Tech CEOs offer Obama views on stimulus

President Barack Obama met with a group of technology chief executives in the White House on Jan. 28 to build up support for tech-related initiatives in his economic stimulus package.

Technology leaders, while facing challenges from the economy, generally are pleased with the president’s approach to technology and with the stimulus package, according to Dean Garfield, the new president of the Information Technology Industry Council, who participated in a White House briefing immediately after the CEOs’ meeting. Seven of the CEOs who were present at the White House meeting are members of the council, Garfield said.

“The mood was somber but very supportive and energized,” Garfield told Washington Technology. “People are facing tough decisions but they realize that with initiatives like health IT, broadband and the smart grid, it will not only create new jobs but also put us on a better path for our future.”

Garfield arrived from California three weeks ago after a stint as vice president for the Motion Picture Association of America. His wife, Chandra Tuck-Garfield, is a former aide to Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and former assistant director of the Minority Telecommunications Development Program.

Company leaders present at the meeting included Steve Appleton of Micron Technology; Greg Brown of Motorola; John Bryson of Edison International; David Cote of Honeywell; Debra Lee of BET Holdings; Sam Palmisano of IBM; Eric Schmidt of Google; Mike Splinter of Applied Materials; Wendell Weeks of Corning; and Ron Williams of Aetna.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Sat, Jan 31, 2009

Steve Appleton of Micron Technology; Greg Brown of Motorola; John Bryson of Edison International; David Cote of Honeywell; Debra Lee of BET Holdings; Sam Palmisano of IBM; Eric Schmidt of Google; Mike Splinter of Applied Materials; Wendell Weeks of Corning; and Ron Williams of Aetna.

Are any of these people or organizations members of the CFR? How many are democrats? Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPU8w7Bxc0A&NR=1

Fri, Jan 30, 2009 Diane California

This is really a government stimulus bill. The only way to stimulate the citizens and businesses is to let them keep more of their money by lowering taxes. Businesses could hire more people who could then spend more money on good and services and stimulate the economy through their spending habits. It is the people who need to do the spending, not the government.

Fri, Jan 30, 2009 Roger New Jersey

The stimulus package is really Government Expansion Sold as: to provide immediate stimulus to the economy that needs to be acted on now. Reality: It is a ten-year spending and government expansion program. How can a stimulus package to get us out of the recession now take ten years? Sold as: It will fund much needed infrastructure. Reality: $90B of the $900B is designated as infrastructure spending, $214B for “Save Public Sector Jobs and Protect Vital Services.” More public sector (government) jobs. So, if there is any characterization of the spending it should be a major expansion of government, not infrastructure. Sold as: It will create jobs now. Reality: Independent nonpartisan analysis shows most job creation comes beyond 2010. $252 billion is for benefits to individuals that have nothing to do with creating jobs. That is $81 billion for Medicaid, $36B for expanded unemployment benefits, $20B for food stamps, and $83B for the earned income credit. You may believe this is worthwhile spending for poorer Americans, but they aren't job creators – try to sell it on that. Read the summary of the original program released by House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. David Obey - it is eye-opening "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before." So said White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in November, and Democrats in Congress are certainly taking his advice to heart.

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