The Next Economic Stimulus Payment

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Here are the latest articles on the Approved Economic Stimulus Payments, which you should already be benefiting from:

- $800/$400 Working Tax Credit
- $8,000 New Home Buyer Tax Credit
- Key Dates to Receive the Economic Stimulus Payments
- Tax Deduction for New Cars up to $49,500
- $15 Bn Small Business Tax Breaks
- Will my Mortgage now Qualify for Refinancing in Obama Housing Plan

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[Jan 2009] With a rapidly slowing economy exacerbated by weak consumer spending, it is only a matter of time before the second, third or fourth (I’ve lost count) consumer stimulus checks arrive in the mail. Following previous articles on this topic, I questioned how much lasting impact these stimulus payments would have, but it seems that the government and other leading minds have not come up with any more short term ideas to kick start consumer demand and hence the economy. Along with the other consumer stimulus’ to date and company stimulus’ (like the $700 billion rescue plan) there is not much more the government can do in terms of fiscal policy spend. Interest rates (part of Monetary policy) have also been slashed dramatically and it seems only a matter of time before the official rate will go to 0% (bad news for all us savers). What’s worse is that as we try and get the economy of a vicious deflationary spiral and loosen capital/credit markets we are running up a massive long term IOU in terms of our national debt which zoomed past $10 Trillion last month.

Approval or the timing of the next stimulus has not been confirmed, but rapidly worsening economic conditions (actual and perceived) will mean it will come sooner rather than later. Have your say on the Stimulus Timing Poll. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the WSJ that she is considering a two-staged effort to boost the shaky U.S. economy, arguing for action now on a stimulus package of $60 billion to $100 billion, followed early next year by a companion measure that would include a “permanent tax cut.” President-Elect Obama hasn’t said anything on a specific stimulus payment yet but I imagine this will be his top agenda item when sworn in (see latest remarks below). His campaign election plan and talks strongly suggest he will push for one or more stimulus payments over the next year, not to mention further tax cuts. My guess is that we will see an early stimulus payment in Dec/Jan to boost holiday shopping and then tax cuts early next year. If things do not improve I expect another stimulus payment in April 2009.

[Update January 2009] : See why the Second Stimulus check is NOT coming

[Update: Dec 2008]. Still no word on a stimulus payment from President-elect Barack Obama. But he did allude to some key pieces of his economic recovery plan in his latest Democratic Radio Address. I think a stimulus payment is inferred (helping main street), but the timing may be later than thought due to other initiatives he wants to get passed first. Here’s some of what he said:

We received another painful reminder of the serious economic challenge our country is facing when we learned that 533,000 jobs were lost in November alone, the single worst month of job loss in over three decades. That puts the total number of jobs lost in this recession at nearly 2 million. But this isn’t about numbers. It’s about each of the families those numbers represent. It’s about the rising unease and frustration that so many of you are feeling during this holiday season.

But we need action – and action now. That is why I have asked my economic team to develop an economic recovery plan for both Wall Street and Main Street that will help save or create at least two and a half million jobs, while rebuilding our infrastructure, improving our schools, reducing our dependence on oil, and saving billions of dollars.

We won’t do it the old Washington way. We won’t just throw money at the problem. We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve – by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world. Today, I am announcing a few key parts of my plan.

First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.

Second, we will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in heir communities, they’ll lose the money.

Third, my economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade
school buildings that this country has ever seen. We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.

[Fourth point] In addition to connecting our libraries and schools to the internet, we must also ensure that our hospitals are connected to each other through the internet. That is why the economic recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system – and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives. We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.

These are a few parts of the economic recovery plan that I will be rolling out in the coming weeks. When Congress reconvenes in January, I look forward to working with them to pass a plan immediately. We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least two and a half million jobs so that the nearly two million Americans who’ve lost them know that they have a future.

 

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