Former treasury head calls for stimulus

Oct. 26, 2008 at 6:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said the nation needs another stimulus package to kick-start the economy.

The former Clinton administration official -- a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama -- said on CBS's "Face the Nation" a lot has been done with the $700 billion financial industry bailout package but there is "a good deal else" officials can do.

"I think it is imperative that we have a very large fiscal stimulus, although I do think that stimulus needs to be married to a commitment to long-term fiscal discipline, so we don't risk undermining our bond market and our currency market," Rubin said.

Rubin said a new stimulus package could include such things as $1,000 tax rebates for families and financial assistance to city and state governments in need of funds to make infrastructure improvements.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and currently a senior policy adviser to Republican nominee John McCain, said a McCain administration would be open to a stimulus package.

"Well, obviously, Senator McCain would never take off the table anything that would be helpful. But the idea that somehow tough economic times are a license to spend money on anything you can think of is something you want to look at very carefully," Holtz-Eakin said.

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