Archive for the ‘Stimulating the Stimulus’ Category

Payroll Tax Cuts May Boost the Economy More than You Think

Just as Congress allowed the 2011-12 payroll tax cut to expire, new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York suggests that such tax breaks may significantly boost consumer spending. As a result, raising workers’ take-home pay this way might play a bigger role than many thought in reversing economic slumps. The study by […]

Japan (Re)Tries Fiscal Stimulus

Last week Japan announced a massive stimulus package designed to jumpstart its slumping economy, which is in the midst of its fifth recession in 15 years. The stimulus initiative, heavy on infrastructure spending and disaster preparedness, includes $117 billion in central government spending. Add in local government and private-sector support and spending could top $200 […]

A Two-Month Payroll Tax Cut is Dumb, So Is How Congress Got There

House Republicans are right about one thing at least: Extending this year’s payroll tax cut for two months is ridiculous. The trouble is they are largely to blame for the very policy they are criticizing. Congress got itself in this mess because a few dozen self-styled tea partiers have refused since last summer to helo build a […]

The Democrat’s Millionaire Tax: Smart Politics, Awful Policy

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s plan to fund a $445 billion stimulus, err, jobs bill with a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires is not all bad. After all, Tax the Rich does make a nice campaign bumper-sticker. But it is mostly bad. Why? Here are five reasons. The idea, endorsed today by President Obama, would […]

Why Nobody Noticed Obama’s Tax Cuts

Michael Cooper over at The New York Times stopped off at the Pig Pickin and Politickin rally in North Carolina the other day to ask folks about the Obama tax cuts. Their response, not surprisingly, was “What Obama tax cuts?” This despite the fact that about one-third of the much-reviled 2009 stimulus—or almost $300 billion–came […]

Obama’s Business Tax Cuts

With the economy stalled and his party’s November electoral chances sagging, President Obama is rolling out a new plan to boost growth—a mix of infrastructure spending and business tax cuts. The tax changes make some sense on their own merits, although I’m not sure how much they’d do to jumpstart an economy that can’t seem […]

Obama’s Stimulus II

At Brookings today, President Obama laid out his vision for Stimulus II. At first glance, this seems to be a collection of odds-and-ends, only some of which will help the economy grow and create jobs.

Stimulating the Stimulus: Helping New Homebuyers

This year’s stimulus bill offers a refundable tax credit of up to $8,000 for new homebuyers, generously defined as anyone who hasn’t owned a principal residence during the past three years. That’s a pretty sweet deal that could help boost sagging real estate markets.

Stimulating the Stimulus—unemployment compensation

The stimulus bill before the Senate would exempt from income tax the first $2,400 of unemployment compensation that people receive in 2009. Because the exclusion reduces their taxable income, higher bracket taxpayers get a bigger break than those with lower incomes. And very low-income households that have no tax liability would get no benefit at all.

Stimulating the Stimulus—child credit and EITC

The stimulus bill working its way through Congress would make both the child tax credit (CTC) and the earned income tax credit (EITC) available to more low-income workers. The CTC would phase in at lower income levels for the poorest working families, raising after-tax income for the neediest and most likely encouraging them to spend additional income. The EITC would increase for larger families, also giving more cash to families likely to spend quickly.