H.R.5140 - Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008

To provide economic stimulus through recovery rebates to individuals, incentives for business investment, and an increase in conforming and FHA loan limits. view all titles (5)

All Bill Titles

  • Short: Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 as enacted.
  • Short: Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008 as introduced.
  • Short: Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008 as passed house.
  • Short: Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 as passed senate.
  • Official: To provide economic stimulus through recovery rebates to individuals, incentives for business investment, and an increase in conforming and FHA loan limits. as introduced.

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Displaying 1-30 of 78 total comments.

Anonymous 02/07/2008 4:49pm

“spend it on bills”? Does it mean if they did not get the rebate, the bills would stay unpaid? 60% of americans just would not pay their bills? I don’t think so. “I will spend it on bills” just means “i am no going to go out, and get myself some special treat with this money, but will just use it as an addition to my budget”. Yes, it will help the economy. And so will those 15% that get invested (when you invest your money, the companies you invest it in puts it to use … well … at least in theory)
Yes $1200 doesn’t sound like a lot. By multiply that by a hundred million or so people who are going to get the rebate…

weasel 02/12/2008 3:35pm
in reply to klauern Feb 12, 2008 7:45am

No, you get it wrong. And I believe, that’s exactly why CNN deleted that sentence – while technically correct, it confuses the reader to assume things that are just not true.
The rebate checks are indeed going to be an advance on the tax return. BUT the tax liability for the next year will be reduced for the eligible taxpayers for the respective amount.
If you normally get a refund with your tax return, you’ll get about the same amount next year. PLUS the $600 advance.
Funny how this is the second time I am explaining this on this very page. I guess, people just have too hard of a time believing it is actually possible to get anything back from our beloved government :-)

weasel 02/08/2008 4:10pm

No, no, you got it backwards.
The money is free, of course. Not even taxable.
The bottom line is, that if you are eligible, you’ll pay $600 (or whatever your amount is) less taxes in 2008 than you otherwise would, and moreover, they are going to send you the check earlier.

donnyshaw 02/10/2008 9:50pm
in reply to Anonymous Feb 08, 2008 9:13pm

Hi, Anonymous. I noticed this article posted above in OpenCongress’s news coverage of the bill that answers you question about SSI.



“Based on the Economic Stimulus Bill as passed by Congress, persons with income from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) alone will not qualify for a tax rebate check.”

Anonymous 02/13/2008 12:26pm
in reply to tlambert Feb 13, 2008 9:53am

“just think what would happen if they didn’t take $12,000 out of my pay and I could opt out of Medicare and Social Security”

- There wouldn’t be a military (we’d probably be speaking German or Russian)
- You wouldn’t have roads and bridges
- Your parents would be living with you when they can’t work anymore, and you’d be paying their medical bills. Kinda old school but that’s how it used to work.
- You probably wouldn’t have a computer to post gripes on (kinda gets back to that military thing).

Anonymous 02/09/2008 7:10am
in reply to McsVT Feb 07, 2008 1:19pm

Paying Bills IS NOT putting money into the economy, especially if that money is past due. If that BILL is a car payment, or mortgage or other secured debt, then that money was already spent, it’s repayment. The bank makes their portion of interest, but the banks are being shorted on so many notes right now, it’s not enough to bring all the bad debt current. ALL BAD DEBT BEING BROUGHT CURRENT IS WHAT WILL STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. It is NOT the government’s responsibility to pay anyone’s bills. The only way this money becomes a economy boost is if it creates profit. A large majority of American’s are paying “what they can afford” and neglecting “what they can’t”. They only way this STIMULATES anything is if EVERYONE uses it to purchase something new, and if the company the purchase it from gets a profit after they write off all their bad debt!

Anonymous 02/12/2008 6:21am
in reply to Anonymous Feb 07, 2008 9:20am

I agree with you. The idea that the extension of unemployment benefits would just keep people sitting on their laurels with pay is just crazy. My husband is 61 yrs. old.. and has been looking for work since he lost his job in the mortgage business and as you might imagine with no luck. He now has one more week of benefits and than he is out of benefits. I guess this never occurred to those who voted against this extension. So, I agree with you… May then never have to collect unemployment…

Anonymous 03/01/2008 1:31pm

does people on total disbility get a part of the is package

heftyjake 02/15/2008 10:42am

Mixed feelings. I feel like this is a ploy to increase popularity with the current administration before it leaves. However it at least gives Americans hope for the future of our economy. All our economy needs to correct itself is the confidence of the American people; so that they feel comfortable enough to invest rather than preserve.

Laz 02/11/2008 3:07pm

The market should be allowed to correct itself.

donnyshaw 02/09/2008 8:42am
in reply to Anonymous Feb 09, 2008 8:13am

Hi Anonymouses, thanks for the useful insights here.

From reading the bill, my understanding is that the rebates are coming to us as advances on a one-year tax cut (reducing the 10 percent bracket to zero), which will be figured when we file in 2008. It’ll be like a federal tax refund — not deductible and not taxable as income.


p.s. why not register an account and post your comments under a username so the conversation is easier to follow..

wipinitboss 02/16/2008 4:16am

This bill as explained by the Tax Committee includes the income earned by us military in the combat zone. The text of the law as signed by the President does not. It does not have any provision for those of us who put it on the line. Well, I guess I should just go on welfare and sign up for “disability” with SSI and feign drug addiction or something to “qualify”!

weasel 02/09/2008 8:32am
in reply to Anonymous Feb 09, 2008 7:19am

No, it’s there other way around. If you receive a refund from state, it may be taxable for the federal purposes next year. That happens if you itemize deductions on your federal return, and deduct the state tax. If then you receive the refund, it means you deducted too much, so, you have to add it back next year. Federal refunds are never taxable.

Anonymous 02/10/2008 10:40am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the language in this legislation only works for those who had their income taxed by the government in the past year. So that means the military service members like myself who recently returned from Iraq in January from a 15 month combat tour won’t see any of this rebate money unless they are parents. Is that correct?

McsVT 02/07/2008 1:19pm
in reply to mrihel Feb 07, 2008 11:30am


As far as I know, paying bills IS putting money into the economy. There’s not some separate bin for bills that doesn’t get taxed. Correct me if I’m wrong here…

Anonymous 02/06/2008 10:37am

Billy Azlin: You’ve got to be kiddiing. People dont avoid work because there is an outside chance that, sometime in the next 100 years, the govt might give them $600/$1200 etc., ONE TIME! You give Libertarians everywhere a bad name!

Rockman (Sanford Slabaugh) in Illinois

Anonymous 02/07/2008 5:26pm

My husband and I are planning to purchase a home in San Diego. We are trying to understand whether or not the stimulus package will help us. From how I read the bill the conforming loan cap will increase to 125% of the median home price for a given metropolitan area. However, the median home prices seem so variable. Does anyone know a link to a website with the actual median home prices that will be used to determine the conforming rate limit in San Diego? Any help would be appreciated.

Anonymous 02/14/2008 4:26pm

i really think this rebate thing is totally unfair to not include people on ssi who could really use that check and also for the senior citizens on disablity come on so called president bush get it right since you promised the disabiled more relief

moifrey 02/28/2008 3:37pm
in reply to Anonymous Feb 07, 2008 1:40pm

My understanding is that earmarks are not published in the text of a bill. Rather, they are added to the bill just before it’s voted on.

Tracing earmarks is a difficult enterprise, but the Seattle Times investigative news team did it for one important bill, which took them weeks and weeks of mind-numbing research effort. But it paid off, because now they have an earmark database. Check it out at http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/favorfactory/.

Look for more communities to follow their lead. Eventually, that information could make its way into sites like OpenCongress, but even when it does, it will be after-the-fact to the bill’s passage. Unless things change, that is, and access to the information could just make that happen.

Anonymous 02/09/2008 4:33am
in reply to weasel Feb 08, 2008 4:10pm

Yeah, I was thinking about this more and if this is truly a CREDIT to us then it will not be taxable (like the phone excise tax credit last year…or any other credit you qualify for). But what you are saying is we will receive $600 in the summer and also pay $600 less taxes in 2008 (essentially receive a $600 credit on 2008 return)? Now that doesn’t really make sense b/c then I essentially got $1,200 in credits.

Anonymous 04/21/2008 8:01am

America needs an unemployment extension before this bee sting of a bonus check.

Anonymous 02/05/2008 4:38pm

pushing up the mortgages limits is a very good move…should send a lot of idle buyers off the fence and allow them the right tools to secure a fixed rate mortgage at a low rate…hope it makes it through…

Anonymous 02/09/2008 10:15am
in reply to donnyshaw Feb 09, 2008 8:42am

Thanks for the link to that article donny shaw.

Haha, this is true. The anonymous conversations are probably pretty hard to follow :) Should have used a nickname to sign off on all my comments. If I register it’s just one more thing to keep up with and I already waste enough time on message boards, etc. :)


Anonymous 02/09/2008 7:19am
in reply to Anonymous Feb 09, 2008 4:33am

That varies State to State. Some states require you to count a refund and income because it’s money you earned but were not taxed on. This money deducts from your taxable liability, you will pay taxes on what you “get back” but the liability you owed was reduced.

Anonymous 03/01/2008 1:52pm

i think we are going pass recession straight into the biggest depression known to mankind and no end to cause of the money ungry oil maggits

Anonymous 03/26/2008 6:55pm

Where is the government getting this money from?

Anonymous 02/16/2008 3:09pm

can someone explain to me how in the hell cogress can say ssi is not a qualifying income when those on ssi have to show the ssi statement as proof of income for 1- a fha loan and 2- food stamps and any other finanial functioning body that requires the proof of income regardless of what it is i know i am one of those individuals that is on ssi and getting the shaft from congress on down and we hear them selling this disability reform thing that does not even make those who are on disability feel like they do not count for nothing now they will not let us get a 300 dollar one time check how petty this is supposed to help the low income well i guess not thanks washington d.c. for screwing the poor again

Middletown 02/29/2008 5:43am

Its a bribe by Bush. plain and simple.

Anonymous 02/08/2008 8:40am

I believe this extra refund will only be taxable to us in 2008. It would pointless to give us the money early and then take it back…how will that exactly boost the economy? So yeah, my understanding is we have to claim it as income on our personal return in 2008.

Anonymous 02/09/2008 8:41am
in reply to weasel Feb 09, 2008 8:32am

Ahhh, it makes better sense when you explain it. But yep, that is the point I was trying to get across…and that fed refunds are never taxable.

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