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The high stakes of Obama's rescue plan

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The high stakes of Obama's rescue plan

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Whatever else happens in the next four years, history may judge Obama on this plan alone.

The numbers and the stakes are that high. Analysts say its success may depend on how quickly the money seeps into the economy. Tax cuts, which make up around a third of the total, will mean more money in American pockets in the coming months. For the plan to work, that money needs to be spent and not saved. The rest of the 787 billion-dollar package is reserved for government spending. Projects include developing renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. That is designed to create jobs in the short term and make the economy more viable in the long term. These projects will need time to bear fruit. In the more immediate future, Obama is about to announce a plan to tackle the home repossessions crisis. That may add another 100 billion dollars to the bill. Then there is the separate package to aid banks and get credit flowing again. It could take up to two and a half trillion dollars to absorb all the toxic debt. With such big bucks in play, the president knows the ultimate buck will now stop with him.