"...The stimulus package, with an estimated price tag of $150 billion, must be approved by both houses of Congress before President Bush can sign it into law. Some Senate Democrats have indicated they will attempt to broaden the bill to boost government benefits for the unemployed, as well as those who rely on federal assistance to buy food. President Bush has argued against changes to the package that could delay its implementation..." (source
What's the bottom line here? People keep asking me what this means for them (that's all anyone ever really wants to know right?), but I hadn't really read how it would all work. Last night I found this article that breaks it down:
1)The $150 billion plan is worth about 1 percent of U.S. economic output and would include tax rebates for individuals and families as well as incentives for business investment.
2) Individuals would get rebates of up to $600 and married couples could get up to $1,200, plus $300 per child, no limit. Individuals with annual incomes above $75,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) or married couples making $150,000 in AGI would get less depending how high their incomes are above those thresholds. Democrats estimate some 117 million families will receive a check.
3) The plan also includes a provision that Democrats had sought that would allow some low-income workers who do not earn enough money to owe income taxes to receive a check. Those who made at least $3,000 last year and paid no income taxes would be eligible for a check of up to $300 for individuals and $600 for couples.
4) As an incentive to encourage business investment, firms would be able to immediately deduct 50 percent of the costs of purchases of new equipment.
5) The House package includes raising the limits on "conforming mortgages" financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $729,750 from the current cap of $417,000 for one year. It would also indefinitely raise the limit on Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages to that same level from $367,000. Such a move is expected to lower the interest rates on those high-cost loans.
I will be more than happy to provide a P.O. box address for all those that don't believe tax cuts and letting people keep their own money works. :)