: President Barack Obama is considering a mix of spending programs and tax cuts to respond to widening job losses that would amount to an additional economic stimulus without carrying that label.
The discussion of the initiatives, including a boost in transportation spending and an extension of an expiring tax credit for first-time homebuyers, comes as the White House is balancing rising concern about unemployment and a budget deficit the Congressional Budget Office estimates will total $1.6 trillion for 2009, and $1.4 trillion in 2010.
Administration officials have told allies in Congress that a broader transportation bill, and extensions of a homebuyer tax credit and unemployment benefits are all on the table, a Senate aide said.
It’s starting to look like the extended homebuyer tax credit is a done deal. Politicians were talking it up this weekend, and nobody wants to see the home market start to backslide again.
What’s not clear is why the President isn’t interested in just a plain vanilla, across-the-board tax cut. It would encounter little opposition from Congress, and it would put cash in consumers’ products immediately. Even if they used it to pay down debt, as some warn, that would be fine.