WASHINGTON, DC-President-elect Barack Obama proposed a huge economic stimulus plan on Saturday during the weekly Democratic radio address that could reach as much as $700 billion. The plan will focus on job creation, investment in alternative energy sources and infrastructure upgrades–a subject dear to the hearts of the real estate community.

The need to upgrade bridges, roads, airports and public transit has been obvious for many years–and tragically illustrated with the bridge collapse in Minnesota last year. It was also part of Obama’s economic plan on the campaign trail, so it comes to little surprise that Obama is incorporating infrastructure upgrades into a larger stimulus package. “It would be a good thing for real estate and the nation,” says Steve Pumper, executive managing director of Investment Services Group at Transwestern.

What may be more of a surprise to political watchers is that it also appears that Obama is edging away from his earlier positions on taxes as the extent of the economic downturn becomes clearer every day. One oft-cited recipe for fighting recession is that raising taxes during a period of decline is a no-no. Obama’s economic advisors have hinted to the media over the weekend that President Obama will not repeal the tax cuts for wealthy individuals earlier than their scheduled 2010 sunset date. Some in the real estate community are hopeful this attitude will be extended to other taxes that Obama has proposed on the campaign trail.

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