Thursday, February 12, 2009
How much of the $789 billion stimulus package will reach your pocket?
I'm taking a timeout from 401(k) wee because the House and Senate have both agreed on a final economic stimulus bill. Since it'll probably be signed this week, here's where it looks like all that money is going to go, and how much of your tax dollars are actually coming back to help you:
Only 35 percent of the $789 billion package is going to tax cuts,
In one of my least favorite moves, Congress cut what would have been a $15,000 homebuyer tax credit almost in half, to only $8,000. This is folly, I think, because housing is at the heart of the crisis. With interest rates already low and home prices down, a $15,000 tax credit would have gone a long, long way toward getting people buying again (especially if Congress lays the smackdown on banks and forces them to actually lend all the money we gave them last year).
Another $59 billion will go to aid the unemployed.
A couple questions here: How much will a few hundred dollar tax cut do to help you weather the tough economy in 2009? Is an $8,000 tax credit a good enough incentive to get you interested in buying a house this year? (It's disappointing, in my opinion, but I'm looking at places nonetheless.)
What would you like to have seen funded that you think would help turn the economy around?