Friday, January 25, 2008

$300 Won't Spell Relief For The Working Poor, Damn It!

Let's get real. $300 = a few fill ups; a couple of weeks of groceries; running shoes for the kids; eyeglasses; a month of utility bills... maybe; or --as one 20-something told me-- one fun-filled evening of alcoholic stupor-filled partying. Get this:

Whether the measure actually will stabilize a jittery economy was the subject of debate, however. Bernard Baumohl, managing director of the Economic Outlook Group, said the package -- and the emergence of brief bipartisan comity after so many months of partisan infighting -- would have a positive psychological impact on markets and investors.

But he cautioned: "Practically speaking, this plan is not expected to have any meaningful impact on the economy until much later this year, perhaps in the fourth quarter. Even then, it's unlikely we'll see more than an extra blip in GDP growth."

Under the deal, nearly everyone who earned a paycheck in 2007 would receive at least $300 from the Internal Revenue Service -- $103 billion in total. Most people would receive rebates of $600 each, or $1,200 per couple. Families with children would receive an additional payment of $300 per child. Workers who earned at least $3,000 last year -- but not enough to pay income taxes -- would be eligible for $300.

Overall, 117 million families would receive rebate checks, including 35 million with earnings too low to have qualified under an earlier Bush proposal that limited checks to income tax payers. Rebates would be limited, however, to single taxpayers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 -- up to $150,000 for couples. Above that, the benefit would phase out until hitting zero for individuals with adjusted income of about $87,000, $174,000 for couples.

The money would be borrowed and would increase the federal deficit.


Where's this money coming from?

From more US debt and from your future earnings, of course.

And what did the Republicans get in this deal?

The package would temporarily increase the size of "jumbo" mortgages that can be bought by government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, from $417,000 to as much as $729,750 in high-cost housing markets.


Problem is this stimulus package that isn't going to do a damn thing for the economy except force Uncle Sam to borrow more money from foreign sources and force a garage sale of more assets to Dubai and China.


The package also includes close to $50 billion in business tax cuts.


Who really makes out like bandits gets instant economic relief?

Banks (credit card payment relief), the stock market (jittery nerves relief), Real Estate professionals ("jumbo" commissions relief), retailers (foreign electronics sales relief), and families who have to get by on a mere $174,000 per year (disposable income relief).

Let's hope the senate can fix this "bipartisan" Band Aid deal and get real relief to those who truly need it right now.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19-- and and


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