The new New Deal

The House and the Senate have drafted a compromise stimulus bill totalling $789.5B, all but guaranteeing the largest economic rescue program since Roosevelt’s New Deal. Obama hailed the “endeavor of enormous scope and scale,” though it may turn out to be just a down payment on efforts to turn around the economy. The package, which exceeds the cost of the entire Iraq war since the 2003 invasion, will expand unemployment insurance, streamline health-care delivery, give Washington more control over local education spending and tilt federal assistance to the poor. Around 35% of the package is earmarked for tax cuts. Obama and Democratic leaders lowered their expectations for job creation to 3.5M from 4M. Both chambers could approve the compromise bill by the end of the week.

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