Friday, February 13

The ups and the downs of the stimulus package

Here is the way the money breaks down in the H R 1 Stimulus bill. Take a look at it and read the actual bill. I will post that link at the bottom of the page.

Let everyone at 1461 Days know what you think about this and share your thoughts!

The ticket items that gained money in the process:

High-speed and inner-city railways made out well. The monetary level went from $300 million in House bill and grew to $2.25 billion in Senate bill. The monetary sum rolled up to $8 billion in final version. There also is an additional $6.9 billion provision for public transit. While we are on the subject of trains and transit, Amtrak picked up $500 million from both the House and Senate versions of the bill. They gained a total of $1.3 billion. The bill does stipulate that up to 60 percent can go to the Northeast Corridor.

The National Institute of Health wound up with $10 billion in the final bill. The House bill had proposed $3.5 billion and the Senate took the total to $10 billion. In the end $8.2 billion goes to the NIH director to be spent at his discretion.

A Government oversight Board will be established to oversee the stimulus bill spending. They will have to get by on a mere $84 million to do the job. The House bill gave the board $14 million to do the job while the Senate bill only offered up $7 million to fund the board. Additionally there is more than $100 million to pay for various inspectors in different agencies.

NASA made out like a bandit. The all but bankrupt space agency raked in more than $2 billion, including $400,000 for global-warming research.

The ticket items that lost money in the process:

The Veterans lost out almost everything they had gained. Almost everything that had been added for the Veterans Affairs were trimmed. The $2 billion that the Senate had put in for VA construction was removed from the package. The Veterans did gain $1 billion for medical facility renovations and retooling. That was a small victory for those who have given so much.

The Military also lost out on targeted construction money that was to be spent in each branch of the military. In place of the targeted funds now is a general budget to be spread out across the different branches. Just looking at one branches funding, the Army construction funding went from $900 million in the House bill to $600 million in the Senate bill to $180 million in the final bill. The final general military construction fund settled on $1.45 billion for all branches and services.

The FBI was looking at a gain as the Senate had allocated $475 million to the department but all funding was cut out of final stimulus bill.

The ticket items that lived through the process:

Something I have been trying to figure out why it was even in the stimulus plan was funding for Pandemic flu research. Senators agreed it wouldn't produce jobs but it is getting $50 million in the final stimulus bill. That is down from the original value of nearly $900 million.

Items to help save US taxpayers money and stimulate the economy:

Funding has been set aside to the tune of $2 billion for a neighborhood stabilization program that is designed to help areas hit hard with foreclosures. The funds will be used to buy back properties and prevent further foreclosures.

A total of $1.5 billion is to be directed to homelessness prevention programs. (this one also bothers me. I am not a big fan of making another program to work with a program that falls under another programs guidelines)

$90 million is going to the State Department domestic facilities that deal with passports and training. (I can't understand the relevancy of this one either)

The Social Security Administration is gaining $500 million in this plan. The idea is to spend the money to replace old computer systems that half of the SSA employees can't seem to operate anyway.

Tax breaks

For those folks who are looking forward to some rebates for purchasing that new fuel efficient Hybrid or Electric car that will be produced by our ailing American auto industry, you may want to get a better job first. Anyone who buys a new car in 2009 gets to deduct the sales tax. That's right anyone who buys a new vehicle in 2009. This does not apply to used cars. You just have to qualify for the program. To qualify for this program you must make less than$125,000 individually or $250,000 jointly.

I can see the lines already forming at the local Ford dealership. But don't be disappointed folks, this program only cost $1.7 billion in the package.

On a bright note for the home front, first time home buyers who purchase a home in the calendar year of 2009 will get an $8,000 tax credit. This credit does not have to be repaid like the measure last year required. To qualify for this program you have to be making less than $75,000 individually or $150,000 jointly. More good news on this one too as this is a drop in the bucket program costing only $6.63 billion.

And on the Tax front, individuals making less than $80,000 or families making less than $160,000 can get up to $2,500 in tax credits for college tuition. $1,000 of the credit is refundable. This one is a bit costlier at $13.9 billion.

Deeper down the Tax highway we see that anyone making $75,000 individually or $150,000 as a family will get refundable tax credit up to $400 per person or $800 per family. Wow, the whole country just started doing kart wheels at once over that bit of news.

I have to ask this. I know the e-mail will light up once again but I have to ask. Where's the beef? What is going to stimulate anything other than allot of back patting in DC? I don't see it? The items that might work are preordained to fail as they are out of reach of the common working man. the rest should have been taken care of on it's own time in it's own legislation.

At the end of the day, this is crap.

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