Somewhat surprisingly, the number is smaller than both the House and Senate bills, and details are still a bit unclear about what was cut and/or put back in. From what I’m hearing some of the school construction money and a bit of the state fiscal aid made it back in, while the obscene $15,000 per person new home purchase tax credit was scaled back as were some of the Obama tax cuts.
I’m very curious to see if the House negotiators managed to get the green renovation of federal buildings put back in because that was one of the single most sensible items in the whole bill and Obama himself made a spirited and convincing case for keeping it in at his press conference on Monday night.
I haven’t seen the final bill, but based on what I’ve heard, I’d give it something like a B-. That said, the clock really is ticking and it is far, far, far better than nothing. There’s a lot in this bill to be genuinely enthused about, but I’m going to try to comb through more of the details before reporting.
UPDATE: According to the Times, the AMT fix stays in the bill, which is crap. Let me associate myself with the remarks of the gentleman from Iowa
Mr. Harkin said he was particularly frustrated by the money being spent on fixing the alternative minimum tax. “It’s about 9 percent of the whole bill,” he said, “which we were going to do later this year in a tax bill. Why is it in there? It has nothing to do with stimulus. It has nothing to do with recovery. This makes no sense whatsoever.”