Tax cuts included in Obama plan

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama steps onto an Air Force 757 in Chicago departing for Washington -- January 4, 2009


Renita Jablonski: Barack Obama will also be on Capitol Hill today. His visit is to talk stimulus. Mr. Obama wants quick movement on a broad economic package but congressional leaders say it won't be ready for at least another month. The president-elect won't put a price tag on the plan, but congressional aides say he's looking for more than $300 billion in tax cuts. Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: The stimulus package is expected to include a middle-class tax cut, and funding for states, focusing on infrastructure projects. Obama is said to be considering a reduction in payroll taxes. Consumers' paychecks would be slightly fatter.

The thinking is, they'd go out and spend that extra money right away. The infrastructure projects would include roads, bridges, broadband access, and energy efficiency.

Wachovia senior economist Mark Vitner says those are good investments.

Mark Vitner: Spending dollars on infrastructure adds more to the economy than what you physically spend. It has a greater payback.

Some Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats aren't convinced. They want to weed out spending on projects that are important locally, but look like pork on Capitol Hill.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.
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I would love to see high speed rail included in the infrastructure projects that receive funding. I doubt there are any such projects that are "shovel ready" in the U.S., but it is still deserving of funding--would cut green house gases, dependence on foreign oil, congestion at airports. I lived in Japan for almost a decade where a majority of people travel long distances via "Shinkansen"--the bullet train. Cost and speed are about the same as domestic flights. Airlines lack of comfort and convenience, however, cannot even compare. The US should look to Japan, Germany and other countries where high speed rail is in use and follow suit. Mag Lev anyone?

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