On February 07, 2008, House Democrats and Republicans came together to launch an economic stimulus package that will put money back in taxpayers' pockets and get our economy back on track. The urgency of enacting this package into law couldn't be greater, as we want to build on the steps the Federal Reserve has already taken.
From the beginning, our goal was to provide immediate, targeted relief to taxpayers, and to do it in a fiscally responsible way that won't exacerbate our long-term fiscal challenges. This compromise does just that - with a one-time tax credit for low- and middle-income families. This is where the relief must be targeted - to those who need it most and are most likely to spend it quickly.
I am also pleased that the package will include measures to help businesses through this economic downturn, with bonus depreciation and expanded small business expensing to free up capital to reinvest in their business, and retain or hire employees.
I am disappointed, however, that Republicans refused to extend unemployment benefits for those that are out of work in this kind of economy. These are the families that really struggle in a recession, as opportunities plummet but costs continue to rise. I hope this is something we can revisit, because it makes sense for our workers and our economy.
Clearly, no stimulus package can reverse seven years of misguided economic policies. This package is meant as a one-time shot in the arm to our economy, and will not solve all of our long-term fiscal challenges. I remain committed to finding ways to ease the burden on middle-class families, such as lowering gas prices, making college more affordable, and addressing the rising cost of health care.
Key Components of the Economic Stimulus Package
* Provide 2.3 million Wisconsin families with tax relief of up to $600 per individual and $1,200 per married couple, plus an additional $300 per child.
* Build on the child tax credit by offering a one-time rebate of $300 per child.
* Help families avoid foreclosure by increasing affordable refinancing opportunities.
* Promote small business investment in equipment