Monday, October 13, 2008


After offering practically nothing to the discussion of the fiscal crisis for several weeks,, Barack Obama has finally come up with useful proposals. . . .

Reuters: Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama on Monday proposed four steps to create jobs and to cushion Americans against the effects of the economic downturn as he campaigned in an area hit hard by the slowdown. The proposals, costing $60 billion over two years, include tax credits for firms that create new jobs, penalty-free withdrawals from retirement accounts and temporarily barring banks from foreclosing on people trying to pay their mortgages. Obama also called on the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department to set up a facility to lend to state and municipal governments, similar to the steps recently taken by the Federal Reserve to inject liquidity into the commercial debt market.

Obama's proposals include:

- A temporary $3,000 tax credit to companies for each new job created in the United States over the next two years.

- Penalty free withdrawals from 401(k) and IRA retirement accounts up to a maximum of $10,000 this year and next.

-- A 90-day moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners who are living in their homes and making good-faith efforts to make their mortgage payments.

- A call for the Treasury to help unfreeze markets for individual mortgages, student loans, car loans, loans for multifamily dwellings and credit card loans.


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