Stimulus Designed to Create Jobs, Invest in Economic Renewal
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) released the following statement regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) which is being considered today on the House floor. The vote is expected to occur later this evening (1/28/09).
“A staggering 2.6 million American jobs were lost in the last year of the Bush Administration””the result of a failed economic approach emphasizing tax cuts for those who needed them least and encouraging everyone else to max out their credit cards at the mall.
“The sheer scale of the economic downturn was brought home with the announcement that over 45,000 jobs were lost on Monday. Our economy is at a precarious point, one that calls for bold, decisive action. Leading economists believe that a robust stimulus package is the best way Congress can help stem the economic downturn. There’s no guarantee it will work. But to do nothing as some would suggest, letting market forces rip our society apart, is a failure of leadership and not an option.”
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is designed to:
- Create and save 3 to 4 million jobs, rebuilding America, making us more globally competitive and energy independent, and transforming our economy for long-term growth.
- Give 95 percent of Americans an immediate tax cut
- Invest quickly in the economy
- Provide $275 billion in tax incentives, including key provisions for energy conservation and schools
Despite assertions to the contrary, funding in the plan will be put to work as quickly as practically possible. Under the bill, funding would be provided to states within one week of enactment and they would be required to obligate at least 50% of the funds within 180 days; 100% within two years.
Analysis carried out by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moodys.com and John McCain’s economic advisor during the presidential campaign, holds that if this legislation were not enacted, the unemployment rate would be 2 percent higher by the end of 2010. For Virginia, passage of the Recovery Act means that 116,580 jobs, a nearly 2 percent increase, will be created or saved by the end of 2010.
The Recovery and Reinvestment Act specifically benefits the Commonwealth of Virginia in the following ways:
- Job training and employment services: $39.2 million
- Roads and highways: $753 million
- Unemployment benefits extension: $265.7 million
- Food stamp benefits: $360.7 million
- School district funding, including K-12 education, building modernization and construction, and special education funding: $793.3 million
- Modernizing and repairing water systems: $136 million
Tax cuts in the legislation affect Virginia taxpayers by providing:
- Child Tax Credit of up to $1,000 per child for 269,000 children
- Making Work Pay Tax Credit of up to $500 per worker for 2,716,000 Virginians
“Getting this legislation to the President’s desk by the end of next month is the goal. The House is moving today to do everything possible to help President Obama get our economy back on track.”