WASHINGTON — Hoping to give a quick adrenaline shot to the ailing economy, President Bush and House leaders struck a deal on Thursday for a $150 billion fiscal stimulus package, including rebates for most tax filers of up to $600 for individuals, $1,200 for couples and, for families, an additional $300 a child.
The House is expected to approve the package on Feb. 6, and the leaders in both chambers have set a goal of Feb. 15 to send a measure for the president’s signature, a deadline Senate Democrats said they could meet even though they had reservations about the plan.
The word around Washington is that under the current schedule money could get in the hands of Americans by May. That is not even in this quarter. It is too long to wait. If that is the fastest it can go, which is unbelievable if true, there's no reason to do it other than feel-good politics.
The ideas that Senate Democrats want to add to the plan would be more stimulative to our economy: expansion of unemployment benefits, more government aid to the poor, money to the states to offset increased healthcare costs, and major public works programs.
We should have a stimulus that goes into effect within the next 3 weeks.