Thursday, February 7, 2008

Senate Delays Economic Stimulus Package

Looks like those tax rebate checks could end up coming a little later than originally expected. They might also be a little smaller. The upshot for some is that they might actually get one when they wouldn't have before. Senate Democrats have stalled the economic stimulus package in trying to add additional items to the plan. The Democrats would like to see $500 to $1000 checks, as opposed to the originally proposed $600 to $1,200 checks, and they would like to see the smaller checks sent out to a wider group of people. In the senate Democrats’ plan, the income limits would be raised to $150,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples.

As part of the new group of tax rebate recipients, Democrats would like to see the elderly, unemployed and disabled veterans included. Overall, they want to increase the total economic stimulus package to $205 billion, up from the $161 billion bill passed in the House.

Republicans in the Senate are not too keen on the new plan and voted it down Wednesday. This means that the bill will need to be reworked on then voted on again before passing, potentially delaying the receipt of these tax rebate checks. Since neither party wants to be responsible for possible delays, the issues going on here are a bit surprising. It is likely though that one way or another, the two sides will work out the problems and the bill will pass. How it will look in its final form, though, is still open for debate.

Since I personally think this economic stimulus package is a joke that shouldn’t be passed in anything resembling the current form, I’m hoping it falls apart altogether. This scenario is highly unlikely, but I can wish for it, can’t I?

As I see it, the U.S. is trying to A) Give away money they don’t have (see budget deficit) and B) Do it in a way which will see the least amount of economic benefit. They are assuming that people are going to spend these refunds, when in reality, they will likely use them to pay down debt, or save the refunds if they are smart and don’t have any debt.

This measure will not prevent us from having a recession and is only going to put our nation further in debt. I guess when you are in as much debt as the U.S. is, though, what’s another couple hundred billion?

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