Growth package proposed

Published 1:58 am Monday, January 28, 2008

By Staff
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Republican Leader John Boehner, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last week announced a stimulus package that is designed to boost our national economy.
The House leaders said the bill will be brought to the House floor quickly in order to get it to the president's desk as soon as possible.
The $150 billion package will provide temporary incentives to put money back into the hands of middle class working Americans and encourage job creation, without raising taxes.
As summarized by Leader Boehner, this economic growth package, if enacted, would include:
I. Tax Relief for American Families:
Rebate Checks: The economic growth package will include rebate checks in the sum of two separate calculations, with an overall phase-out for those with adjusted gross incomes above $75,000 for a single taxpayer and $150,000 for married couples.
Rebate checks will include a base amount determined by the greater of two options: (a) Income tax paid in 2007, with a maximum of $600 for a single taxpayer and $1,200 for married couples; or (b) $300 for an individual and $600 for a married couple, provided the individual or couple earned income of at least $3,000 in 2007.
A children's bonus also will be included in the rebate check calculation. Anyone qualifying for the base amount also receives an additional $300 per child, with no cap on the number of children.
II. Tax Relief for Employers:
Bonus Depreciation: The economic growth package will provide for a 50 percent bonus deduction on new equipment in the year it is placed in service, with certain exceptions for equipment with a “long life.”
Section 179 Expensing: This provision allows employers, including small businesses, to fully expense $250,000 in both new and used tangible property in the year it is purchased up to an overall investment limit of $750,000.
Increase in Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE)/Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Conforming Loan Limit: The conforming loan limits for both FHA and GSE (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) loans would be increased from $362,000 to $725,000 and from $417,000 to $625,000 respectively.
III. No Extraneous Spending/Tax Hikes
The agreement in principle includes no extraneous spending on unemployment insurance, transportation infrastructure, food stamps, and Medicaid. (Republican Leader Boehner press release, 1/24/08)
Please keep in mind, this package is not final - the Senate has not yet weighed in on the plan, and it still has to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by the president.
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Jo Bonner is a member of the house of representatives. He may be reached at