Obama poised to sign stimulus
Published 10:13 am Tuesday, February 17, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ready to sign into law the most sweeping economic package in decades, a rescue plan meant to reinvigorate job creation, consumer spending and public optimism. Add the bill to an ever-growing deficit.
Capping the biggest victory of his month-old administration, Obama will sign the economic legislation Tuesday in Denver.
The setting, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, is meant to underscore the investments the new law will make in ‘‘green’’ energy-related jobs. It also allows Obama to get away from Washington, where the bill’s passage was a mostly partisan affair, and be among people who may benefit from the huge government intervention.
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The flailing economy continues to dominate Obama’s time.
Tuesday is also when General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which are living off a combined $13.4 billion in federal bailout loans, are due to hand in plans to Obama’s government about how they can remain viable.
And on Wednesday in Arizona, Obama will unveil another part of his economic recovery effort — a plan to help millions of homeowners fend off foreclosure.
But first comes the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, which tries to attack the nation’s economic free fall on multiple fronts.
It pumps money into infrastructure projects, health care, renewable energy development and conservation, with twin goals of short-term job production and longer-term economic viability.
There’s a $400 tax break for most individual workers and $800 for couples, including those who do not earn enough to pay income taxes. It dishes out tens of billions of dollars to states so they can head off deep cuts and layoffs. It provides financial incentives for people to start buying again, from first homes to new cars.
And it provides help to poor people and laid-off workers, with increased unemployment benefits and food stamps, and subsides for health insurance.
What is not expected to do is change the nation’s economic fortunes quickly. So part of the White House’s goal has been managing expectations.