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A stimulus victory for Obama

Business Times - 16 Feb 2009

COMMENTARY
A stimulus victory for Obama

Now, even a slight economic improvement in the coming months will raise his clout to ask for more help from Congress

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

IF A WASHINGTON political or economic pundit had predicted a year or two ago that the US Congress would pass a package of spending and tax cuts totalling US$787 billion, he would have been seen as suffering from hallucination. Or perhaps that he was confusing 'billion' with 'million', or was thinking about US$7.87 billion and just forgot to put a dot in the right place?

That Congress - including the Senate, where the ruling party did not have a filibuster-proof majority (61) - would consent to approve such a colossal spending and tax-cutting package proposed by a new president who had been in office only 24 days (and let's not forget that the president was an African-American whose middle name was 'Hussein') would be considered as part of…