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The Economic Handoff
In this Jan. 5, 2009 file photo, Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner looks on at left as President-elect Barack Obama meets with members of his economic team at his transition office in Washington. Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama's choice to run the Treasury Department and lead the economic rescue effort disclosed to senators Tuesday that he failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004, a last-minute complication in an otherwise smooth path to confirmation. (AP)

Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner looks on, at left, as President-elect Barack Obama meets with members of his economic team at his transition office in Washington on Jan. 5, 2009. (AP)

First it was the banks and Wall Street in crisis. Then, the whole economy. Now it’s the bailout itself in the hot seat.

Nevermind the nail-biter over TARP funds, and the billions that seemed to disappear into the gullet of the banking world. In the high-wire economic handoff from Bush to Obama, the near trillion-dollar stimulus package itself is being buffeted from all sides. It’s too big. It’s too small. Too fast. Too slow.

It’s not easy pulling out of the dive we’re in.

This hour, On Point: What Bush leaves Obama. The high-wire handoff — and rescuing the bailout.

You can join the conversation. What are you expecting from team Obama?

Guest:

Joining us in our studio is Linda Bilmes, lecturer in public finance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Former assistant secretary and chief financial officer at the U.S. Commerce Department, she is co-author, with Joseph Stiglitz, of “The $3 Trillion War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.”  Her new article with Stiglitz, “The $10 Trillion Hangover: Paying the price for eight years of Bush” (subscription required), is on the cover of the January issue of Harper’s magazine.

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