What the economic stimulus package means to you - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/16/09

What the economic stimulus package means to you

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LUBBOCK, TX - (KCBD) President Barack Obama is expected to sign the $787 billion stimulus package into law on Tuesday.  While it will not quickly solve the economy's historic problems, supporters - mainly democrats, say it could reduce the damage, while providing relief for the unemployed and the uninsured.

From highways to health insurance, taxes to technology, this is the broadest and most costly bill congress has ever passed. It passed in the house without a single republican vote, and just three members of the GOP voted for it in the senate.

Although Congressman Neugebauer doesn't completely agree with the package, he says there are some benefits, "This is money that we didn't have. We're going to borrow three-quarters of a trillion dollars, and when you add interest on to that it's nearly $1.2 trillion. And that's a lot of money."

So where is all that money going? And how will it affect you?

"We are going to see some funding that will be available for some infrastructure projects, some research money involved, Pell Grants obviously increased, so there is going to be some things that are obviously beneficial to our region" say Neugebauer.

Most Americans can expect to see about $13 extra in their weekly paychecks, starting around June, from a new $400 tax credit to be doled out through the rest of the year.

Retirees who receive social security benefits and individuals on disability would receive a $250 tax credit.

To help prevent or restore budget cuts in education, states will receive their share of $54 billion.

In all - $32 billion will be spent on higher education.

College students, or their parents, are eligible to claim a tax credit of up to $2,500; while 800,000 additional college students would be eligible for Pell Grants, which will increase by about $600.

First-time home buyers would receive an $8,000 tax credit.

The bill also would allow new car buyers to deduct the purchase's sales tax from taxable income.

To usher in a clean-energy future, $50 billion will be used, which includes money or tax credits for Americans to weatherize their homes and buy hybrid cars.

Ninety billion will help re-pave highways, replace century-old waterlines and other infrastructure projects

Environmental projects are expected to get $9.2 billion, which are expected to create 100,000 jobs over the next two years.

Many of those who are unemployed will get a $25 a week boost from the stimulus bill and those who lose their health insurance when they lose their jobs will find the government will pick up 65 percent of the total cost of their health insurance premium for the first nine months.

"This is hard-earned money that the future generation is going to have to pay back. We owe it to them to do it in such a way that we make sure we do it in a way that we do build a future for them in the future and not rob them of their future," said Neugebauer.

This week the president will tackle one of the most stubborn problems of the financial crisis: housing.

The administration is expected to commit at least $50 billion dollars in an effort to prevent foreclosures, by encouraging lenders to modify mortgages to make them more affordable.

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