Sizing-up the Stimulus: What it means for you - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Sizing-up the Stimulus: What it means for you

By Lindsay Cohen email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - 1,100 pages. $787 billion dollars.

One big question: What does it mean for you?

President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign the stimulus package into law Tuesday. The plan has been dubbed the most ambitious government spending project in decades. 

The hope is that the package will create jobs, boost spending, and energize the economy; but opponents warn that the bill fall short when it comes to cutting taxes and generating jobs.

"Eventually we have to get off this government gravy train because if we don't, we're just going to be constantly relying on the government to get us out of problems," said Rep. Tom Rooney, R - Stuart. "That's not how I was brought up, and that's not how this country was founded."

Most workers across the country will see a $400 tax break spread over one year's worth of paychecks. That translates to about $15 every other week for workers pulling in less than $75,000 annually.

The credit is refundable, which means that even low-income families can claim it. Retirees and disabled individuals will get a one-time $250 dollar payment.

The bill also pumps money into infrastructure projects, health care, renewable energy development and conservation, with twin goals of short-term job production and longer-term economic viability.

Anyone who buys a car or a motorcycle in 2009 deduct state and local sales tax. There are credits for first-time home-buyers.

The bill did not receive the bipartisan support the president had hoped for. Only three Republicans backed it in the Senate, and zero in the House.

"Not having that kind of dialogue goes against what our constituents expect of us -- Republicans and Democrats," Rooney added, "and really what I think the president was hoping for."

"We cannot just continue to spend our way out of our economic problems," he said.

Tuesday is also when General Motors and Chrysler are due to hand in plans to Obama's government about how they can remain viable. The two companies are living off a combined $13.4 billion in federal bailout loans.

And on Wednesday in Arizona, Obama is scheduled unveil another part of his economic recovery effort -- a plan to help millions of homeowners fend off foreclosure.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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