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Stimulus tax relief helps grow our economy

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Everyone knows our economy needs spending to get things rolling again. Everyone also knows that cutting taxes and providing tax relief can stimulate that spending.

This week, thanks to tax cuts passed a year ago, more than 680,000 Nebraskans will keep about $6.7 million their hard-earned money. People will spend it how they like and not have to send it off to Washington. They kept another $6.7 million last week. They'll keep another $6.7 million next week.

Stimulus Tax Relief Keeps Money in Nebraskans' Pockets

That is happening because of something that doesn't get a lot of attention: The stimulus package Congress passed a year ago this month had major tax relief for thousands of Nebraskans and Nebraska businesses.

In fact, one-third of the bipartisan bill I helped negotiate went for tax relief. It provides $337 billion in tax relief encouraging spending in our national economy for job creation and growth. That's one of the biggest tax cuts ever.

Nebraska's Economy is Better Than Most

That tax-related help, along with stimulus spending, and Nebraska's tradition of common sense spending, is probably one reason we're not feeling as much economic pain as people in some other states. Our unemployment is about half the national average. Many of our businesses are holding their own, though some are clearly struggling. People are finding new jobs, hanging onto the ones they've got, and Nebraska's economy is moving ahead and not stagnating.

Tax Relief for Individuals and Families

The centerpiece of the bill is a cut in personal income taxes through a "Making Work Pay" tax credit. It totals up to $400 per year for an individual and $800 for working families in 2009 and 2010.

By delivering millions weekly in tax relief, Nebraskans kept as much as $340 million last year, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. They'll keep that much again this year.

That helped people buy food, clothing or goods, pay bills, or spend on other routine needs. It has been a regular primer for our economy.

Saving Families Money

In addition, families with children are seeing an increase in the eligibility for the refundable tax credit up to $2,500 through this year. The earned income tax credit also has been increased for working families with up to three children.

There's other tax relief from the stimulus bill that has helped first-time homebuyers move into a home, increased the federal income tax credit to grow our alternative fuel infrastructure--helping our ethanol industry--and easing the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Stimulus Helps Drive Us Back to Prosperity

In Nebraska and across the country people have debated how many jobs the stimulus bill--both its tax relief and targeted spending--created. This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office weighed in and caught my attention. The CBO estimates that the stimulus created or saved 1 million to 2.1 million jobs by the end of last year. That's good news.

A year ago, when our economy was really in trouble, most economists we were using the "D" word amid fears of a major depression. Now nearly everyone uses instead the "R" word as we continue to hope our economy is emerging from a tough recession. The tax relief in the stimulus bill is playing a part and we all know things could have been a lot worse.


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Yeah, thanks for letting my kids pay for your stupidity.

The problem, Ben, is not the lack of money out there, it's the fact that you fat cats at the feral government can't stop spending everyone else's money for your own excessive operating. SO, you came up with this 800 billion dollar stimulus meant to save jobs. It didn't save a single job that anyone can prove because we continued LOSING jobs. All you did was create a trillion dollar slush fund for the idiot states that operate much like the feral government.

NOW that Obama's government slush fund has failed at revitalizing the economy, just like conservatives predicted, you are now looking for another 100 billion of my kid's future earnings to create some jobs. How the hell are you going to do that exactly? Just create some short term feral government jobs to employ some people?

You people just don't get it. The first trillion didn't work at all, now we have another trillion and a half (with interest) of debt for my kids to pay off and they'll struggle more than us because of this. Now you want more?!?!?! How is that going to be any better than the last slush fund?

You people in the feral government can't do ANYTHING right, and then you right these letters to pat yourself on the back. You're nothing but greedy swine, taking what you can now, setting up your cushy retirement and your awesome healthcare package, and all the while you're screwing my kids.

It's bad enough I have to suffer through this economy, but you dolts are setting up a future with Obama where only public service is rewared by government and private business is discouraged and frowned upon. Profit is evil in your world, even though you yourself are a millionaire through private industry. You're nothing but a 2-faced hypocrite.

My kids are going to have a hell of time paying for school, getting a job, and buying a home because you have idiotically mortgaged the next 50 years of progress to maintian your power, cover your a$$, buy some votes, and pat yourself on the back.

Our current congress is mostly an absolute disgrace. You people have turned the greatest accomplishment of democracy in the history of the entire world into an absolute joke!!!!!Do you hear me????You have turned our Constitution into a slot machine!!!!The American people do not have control and THAT is painstakingly clear with Obama plowing through legislation that NOBODY wants because he must think he's the smartest man alive and we're all too stupid to understand his world!

There only a few people there that truly have the future of this country at heart and care more about us than their comfy pension plan we all paid for. I can't wait until our governor declares for your seat. We are going to campaign until the cows come home for him to send you packing. We had high hopes for you Ben, but you are a huge disappointment to all Nebraskan's with you two-faced, lying pat-on-the-back columns like this one here.

-- Posted by Justin76 on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 10:23 AM

wow your full of hate.

-- Posted by president obama on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 1:18 PM

I suggesst as a way to avoid the huge record setting deficits that all the TARP money that is being paid back to the government NOT be used for other projects but returned to the treasury. Additionally all the billions of stimulus funds not yet spent, not be spent (especially since it appears those funds are an attempt to buy the next election).

-- Posted by dennis on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 1:50 PM

Right Dennis like that's going to happen with the present administration!

-- Posted by remington81 on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 3:51 PM

Hate? No. Tired of lazy Americans letting these fools get away with whoring the Constitution out for their self serving agenda's while destroying the future for my kids? Yes.

Tired of a fool who hates businesses making a profit so that they can employ people or God forbid a company that makes luxury item for people with a LOT of money, who in turn hire people and pay them well? Yes!

If business only exisits to spread wealth around, then we really don't need a government since they don't supply amything, they jsut use up money and they are not accountabel for how they do it. We should jsut go back to being a third-world country and use the barter system to get what we need.

Maybe you should learn more about how government is SUPPOSED to work.

You know, I bet if you had an investment manager that you were send your hard-earned money to, and all they did with it was take it and run up huge bills for their business, go on expensive vacations, send it to other investment managers for them to waste....instead of reinvesting your money for you like they're supposed to and repeaing the reward for YOUR suceess, you would fire them!!!!

Whay the hell can't we fire our government?

Too lazy to worry about it? You'll wish you had when we are 25 trillion in national debt and we have 15% unemployment, no exports, hyper-inflation, and much worse....all because the liberals and lazy Americans wanted top notch healthcare for free and morons continued to elect representatives who promised earmark money for their state slush funds instead of promising to get America back on track!

Dennis, you are correct sir. Who here, that is a conservative didn't already know this money was going to be used as a campaign slush fund. It was supposed to create jobs, we haven't even used half of it yet, and already they are going to vote themselves another 100 billion for more union vote buyouts I'm sure.

If the 1st one didn't work why the hell is another one going to work?

As a small business owner who hires...what good is a $3000 tax credit going to do me if I don't have enough business to hire yet another person to begin with? What logic does the Harvard School for the Learning Impaired teach these days?

I am supposed to spend 20-30K to hire someone I don't need, to get a $3000 tax credit. So the tax credit costs me 17-27K. Amazing.

How about this....let the government get out of way, let the free market take over. Let those who can't manage their business, like GM go down and let the ones that do well, prosper. Let Americans make what they can make.

I need a customer base in southwest Nebraska to be prosperous enough to hire me, then I can hire more workers WITHOUT a tax credit and I can justify their wages. If my cusotmers are scared out their wits because of the future doom and gloom that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid's policies are going to bring us, they won't spend a dime. I've already seen it!

I don't need an educated idiot, or even an educated moron like the one in charge to tell me how business works. I learned that in highschool in senior economics. A class taught by a very intelligent and motivating teacher, a class I don't think most of the genius's at Harvard caught.

-- Posted by Justin76 on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 4:33 PM

I think you are so full of hate and rage that you cant think straight.

You scare me.

-- Posted by president obama on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 5:31 PM

Justin states the reality that is in front of him, and wittle bigdawg gets scared. When a person of the conservative persuasion states their opinion, it called hate. A leftist states their opinion and it called "hope".

The so-called stimulus bill brought some short, very short, term relief. Now it appears the stimulus money has been spent up already, largely through inefficient make-work projects and now unemployment continues its upward trend, and consumer confidence goes down. Not good news at all.

Senator ben misread the polls, he brokered a deal that he thought would buy him votes. He may be wrong. Only time will tell.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 10:01 PM

Ben is a whore and now he is just trying to say hey look at all the goodies I got for Nebraska you have to vote for me. So much for a fiscally conservative Senator like he tried to tell us he was. If everyone would check their witholding they would see that it was increased and they are now taking more out of each check.

They will let the Bush Tax cuts expire increasing everyones taxes, the new heatlcare reform bill Obama is pushing has the word tax no less than 27 times and will increase taxes across the board. I bet ol;d Benny votes for all of those tax increases.

I hope I don't scare you Bigdawg with the facts but don't let those get in the way of the truth.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Thu, Feb 25, 2010, at 9:23 AM

Hate...

Definition:

1. transitive verb

-dislike somebody or something intensely: to dislike somebody or something intensely, often in a way that evokes feelings of anger, hostility, or animosity

2. transitive and intransitive verb

- have strong distaste for something: to have strong distaste or aversion for something, somebody, or something that has to be done

Yes, I guess I do hate our current government in the capacity in which it is opperating this day in age. I also hate the phoney grandstanding and bickering while trying to grab or maintain political power. It's deplorable that this is going on every day while real Americans are out trying to make our own American dream come true without the intrusion of crooked politicians and their cohorts.

I guess I'm super stoked to feel hateful towards my government(using the above mentioned definitions) than apathetic like you who is happy the let these people do whatever they want to Americans and our money.

Thank God for those of us who want to do something about it!

-- Posted by Justin76 on Thu, Feb 25, 2010, at 3:29 PM

So, how far back do we have to go to get a Government you approve of?

What rights given by the constitution have they taken away?

-- Posted by president obama on Thu, Feb 25, 2010, at 6:27 PM

How far do we have to keep going in the current direction before the country is so far in debt and there are so many of it's citizens that are on the government rolls we can't sustain our own economy?

I mean, have you even considered the likelihood that we may go so far into debt trying to throw money at all of our problems that our "creditors" will have no option other than to collect?

Our will simply fall to it's knees and there will no basic services, no administration, no nothing.

I'd like to go back to the conservatives days of '94-98. We had a democratic president, and a 'conservative" majority who happened to be republicans at the time. They all managed to work together to reduce government spending, reform welfare, and get a balanced budget. I bet those folks then could have done something about healthcare had they known ho it would spiral out of control.

Had we not been attacked on 9/11 I'm sure the budget would have stayed on the right track and got us to financial prosperity. However, things change that you can't always control.

The folks we have now can't do anything because the democrats are the party of 'our way or the highway." That was never more clear today on the televised healthcare circus.

I have maintained this whole time that Washington is going about this healthcare reform all wrong. It seems all we can do is discuss how we're going to pay for this, which is touchy, especially given the economic climate. The problem is, we need to figure out how to truly reform the health of Americans. We need to figure out how to put each individual American in control of how they spend their healthcare dollars. If they we have control of that, we can create market driven competition and reduce prices.

All these bill being kicked around are going to do is find a way to hide costs, transfer funds from those who have, to those who don't have...all the while thes costs of healthcare continue to rise rapidly.

BTW, there is nothing in the constitution about taking money throught taxation from one person to pay for another's healthcare costs.

-- Posted by Justin76 on Thu, Feb 25, 2010, at 6:58 PM

ok. the mid 90's

what about the rights taken away?

it seems you want the constitution to be very specific where you want it to be and vague in the areas where you want it to be.

-- Posted by president obama on Thu, Feb 25, 2010, at 10:39 PM

Well big dawg the progressive income tax has taken many of our loberties away. It is none of the gubments business what you or I make. It is also none of their busines what we spend it on yet we are told what we can spen it on through tax incentives and breaks and have our money taken at the point of a gun and can risk prison if we do not want to tell them what we make. This is one of the main reasons that the founders rebelled against the English taxation without representation. Now whe the Senator that we elect does not do what the majority of the state wants that in the interst of his party and his personal largesse that is non represenation.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 9:46 AM

Im just trying to figure out the exact time our government we bad. Your entire premis is that the government has never done anything right and when there is a government program that works you tear it down because it violates your entire way of thinking.

http://www.governmentisgood.com/articles...

-- Posted by president obama on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 12:38 PM

What a great non biased source bigdawg. Douglas J. Amy is a proponent of proportional election as in European style democracy. Hardly a direction I want to go. I guess you have missed the direction Grece, Italy, Spain and Portugul are headed with their wonderful systems and huge debt. Learn a lesson from them and look at how unsustainable the path your hero Obama is taking us down.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 7:10 PM

is he not telling the truth?

-- Posted by president obama on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 10:33 PM

what government program works and is sustainable dawg? You just stated that there is one. Let's hear it.

I also NEVER stated that the government has never done anything wrong. Those are simply words you have created on you own. I remember when congress shut down. That was good. The longer we keep congress from working, the less of our hard earned dollars they can squander!

Maybe instead of cruising loco websites for your endoctrination you should just read some books about the founding fathers and their beliefs. Maybe you could try "The 5000 Year Leap." It's an unbiased look a the framers of the constitution and what they achieved based on what had historically failed in the civilized world. It explores how they carefully crafted the constitution so that the American citizen would have control of local governments all the way up to the federal governement. The federal government was never to have the kind of power it has today with all the unfunded mandates we see. the states were supposed to have the power in governing. The book was also written about 20 or so years ago so it has nothing to do with the polarizing world of politics today.

Federal income tax has alllowed the feral government to start up social programs, and then without the watchful eye of Americans, drain those programs for spending that was unauthorized by the American tax payer. And because the feral governemtn is so large, it is now impossible for us to keep our eyes on our hard earned dollars.

We now live in a country that is governed by the feral government and from places like California, New York, and Texas sometimes. The problem is, that is not true representation.

A better example unconstitutional misrepresentation is a recent one when Pelosi was trying to pass the Cap N trade bill in the House. She could not get the votes needed so they started dolling out money for house members' campaign funds for their vote. If that is not a bribe than I don't know what is. I can guarantee you that somehow, some Harvard politican long ago figured out how to circumnavigate the constitution to allow house and senate leadership to pay for votes to get bill passed.

THAT is why you have the Tea Party movement. Taxation without true representation is alive and real when we have politicians, even leagaly, taking money from leadership for their campaign funds in return for their vote on bills whether or not their constituency agrees or not. One more this reason goes against true representation, is that if a congressman is getting campaign money from party leadership in return for votes, that money is not truly coming from people he is supposed to be representing. Is it not coming from some other state or region?

-- Posted by Justin76 on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 11:45 PM

Did you vote in the last few eletions? The guy you wanted lost and now you get an attitude. This was going on long before 1 year ago and now you get all high and mighty? I feel like the people I voted for are trying to do what they said they would do and people keep blocking everything they try. What a fraud

-- Posted by president obama on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 6:49 AM

No I do ot believe in what Mr Amy is saying he has a far left view of the way to elect our representatives and the founders were much smarter than he is in the system they gave us. I much prefer a representative republic to a european style democracy.

Funny I criticised the repubs all the time when Bush was in office bigdawg. Maybe not here because I am relative newby. I was lukewarm to BNush at best because he was never a true Conservative. The rebub congress spent like drunken democrats and they got thrown out on their ears.

That being said their spending is less in the eight years of Bush compared to the first year of Obama. We can not sustain this level of spending. Look at Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugul to see where we are headed with this level of debt. The only time we spent this much in debt compared to GDP was durring WW2.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 9:59 AM

Yes bigdawg, "our guy" lost, but then we have Rep. Adrian Smith and Sen. Mike Johanns to take our fight to DC. That's called a Representative Republic.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 10:18 AM

well chunky i got news for you, they are just as for sale as every other politician.

-- Posted by president obama on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 7:10 PM

Yup politicians are whores but I like my whores better than your whores.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 9:00 PM

And bigdawg, they vote the way I want them to.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 9:22 PM

No matter what they say when they get elected when they go to washington they will toe the party line. That is why party trumps person in national elections. No matter what Ben says he is a democrat and will toe the party line when he has to. Adrian and Johans will toe the party lne when they have to. Otherwise they get no help with re-elections and no good committee memberships. it's called washington and thats the way it works.

"what gambling at Ricks?"

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 9:31 AM

no, they vote the way the special interests tell them to vote

-- Posted by president obama on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 12:37 PM

You mean I'm a special interest?

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 2:31 PM

Ihate to admit that I am ignorant politacly speaking, but unfortunately I have found myself a bit too tied up in the past year trying to put food on the table rather than hanging on every word the polititions say as well as the biased press. Personally I can't truely figure out what's true, what's false and what is only opinion, what I do know is that things right now arnt good and the way it looks, they won't be good for quite a while. It seems to me that if the government wants something for whatever their own reasons dictate, and they are having a hard time convencing the American public of their views, they may want to back off and consider why. If they don't, one must suspect that its not the American people that they have interest in.... I have a huge problem with that. I really don't like polititians to begin with because they are suseptable to temptations just as any human being is, they just have MORE directions from which their influences approach them and their benefits are much greater than the average person might encounter. Again though, if they arnt brokering for the American majority interests, I have no use for them. I'm not saying that my opinions are always right, but I take comfort with the fact that if an issue goes a direction contrary to my views,and it was done by means of popular majority, then THEY MAY BE RIGHT and know something that I don't. When the government presses through with something the popular majority is against..... That's when I can't sleep at night. Seems like this administration is doing a lot of "pressing through".

-- Posted by PensiveObserver on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 10:48 PM

Calling me a fraud is no different than calling me a liar, or a crook. I didn't want either one of the two jokes we had to pick from to start with. The problem with you Dawg, is you create your own make believe land where you are correct because your ingorance allows you to fell like your right, and it paints a picture that I'm some kind of republicans Kool-Aid addict.

You have no idea what you're talking about. I have been concerned about govenement spending ever since Bush signed Teddy's prescription drug plan into motion, as all true conservatives were.

All I'm trying to do is help you remove your head from your you know what. This country was not supposed to be held hostage by the federal government and thier out-of-control spending. But I guess our future is nothing to get upset about, governemt will take care of us. I can't believe people can actually grow up in this country and think like you. What a waste of a resource.

It's people like you, Reid, and Pelosi that want to drown repulicans for the War on Terror cost, the war they all voted FOR! Funny thing is that the actual costs of the war has not quite hit 1 trillion dollars in 8 years, yet your democratically approved federal bufget for ONE year has already trumped that!

I'd rather spend money to help protect our country and snuff out radical Islamists that want to kill us in suicide bombings than contrinue to put of congressmen in their 5 star resorts while they travel the world in the name of getting a worldy education to help them govern the people of the US. Or how about Nancy Pelosi's recent $10,000 booze bill that we all paid for? How about the 1 million dollars they spent at the Climate Summit at a rate of $5000 a day per person for lodging and food.

The fact is, while we as a nation of tax payers are suffereing, our government has never lived higher on the hog. They WILL NOT cut spending, yet they expect us to bear the burden of more and more taxes help fund thier all the "vote-buying" give-away programs.

At some point you just have to say no more money can be spent. Some sacrifices will have to be made. If you can't some to terms with that, it will be your kind that we can blame for the downfall of our country, you and all the politicans that could not stop buying votes.

I'm not going to sit here and ever blame any one party for our problem, our problem is our people that want more than they put in. Our problem is that we don't keep tabs on government spending and they exploit that neglect and it only hurts you and I. All I'm trying to do is rally people to get involved and realize the system is broken and we need to change how we vote and who we vote for.

If you don't get it, God help us.

-- Posted by Justin76 on Tue, Mar 2, 2010, at 12:12 PM

Amen Justin.

-- Posted by hankherndon on Tue, Mar 2, 2010, at 2:06 PM

and you create your own makebelive world where the sky is falling. If its not one thing its another.

-- Posted by president obama on Tue, Mar 2, 2010, at 5:55 PM

good job way to refute those facts.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Wed, Mar 3, 2010, at 8:53 AM

what facts?

-- Posted by president obama on Wed, Mar 3, 2010, at 12:45 PM

Exactly, don't let them get in the way of the truth bigdawg.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Thu, Mar 4, 2010, at 10:08 AM


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