Economic Recovery Measures
A number of very interesting and relevant reports have come out of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) this week. Check them out:
The Senate has reached a consensus on the issue of extending the homebuyer’s tax credit, first implemented in the stimulus bill. The tax credit was enacted early last year to help provide a boost for the housing market. While officials in the real estate industry and other supporters have claimed that it has helped to boost sales and clear out an overabundance of lower priced homes, critics have argued that most of those people would have bought homes anyway.
The General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), previously owned by General Motors, has offered $2.9 billion of three-year bonds in the private debt market. Through TARP, the government has already provided $12.5 billion in capital for GMAC, a consumer lending company, at an estimated cost of over $9 billion to taxpayers.
Update: Yesterday evening, Senators voted 87-13 to cut off debate to the unemployment insurance bill, which prevented the consideration of amendments to extend expiring stimulus provisions. Some of those amendments, supported by Senators on both sides of the aisle, would have extended the homebuyer's tax credit. Final passage of the bill is expected later this week.
The Administration has just announced a new small business lending initiative under the Treasury’s TARP. According to a White House release, the new initiative will offer lower-cost capital to small banks and community development financial institutions (CDFI) that support small business lending.
With unemployment still growing, rising from 9.7 percent in August to 9.8 percent this past September, discussions have developed over the potential need to adopt additional stimulus measures to boost unemployment. With all of the media coverage on these potential measures over the past two weeks, CRFB has compiled a table of some of the more notable short-term stimulus ideas that have been mentioned by lawmakers and experts.
Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on the results of the Economic Stimulus Payments, or tax rebates, of early 2008.
Those who were eligible for the full tax rebates (individuals earning under $75,000 and married couples earning under $150,000) received:
Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy: