The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense has had a look at the bailout plan that the House will vote on on Friday.
Among the items added to sweeten the deal, according to the report:
>> Current law allows taxpayers to write-off 50% of the cost of any facility placed in service before January 1, 2013 that produces cellulosic ethanol. This provision expands the types of facilities that may be written-off to include production of other cellulosic biofuels in addition to cellulosic ethanol.
>> Allows employers to provide a benefit to employees for costs associated with bicycle commuting, including purchase and repair of a bicycle, bicycle improvements, and bicycle storage. This provision was proposed in 2007 in the Senate by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). This provision is estimated to cost $10 million.
>>Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children
Current law places an excise tax of 39 cents on the first sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of any shaft of a type used to produce certain types of arrows. This proposal would exempt from the excise tax any shaft consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means to enhance the spine of the shaft used in the manufacture of an arrow that measures 5/16 of an inch or less and is unsuited for use with a bow with a peak draw weight of 30 pounds or more. The proposal is effective for shafts first sold after the date of enactment. The estimated cost of the proposal is $2 million over ten years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The Oregon senators were the initial sponsors of the provisions. According to Bloomberg News, the provision would be worth $200,000 to Rose City Archery in Myrtle Point, Oregon.
>> The bill also allows people who live in states where there isn't an income tax, to deduct their state sales tax off their federal income instead. This was a sweetie for Texas, Nevada, Florida, Washington and Wyoming and will cost taxpayers $3.3 billion.
I thought we were supposed to have learned a lesson from this whole debacle about non-essential spending....and greed.
I wasn't thrilled with the first bill, but now I wish it had passed so we wouldn't be left with this Christmas tree. Seriously, how can a member of Congress in good conscience add something like that arrow exemption to this?
If, in spite of the changes incorporated into the bail-out bill, one feels disatisfied or merely puzzled at how the taxpayer will benefit by these cameo changes - even as 'taxpayer' appears to be but a chalkline on the sidewalk outside Wall Street - the body carefully removed as not to offend the now somber investor-experts (and Congress too) ...then, check out the "Subprime Crisis", another expert opinion by Bird and Fortune on "Axis of Logic" site. It will certainly reassure any yet unconvinced doubters that the bail-out with or without its thumbnail additions, is the way to go?
My understanding is they bought Ramstad's vote by including the mental health parity bill he's been fighting for. Actual funding for the program was apparently not included.
Mental health parity is not a government program so there wouldn't be funding involved. It's a law that would apply to insurance that makes it illegal to, for example, require a higher copay for mental health treatment than, say, a broken bone.
I am pretty disappointed by all this added "pork".