Obama's plans, outlined by his transition team on television talk shows, could put aside his campaign pledge to repeal a Bush tax cut for the wealthy. With the downturn in the economy, those tax cuts may remain in place until they are scheduled to die in 2011, said William M. Daley, an economic adviser. "That looks more likely than not," he said.
Though Obama aides declined to discuss a total cost, it probably would far exceed the $175 billion he proposed during the campaign. Some economists and lawmakers have argued for a two-year plan as large as $700 billion, equal to the Wall Street bailout Congress approved last month.
After leaving office ex-President Bush reportedly will head the American Red Cross where he will push for "vast forward-looking measures" dedicated to "helping future disaster victims help themselves" such as swimming and lifesaving classes for residents of low-lying regions. --Edward Sorel