Obama Stimulus Plan: Keep it Under a Trillionby Tim Manni
President-elect Barack Obama and his economic team have been crafting an expansive — and costly — economic- stimulus package for Congress that is slated to be his first major act as President. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama’s transition team gauges the price tag of the stimulus package to be between $675 billion and $775 billion over two years. Other claims report the program could reach $850 billion. But fear not, insiders have assured the Journal they are doing their best to keep the stimulus under $1 trillion (for “that could carry political consequences”).
“The biggest fear is that people will do too little,” said one Democratic leadership aide, “like a start-up that fails because it didn’t do enough.”
Obama’s advisers and Congressional aides are pushing to have a draft ready for Congress by the time they return on January 6, so there may be enough time to push the legislation through the House and Senate before Inauguration Day:
Even before the details are known, a coalition of liberal groups and labor unions on Thursday announced a major campaign to get the package passed before Inauguration Day, arguing that the new president should not have to expend political capital to rescue the economy left behind by his predecessor.
The sheer size of such a stimulus has many grimacing at the amount of “pork” that could be buried in the expansive package:
But, in pursuing the largest fiscal stimulus since the Depression, Democrats are likely to add many more categories, legislative aides say.