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Monday, February 09, 2009

President Obama to Speak on Stimulus at 8 PM ET

by Calculated Risk on 2/09/2009 06:55:00 PM

The Obama news conference is scheduled for 8 PM.

Here is the CNBC feed.

And a live feed from C-SPAN.

CNBC has a comparison of the House and Senate versions of the stimulus plan. It looks like the homebuilders are going to get their gift - and other companies too - but it is the homebuilders that lobbied hard for this provision (including withholding political contributions at one time). The homebuilders made huge profits in 2004 and 2005, and they would like to offset the current losses against those profits:


--House -- $15 billion to allow companies to use current losses to offset profits made in the previous five years, instead of two, making them eligible for tax refunds.

--Senate -- Allows companies to use more of their losses to offset previous profits, increasing the cost to $19.5 billion.
This is a clear gift to shareholders of the homebuilders. How does this help create jobs? This provision could be dumped - no problem. Between this and the useless $35.5 billion housing tax credit, we could cut $55 billion from the bill and maybe add back a couple of the stimulus programs that would help. Oh well ...