Did The Bailout Do Anything?

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The 700 billion dollar bailout bill… the jury’s still out on whether it works, but the idea is to provide relief to a banking system so overtaxed it was about to collapse. But this massive bill also has lots of other stuff: provisions that will definitely work to make your life less taxing.

Example? Shelter from the Alternative Minimum Tax. The bailout bill includes a one-year patch that could keep up to 23 million middle-class Americans from paying the AMT this year.

There’s also an extension of a law that makes forgiven mortgage debt non-taxable. Good news for those facing foreclosure.

The ability to deduct tuition and fees (worth up to $4,000) expired in 07. Now it’s back, courtesy of the bailout bill. As is the sales tax deduction, most useful for those who don’t pay state income taxes.

And there’s a credit of up to $500 for making your home more energy efficient, however, not for this year; that starts in 2009.

So while it’s true the fat cats may be the big beneficiaries of the bailout bill, it’s nice to know us little guys are at least getting a break or two.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Melissa Pfaff

    Why didn’t the government just give each individual 1 million dollars. Since most of us are middle class we would be able to pay of our mortages, send our children to college, afford our insurance and still have money leftover for retirement. With 300 million american citizens subtract that from the 75 billion the government is lending and there would stil be plenty left to bail them out, especiallly with everyone paying off their loans. Our country has serious issues.

  • Melissa Pfaff

    Why didn’t the government just give each individual 1 million dollars. Since most of us are middle class we would be able to pay of our mortages, send our children to college, afford our insurance and still have money leftover for retirement. With 300 million american citizens subtract that from the 75 billion the government is lending and there would stil be plenty left to bail them out, especiallly with everyone paying off their loans. Our country has serious issues.

  • http://MONEYTALKSNEWS.COM/ DAWN VASHEY

    MELISSA HAS A WONDERFUL IDEA, THAT WAY THIS BAIL-OUT HELPS EVERYONE!!!! I COULD PAY OFF EVERYTHING AND HAVE PLENTY LEFT OVER TO PUT SOME PEOPLE BACK TO WORK TOO. IN THE LAST YEAR WE ARE STRUGGLING TO PAY OUR MORTGAGE, BUT WE DID IT AND WE DIDN’T BUY ABOVE OUR MEANS, MY HUSBAND WAS DIABLED FROM HIS JOB AND WE HAVE NO HELP FROM THE GOV. HE DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR THE DISABLITY WITH SOCIAL SECURITY. WE ALSO NEED A BAIL OUT… WISH WE PERSONALLY HAVE A BAIL OUT. CAN WE HAVE SOME MONEY TO??

  • http://MONEYTALKSNEWS.COM DAWN VASHEY

    MELISSA HAS A WONDERFUL IDEA, THAT WAY THIS BAIL-OUT HELPS EVERYONE!!!! I COULD PAY OFF EVERYTHING AND HAVE PLENTY LEFT OVER TO PUT SOME PEOPLE BACK TO WORK TOO. IN THE LAST YEAR WE ARE STRUGGLING TO PAY OUR MORTGAGE, BUT WE DID IT AND WE DIDN’T BUY ABOVE OUR MEANS, MY HUSBAND WAS DIABLED FROM HIS JOB AND WE HAVE NO HELP FROM THE GOV. HE DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR THE DISABLITY WITH SOCIAL SECURITY. WE ALSO NEED A BAIL OUT… WISH WE PERSONALLY HAVE A BAIL OUT. CAN WE HAVE SOME MONEY TO??

  • Stacy

    While Melissa’s idea certainly sounds great….and would certainly stimulate our economy way beyond anything Washington has yet suggested…the numbers suggest it’s easier said than done. In round numbers, there are close to 300 million Americans. If we all got a million bucks each that would require $300,000,000,000,000.00: Three hundred trillion dollars. If the government printed that much money, our devalued dollar would lead to such hyper-inflation that a car would cost $250,000 and a college education would cost millions. So we’d be back where we started from.

    That being said, however, the amount the government has already borrowed and/or printed to fund such things as the Iraq war and the current bailout are nothing to sneeze at. Taken together, these two expenses alone could easily amount to three trillion dollars when it’s all said and done. Were that money reallocated to each of us instead, Uncle Sam wouldn’t exactly be making us millionaires, but each of us would be $10,000 richer.

    But look at the bright side. At least we live in a democracy, where if we disagree with policy, we’re free to replace the people responsible. Something many of us attempted in 2004 and finally accomplished in 2008.

  • Stacy

    While Melissa’s idea certainly sounds great….and would certainly stimulate our economy way beyond anything Washington has yet suggested…the numbers suggest it’s easier said than done. In round numbers, there are close to 300 million Americans. If we all got a million bucks each that would require $300,000,000,000,000.00: Three hundred trillion dollars. If the government printed that much money, our devalued dollar would lead to such hyper-inflation that a car would cost $250,000 and a college education would cost millions. So we’d be back where we started from.

    That being said, however, the amount the government has already borrowed and/or printed to fund such things as the Iraq war and the current bailout are nothing to sneeze at. Taken together, these two expenses alone could easily amount to three trillion dollars when it’s all said and done. Were that money reallocated to each of us instead, Uncle Sam wouldn’t exactly be making us millionaires, but each of us would be $10,000 richer.

    But look at the bright side. At least we live in a democracy, where if we disagree with policy, we’re free to replace the people responsible. Something many of us attempted in 2004 and finally accomplished in 2008.

  • Lorene Swanson

    I am a disabled senior citizen. I get disability social security. I pay for my medicare premiums. I am a little bit over the limit
    to be elgible for assistance. Humana manages my medicare and drug insurance. In December alone my out of pocket
    for my medicine was $120.00. January around $80.00. I had the money due to refund of overpayment of escrow funds for taxes and insurance on my home. Florida has had record breaking Freezes this year. My heat and air unit broke down this past summer. I have no funds to replace it so no heat or air. I do not pay taxes on my low income . I think other people like me could have used $5000.00 or $10,000.00. I owe over $500.00 for a double light bill. I have to keep paying the past
    due just to keep lights, water and sewage on. I will have to forget paying for any mor medicine. I usually have less
    than $100.00 for groceries for a month. My daughter pays my telephone and internet.

  • Lorene Swanson

    I am a disabled senior citizen. I get disability social security. I pay for my medicare premiums. I am a little bit over the limit
    to be elgible for assistance. Humana manages my medicare and drug insurance. In December alone my out of pocket
    for my medicine was $120.00. January around $80.00. I had the money due to refund of overpayment of escrow funds for taxes and insurance on my home. Florida has had record breaking Freezes this year. My heat and air unit broke down this past summer. I have no funds to replace it so no heat or air. I do not pay taxes on my low income . I think other people like me could have used $5000.00 or $10,000.00. I owe over $500.00 for a double light bill. I have to keep paying the past
    due just to keep lights, water and sewage on. I will have to forget paying for any mor medicine. I usually have less
    than $100.00 for groceries for a month. My daughter pays my telephone and internet.

  • http://www.totalmarketingconcept.com/ Marty Zamecnik

    “What did the Bailout do for the Economy”

    What the bailout did in it’s present form:

    Bolster the banks, and improve their financial situation.
    Give people with money (investors…. a chance to buy foreclosed property and sell it to make a profit)
    Do nothing for the economy.
    Do nothing for:
    A: New Home Building & Contractors like painting, paving, Drywall, etc….
    B: Electrical Trade
    C: Plumbing Trade
    D: Carpentry / Construction trades (Housing starts etc.)
    If you want to get the economy moving:

    Every bank that took bailout money for a house that had a bad loan, should have to bulldoze the house that the loan represented and remove the foundation.

    That would get the construction trade working, right now, on demolition.
    Remove the glut of houses, to stabilize the value and stop the falling home prices.
    [Based on supply and demand. (Buyers versus Houses available)]
    Then the demand for homes would be answered with new construction.

    * The restrictions on the type of home, built in an area would have to be re-evaluated.

    We cannot continue to build these huge homes, in all areas, to try to increase the property tax base.

    There has to be places in each area that allow a more modest home with smaller SQ. Ft. to be built…. to supply people with modest incomes…
    Where can you go (in each State) to find a new starter house?
    Check to find that starter house, did you find any?, what was the cost? are you satisfied with the search?
    Example:
    * 3 Bedroom
    * 1 1/2 Bath
    * 2 Car garage
    We need to have some common sense added to housing planning… in all areas.

  • http://www.totalmarketingconcept.com Marty Zamecnik

    “What did the Bailout do for the Economy”

    What the bailout did in it’s present form:

    Bolster the banks, and improve their financial situation.
    Give people with money (investors…. a chance to buy foreclosed property and sell it to make a profit)
    Do nothing for the economy.
    Do nothing for:
    A: New Home Building & Contractors like painting, paving, Drywall, etc….
    B: Electrical Trade
    C: Plumbing Trade
    D: Carpentry / Construction trades (Housing starts etc.)
    If you want to get the economy moving:

    Every bank that took bailout money for a house that had a bad loan, should have to bulldoze the house that the loan represented and remove the foundation.

    That would get the construction trade working, right now, on demolition.
    Remove the glut of houses, to stabilize the value and stop the falling home prices.
    [Based on supply and demand. (Buyers versus Houses available)]
    Then the demand for homes would be answered with new construction.

    * The restrictions on the type of home, built in an area would have to be re-evaluated.

    We cannot continue to build these huge homes, in all areas, to try to increase the property tax base.

    There has to be places in each area that allow a more modest home with smaller SQ. Ft. to be built…. to supply people with modest incomes…
    Where can you go (in each State) to find a new starter house?
    Check to find that starter house, did you find any?, what was the cost? are you satisfied with the search?
    Example:
    * 3 Bedroom
    * 1 1/2 Bath
    * 2 Car garage
    We need to have some common sense added to housing planning… in all areas.

  • Red

    The little guy got something too? What? Why would the little guy worry about taxes if he doesn’t have a JOB. Who wrote this BS. I don’t want the little guy, I want what the BANKERS got, MONEY!

  • Red

    The little guy got something too? What? Why would the little guy worry about taxes if he doesn’t have a JOB. Who wrote this BS. I don’t want the little guy, I want what the BANKERS got, MONEY!