Barack Obama’s financial team is constructing a $500 billion stimulus plan that it hopes to rush through Congress early in 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama would sign the bill, which is far more ambitious than anything discussed during the campaign, almost immediately after his inauguration. “This is an extraordinary time,” an aide said, “and extraordinary responses are needed.”
Obama may announce the plan today at the same time that he unveils his full economic team. Meanwhile, Henry Paulson is considering tapping the second half of the $700 billion bailout to roll out a series of aggressive programs in response to the worsening market conditions. The new approaches would focus on making it easier for households to borrow and on reducing foreclosures.