If you don't know by now, the Stimulus Package has finally been passed.
Highlights of the economic recovery plan drafted by House Democrats and President-elect Barack Obama's economic team are below. Additional debt costs would add $347 billion over 10 years. Many provisions expire in two years.
Aid to the poor and unemployed — $43 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increase them by $25 a week and provide job training; $20 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 13 percent; $4 billion to provide a one-time additional Supplemental Security Income payment; $2.5 billion in temporary welfare payments; $1 billion for home heating subsidies; and $1 billion for community action agencies.
Health care — $40 billion to subsidize health care insurance for the unemployed under the COBRA program or provide health care through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $4 billion for preventative care; $1.5 billion for community health centers; $420 million to combat avian flu; $335 million for programs that combat AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.
Infrastructure — $43 billion for transportation projects, including $30 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $6 billion to buy transit equipment like buses; $31 billion to build and repair federal buildings and other public infrastructure; $19 billion in water projects; $10 billion in rail and mass transit projects.
Education — $41 billion in grants to local school districts; $79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid; $21 billion for school modernization; $16 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350; $2 billion for Head Start.
Energy — $32 billion to fund a so-called “smart electricity grid” to reduce waste; $20 billion-plus in renewable energy tax cuts and a tax credit for research and development on energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and a multiyear extension of the renewable energy production tax credit for wind, hydropower, geothermal and bioenergy; $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes.
Science and technology — $10 billion for science facilities; $6 billion to bring high-speed Internet access to rural and underserved areas; $1 billion for the 2010 Census.
Housing — $13 billion to repair and make more energy-efficient public housing projects, allow communities to buy and repair foreclosed homes, and help the homeless.
Environment — $3.2 billion to clean up Superfund and waste sites, leaking underground storage tanks, nuclear sites and military bases, as well as $400 million for habitat restoration projects and $850 million to prevent forest fires.
Law enforcement — $4 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment.
— $500 per-worker, $1,000 per-couple tax cut for two years, costing about $145 billion. Workers could expect to see about $20 a week less withheld from their paychecks starting in June. Millions of Americans who don't make enough money to pay federal income taxes could file returns next year and receive checks.
— Greater access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit for the working poor in 2009 and 2010, at a cost of $18.3 billion. Under current law, workers must make at least $8,500 to receive the credit. The change eliminates the floor, meaning more workers who pay no federal income taxes could receive checks.
— Increase the earned-income tax credit — which provides money to the working poor — for families with at least three children, at a cost of $4.7 billion.
— Provide a $2,500 tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010, at a cost of $10.3 billion. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.
— Repeal a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to July 1, unless the home is sold within three years, at a cost of $2.6 billion. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $150,000.
— Extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such as computers to speed up the depreciation of that equipment through 2009, at a cost of $5 billion.
— Provide an infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two, at a cost of $15 billion.
— Repeal a Treasury provision that allowed firms that buy money-losing banks to use more of the losses as tax credits to offset the profits of the merged banks for tax purposes. The change would increase taxes on the merged banks by $7 billion over 10 years.
— Subsidize locally issued bonds for school construction, teacher training, economic development and infrastructure improvements, at a cost of $35.5 billion.
— Extend tax credits for renewable energy production, at a cost of $13 billion.
— Extend and increase tax credits to homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient, at a cost of $4.3 billion. Homeowners could receive tax credits of up to $1,500 for upgrading furnaces and hot water heaters and making other improvements through 2010.