CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama will meet next week with his economic team to discuss the economic stimulus package they are developing, a transition aide for the incoming administration confirmed to CNN on Saturday.
The aide said the team also met with Obama in Chicago on Thursday, the same day the president-elect picked former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle for two important roles - secretary of Health and Human Services and director of the White House Office of Health Reform.
The Obama team isn't putting a price tag on its economic stimulus plan, which Democratic leaders want to have ready for the new president to sign either on or very soon after Inauguration Day.
Currently, the initial package is expected to cost somewhere between $500 billion and $700 billion over two years.
On the likely agenda: Funds for infrastructure projects, middle class tax cuts, aid to state and local governments, and money for safety net programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.
Obama has described the package as "the largest infrastructure program ... since the building of the Federal Highway System in the 1950s."
Infrastructure is likely to be the most controversial measure. Many critics say such funding isn't the best way to jumpstart economic activity in the near-term because many infrastructure projects take too long to get under way.
A recovery package also might include an extension of the increase on the maximum loan amounts that qualify mortgages for backing from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration, a measure that House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Massachussetts, is advocating. On January 1, the limit will drop to $625,500 from $729,750 in the highest-cost housing markets.
–CNN's Jessica Yellin contributed to this report
Can a mod please tell me why my comments are not going through? I haven't posted anything obscene? email@example.com Thanks.
Where is all this money coming from?
How is this going to affect our taxes?
I voted for you Mr. Obama hopefully for the right reasons. $700 BILLION is not even a reason. Don't let the Republicans prove me and millions of others wrong. jb
To Will –
Please learn how to write before posting on CNN.com
I never heard so much crying about how and where the money is coming from and who is going to pay for it. We had eight years of dismal leadership and now we have a chance to make things right, so stop the crying and get involved with your local government as well as the federal government!
for all those complaining about Obama, tell me please! what mccain would have done?nothing but more of Bush
I'm nervous as hell. However, somebody's *got* to do something! Do you think he wants to see this country sink? You think he lies awake at night thinking, "gee, how can I emulate Bush?"
All y'all who're knocking him have any *better* solutions? Oh, yeah, right. None of us have the full deck of cards - we don't know the whole story. He's consulted with top financial thinkers and business folks. He's looking at the big picture. We only see what picture is put before us - via the media. He has a bit more at his disposal than we have at ours. Let him do his job.
From an economic standpoint, a fiscal stimulus ought to be an effective policy to stimulate the economy. In general, it packs a bigger punch than a tax cut, which is often forgotten.
In this case, it is also best though of as an investment – good infrastructure provides continuing economic benefits into the future, and incrementally ameliorating the recession will have broad benefits. It's not money wasted. So it's not simply a handout, but it does have costs.
The problem is that deficit spending is supposed to be made up for by proportional tax increases later on. Since no one is willing to pay higher taxes when it would be responsible to do so, neither party is willing to propose such a measure. The ultimate problem lies with the public as much as the politicians; we all want to have it both ways.
Obama was elected on Change. I voted against him, but I was excited and ready to see the change he said he was going to bring to the White House. I wanted him to succeed.
What has he done so far? He's put the same old cats in charge of different parts of the government that have been around for years, he's gone against his campaign promise of pulling the troops out in 16 months and now he's talking about more Bush-esque "stimulus" packages that will do nothing more than create more debt for this country.
Sure, short term we will create jobs and drive on smoother roadways - but debt and government reliance is the problem here. Creating more of both is not the answer, and it certainly isn't change.
Mr. Obama, I didn't like you during the election but I looked to you with an open mind after you won the election. Now I look at you with the same digust as I do most politicians.
We want change, not more of the same.
all you id**ts critizing Obama's economic startegy plz grab econ 101 book and read it. Read it hundered times. You need to understand that this is THE only way to get ourselves out of this hole that the last administration put us in. There is no way out!
I'm sorry, do I hear you complaining about the economy? In three of the last four major recessions that I can think of (the Great Depression, the late 1980's to the early 1990's, and the current one), there has been a Republican president: Herbert Hoover, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. At the end of each of these economic crises, there has been a "liblib" at the helm: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and now, Barack Obama. So tell me: what's wrong with liberal Democrats again?
There are many questioning "where oh where" is this money coming from? I'll tell you where it's coming from. It is coming from the same place the 10 billion dollars a month comes from that is paying for the war in Iraq! Don't belly ache about money now; you should have screamed when the cost of the wars came in to place. You are "quiet" about spending money to fight wars, but viciously vocal about spending money in hopes of stimulating the economy in which YOU live. I work and make a very good salary. I will be taxed just like every one else. I don't like it, but I would not trade my way of life in this Country for no other one in this world.
Sigh... it's a little late for you guys to open your eyes. You decided to vote for 'change'. Enjoy your change, but remember. We told you so.
Perhaps his Chicago frinds that paid millions to get him elected will
come up with a few billion to help him out.
That will buy allot of Senate seats.
What else do you expect him do after the mess Bush has got us into. If we have to spend money to create jobs,then so be it. Give the man a chance people. He can't do any worse than what we've had the past 8 years. Also, he can't work miracles. Be patient and try to be on his side instead of being so divisive. Pray for him.
I'm watching the History Chanel right now ,it's the history of FDR and the "New Deal" ,TVA,etc.,everyone needs to watch it,history is about to repeat it's self if Obama has anything to do with it .Watch or really learn all of the expensive mistakes FDR made.The Great Depression lasted twice as long as would if the government had not gotten involved as an employer.
You think Bush ran up the deficit? You ain't seen nothin' yet.
You guys really dont know what Obama wants to do with the money. The congress made a mistake about giving Paulson that 700b. So i think the new Congress will be smarter and learn from that mistake and approve the package with less loopholes
I think it would be cheaper to keep Bush in office.
Since Defense eats up 2/3's of all discretionary spending, and now we're closing libraries and schools all over our nation, how about we
push all the B-52's into a big "defense" bonfire, and hold a bake-off?
The "defense" white-lab coat welfare tax dole eats more billions than
all our health and human services programs, not including our SS
and Medicare, which we have to constantly remind people is a *paid-
in trust fund*, and not some slush fund for Congress to gild DoD with.
This "infrastructure" program is just more Gov.mil giveaway grifting,
same bloated welfare tax dole government/contractors, different day.
Maybe 20% will actual pave our streets, the rest goes to bureaucracy,
here with the greatest recession since 1974, *no Gov.mil layoffs!!!*
What do you think, how much money is needed to fix all that this admin has done to us? How much (not counting losed lives) this war in Iraq has cost us? At least, we will have a POTUS who thinks that is better to invest here, building roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, etc., then spend this money "to bring democracy in Iraq"! How much we have invested in Iraq, when we could put this money to work here. We wouldn't be in this situation now if we had a President who was thinking about America, instead of oil companies, banks, CEO's, etc.
I will be happy to pay higher taxes knowing that this money goes to put our people to work, my children in better schools, driving the roads w/o holles, bridges that don't colapse killing people, and more.
Go Obama, take what ever is needed to bring life back to America!
Invest so much you want, just bring this country in the state of 8 y ago.
And, for all this racist and repugs out there, I am white male, 45 y old with 3 children realy worried about our country.
this is PAY FOR PLAY
this is NOT PAY AS YOU GO
Google: Zeitgeist Addendum and watch it. It shows you where the money comes from!