The Make Work Pay tax credit will put $400 ($800 for couples) into your pocket and was passed in the recovery and reinvestment plan.
1/15: The Committee on Appropriations just released the an executive summery of the details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.
Update 10/21: Bernanke recently endorsed a stimulus package and new life has been given to the prospects of a second stimulus package.
Update: Looks like there’s been more movement on another stimulus check. I wouldn’t hold my breath but it’s a step past campaign fodder.
The ink hasn’t even dried on the first economic stimulus checks mailed out last month and this month and there’s already talk of another stimulus package that would include a second stimulus check, tax breaks for the middle class and seniors, as well as debt relief for students. It’s the first economic salvo fired by Democratic Presidential presumptive nominee Barack Obama this week in a speech at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds [full text of that speech]. In his speech, he briefly discussed long term goals but focused on the short term ones, including a second economic stimulus check.
Second Stimulus Check: $50 Billion
The idea of a second economic stimulus check (who can say no to another stimulus check?)is obviously what most people latched onto (though there were no details in the speech itself) and it was the first thing he mentioned in the short term plan.
That’s why I’ve called for another round of fiscal stimulus, an immediate $50 billion to help those who’ve been hit hardest by this economic downturn – Americans who have lost their jobs, their homes, and are facing rising costs and cutbacks in state and local services like education and health care. We need to expand unemployment benefits and extend them for those who can’t find another job right away – especially since the long-term unemployment rate is nearly twice as high as it was during the last recession. And we must help the millions of homeowners who are facing foreclosure through no fault of their own. [Page 3 of speech]
The other things mentioned in that piece is a 13-week (or more) extension to unemployment benefits, a $10 billion Foreclosure Prevention Fund (which would include a credit of 10% of their mortgage interest payment every year), as well as changes to the mortgage industry to include a Home Score system that helps consumers compare mortgage offers and assess payback ability.
Middle Class & Senior Tax Relief
Page 5 goes into, after railing on McCain, how he’ll slash of corporate tax breaks, close tax loopholes, and begin windfall taxing oil companies to help pay for middle class tax cuts. $1,000 of relief for approximately 95% of workers and families, paid for by the windfall profits of Exxon Mobil. His plan also called for the elimination of income taxes for retirees that earn less than $50,000 a year and raising the Social Security tax cap, without changing the retirement age or privatizing Social Security.
There are several more subjects in the speech, such as a Credit Card Bill of Rights and revamping bankruptcy laws, but we’ll have to wait until next week for details on some of the more long term economic plans. Stay tuned…