The bill which passed Wednesday contains about $18 billion in tax breaks and a $20 billion infusion of cash into highway and transit programs. Among other things, it exempts businesses that hire the unemployed from paying the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and gives employers an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year. Taxpayers will have to reimburse Social Security for the lost revenue.That adds up to much more that $15 billion. Oh well, when billion is the new million and trillion is the new billion, what's a few billion dollars here and there. Seriously, the AAEA description and accompanying links to the bill should help clear it up for anyone interested in digging deeper.
The other intriguing item about this bill is that many members of the Congressional Black Caucus voted against it. More than a fourth of the CBC voted against the bill. This represents about half of the votes against the measure. We guess the opponents are more in favor of the larger package that should be coming next.