U.S. economic stimulus package

Written by  //  February 15, 2008  //  Economy, Public Policy, Taxation, U.S.  //  No comments

February 15, 2008
(The Economist) George Bush signed an economic stimulus package that will supply $168 billion—$152 billion of it this spring. The measure forms part of a government endeavour to stave off a recession in America. It ensures that rebates of up to $1,200 will be posted to households and also provides businesses with new tax breaks. Earlier, Hank Paulson, the treasury secretary, announced another initiative to help struggling homeowners by placing a 30-day freeze on certain kinds of foreclosures. RealtyTrac, an online property firm, said that foreclosures in America’s largest urban areas rose by 78% last year, to 1.8m. The idea of giving flagging economies a fiscal boost is back in fashion

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — U.S. President George W. Bush signed a 168-billion-U.S.-dollar economic rescue package Wednesday to fend off a possible economic recession.
“I know a lot of Americans are concerned about our economic future. Our overall economy has grown for six straight years — but that growth has clearly slowed,” Bush said at a White House signing ceremony.
The stimulus plan was achieved after he held talks with leaders of Congress last month about “whether or not we could come together to provide a booster shot for our economy — a package that is robust, temporary, and puts money back into the hands of American workers and businesses,” Bush said.

February 13
A Look at Economic Stimulus Package
By The Associated Press
What’s in the economic stimulus package being signed by President Bush.
_Tax rebates: At least $300 to almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners. Social Security recipients and disabled veterans making too little to pay income taxes would receive $300 checks as well, as long as they have at least $3,000 in income from various sources in 2007. People paying income taxes could receive rebates of up to $600 per individual and $1,200 for couples.
Families with children would receive an additional $300 per child. The full rebate would be limited to individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples with incomes of $150,000 or less, but a partial rebate would go to individuals earning up to $87,000 and couples earning up to $174,000. The caps are higher for people with children. Illegal immigrants are disqualified.
_Business tax write-offs: So-called bonus depreciation and more generous expensing rules to spur investment.
_Housing rescue: Allow more subprime mortgage holders to refinance into federally insured loans by raising the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans from $362,790 to as high as $729,750 in expensive areas. Increase the availability of mortgages by providing a one-year boost to the cap on loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy, from $417,000 up to $729,750 in high-cost markets.

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