I’ve not yet seen the House version of the bill (HR 5101). Inconveniently, it’s still showing as not “not yet received by the GPO” at The Library of Congress’s THOMAS site.
Has anyone seen the new version of the bill?
My experience at Thomas has previously been good, making it my main go-to site for US Legislative information. What is delaying this publicly well knows bill’s publication, I don’t know.
From my perspective, as an over-30 married professional, it looks better, as raising the limit of family income from $130,000 to $300,000/year means I’ll actually get some money from it.
It looks a lot better imo.
From the perspective of my understand of the technical aspects of an economic stimulus package, however, it looks worse.
The goal of a stimulus bill is, as best I’ve heard it explained, to cause a sharp, short increase in domestic spending, especially on services and retail goods. To do this, you must give money to people who would spend it in this way if they had it, but who don’t have it.
Individuals with incomes from $65,000 to $150,000 and families with incomes from $130,000 to #300,000, in my experience, typically do have it, and will not spend more if given $1,000. Such folk usually have a few $10,000 of Discretionary money, which is not much effected by an additional $1,000. Personally, If I get a $1,000 check, I’ll just save it, resulting in only a slight stimulation of my bank.
A better plan would, I think, to be to give more to people making less. For example, my youngest son, a 23 year old with an income around $30,000/year, lives more-or-less month-to-month. Given $500, or $1,000, or $2,000, he’d spend it within a week on retail goods, following the same pattern I’ve witnessed when he received bonuses and tax refunds.
I fear that this legislation is being driven by a desire for Congress and the President to increase their popularity, and in the case of some, be faithful to their political ideologies, rather than sound economic analysis. Although higher income people don’t need a “tax rebate”, many of them would be offended if lower income people got them while they did not, perceiving such an act as “welfare”, “Taking from the (successful, hardworking) haves and giving to the (unsuccessful, possibly lazy and/or spendthrifty) have nots”, etc.
Reports indicate that the bill will likely extend federal unemployment insurance benefits. Though positive, because a large fraction of people drawing unemployment insurance income have little or no discretionary money, and are thus more likely to increase discretionary spending than the well-employed, many of these people will likely save the money against the possibility that they will not find good employment before their benefits expire. While I see significant social benefit in extending and expanding, unemployment insurance, such action does not, as I understand, much stimulate the economy.
Regardless, I as long as the bill doesn’t exclude most lower income people, it should have some positive, economy-stimulating effect. I think it would have more “bang for the buck”, though, if it more accurately delivered money to people who will quickly spend it.