UPDATE: What's in the Stimulus for Taxpayers, Retirees, the Unemployed, Home Buyers, and Car Buyers
The House and Senate have finally come to agreement on a new Stimulus Package to put the economy back on its feet, and President Obama signed his name to it February 17th, providing billions in tax cuts and new spending to stimulate the economy.
But one thing you won't find in the new $800 billion stimulus are Rebate Checks, as we received last year (Unless your only income is Social Security, see the chart below).
Most economists say last year's checks were just a temporary "sugar rush," and did little to stave off the recession. The problem was that most people applied their checks to the Credit Card bills, or stashed them away. So there will be no checks this time to working families, only to retirees and the disabled.
So here's what's in the latest version of the 2009 Stimulus for you as of 3/25/09:
- Tax cuts: $400 income tax cut for singles, $800 for couples...which comes to roughly $13 per week in your pay check, depending on your income
- For the Unemployed: another $25 a week, plus an additional 5 months in benefits
- For a Family on Food Stamps: Roughly another $79 a month
- For Seniors on Social Security: A one time check of $250
- For people on SSI Disability: A one time check of $250
- For Government Retirees: A one time $250 tax credit
- For New Car Buyers: You can now deduct sales tax paid...but not the interest you pay each year on the loan, which was in an earlier version.
- For First time home buyers: an $8,000 government tax credit that does not have to be paid back...which Realtors say will be much better than last year's $7,500 loan, which had to be paid back, and had little effect. However, an early version that called for a much more significant $15,000 credit has been shot down.
- For Buyers of Energy Efficient Appliances, Furnaces, A/C units: A new tax credit. Click the link above for details on what qualifies.
Republicans claim the President's Stimulus plan is far too pork laden. However, some Economists claim it is too small. They are quoting the famous line from the 1980's: "Where's the beef?" They say more needs to be spent, sooner, to get us out of recession. This debate will go on for some time.
But is an extra $13 a week enough to stimulate you to buy that a new house or car? If you had been hoping for more, you too may ask "Where's the beef?"
For questions about the 2008 Stimulus/Rebate program, such as why you never received a $600 Rebate Check, or why your check was smaller than it should have been, or how the Rebate Check is causing problems on your taxes, you need to contact the IRS. Click the IRS links above.