(01/18/08) WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush onFriday called for about $145 billion worth of tax relief to stimulate asaggingeconomy and fend off a possible recession.
Bush said that to beeffective, an economic stimulus package would need to roughly represent1percent of the gross domestic product - the value of all U.S.goods andservices and the best measure of the country's economic standing. WhiteHouseadvisers say that, in current terms, 1 percent would amount to around$145 billion,which is along the lines of what private economists say should besufficient tohelp give the economy a short-term boost.
"Letting Americanskeep more of their money should increase consumer spending," he said.
Bush said that Congressshould work as soon as possible to send him legislation to "keep oureconomy growing and creating jobs."
The president andCongress are scrambling to take action as fears mount that a severehousingslump and painful credit crisis could cause people to close theirwallets andbusinesses to put a lid on hiring, throwing the nation into its firstrecessionsince 2001.Watch the full announcement of Bush?s economic plan