Tech CEOs Meet With President, Support Obama's Stimulus Plans - InformationWeek
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1/29/2009
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K.C. Jones
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Tech CEOs Meet With President, Support Obama's Stimulus Plans

Tech giants have come out in support of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plans. Dozens of technology company leaders sent a letter to Congress last week saying that they supported Obama's plan.

Tech giants have come out in support of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plans. Dozens of technology company leaders sent a letter to Congress last week saying that they supported Obama's plan.About 10 of those companies' CEOs joined three CEOs of companies in other sectors Wednesday to reiterate their support and discuss business with the president.

The companies include IBM, Honeywell, Xerox, Corning, Micron, Applied Technologies, and Kodak.

The CEOs expressed support for spending on broadband as well as several other key initiatives that are likely to benefit the tech sector. Those include a computerized energy grid, green infrastructure, and health care information technology, or e-health records.

Since IT and data storage are woven into infrastructure projects like the nation's transportation system and energy grids and school modernization, the tech industry stands to benefit from them. They account for about $113 billion in spending planned under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

Of the $819 billion being spent to shore up the economy, the House set aside another $6 billion to expand broadband, while the Senate has proposed spending $9 billion and offering tax incentives to ISPs that provide 5 Mbps/1 Mbps in underserved areas and faster speeds of 100 Mbps/20 Mbps to areas they already serve.

The U.S. House of Representative passed its version of the plan Wednesday. The U.S. Senate is still debating the package. Both versions call for network neutrality for any broadband expansion paid for by tax dollars.

In Wednesday's meeting, Obama said, "Most of the money that we're investing as part of this plan will get out the door immediately and go directly to job creation, generating or saving 3 to 4 million new jobs. And the vast majority of these jobs will be created in the private sector, because, as these CEOs well know, business, not government, is the engine of growth in this country."

He went on to say that innovation, infrastructure upgrades, better health care, and modern schools will propel growth and prosperity, helping America "retain and regain its competitive edge."

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