President Barack Obama hailed Wednesday's one-year-old economic stimulus law as an accomplishment that staved off another Great Depression and kept up to 2 million people on the job.
Still, with millions still out of work and losing patience, Obama acknowledged that to them, "It doesn't yet feel like much of a recovery."
Marking the anniversary of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama aimed his message at people skeptical about the expensive relief measure and Republican lawmakers who voted against it and continue to hammer him about it.
To the public, Obama explained, as he has many times before, that the stimulus plan was composed of tax cuts for most Americans along with help for state governments, extended social service benefits and huge investments in energy, education and infrastructure.
"One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility," Obama said.
To his Republican critics, who say the bill was a costly, debt-financed blunder that has not delivered on the promise of job creation, Obama challenged them to take up the case with people who have stayed employed or have found help solely because he and the Democratic-run Congress acted.
Obama even delighted in recounting a section of his State of the Union address last month in which he talked of the tax cuts from the stimulus plan and watched Republican lawmakers fail to applaud the idea.
"They were all kind of squirming in their seats ... It was interesting to watch," Obama said.
And Obama made sure to commend himself and his own team for taking action.
Lets go over these tax cuts.
|$116 billion: New payroll tax credit of $400 per worker and $800 per couple in 2009 and 2010. Phaseout begins at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. |
$70 billion: Alternative minimum tax: a one year increase in AMT floor to $70,950 for joint filers for 2009.
$15 billion: Expansion of child tax credit: A $1,000 credit to more families (even those that do not make enough money to pay income taxes).
$14 billion: Expanded college credit to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.
$6.6 billion: Homebuyer credit: $8,000 refundable credit for all homes bought between 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009 and repayment provision repealed for homes purchased in 2009 and held more than three years. This only applies to first-time homebuyers.
$4.7 billion: Excluding from taxation the first $2,400 a person receives in unemployment compensation benefits in 2009.
$4.7 billion: Expanded earned income tax credit to increase the earned income tax credit — which provides money to low income workers — for families with at least three children.
$4.3 billion: Home energy credit to provide an expanded credit to homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient in 2009 and 2010. Homeowners could recoup 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 of numerous projects, such as installing energy-efficient windows, doors, furnaces and air conditioners.
$1.7 billion: for deduction of sales tax from car purchases, not interest payments phased out for incomes above $250,000.
The tax cut he is touting is a measly tax cut to the payroll tax which amounted to $10-13 bucks in take home pay and cut even further as the year went to present time. It wasn't a permanent tax cut that would have an immediate impact to anyone especially those in the higher income levels who would be faster to push the economy forward especially for working class families. Since the working class tends to produce the products and services that are bought up faster for those people higher up the income ladder.
An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit which is a nice way of saying welfare check is not a tax cut. Credits to cars and houses only gave a small boost that artificially pushed up economics numbers with no sustainable foundation for future growth.
Here is a simple way to explain what Obama is doing with this stimulus bill that is bankrupting America.
You are broke but you find that one credit line that is empty. You go and pay for furniture, service the car, buy groceries, pay your bills, pay you kids bills, buy some consumer goods and the end of the day you come home to the wife claiming you save the house and the family for being kicked out in the street.
Wife comes back with okay but what about next month since both don't have a job or you set yourself up for future employment and personal/financial growth.
Expand that to Obama and his spending realizing he doesn't have to pay the bills or even care for years down the road. All he is thinking about is paying this month's bill to keep the family quiet. There is no foundation being built for America other than massive debt and future tax hikes by Obama. That is how screwed we are now.