Rep. Hank Johnson, a member of the House Committee on Small Business, voted last night for the Senate-approved, $151.7 billion, bipartisan stimulus package which is intended to jump start the nation's faltering economy. The Economic Stimulus Act (HR 5140) offers spending incentives to consumers and businesses effective this year. Under the bill, small businesses can immediately write off 2008 capital investments up to $250,000, new equipment purchases up to $800,000, and may be eligible for additional depreciation provisions.
"The President's failed economic policies and the Iraq war have crippled our national economy. This problem can be fixed, but it will require not only a major infusion of cash but a level of confidence that encourages citizens and business owners to spend and invest," said Rep. Johnson. "Although I am pleased to see that the Senate expanded the stimulus to give needed help to the elderly and our veterans, I still maintain that we have missed a tremendous opportunity to extend food stamp benefits, unemployment insurance and crucial job training programs."
The bill, as amended by the Senate, targets 137 million American families who may be eligible for a recovery rebate of up to $600 per individual, $1,200 per married couple, and a one-time, tax credit of $300 per child. Nearly $50 billion of the rebate will go to middle-income workers with wages under $50,000. Americans who earned at least $3,000 in 2007 will receive the benefit, including Social Security recipients and 250,000 disabled veterans. Higher income taxpayers are not eligible and the relief phases out above incomes of $75,000 for a single earner and $150,000 for married couples. Homeowners facing foreclosure, the Congressman said, will receive additional financing opportunities,
"This is a start but frankly, I believe small businesses and families need more help than this legislation provides. Small businesses are perhaps the best economic engine that we have and the most likely route to job creation," Johnson concluded.