Can Individuals Benefit from the Stimulus This Year 2013?
The sad reality is that, no, there is little help left in the stimulus plan under President Barack Obama, to help individual people. Much of the money that was allocated to this program has yet to be spent, but the bill that was presented that would have extended payments to individuals for 2011 and for 2012 never passed.
Some money remains in the stimulus budget for grant money that is to be disbursed to agencies, not individuals. Nonetheless, there are two different programs that fall under the stimulus plan that are mean to help individuals, although there are strict requirements in order to qualify: the Durum Wheat Quality Program and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, both of which are for farmers only. Some grants also remain for the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Livestock Forage Disaster Program and the Livestock Indemnity Program.
The stimulus program was funded with 8 billion dollars that was raised by selling U.S. bonds. For every person in the U.S., which is more than 313 million people, the government went into debt $25. There have been rumors about a check for $250 that was going to be sent out to Social Security recipients in 2012, although there is nothing on the horizon to indicate that anything about this stimulus, just like the stimulus check 2011 that never surfaced, is anything but a rumor.
However, with the election in the fall of 2012, it is altogether possible that a new president and new representatives coming into office next year might retroactively issue a stimulus. That will depend on whether or not Mitt Romney beats President Obama and whether or not he feels that a stimulus would be beneficial. Since he is a republican, the chances are good that he is not for a stimulus or for any type of program that would increase the public debt.
Romney: Would He Approve of a Stimulus Check?
Those who were planning on a stimulus check 2011 did not see that check in their mailboxes. And it is unlikely that they will see a check in 2012 either. However, if presidential candidate Mitt Romney wins the November 2012 election and becomes our new president, is it possible that he will approve of a stimulus check being sent out to pump up the economy?
No. He would not. In fact, Romney says that the previous stimulus did not work. While speaking on the program State of the Union (CNN), Romney urged the Fed to avoid new stimulus to boost the economy, despite its continued sluggishness. The Federal Reserve had announced that it might consider new measures to boost the economy in the very near future. Thus, if you are looking for a stimulus check, you won’t get it – or at least it is not likely that you will get it – from a sitting republican president.
When the 2009 stimulus was being debated, Romney was one of its loudest opponents. While some see the stimulus as Obama bringing the economy back from what could have turned into another Great Depression, others see it as the result of a wasteful spendthrift.
No matter what he said then, if Romney were president in 2009, critics say that he would have backed a stimulus. With an economy in freefall, any president would have pushed for the same, according to experts. Of course Romney admitted that a stimulus to keep the middle class afloat was needed, but he didn’t approve of the other ‘47%’ being awarded free money that they didn’t have to repay.
What would have happened without a stimulus in 2009? Should we have gotten another round of stimulus checks 2011? Only time will tell.
Stimulus Money for Individuals in 2012
Although a large percentage of the funds allocated for the stimulus program remains unspent, the closest we came to any individual relief came – and went – in 2010, when congress was considering a bill to extend individual payments in 2011 and 2012. It never came to fruition.
There is still some program spending to be disbursed as grants, but a large proportion of those as restricted such that individuals can’t benefit from them. Here are two grant programs where individuals can benefit without restrictions – Biomass Crop Assistance Program and Durum Wheat Quality Program. There are also some grants that provide funds direct, but for specified uses, such as the Livestock Indemnity Program, Livestock Forage Disaster Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program. Most of us are also aware of the President’s program to help Moms go back to school. Did you know about the Land Bank Program, which is ongoing? People who have land that they are not farming can receive a certain amount of money each year for each acre they agree not to farm.
The funds allocated for the stimulus program was 8 billion dollars ($8,000,000,000). The population of the United States is currently 313,618,013, according to the US census population clock on their website. Since we didn’t have the money and it was borrowed through sale of US bonds, that means that we incurred debt in the amount of $25.51 for every man, woman and child in this country, legal citizen or not.
According to eHow.com, the things you’ll need, as an individual to apply for any available government grants are computer with Internet access, Tax Identification number or Social Security number and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) information, i.e., routing number for your bank and account information for financial institution (bank). Once you register at www.ccr.gov, you will then go to one of the three following websites: www.Fedbizopp.gov, www.Fedconnect.net or www.grants.gov.
There is a rumor that a $250 stimulus check would go to Social Security and SSI recipients, but that is far from a sure thing at present. With the freshman members of the House of Representatives mostly being deficit hawks, nothing that will add to the debt will be approved in 2012. If the balance of power is changed in the November 2012 elections, there is a slight possibility that it could be approved retroactively after the new President and House of Representatives come into office in 2013.
The lowest income group is now suffering the most from the present economic situation in the US. People who live on Social Security, whether paid following many years of work or as the result of a disability and/or recipients of SSI are truly struggling and falling further behind each week. While the costs of gasoline and food are not included in the Consumer Price Index, upon which increases in Social Security and SSI are computed, those necessities have skyrocketed in price. Anyone who buys their own groceries realizes how profound an effect this has made on household budgets.
Older people have more health problems and have to go to the doctor more often. In rural areas and small towns without a rapid transit system, a car is necessary and the high cost of gasoline is having a profound effect. Add to that the greatly increased cost of food, and again we have seniors going without services and medications they need, because co-pays have also increased. Life becomes harder and harder each day and these groups are reduced to a survival mode, as there is nothing left in the budget for new clothing, movies, dining out, dry cleaning or other expenses once considered necessities that are now luxuries.
The world is now experiencing a worldwide recession. Although it appeared for a while that the US was climbing out of the pit, some economists say that future statistics will show that we have even now slipped back into recession.
People a little higher on the income ladder are really resentful about paying taxes that helped union retirees of General Motors keep their cushy health care and pension benefits that greatly exceed what they, themselves, can count upon in retirement.
Some of Obama’s new jobs plans could possibly provide some relief and sound like good ideas. One good one is the Private-public infrastructure project, where the government will partner (i.e., support or finance) companies to build new infrastructure projects such as roads, highways, bridges and airports.
Obama is also proposing a program that will greatly help underwater property owners, people who are paying their mortgages on time (who previously had no help) to refinance at the current lower rates. Presumably, the proposed bill will also have provisions or inducements for the banks so that they will issue the loans.
The proposals also include an extension of the payroll tax holiday and grant it for the first time to businesses that provide the employment. Previously, employers had to continue paying their share of the tax – about 7 ½ percent of the employee’s pay. Also included is a program that supports retraining of unemployed workers who have little hope of getting another job in the field in which they are trained and/or experienced, as well as veteran unemployment benefit programs, designed to encourage employers to hire from the growing ranks of veterans, particularly those who have been unemployed for a long period of time. These inducements would come in the form of tax credits: the Returning Heroes Tax Credit and the Wounded Warriors tax credit (which extends the Work Opportunity Tax Credit) and Obama is proposing these programs (among others) to Congress to legislate on.
What would $250 do for me? It would buy gas to go to the doctor and/or library 25 times. It would pay the $15 increase in grocery cost almost 17 weeks. It would pay the increase in my medical co-pays and drug co-pays for two months. It would buy my first new dress in two years, so that people at Church don’t feel sorry for me.
I’d rather have the $250 than not, but it seems unlikely to happen.
Welcome to the Stimulus-Check–2011.com, your number-one online stimulus check guide to helping millions of Americans answer the question: “Where’s my economic stimulus check?”
Notwithstanding everyone’s literally lining up to get their stimulus check, one wonders if there is enough money in President Barak Obama’ monetary stimulus package to go around. The stimulus plan unveiled by President Obama in 2009, promised each taxpayer a tax rebate check of $600 to $1200.
With the first set of checks reportedly mailed out in early May, 2010, no one seems interested in anything else. “And the only persons who are entitled to receiving their stimulus check this year,” said Arbel of Stimulus-check-2011.com, “are those who have filed their 2009 taxes returns.”
Among the millions the federal government is expecting to receive submissions from will include those in the lower income bracket, especially men and women on Social Security. Added to this are disabled veterans, which were not required to file a tax return.
The President Obama’s stimulus package, designed to inject $75 billion into the economy into the economy over the short-term, promised to provide:
- … $250 tax cut for workers and their families.
- … temporary $250 bonus to seniors in their Social Security checks.
- … relief to homeowners hit by the housing crisis.
- … aid to states hardest-hit by the housing crisis to avoid a slash in services.
- … increase and expand unemployment Insurance.
“Naturally, the government will be expecting those who have received their stimulus check to use it at your preferred retailer so as to help resuscitate the economy generally,” said [Insert Your Name], adding that returns of a minimum of $3,000, will be given a taxes refund of approximately $600 for individual, and $1,200 for those who file jointly. Those with dependent children will also be automatically qualified for an additional $300 for each child.
Overall, the main purpose of these types of stimulus checks is meant to give a kick-start to an ailing economy, still reeling from the effects of the economic and financial meltdown. The idea is to give everyone a check with the hope of them patronizing their favourite retail store.
The History of the Stimulus Check
In between 2007 and 2008, the federal government under President George W. Bush took steps to stimulate the economy by provided stimulus checks to the general population. Since that time, there have been multiple versions of the stimulus approach, some providing direct funds and others providing lower payroll taxes. All were intended get people to spend money, and in turn businesses would begin to grow again thereby pushing the economy.
The initial stimulus check that started the whole process was created to reward working people producing any income more than $3,000 in a tax year. The final version authorized was expanded to include retirees as well since it was thought to be unfair to exclude them. Each eligible adult received $600 and each under age child counted for another $300. Technically, the money was an advance on any tax refund owed by the federal government for the 2008 tax year. If taxes were owed, however, then the recipient had to pay the money back on April 15th, 2009. All eligible recipients had to first file a tax return, however, to receive a payment.
Some folks didn’t file or claim their stimulus check. As a result, they became eligible for a similar payment in 2009. This was delivered in the form of a tax credit on 2009 tax returns. Those eligible were anyone who received government benefits or qualified as a low-income worker. Again, the payment levels were $600 to $300, depending on adults and children involved. Again, a 2009 tax return was required to receive the tax credit.
For new stimulus in the same year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act pushed by President Obama and Congress provided a $250 per person payment to those on social security, military retirement, and government railroad retirement benefits. For those who were working in 2009, instead they were provided a stimulus payment via lower payroll withholding rates. Each working individual became eligible to receive a $400 reduction in federal withholding rates to their paycheck. Those who were legally married received a benefit up to $800. In practice, unfortunately, the effect had no real stimulus because over 12 months it amounted to a $20 savings per month. This was not nearly enough to create any kind of meaningful purchasing power.
While the President’s Administration proposed a repeat of the $250 check for mainly retirees on government benefits, the provision did not see the light of day for 2010. Instead, working people again saw the same federal tax withholding reduction in their paychecks. Those low-income persons who had little work on no employment at all were able to claim the benefit as a tax credit when filing their 2010 tax return. Again, the total annual amount equaled $400 per individual and $800 for a married couple.
2011 and Forward
For the next year the title was changed on the payroll withholding reduction program but the concept was the same: reduce taxes paid outright by a worker. The new title of the program was dubbed the “payroll tax holiday.” No actual checks were provided to anyone by the federal government in 2011.
For 2012, the federal government seems to be held on the need to keep the payroll withholding rates low, at least until the economy gets better. Again, however, the real buying power of the credit is minimal. Because most people don’t actually sit and put aside $20 every month, there’s still no actually purchasing of durable goods, the kind of products that give steam to the economy. So, unfortunately, the current stimulus continues to be that in name only. Again, no federal stimulus checks are to be issued in 2012.