imagine that! Taxpayers subsidizing oil companies, and many other industries. !! ... when THEY should be paying a 10% tax to consolidated revenue.

Julie Poplawski

Just stumbled into your blog, how did the meeting go???

toosinbeymen

I would say, forget about saving banks and bankers, save the economy, please. We elected you to bring change but instead you're bringing more of the same. Enough oligarchic capitalism, you were elected by we little people, please look after our interests, too.

gene richeson

It's time for Chariman Bernanke and Eric Schmidt to announce their partnership to form the "Federal Reserve Cash Card", an account to substitute cash in any amount which could be used as legal tender in lieu of traditional cash. Any US citizen with a SS# could open an account and be issued a "card" which could be used for legal tender. Sellers would prefer it because it equals cash and could be electronically accessed. It is NOT a credit card and has nothing to do with traditional credit. (Over time, it can be a source of funding for our debt by paying interest as we do on other forms of treasury securities.) It's modest cost would be no greater than printed money....likely less, and would serve as a shot across the bow of monopolistic practices of "too big to fail" banks.

Nancy Lee

Help the banks or make the banks start lending again! We are waiting to hear for a "hardship refi" and cannot even get someone to let us know "if or when". They are so baffled by the enormous job. Meanwhile my laid off husband is working a lesser job living in a travel trailer in another state from me. I am busy fight sarcoidosis and trying to sell our home here so we can afford to buy here hubby is working. It is quite a conundrum. I have been sick for five years and hope to get well soon and go back to teaching. I am involved ina private study that is quite promising! Our mortgage is taking almost 2 wks pay when last year it took about half a weeks pay! We have enver asked for HELP before I have never even tried for disability as I have such a passion to go back to work!

Bman

I would ask Obama to read the WSJ op-ed by Whole Foods. Maybe he would learn something. The guy is seriously clueless. A "leadership vacuum" at Whole Foods? Hardly. That's what I call leadership - taking care of their employees.

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