National leaders are considering sending rebate checks worth several hundred dollars each to tens of millions of taxpayers to stimulate the economy, a plan Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he fully supports. The federal government did the same thing seven years ago and Grassley says a repeat rebate could help the country fend off another recession.
Grassley says they think the tax breaks will work again because the tactic helped to get the U.S. out of the recession in 2001, a situation that was made worse by the attacks of Nine-Eleven. He says the checks that year "had a lot to do with moving the economy as fast as it did." President Bush is offering a 145-billion dollar tax relief package.
As Congress is returning to work today after a long recess, Grassley sees this being a top priority item as he says we need to "stay ahead of the curve" with the foul financial situation looming. Grassley says, "Nobody’s saying that we are in a recession. Everybody’s fearful that we might be in a recession.
But by the time you know you’re in a recession, then it’s really too late." He says Congress is considering sending tax rebate checks to perhaps 70-million taxpayers, with the amounts ranging from $300 to $800.
Grassley says that would mean 60 or 70-million different people making decisions about how to spend that money, so it "takes advantage of the dynamics of the free market economy better than 535 members of Congress, sitting in an ivory tower in Washington D.C., deciding how the resources ought to be expended."
One plan would send checks to individuals who make $85,000 or less a year, or to couples who make under $110,000, but nothing is yet set in stone.