Enacting President Bush’s growth proposal

About three hours ago, the President signed into law H.R. 5140, The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 , less than four weeks after he first proposed Congressional action.

We are enormously pleased with this rapid and bipartisan legislative success. The final bill passed the House 380-34, and the Senate 81-16. Here is a one-page summary of the bill, along with the text of the President’s remarks.

Details on rebate checks

A full description of the bill is below. The biggest part of the bill is the tax relief delivered through rebate checks.

  1. Qualifications: To qualify for a rebate, a person must:
    • file a tax return for 2007 or 2008;
    • have at least $3,000 of “earned income” or positive income tax liability in 2007 or 2008 (earned income is redefined to include Social Security benefits and Veterans’ benefits and compensation); and
    • include a valid Social Security number on his tax return – those taxpayers with individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) are not eligible for rebates (this is intended to prevent illegal aliens from participating).
  2. Individual Rebate: All qualifying taxpayers will receive a minimum of $300 ($600 in the case of a joint return), up to a maximum of $600 ($1,200 for joint returns) based on their income tax liability.
  3. Child Rebate: All individuals eligible for rebates also will receive $300 for each child living in their household that would qualify for the existing child tax credit (Note: children of illegal aliens would not be eligible, even if the children are U.S. citizens).
  4. Phase-Out: The amount of a taxpayer’s aggregate rebate (the individual rebate plus the child credit) will be reduced by 5 cents for every dollar of adjusted gross income (AGI) above $75,000 ($150,000 for joint returns). For example, the aggregate rebate of a joint return with $160,000 of AGI would be reduced by $500.
  5. U.S. Possessions (Puerto Rico, Guam, etc): The U.S. Treasury will reimburse territories for the cost of providing rebates to their residents on the same terms and conditions.
  6. Hold Harmless: Taxpayers who receive a rebate greater than merited based on 2008 tax info owe no money to the IRS; conversely those taxpayers who receive a rebate worth less than merited […]