RSS

Why the stimulus helped America

10 Aug

The Recovery Act wasn’t a big package of spending that was wasted; this package saved America from another Great Depression. This package included spending in education, clean energy, health care, infrastructure, and tax cuts. And estimated by the non-partisan CBO this act created 1.6 million jobs. The Right wing political pendents who claim the Recovery Act wasted money are flat-out wrong. The recovery Act prevented thousands of teachers from being laid off by giving money to the state to finance education. The act provided money to scientists and researchers to progress science in America. Also, the act invested the largest amounts ever in clean energy, and America’s crumbling infrastructure. The Obama administration even produced Recovery.gov in which every tax payer could see where funds were going; every single dollar.  When the private sectors lacks demand for its services the federal government needs to step in to produce demand, and demand increases creates jobs. For all you righties saying the Recovery act cost 1 trillion it was 787 billion dollars. Check your math there’s a 213 billion dollar differences. finally, Republicans failed to admit that under Obama and the Recovery act in the bill there was the largest middle class tax cut ever! This included tax credits for clean energy, education, homebuyers, and child care.

Here’s the Recovery act as it was appropriated in Congress:

  • Aid to low income workers and the unemployed
    • Senate – $47 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increased by $25 a week, and provide job training; $16.5 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 12 percent through fiscal 2011 and issue a one-time bonus payment; $3 billion in temporary welfare payments.
    • House — Comparable extension of unemployment insurance; $20 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 14 percent; $2.5 billion in temporary welfare payments; $1 billion for home heating subsidies and $1 billion for community action agencies.
  • Direct cash payments
    • Senate — $17 billion to give one-time $300 payments to recipients of Supplemental Security Income and Social Security, and veterans receiving disability and pensions.
    • House — $4 billion to provide a one-time additional Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance payment to the elderly, of $450 for individuals and $630 for married couples.
    • Conference – $250 one-time payment to each recipient of Supplemental Security Income, Social Security (Regular & Disability) Insurance, Veterans pension, Railroad Retirement, or State retirement system.
  • Infrastructure
    • Senate — $46 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $11.5 billion for mass transit and rail projects; $4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers; $5 billion for public housing improvements; $6.4 billion for clean and drinking water projects.
    • House — $47 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $12 billion for mass transit, including $7.5 billion to buy transit equipment such as buses; and $31 billion to build and repair federal buildings and other public infrastructures.
  • Health care
    • Senate — $21 billion to subsidize the cost of continuing health care insurance for the involuntarily unemployed under the COBRA program; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $22 billion to modernize health information technology systems; and $10 billion for health research and construction of National Institutes of Health facilities.
    • House — $40 billion to subsidize the cost of continuing health care insurance for the involuntarily unemployed under the COBRA program or provide health care through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $4 billion for preventative care; $1.5 billion for community health centers; $420 million to combat avian flu; $335 million for programs that combat AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.
    • Conference – A 65% COBRA subsidy for 9 months will apply to workers laid off between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009. Those already laid off have 60 days to apply for COBRA.
  • Education
    • Senate — $55 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in education aid and provide block grants; $25 billion to school districts to fund special education and the No Child Left Behind K-12 law; $14 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $400 to $5,250; $2 billion for Head Start.
    • House — Similar aid to states and school districts; $21 billion for school modernization; $16 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350; $2 billion for Head Start.
    • Conference – The Conference Report merged most education aid with the State Fiscal Stabilization fund (administered by the Department of Education)and gave power over the funds to each governor under voluminous restrictions. The Governor is “Required” to spend $45 billion of the money on education to restore funding to 2008 levels but the mechanisms to enforce state maintenance of effort at 2005-06 levels are complex and potentially impossible to implement.[21] Hard hit states such as Nevada cannot possibly find enough funds to get to the 2005-06 state funding levels for education.[22] Some states with no current budget cuts for education, such as Arkansas and North Carolina, may get nothing.[23] This will result in a monumental 50 state legal and political fight over how to re-budget to best take advantage of the Federal legislation. Many states will further reduce state funds for education to the 2005-06 minimum so these state resources can be used for other state priorities and the net gain for education will be far less than the total Federal appropriation.
  • Energy
    • Senate — $40 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, including $2.9 billion to weatherize modest-income homes; $4.6 billion for fossil fuel research and development; $6.4 billion to clean up nuclear weapons production sites; $11 billion toward a so-called smart electricity grid to reduce waste; $8.5 billion to subsidize loans for renewable energy projects; and $2 billion for advanced battery systems.
    • House — $28.4 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, including $6.2 billion to weatherize homes; $11 billion to fund a smart electricity grid.
  • Homeland security
    • Senate — $4.7 billion for homeland security programs, including $1 billion for airport screening equipment and $800 million for port security.
    • House — $1.1 billion, including $500 million for airport screening equipment.
  • Law enforcement
    • Senate — $3.5 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment.
    • House — Comparable provision.

 Taxes ($275 billion)

  • New tax credit
    • House— About $145 billion for $500 per-worker, $1,000 per-couple tax credits in 2009 and 2010. For the last half of 2009, workers could expect to see about $20 a week less withheld from their paychecks starting around June. Millions of Americans who don’t make enough money to pay federal income taxes could file returns next year and receive checks. Individuals making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000 would receive reduced amounts.
    • Senate — The credit would phase out at incomes of $70,000 for individuals and couples making more than $140,000 and phase out more quickly, reducing the cost to $140 billion.
    • Conference- Tax Credit reduced to $400 per worker and $800 per couple in 2009 and 2010 and phaseout begins at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. Note retirees with no wages get nothing.
  • Alternative minimum tax
    • House — No provision.
    • Senate — About $70 billion to prevent 24 million taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax in 2009. The tax was designed to make sure wealthy taxpayers can’t use credits and deductions to avoid paying any taxes or paying at a far lower rate than would otherwise be possible. But it was never indexed to inflation, so critics now contend it taxes people it was not intended to. Congress addresses it each year, usually in the fall.
    • Conference – Includes a one year increase in AMT floor to $70,950 for joint filers for 2009.
  • Expanded child credit
    • House — $18.3 billion to give greater access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit for low income workers in 2009 and 2010. Under current law, workers must make at least $12,550 to receive any portion of the credit. The change eliminates the floor, meaning more workers who pay no federal income taxes could receive checks.
    • Senate — Sets a new income threshold of $8,100 to receive any portion of the credit, reducing the cost to $7.5 billion.
    • Conference – The income floor for refunds was set at $3,000 for 2009 & 2010.
  • Expanded earned income tax credit
    • House — $4.7 billion to increase the earned income tax credit — which provides money to low income workers — for families with at least three children.
    • Senate — Same.
  • Expanded college credit
    • House — $13.7 billion to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.
    • Senate — Reduces the amount that can be refunded to low-income families that pay no income taxes, lowering the cost to $13 billion.
  • Homebuyer credit
    • House — $2.6 billion to repeal a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to July 1, unless the home is sold within three years. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $150,000.
    • Senate — Doubles the credit to $15,000 for homes purchased for a year after the bill takes effect, increasing the cost to $35.5 billion.
    • Conference – $8,000 credit for all homes bought between 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009 and repayment provision repealed for homes purchased in 2009 and held more than three years.
  • Home energy credit
    • House — $4.3 billion to provide an expanded credit to homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient in 2009 and 2010. Homeowners could recoup 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 of numerous projects, such as installing energy-efficient windows, doors, furnaces and air conditioners.
    • Senate — Same.
    • Conference – Same;
  • Unemployment
    • House — No similar provision.
    • Senate — $4.7 billion to exclude from taxation the first $2,400 a person receives in unemployment compensation benefits in 2009.
    • Conference—Same as Senate
  • Bonus depreciation
    • House — $5 billion to extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such as computers to speed up its depreciation through 2009.
    • Senate — Similar.
  • Money losing companies
    • House — $15 billion to allow companies to use current losses to offset profits made in the previous five years, instead of two, making them eligible for tax refunds.
    • Senate — Allows companies to use more of their losses to offset previous profits, increasing the cost to $19.5 billion.
    • Conference – Limits the carry-back to small companies, revenue under $5 million
  • Government contractors
    • House — Repeal a law that takes effect in 2011, requiring government agencies to withhold three percent of payments to contractors to help ensure they pay their tax bills. Repealing the law would cost $11 billion over 10 years, in part because the government could not earn interest by holding the money throughout the year.
    • Senate — Delays the law from taking effect until 2012, reducing the cost to $291 million.
  • Energy production
    • House — $13 billion to extend tax credits for renewable energy production.
    • Senate — Same.
    • Conference – Extension is to 2014.
  • Repeal bank credit
    • House — Repeal a Treasury provision that allowed firms that buy money-losing banks to use more of the losses as tax credits to offset the profits of the merged banks for tax purposes. The change would increase taxes on the merged banks by $7 billion over 10 years.
    • Senate — Same.
  • Bonds
    • House — $36 billion to subsidize locally issued bonds for school construction, teacher training, economic development and infrastructure improvements.
    • Senate — $22.8 billion to subsidize locally issued bonds for school construction, industrial development and infrastructure improvements.
  • Auto sales
    • House — No similar provision.
    • Senate — $11 billion to make interest payments on most auto loans and sales tax on cars deductible.
    • Conference – $2 billion for deduction of sales tax, not interest payments phased out for incomes above $250,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009

Advertisements
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: