RE: REFUND AGREEMENT REACHED
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From: "Watford, Charles (HHS)" <_Charles.Watford@..._
Date: January 24, 2008 4:26:15 PM EST
Subject: Refund Agrmt. Reached
$600 for single filers & $1200 for couples. Those who make more than $75k
single & $150k as couples will “NOT” receive the full amount. Well do as you
may because everyone’s financial situation is different but I’m not falling
for the ole-okie-doke. The minute we receive the check I’m sending it back to
have them apply it towards my ’08 taxes, because believe you me, it’s not a
free check, you’ll pay for it next tax season.
Deal Reached To Jumpstart Economy
Congress, White House Agree On Plan Featuring $600-$1,200 Tax Rebates,
Business Tax Cuts
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Minotiry Leader
John A. Boehner announced the agreement,
hammered out after a week of intense negotiations.
(CBS/AP) Congressional Democrats and Republicans and the Bush administration
reached a tentative deal Thursday on tax rebates for individuals and tax
cuts for businesses, to jolt the slumping economy.
The U.S. economic problems - stemming from a collapse of housing prices,
rising oil prices and tight credit - have caused turmoil in U.S. and
international financial markets. The economy has replaced Iraq as a chief concern of
U.S. voters as the presidential nomination campaign heats up.
Congressional officials close to the negotiations said the leader of the
House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Republican leader John
Boehner reached agreement in principle in a telephone call Thursday morning.
Pelosi, a Democrat, agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment
benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining the rebates of at
least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including those who make
too little to pay income taxes.
"I can't say that I'm totally pleased with the package, but I do know that
it will help stimulate the economy. But if it does not, then there will be
more to come," Pelosi said.
Boehner said the agreement "was not easy for the two of us and our
respective caucuses." He added, "The two caucuses have to come together and to work in
a bipartisan way and to reach a compromise that I think is in the best
interest of the American people."
The emerging package was already drawing fire from liberal activists and
labor unions upset that proposals to extend unemployment insurance and boost
food stamps were dropped; likewise, conservative Republicans were restless over
tax rebates being given to those too poor to have paid taxes.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said he would work with the House and
Senate to enact the package as soon as possible because "speed is of the essence."
Paulson said that checks could start going out within 10 weeks of the bill
President Bush hailed the deal with as "an effective, robust and temporary
set of incentives" that will boost the economy.
"This package has the right set of polices and the right size," he said. "It
will lead to higher consumer spending and business investment this year."
While proclaiming that the "economy is strong and it is dynamic and it is
resilient," he urged urged the House and Senate to enact the agreement as soon
Agreement on the emergency package was reached after negotiators on all
sides made significant concessions at a late-night bargaining session.
Pelosi agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits
during the Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining rebates of at least $300 for
almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners who make
too little to pay income taxes.
Many Democrats had pressed to extend unemployment benefits for people whose
26 weeks of benefits have run out, but Republicans resisted.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued a statement praising the
agreement, and said that the Senate Finance Committee will review a markup of
stimulus proposals next week.
But he also suggested that the House agreement could be "improved" with
additional funds for other initiatives, such as extended unemployment benefits,
nutrition assistance, state relief and infrastructure investment.
Under the House agreement, Families with children would receive an
additional $300 per child, subject to an overall cap of perhaps $1,200, according to a
senior House aide who outlined the deal on condition of anonymity in advance
of formal adoption of the whole package.
Taxpayers who make more than $75,000 dollars (or $150,000 for couples filing
jointly) won’t get the full $600-per-person.
The rebate will be phased-out, reduced by $30 for every additional $1,000
dollars of income.
So, according to CBS News correspondent Dan Raviv, for single-filers above
the $95,000 income level, there'll be NO check in the mail.
"I think this is a good big first step, I think it's the right step," Mark
Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com, told CBS News. "I think for
many hard-pressed households, a few hundred dollars in their checking account
is going to make a big difference for them."
"The economy is struggling - it needs all the help it can get."
Democratic aides said greater Republican flexibility over giving relief to
poor families with children - who would not have been eligible under President
George W. Bush's original tax rebate proposal - was the catalyst that moved
the talks forward.
Asked whether agreement was near, Pelosi said, "We're moving toward that,
but all the issues are not resolved."
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., scheduled a meeting of the Senate Finance
Committee for next week to discuss the tentative package.
"The Senate will want to speak, as well," Baucus said, adding that he and
Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the panel's senior Republican, had "agreed to
work together, move quickly, and mark up economic stimulus legislation next
The cost of the final business tax break package was less certain. The two
leaders agreed to allow businesses to immediately write off 50 percent of
purchases of plants and other capital equipment and to permit small businesses to
write off additional purchases of equipment. It appeared that a provision to
allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid might
be dropped to reduce the cost of the business package.
To address the mortgage crisis, the package also allows Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac - government-sponsored companies that are the two biggest U.S.
financers and guarantors of home loans - to buy home mortgages much larger than the
current $417,000 limit. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and chairman of the House
Financial Services Committee, said that lending cap might reach as high as
$700,000 in areas with the highest home prices.
Pelosi pressed to make sure tax relief would find its way into the hands of
lower-income earners while Boehner pushed to include upper middle-class
couples with incomes of up to $130,000 or so, according to congressional aides.
Mr. Bush backed larger rebates of $800-$1,600, but his plan would have left
out 30 million working households who earn paychecks but do not make enough
to pay income tax, according to calculations by the Urban Institute-Brookings
Institution Tax Policy Center.
An additional 19 million households would have received only partial rebates
under Mr. Bush's initial proposal.
On Wednesday, Wall Street pulled off _a stunning comeback_
(http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/23/business/main3742019.shtml) , surging higher in
late trading and wiping out what looked to be yet another precipitous decline.
The Dow Jones industrials, down more than 323 points in earlier trading, ended
the day with an advance of just under 300 points, according to preliminary
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contributed to this report.
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