Saying President Bush’s plan caters too much to the rich and not to “working-class Americans,” Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is announcing details of his own economic stimulus package. Harkin, a Democrat, says the President’s plan has three strikes against it.Harkin says Bush’s package won’t create jobs or stimulate the economy in the short-term, its tax cuts will only help the wealthy and it will further add to the national debt and drain money from Social Security and Medicare. Harkin says his plan would offer tax breaks for the middle and working-class families so they could spend the money, stimulate the economy and promote job growth. Harkin’s plan would exempt the first two-thousand dollars Americans earn each month for four months of this year — April, May, June and July — from the seven-point-six-five percent Social Security and Medicare payroll tax. He says that would put up to 612-dollars into the hands of workers or 12-hundred-24 dollars per couple. Harkin says that part of his plan would directly help one-point-two million Iowans.Harkin also proposes extending unemployment benefits, raising the share of federal Medicaid costs paid to states by four-percent, and tripling the amount of money small businesses can claim on equipment purchases — from 25-to-75-thousand dollars. Harkin says his plan would cost 113-billion dollars, while eliminating the top tax rate cut to those Americans making more than one-million dollars a year.
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