Economic Stimulus Bill Details – Is The Best Wisdom Driving Content Here?

Discussion in 'Congress' started by JimofPennsylvan, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. JimofPennsylvan

    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

    Jun 6, 2007
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    Americans of all political persuasions can agree that at this time in our country’s history the country can’t afford to spend money foolishly. This shared value translates into with respect to the Economic Stimulus Bill being worked on in Congress that this piece of legislation has to stretch every dollar it is spending as far as it can go to help the economy. The effect of the details of this bill will determine if this goal is met; therefore, it behooves our country to have a full and fair discussion of these details so as to best meet this mutually desired end. It is in this spirit the following is offered.

    This Economic Recovery bill seems to be shaping up to provide sixty-five percent of the premium costs for health care insurance coverage for layed-off workers that choose to maintain their health insurance with their former employer; this insurance right for workers is authorized by a long standing program called the COBRA program – the new twist is the government paying any of the premiums. The general principle is good to extend a hand to fellow Americans who are out of work because of the recession, but it makes no sense whatsoever to extend a social net here to people that don’t need it which will be the case in some instances involving Americans who are wealthier and can readily afford to buy their own insurance. This will be an expensive program, estimates in the media for this COBRA program have been around $30 billion dollars, if three and a third percent of this cost could be saved it would amount to a $1 billion savings, a significant sum. It is not right to hard working Americans that over generations will be paying the cost of this bill not to screen out these wealthier Americans; and, if one considers the yield on long term treasury bonds which will be used to finance this legislation, this yield will result in just the interest to pay this bill’s costs to be a billion dollars a year, not an insignificant amount. There should definitely be a means test on this program and it doesn’t have to be a scrooge type means tests, just screen out those layed-off workers that can readily afford the COBRA premium payments; have restrictions like those Americans having non-retirement liquid assets (cash, stocks, bonds and the like) in excess of $100,000.00 or have family incomes in excess of $150,000.00 are not eligible for this program. What is perplexing about the present no means test in the bill’s COBRA program is that the bill does mandate a means test for its Medicaid Insurance program for layed-off workers.

    On the “broadband internet” infrastructure spending in the bill, as long as the spending level is below that which would guarantee that throughout America there is broadband internet access then seventy-five percent of the monies authorized should be mandated to go to areas of the country that do not presently have broadband internet access. Upgrading areas to a higher capacity broadband access should be a lower priority. All America should have availability to broadband internet access one reason being it is essential to giving all children throughout America a good education in today’s world (all children should have familiarity with broadband – broadband is so integral to modern life) and it is essential to giving all Americans the right to a good job, the latter because broadband internet access is so vital to the operation of business in America in a general sense.

    This Economic Recovery Bill provides that businesses can carry back their net income losses for up to five years for tax purposes compared to the current tax law of two years. The general principle behind this provision is good because it will put more money in businesses’ hands who will likely in many cases put that money into developing business opportunities which will create jobs and further tax revenue and the monies involved originally came from these businesses and their incurring losses caused by the recession and it is only amounts of money dictated by those levels of losses that are being given back to these businesses. The one question that I think many Americans would ask if it was raised with them is will this net income loss figure which businesses will be using to get money back from the government is it a paper net income loss or an actual loss because it should definitely be the businesses actual or realized loss, the government shouldn’t be overly generous here with the taxpayers money. Often in the media, the American people here of a businesses incurring a net income loss and when it is explained further the loss involve write down of assets (which may be temporary), a loss for good-will (again, possibly temporary) and a loss booked for moving funds to cover possible loan losses (which may not occur for a long time if ever). It will be a joke, a travesty of justice if businesses get money under this legislation for these paper losses. Congress should be making sure taxpayers aren’t getting taken advantage of here.


    The House version of the bill essentially authorizes the expenditure of $400 million dollars to analyze, disseminate the analysis and look into creating a data bank for said analysis and the like for comparative medical research as opposed to essentially authorizing it for the research. That seems like it will turn out to be largely a waste of money, an initiative that just creates a big bureaucracy that produces little of practical value. It would a better idea to earmark at least eighty percent of these monies for actually doing the comparative studies. The actual studies produce the clinical advancements that improve care and reduce costs.

    Why doesn’t the Economic Recovery bill include a tax credit for the years 2009 and 2010 of twenty-percent of the cost to do a major remodeling or an addition to a tax payer’s personal residence or other property the taxpayer owns and lives in for a total tax credit of $7500.00. This wouldn’t be for a taxpayer’s maintenance type of work or replacing a water heater, furnance or air conditioner or the like it would be for when people redo their kitchen or bathroom and replace cabinet, vanities and the like, it would be for significant changes to the real property itself. This will help address the following problem from the country’s standpoint which is new home construction will almost definitely be terrible this year and probably next year no matter what the government does because of the backlog of homes for sale on the market, the homes that will be or are on track for foreclosure and the people that want to sell their home but are not putting them on the market because there is no point until the home sale market improves; experts predict new single-family home starts will drop to 441,000 this year the lowest figure since records started being kept in 1959 (the industry’s high mark was 1.7 million back in 2005). Providing this tax break will likely spur construction activity that will put these architects, builders, contractors and trades people that would ordinarily be doing new home construction to work so they can ride out the recession. Specifically, this tax break will likely cause quite a significant number of homeowners to start thinking I always wanted to do this or that remodeling or addition project this is likely a once in a lifetime tax credit opportunity which results in the government picking up a significant portion of the tab for the project so it makes good sense to go ahead with such a project.

    Congress on the Economic Recovery Bill should listen to the experts that say the U.S. government should lower the tax rate on profits U.S. businesses bring into the United States from their foreign subsidiaries for two years, specifically lower the tax rate from its current rate of 35 % to 5.25 % for that time period. It was done previously by the U.S. government in a 2004 law for one year where it resulted in $360 billion being brought back into the country and interestingly enough was evaluated to have brought significant economic benefits to the U.S. economy. A survey of several hundred companies found that with respect to the repatriated funds by these companies under this 2004 law, the funds were used in the following way: 25% of the funds were used for capital investments, 23 % for hiring and training of U.S. employees, 14 % for U.S. based R&D and 13 % for U.S. debt reduction. Experts predict that for a repeat temporary tax reduction done today like that done in the 2004 law it would likely bring $545 billion back into the economy. A present use of this money like the use of the 2004 law’s monies which is reasonable would provide valuable economic stimulus. Pursuing such a tax cut which will be aiding the immediate stimulus task should prompt Congress to take another look at the bill and see if they can’t scrape together another additional $ 70 billion for the nation’s infrastructure; Congress should listen to the ocean of experts that are saying the proposed level of spending is deficient, your not making the needed progress on the infrastructure issues involved and the current level of proposed spending is not going to get that capacity increase in infrastructure spending that will go down in history as historic from the standpoint of adding capacity to the system and achieve the also prudent goal of leaving future generations of America something for all the monies their going to be paying as a result of the cost of this legislation.
  2. pete

    pete The food stamp president

    Oct 31, 2008
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    ... but none of that benefits the politician. It would in the long run, but that isn't their goal.

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