Stimulus Package Finalized
In case you've been waiting with bated breath, administration and congressional officials have largely finished up work on the economic stimulus package that will now wend its way through the legislative process. There will be slight differences between House and Senate versions, which means a House-Senate conference committee after bills have passed both Houses and the possibility of a trip-up on a final conference report.
The final price tag is around $850 billion, with $550 billion in spending and $300 billion in tax cuts. It looks like the most controversial tax cut--one letting companies write off current losses against tax liabilities dating back five years--could be modified or dropped by congressional Democrats, perhaps to include instead a "fix" on the Alternative Minimum Tax for this year, which will otherwise boost taxes on millions of upper-middle-class taxpayers, some of whom are already in financial trouble or unemployed. It's a reminder of how radically things have changed in Washington that this AMT fix, priced at a cool $70 billion, is pretty much an afterthought.
Here you can find a fairly detailed summary of the House draft.