Managing the recession

January 13, 2009 3:54:19 PM PST
In Maspeth, Queens, almost everyone knows Iavarone's Deli. The family run business has been here for decades. On a good day, about 1300 people come through the doors, but in these tough times that number is often a little lower and buying habits have changed.

"I see a lot more pasta sales, things of that sort," Joe Iavarone said.

His business is one of many small enterprises that would benefit from the President -elect's economic proposals.

He would get tax breaks for growing his business in 2009, something he's already planning to do, and write-offs on previous losses.

"Sounds like I'll be making money from day one," he said.

Employees like his niece, Michele, would see more money in her pocket in the form of a tax break.

That's just what the President-elect is hoping. By putting massive amounts of money back into the economy, he is hoping to spur a recovery.

The plan includes money for infrastructure projects, creating 3 million new jobs and 300 billion in tax breaks.

The cost is enormous: 770 billion dollars. Don't think it will happen overnight. Even Joe knows it will take time.

"I think we have 12 to 18 months going forward, but what do I know. I'm just a deli worker," he said.

Maybe, but economists agree with Joe. The economy is like a giant cruise ship. It doesn't turn on a dime.

"You really want to get people back to work. You really want to get things going. The difference in increases in expenditure is quickly putting them into place," NYU economist Paul Wachtel explained.

Which is why the President-elect is speaking out now, before even taking office.

He offered his economic plan in a major speech last week, aimed at getting the ship turned sooner rather than later.

Which takes us back to Iavarone's Deli.

"No charge on those two cans of tomatoes. We want you to come back," Joe told a customer.

As this new administration gets ready for business, there is a sense of optimism here that things will change. That's a bit surprising given that Joe didn't vote for Barack Obama.