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November 23, 2008 11:08 p.m.

From ABC

Democratic sources tell ABC News that President-elect Obama’s transition team is working with lawmakers on Capitol Hill so that on Obama’s first day in office, Jan. 20, 2009, an economic stimulus package has passed both houses of Congress and is awaiting his signature.

Only a few weeks ago, the numbers under discussion were in the $100 – $200 billion range. Now we’re hearing numbers in the $500 billion range. And from what I can glean from the economists whose opinion I most respect, that only gets us to the threshold level of what will be needed.

Late Update: Needless to say, with so much money on the table, a lot of the people who got us into the mess will be lining up and lobbying for hand-outs. The bottom line, I think, is that the money has to go toward building real stuff — primarily infrastructure — and pumped into the hands of people who will immediately spend it, i.e., middle and lower-income people who will spend it on necessities.

This is really going to be a titanic struggle. It would be fascinating, even fun to watch it unfold if it weren’t that all our futures depended on the result.

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