Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Obama's Economic Package To Hit Campaign Trail

Obama in Hawaii

Coming to a city near you: Obama's economic recovery plan. Obama and other staffers will even leave Washington as part of a marketing blitz to pass the stimulus, or what the Obama administration prefers to call the economic recovery plan.
LAT: President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to lead a full-scale marketing blitz to pass the massive new stimulus package that he says is needed to revive the slumping economy and put the nation on the course he laid out during his campaign.

Obama will move to Washington this weekend, checking into a hotel with his family. In the remaining weeks of the transition, and after he is sworn in, he will use the bully pulpit to make the case for passage of a stimulus package of up to $775 billion, an aide said.

Obama, now in Hawaii on vacation, may travel outside Washington after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, while others in the new administration scatter across the country to explain in minute detail the scope and purpose of the stimulus plan, said David Axelrod, a senior advisor to the president-elect.

"We'll fan out, and this will be a public process," Axelrod said in an interview. "We'll make clear to people why we need to do what we're doing, why it's the size it is, what the individual component parts are, and why they are an important part of the equation in terms of short-term recovery."

Obama, he said, "wants the American people involved in this discussion."

But his stratagem of mobilizing grass-roots support and using his popularity to sway public opinion could inflame partisan tensions.
As far as middle class tax cuts:
Aides would not discuss certain aspects of the package, including the tax cut, saying the details were still being worked out.

But a House leadership aide said the tax cut may come in the form of a payroll tax reduction so that "there'd be more in your paycheck." The cut would potentially apply to people earning as much as $250,000 a year, the aide said.

A House vote on the bill may come the week of Jan. 12, the leadership aide said. A Senate timetable is less certain.

By invoking the threat of a filibuster, the Senate could delay passage. So for Obama to win swift adoption, a Senate aide said, Republican collaboration is essential.

"We expect to move as quickly as possible, but in the end it depends on what kind of cooperation we get from Republicans," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

More money in our paychecks?
CNN: For many cash-strapped workers, Barack Obama's plan to stimulate the economy could mean more take-home money in their paychecks.

While details remain unclear, the president-elect's recovery proposal is likely to include a tax cut to boost spending. Exactly how much of a break that could mean for workers depends on how the tax cut is structured.