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2008-01-26 20:47:39|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Scattering散播 cash

Jan 24th 2008 | WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition

A stimulus刺激 package套装 is struck发出


Shutterstock散播钱了 - bldr - Georges blog

TWO things that almost never happen looked set to happen on Thursday January 24th. Democrats民主党 and Republicans共和党 had reportedly reached a deal on how to stimulate the floundering挣扎的 American economy. And the bickering争吵的, slothful懒惰的 Congress seemed likely to pass some important legislation立法 quickly.

Perhaps one should not be surprised. After all, everyone agrees that the economy is in trouble. A drastic interest-rate cut this week coincided with stockmarket upheaval缓慢隆起. The housing market is in turmoil骚乱: new data show that the median home price fell last year by 1.8%. That may not sound like a lot, but so much of a typical American’s wealth is tied up in bricks and marble kitchen counters that a whiff 轻轻的一吹 of house-price deflation stokes unease不安. Politicians rarely need an excuse to shower grateful constituents组分 with other people’s money. Now they have a powerful one.

President George Bush will unveil the whole package in his state-of-the-union speech on January 28th. But several details have leaked. Households will receive tax rebates of between $300 and $1,200, plus $300 for each child that they have. Pressure from Democrats ensured that even families too poor to pay taxes will benefit. And pressure from Republicans ensured that even couples who earn as much as $150,000 a year will get a handout.

The package also includes tax cuts for businesses, giving firms incentives to invest in new factories, showrooms, machine tools and so on. Small firms will enjoy laxer rules on writing off expenses, and ailing firms will get rebates for taxes already paid.

To buoy浮筒 house prices the package includes a rescue plan for distressed痛苦的 mortgages more generous than anything previously mooted未决定的. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—two huge government-backed firms that finance and guarantee home loans—will be allowed to buy up mortgages significantly larger than the $417,000 maximum currently permitted. Critics worry that this will only delay a necessary correction in the housing market, but they will almost certainly be ignored.

Both parties have compromised. Democrats wanted to expand food stamps and unemployment benefits, but have backed down. Republicans wanted to target the rebates at those who pay income taxes, but have reportedly agreed to extend them to the large number of Americans who do not.

The package could pass within a week or two. Divided government means that both parties could be blamed for a severe recession, and neither wants that. One should never underestimate the capacity of individual senators to delay even the most popular bills, but the mood in Washington, DC, is so Santa Clausy that it would be a brave Grinch who tries to spoil the party. Whether the stimulus will prevent a recession or merely delay it is anyone’s guess.

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