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The Audacity of Help
Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America
by John F. Wasik

book cover
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The Audacity of Help is a provocative new look at the Obama economic plan. How will it stimulate the worst economy in a generation? Who will gain? Who will lose? What are his plans for reviving public education, small business, the environment, credit reform, health care, homeownership and entitlement programs? Which industries will benefit? What new jobs will be created? I take an incisive look at one of the boldest economic restructuring programs since the New Deal.

When President Obama took office, banks were severly impaired, companies were cutting pensions, and market disruptions and unemployment left more than 45 million people without health insurance or retirement security.

In his new book, THE AUDACITY OF HELP: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America (Bloomberg Press, August 2009), John Wasik presents powerful insights into what our new president has promised and how Congress is reshaping -- and sometimes sidelining -- his ideas to deliver final pieces of economic legislation. Each chapter is clearly structured to show "what Congress passed," and "who benefits most," on issues such as Unemployment Insurance Benefits, COBRA, Home Energy Credits, Early Childhood Education, and more.

“Wasik has that rarest of abilities—to combine political philosophy with personal finance. He shows the Obama Administration and the taxpayer alike a path out of the economic fog. Wasik's critique without rage sheds light on a way forward for the administration.”
—Amity Shlaes, bestselling author and Senior Columnist, Bloomberg News

”No crystal ball—even President Obama’s—can ever be perfect, but veteran business journalist John Wasik has experience in following economic intent through to economic reality. Wasik has taken the time to carefully sort out the impact of a stimulus program destined to be a significant page in history books.”
—Andrew Leckey, Reynolds Business Journalism Chair, Walter Cronkite School, Arizona State University, and syndicated investment columnist for Tribune Media Services

Wasik calls the huge agenda that Obama has taken on the "Green Deal," because Obama wants a more ecological sense of shared responsibility — interrelationships within society and the economy and not just the environment. For example, Obama wants to:

While Obama relies on humanistic economics and social capitalism, he may not be able to boost incomes, restore sanity to financial markets, or even make health care affordable and available to all, yet he will surely provide a new agenda for tackling these problems.

Wasik writes that the success of the Obama plan comes down to how much Americans rally behind this renaissance; whether it is sustainably funded over the long term; and whether Congress listens to the electorate instead of the lobbies that still have undue influence on the people's business.

In THE AUDACITY OF HELP, Wasik wraps up his thorough coverage by itemizing what the new economy agenda will look like, industry and employment trends and how it will remake America.

*Note: the Appendix includes a detailed list of the spending in the stimulus plan.

Media professionals can obtain review copies by contacting Yvette Romero at Bloomberg Press, 212-617-8617;

Order here.

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About the Author

John Wasik has won 18 journalism awards, including several from the National Press Club, for consumer and business journalism. His Merchant of Power was praised by Studs Terkel and well reviewed by the New York Times. Wasik is a financial columnist for Bloomberg News and the author of 11 other books. He has appeared on such national media as NBC, NPR, and PBS.

For an interview with the author or a media review copy, contact: Yvette Romero,, 212-617-8617.