Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another Day Older and $787 Billion Deeper in Debt

The Senate passed the ersatz Obama Stimulus Package 60-28 on Friday with three turn-coat Republicans in tow. Earlier, the House of Representatives voted 246-183 to tax the hell out of Americans. No Republican vote was tarnished in the House.

At 1,071 pages, not one Senator or Congressman has actually read the entire bill because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rammed the bill through Congress without allowing time for anyone to read it. In the months to come plenty of people will read the bill.

From the Associated Press, here is just some of what is in the Stimulus Bill and if you are not stimulated, you are probably dead, unless you live in Chicago where death has never ended anyone's political participation. From the Associated Press:



* $40 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, and increase them by $25 a week; $20 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 14 percent; $4 billion for job training; $3 billion in temporary welfare payments.


* $14.2 billion to give one-time $250 payments to Social Security recipients, poor people on Supplemental Security Income, and veterans receiving disability and pensions.


* $48 billion for transportation projects, including $27.5 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair; $8.4 billion for mass transit; $8 billion for construction of high-speed railways and $1.3 billion for Amtrak; $4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers; $4 billion for public housing improvements; $6 billion for clean and drinking water projects; $7.2 billion to bring broadband Internet service to underserved areas; $4.2 billion to repair and modernize Defense Department facilities.


* $24.7 billion to provide a 65 percent subsidy of health care insurance premiums for the unemployed under the COBRA program; $86.6 billion to help states with Medicaid; $19 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $10 billion for health research and construction of National Institutes of Health facilities; $1 billion for prevention and wellness programs.


* $8.8 billion in aid to states to defray budget cuts.


* About $50 billion for energy programs, focused chiefly on efficiency and renewable energy, including $5 billion to weatherize modest-income homes; $6.4 billion to clean up nuclear weapons production sites; $11 billion toward a so-called "smart electricity grid" to reduce waste; $6 billion to subsidize loans for renewable energy projects; $6.3 billion in state energy efficiency and clean energy grants; and $4.5 billion make federal buildings more energy efficient; $2 billion in grants for advanced batteries for electric vehicles.


* $44.5 billion in aid to local school districts to prevent layoffs and cutbacks, with flexibility to use the funds for school modernization and repair; $25.2 billion to school districts to fund special education and the No Child Left Behind law for students in K-12; $15.6 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350; $2 billion for Head Start.


* $4 billion to repair and make more energy efficient public housing projects; $2 billion for the redevelop foreclosed and abandoned homes; $1.5 billion for homeless shelters; $2 billion to pay off a looming shortfall in public housing accounts.


* $3 billion for the National Science Foundation for basic science and engineering research; $1 billion for NASA; $1.6 billion for research in areas such as climate science, biofuels, high-energy physics and nuclear physics.


* $2.8 billion for homeland security programs, including $1 billion for airport screening equipment.


* $4 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment.



* About $116 billion for a $400 per-worker, $800 per-couple tax credits in 2009 and 2010. For the last half of 2009, workers could expect to see about $13 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.


* About $70 billion to spare about 24 million taxpayers from being hit with the alternative minimum tax in 2009. The change would save a family of four an average of $2,300. The tax was designed to make sure wealthy taxpayers can't use credits and deductions to avoid paying any taxes. But it was never indexed to inflation, so families making as little as $45,000 could get significant increases without the change. Congress addresses it each year, usually in the fall.


* About $14 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.


* About $15 billion to provide the $1,000 child tax credit to more families that don't make enough money to pay income taxes.


* $4.7 billion to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families with three or more children.


* $6.6 billion to repeal a requirement that a $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, unless the home is sold within three years.


* $1.7 billion to makes sales taxes on paid on new cars, light trucks, recreational vehicles and motorcycles tax deductible through the end of the year.


* About 20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over 10 years, including extending tax credits for energy produced from wind, geothermal, hydropower and landfill gas; grants to build renewable energy facilities; tax credits for purchases of energy-efficient furnaces, windows and doors, or insulation; tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles.


* $5 billion to extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such as computers to speed up its depreciation through 2009.


* 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.

Debt Limit


* Increases the statutory limit on the national debt by $789 billion, to $12.1 trillion.

* Additional debt costs would add about $330 billion over 10 years. Many provisions expire in two years.
Obama intends to sign the bill into law on Tuesday in Denver.

One sector of the economy is guaranteed to be greatly stimulated - trial lawyers. Let the lawsuits begin.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


dcat said...

Just another honor killing indigo this time it is the USA!!! :p

Indigo Red said...

And there's no more honor in this than in any of the other honor killings.

Indigo Rose said...

I read a statement by a government worker that "poor people spend their money faster".

Huh? or should that be Duh!

There are basic needs and necessities to live. A little money just does not go a long way.
Of course, people who earn less will go through that money faster.

Indigo Red said...

From surveys of poor folk who have won big money lotteries, Rose, we know that they will blow through their winnings in a matter of two or three years returning them to the depths of poverty again. Having no financial education, no real concept of the value of money beyond what it will buy, and the altruistic notion that everything should be shared poor folks are the better target for ant stimulus money as they will spend immediately on big screen HDTVs and cars and new homes. Investment in education or retirements that are decades away never occurs to the poor because the whole mindset has been a hand-to-mouth existence.

The wealthy on the other hand, are more likely to invest or save the money, thereby locking away larfe amounts of cash from the general currency flow and making themselves and their off-spring in a better position to care for themselves rather than live off public largesse.

And with the money given to the poor who will spend it quicker, businesses will be stimulated to provide the goods and services demanded. Trickle-up can work just as well as trickle-down.

So, yes, it is "DUH!"

Scotty said...

Suggest you to provide link to

and encourage your readers to use the Energy Environment Forum and get a link back !
energyenvironmentforum at gmail dot com