Economic Recovery Measures

Only 30% of 2008 Tax Rebates Spent

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:

Weekend Editorial Roundup

Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:

One More FDIC Bank Closing

On Friday evening, the FDIC reported that it has taken over an additional bank (San Joaquin Bank) for a cost to the FDIC of around $103 million. This brings the total number of failed banks since the beginning of 2008 to 115. Total deposits of all failed banks now equal $88.3 billion for 2009 and over $322 billion since the beginning of 2008, all at an estimated cost to the FDIC of over $48 billion.

Meeting Today of President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Today PERAB, otherwise known as the Tax Reform Subcommittee of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, is holding a meeting focusing on tax code simplification, enforcement, and corporate tax reform. PERAB is holding a series of meetings on tax reform, and will submit a final report in December of this year that will outline a number of reform options.

Congress pressured to extend tax credit for homebuyers

Today Congressional Quarterly reported that Congress is feeling pressure to extend the tax credit for homebuyers that was included in the stimulus bill in February. The $8,000 tax break, which applies to first time homebuyers, is designed to revive the housing market. The credit ends November 30 and construction and real estate groups are lobbying politicians to extend it.

Weekend Editorial Roundup

Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:

Coalition Tries to Make a Stimulus Tax Break Permanent

Today, the Congressional Quarterly reported that a coalition of airport authorities, port authorities, and student loan lenders is pushing Congress to extend one of the stimulus tax breaks on “private activity” municipal bonds. The stimulus exempted these bonds from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for 2009 and 2010.

IMF World Economic Outlook

The IMF has recently released its monthly World Economic Outlook, the IMF’s premier publication on the state and health of both the global economy and member country economies.

The report states that a global recovery has taken root but that it will likely be some time before employment begins to improve.

Debate on Necessity of Additional Stimulus

In response to high unemployment numbers, the Obama Administration is discussing the idea of a tax credit for employers that create new jobs. House Republican whip Eric Cantor demonstrated the likely broad bipartisan appeal of this type of a tax credit by saying, “There is a lot of traction for this kind of idea.

The U.S. Taxpayer and the IMF

For the U.S. taxpayer, last weekend’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Turkey were a reminder of the importance of global cooperation to tackle the economic and financial crisis. As we (hopefully) enter a new phase of economic and financial recovery, global cooperation will continue to be critical for taxpayer interests.

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