Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Package Stimulates Deficit

For politicians, there is nothing easier than giving money away.... especially during an election year.

Today the House overwhelmingly approved a $146 billion plan to jump-start our stalled economy, and now it's up to the Senate to pass their form of the plan.

The House stimulus package calls for most workers to receive $600 from the government, plus $300 per child. Eligibility for the full payment would be capped at $75,000 in adjusted gross income for individuals, and $150,000 for couples. Workers with at least $3,000 of income last year who earned too little to pay taxes would receive $300 plus $300 per child. Businesses would receive $45 billion in tax incentives to invest in new plants and equipment.

The plan under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee reduces the rebates to $500 per person but offers them to virtually everyone, including low-income seniors and the affluent. It would include a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits.

Some senators are also calling for housing provisions, food-stamp extensions, money for infrastructure and even an amendment to make Bush's first-term tax cuts permanent.... as well as extending renewable energy tax credits, heating assistance for the poor and a tax payment to disabled veterans. If some of these measures are adopted, the Senate plan would cost unknown billions more.

Absent from the discussion is how the government is going to pay for this monumental boondoggle (of course they can't talk about that because the government is already living on borrowed prime), or provisions to address a long-term solution. This short-term "fix" will only feed the deficit pig.

But hey, let's all go buy more big-screen TV's, made in China, paid for with money we've borrowed from China. What a good deal..... for China.

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