Archive for the ‘fiscal’ Category

Obama Considers Up To $1 Trillion Stimulus Including Tax Breaks

December 17, 2008

Anxious to jolt the economy back to life, President-elect Barack Obama is considering a federal stimulus package that could reach a whopping $1 trillion, dwarfing last spring’s tax rebates and rivaling drastic government actions to fight the Great Depression.

Obama has not settled on a grand total, but after consulting with outside economists of all political stripes, his advisers appear determined to make the stimulus bigger than the $600 billion they initially envisioned, aides said Wednesday.

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer

Euros and US dollar banknotes in a cash register. The European ...

Obama is promoting a recovery plan that would feature spending on roads and other infrastructure projects, energy-efficient government buildings, new and renovated schools and environmentally friendly technologies.

There would also be some form of tax relief, according to the Obama team, which is well aware of the political difficulty of pushing such a large package through Congress, even in a time of recession.

While a stimulus of $1 trillion over two years is under discussion, a more likely figure seems to be $850 billion. There is concern that a package that looks too large could worry financial markets, and the incoming economic team also wants to signal fiscal restraint.

Related: 
Obama Economic Stimulus: Porkfest or Necessary Revitalization?

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217
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The “Real” Obama: How Centrist?

December 12, 2008

Barack Obama has garnered praise from center to right — and has highly irritated the left — with the centrism of his major appointments. Because Obama’s own beliefs remain largely opaque, his appointments have led to the conclusion that he intends to govern from the center.

Obama the centrist? I’m not so sure. Take the foreign policy team: Hillary Clinton, James Jones and Bush holdover Robert Gates. As centrist as you can get. But the choice was far less ideological than practical. Obama has no intention of being a foreign policy president. Unlike, say, Nixon or Reagan, he does not have aspirations abroad. He simply wants quiet on his eastern and western fronts so that he can proceed with what he really cares about — his domestic agenda.

 Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
Friday, December 12, 2008; Page A27

Similarly his senior economic team, the brilliant trio of Tim Geithner, Larry Summers and Paul Volcker: centrist, experienced and mainstream. But their principal task is to stabilize the financial system, a highly pragmatic task in which Obama has no particular ideological stake.
A functioning financial system is a necessary condition for a successful Obama presidency. As in foreign policy, Obama wants experts and veterans to manage and pacify universes in which he has little experience and less personal commitment. Their job is to keep credit flowing and the world at bay so that Obama can address his real ambition: to effect a domestic transformation as grand and ambitious as Franklin Roosevelt’s.

As Obama revealingly said just last week, “This painful crisis also provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary people.” Transformation is his mission. Crisis provides the opportunity. The election provides him the power.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/12/11
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