February 11, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
It looks like they gave up on helping the economy, to give tax breaks to people who don't need it.
. . . sharply curtailed health care subsidies for the unemployed . . . But the final bill retained a $70 billion tax cut that would spare millions of middle-class Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax in 2009, which some Democrats decried as wasting a large chunk of the bill on something that would do little to lift the economy and that Congress would have approved regardless of the recession.
[. . .] “I am not happy with it,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa. “You are not looking at a happy camper. I mean, they took a lot of stuff out of education. They took it out of health, school construction and they put it more into tax issues.”
Mr. Harkin said he was particularly frustrated by the money being spent on fixing the alternative minimum tax. “It’s about 9 percent of the whole bill,” he said, “which we were going to do later this year in a tax bill. Why is it in there? It has nothing to do with stimulus. It has nothing to do with recovery. This makes no sense whatsoever.”
Posted by Dave Johnson at February 11, 2009 12:48 PM
Now this grand-scale social experiment is enjoined.
I see that Europe Asia markets are down 2% on the news. CNN Money premarket sees the Dow down 75 points.
Meanwhile the relentless deleveraging must go on. Rich asset owners are promised higher tax bills and so must raise cash. The banks must write down $2 trillion in assets and the Obama administration can't quite get their policy arms around that.
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