On the Agenda: Health, Housing, Stock Slumps and Swing Sets
By Ben Pershing
President Obama's next steps on what may be his top two domestic priorities -- housing and health care -- are coming into sharper focus this week, as his team works to calm worried markets and homeowners on the former topic while sketching out a longer-term vision on the latter.
The administration unveiled the details of its housing stabilization plan yesterday, offering subsidies and incentives to help owners refinance their mortgages and/or avoid foreclosure. Not everyone is thrilled with the details of the plan, but it generally received positive marks from the mortgage industry, which was eager for clearer guidlines. The stock markets also went up in response, though the Dow is expected to drop again today.
Yesterday's small rally aside, BusinessWeek says, "the honeymoon is over" for Obama on Wall Street, which supposedly blames him and his policies for the stock market slide of recent months. Investors (and some members of Congress) have been particularly unhappy with Obama's proposed tax increases, which could be why he is reportedly mulling a change in his plan to reduce deductions for charitable donations and mortgage interest.
Posted at 8:25 AM ET on Mar 5, 2009
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