Is it significant that much of the plan will be in the form of tax cuts? Yes it is. It means that basically, conservatives have won the argument and the Keynesians, while not out the door yet, have certainly been handed their hat.
The two central measures to be taken in the package will be a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut, and an extension of expiring jobless benefits, according to the AP. These two measures alone would total around $170 billion.
Obama will also consider a tax benefit to those businesses that hire the unemployed, with a price tag of around $30 billion. Public works projects will also be included, but the AP reports that this will be less than $50 billion of the package, the AP reported.
The president will also continue, for one year, a tax break for business that allows them to deduct the full value of equipment.
The New York Times said that the cost of the package would be "several hundred billion," while The Washington Post estimated the cost to be "at least $200 billion."
Don't worry - the tax increases are coming. They will be part of the deficit reduction package worked out by the deficit committee.
I can't remember less pre-speech buzz about a major presidential address. A lot of Republicans are going to skip it. They may not even offer a formal response. From what he is apparently proposing, he could have given this speech from the oval office or some union rally. Why the joint session of Congress to rehash old ideas and tired criticisms?
It's an election year, dummy.