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Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan: Economic Recovery Plan Details

1/15: The Committee on Appropriations just released the an executive summery of the details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

Obama offered some more details on the economic recovery plan he plans to put forward to Congress after the inauguration in his weekly radio address today, a program he called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

Some of the salient details were that he wanted to plan to create three million new jobs, up from 2.5 million, and to :

  • double renewable energy production and make public buildings more energy efficient;
  • rebuild crumbling roads, bridges and schools; computerize the health care system; modernize classrooms, labs and libraries;
  • and provide tax breaks to American workers.

His advisers have estimated that the cost of the plan could be anywhere from $675 billion to $775 billion, while others expect it to be closer to $1 trillion. With how the government has been printing money lately, an extra $1 trillion, especially invested into programs that will help Americans stay employed and improve our infrastructure (rather than prop up banks and their epic failures), is better than the alternative. The question remains, will there be more pork stuffed in there or will this truly be a focused bill? We will have to see.

You can watch the address yourself (four minutes long):

Full transcript available here.


 Government 
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Second Economic Stimulus Check: Obama’s Economic Plan

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…


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