Breaking down the stimulus plan

By Layron Livingston - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - With the stimulus bill passed East Texans are wondering just how much of it will make its way to their hands? What does it mean at your house?

Let's start with what matters most, the money in your paycheck.

"You need some plan that will change people's spending habits regularly," said economics professor, Dr. Stephen Stine.

He said that is what the plan hopes to do.

"Withholding tax will be reduced, so there'll be more income each month into our checking accounts," said Stine.

It is providing up $400 in tax cuts for individuals and $800 dollars for couples. It is phasing out for folks in certain income brackets. Basically, the potential is there to see 10 to 20 bucks extra in your paycheck.

"The congress can always come back and adjust some of the provision, but usually, most tax cuts have some life to them," explained Stine.

Extended benefits for the unemployed are built into the stimulus package. Folks who draw unemployment will not be taxed on their first $2400 in benefits, and weekly benefits are expected to go up about 25 bucks. Also, if you're fired between September of last year and December '09, the government will subsidize 65 percent of your health premiums.

"This is a program that allows for immediate, within the next couple of months, changes," said Stine.

Designed to get more money to you and more money back into the economy, if you find your dream home in 2009, The stimulus bill also has you covered. Including...

"An 8 thousand dollar tax credit for home buyers," said Stine.

You will also be able to deduct state and local sales taxes on next year's income tax return to get the wheels of growth spinning again.

"This is a fascinating time to be an instructor in economics," Stine laughed.

If you want to read the proposed stimulus package yourself, just simply go to "Know More on 7" and click the "Stimulus Bill" link.