Economic Stimulus Package – What Does It Mean To You?

January 28, 2009

What does the latest economic stimulus package mean to you?  There won’t be a 2009 economic stimulus check so if we won’t be getting money in the mail, how will we be impacted?

I’m not an economist so I won’t waste your time arguing the pros and cons of tax breaks vs. increased spending; I’ll leave that to the Democrats and Republicans to hash out over the coming few weeks.  The House bill has $275 billion in tax cuts and $523 billion in direct spending and provisions. MarketWatch has a good high level bullet point breakdown of the spending, I’ve included some of them below:

  • Tax cuts (payroll-tax holiday, tuition & renewable energy tax credits)
  • Relief (unemployment, welfare, food stamps)
  • Infrastructure (highways, school renovation, health information technology)
  • Help for state and local governments (Medicaid, state grants)
  • Energy efficiency (energy-efficiency projects and grants)
  • Human capital (education programs, pell grants, job training)

The Senate is reportedly going to take some action to address the alternative minimum tax:

“the administration indicated they would ultimately accept a provision in the emerging Senate package that would adjust the alternative minimum tax to hold down many middle-class Americans’ income taxes for 2009. The provision was not in the House legislation.”

But What Does It Mean To You?

Whether this spending or tax cuts effect you directly or indirectly, the thing that stands out the most about it to me is the fear and urgency that spurred the passing of the bill and that seems to permeate society. 

I’ve heard a lot of projections about how bad things are going to get and the global decline of our nation, all of which may be true, but I don’t think worrying about them will do us any good.  I think most of us realize that we’re in for a rough ride and there is no silver bullet or quick fix.

We certainly need to trim our expenses, build our emergency funds, and prepare for the unknown but at an individual level we’re still going to wake up each morning and live our life.  It may not be the life we’ve envisioned but people will still get married, have kids, help each other out, and even smile.

All we can do is work hard, lend a helping hand, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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6 Responses to Economic Stimulus Package – What Does It Mean To You?

  • Obama's Stimulus Package

    So now, some months after obama’s stimulus package came into effect, it could be much worse I would say. Though I agree – we need accountability to really make this work. In fact, to make anything work…

  • marci

    Reminds me of what we used to tell the kids when we ran a dairy farm…. No matter what happened – weather – money – death – sickness…. “Life goes on and the Cows HAVE to be milked!”

    Life in a nutshell…. you have to do what you have to do to keep on going.
    Personal responsibility should be at the foremost of this recovery… without it, all will crumble all over again!

  • Grant Baldwin

    Great summary of this new bill and not only how it will affect us but the reminder that we need to still get up each morning and live our lives.

    Very little that goes on in DC has a direct impact on our day to day living. Regardless of what economic packages get passed or not, we each still have the individual responsibility to take care of ourselves and our families. Personally, I would rather be in control of my own destiny than wait for a bailout from the government.


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