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'Small' Sweeteners in the Big Bailout

POSTED: 07:37 PM ET, 10/ 2/2008 by Derek Kravitz

The Senate-passed version of the "2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," the federal government's attempt to bail out distressed Wall Street investment firms with $700 billion in funding, is full of more than $100 billion in tax breaks designed to win over House members who rejected the bailout the first time around.

Besides billions of dollars for energy tax incentives, forestalling the alternative minimum tax and other large items, there are plenty of small sweeteners in the bill, which are listed here on the Senate Web site.

According to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, among the top 10 most "outrageous" examples of earmark spending in the bill are:

  • The extension of a law allowing motor sports racing track facility owners to write-off the costs of their facilities over seven years for depreciation. It would extend the law for two years, until the end of 2009, and cost about $100 million.
  • An extension of a rebate program on taxes charged on rum imported from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. A $13.50 per proof gallon tax is applied to distilled spirits imported to the United States. The cost is $192 million.


  • The extension of a law that allows residents of states that don't pay income tax, such as Texas, Nevada, Florida, Washington and Wyoming, to deduct sales taxes paid on their federal taxes. It would extend the law for two years at a cost of $3.3 billion.
  • A tax-incentive program, allowing full deductions for qualifying proposals, for film and television producers in the United States. The cost is estimated at $478 million over 10 years.

By Derek Kravitz |  October 2, 2008; 7:37 PM ET Economy Watch
Previous: Judge Says Trial Against Stevens Will Continue | Next: House Bailout Vote, Freddie and McCain, Terror Convictions Overturned

Comments

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Please vote no today on the senate bill for $700,000,000,000 bailing out. It is worse than the original bill from the house, due to added tax breaks and increasing the FDIC to $250 million. How are we going to pay for this.

What we really need is to fund a special court where distressed mortgage holders can go to get refinanced with terms that are workable.

Please help main street instead of the fat cats on wall street!!!

Posted by: douglas heuer | October 3, 2008 12:24 AM

I notice there was no provision in the Big Greed Bailout for any one to apologise or compensate the rest of the world for wrecking the Global economy!

I guess when you're as introspective and self centred as most US citizens seem to be the rest of the world is insignificant!

Maybe the German Chancellor was right when he said the the US was no longer the financial centre of the world and judging by performance to date it has no right to be!

Posted by: Lex McKay | October 3, 2008 8:02 AM

Why must every big corporation that goes under get bailed out. Let the chips fall where they may. Don't try to scare the public into thinking this is some big disaster. It's only a disaster for the rich. Too bad I say. I hope they don't all jump off the roof tops like they did back in the depression but I believe if you make your own bed you lie in it. We don't need to bail out every rich guy that screws up do we? That was a retorical question so please don't answer it for me , because I already know the answer. Here it is straight up, Money is supposed to be used to trade for material goods not for gambling in speculationin stocks , commodities, not for other types of casinos, hedge funds, parasitic interest rates that banks and credit card companies charge, bonds, or any of that other crapola. It's was made to trade goods like food, land, homes cars etc. Anything else is a fictitious economy. CONGRESS GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME

Posted by: Ted 999 | October 3, 2008 12:06 PM

Appalling. Simply appalling. Both houses have now passed a bill that: (1) retains excicse taxes that harm the poor and middle class most; (2) reduced revenue from multiple other sources; and (3) increases our already incomprehensible debt-load.

How is borrowing a solution to problems caused by BORROWING?

Posted by: Political Cynic | October 3, 2008 2:55 PM

Dear US citizens

It is time to vote all of them out next month. All of them! not one of them should be left in congress.

Posted by: SIMON | October 3, 2008 3:05 PM

Isn't it wonderful, the US economy is in real danger of collapse and the nitwits that sit in Congress want to use the Bill for petty point scoring, no wonder the rest of the world is becoming more and more cynical about the US!

Posted by: Lex McKay | October 3, 2008 8:21 PM

Why is it that everywhere I look I find not one comment indicating the slightest concern about the effect of this American Greed on the rest of the world??

I guess the tales about US citizens being the most self obsessed in the world are true!

There are people in other countries losing their jobs, home, life savings etc because of a bunch of greedy Americans and none of you could care less! Absolutely pathetic!

Posted by: Lex McKay | October 6, 2008 1:39 AM

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