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January 18, 2008
Bush Readies Stimulus Package for Economy
Fed Chair Bernanke has apparently given some kind of economic stimulus package his approval, clearing the way for Bush to huddle with Congressional Democrats to come up with a plan to goose the economy this election year:
President Bush plans to lay out the principles behind his preferred stimulus today, although he will not provide details. Meanwhile, the Dow isn't exactly in free fall but it is on the way down. The market lost 2.5% of its value yesterday when it dropped more than 300 points on news that Merrill Lynch is the latest financial company to report double digit billion dollar losses.
The leading ideas in the administration are to give rebates of up to $800 to each taxpayer and introduce tax incentives for business investment, but administration officials said no decision has been made on exactly what to do to try to prevent a recession. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Congress will have a package ready for action by Jan. 28, when Bush delivers his State of the Union address.
House Republicans backed away from their demand that Bush's tax cuts be made permanent, which would have been a deal-killer for Democrats. Some tension between the administration and congressional leaders remained, though, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sharply criticized Bush for talking about his stimulus plans prematurely.
What purpose the stimulus package will serve varies depending on who you're talking to. The only thing for sure is it's a quick, easy way to put money in voter's pockets before election day.