The stimulus package President Bush and House leaders concocted on Thursday is better than the President's proposed package but has left some economists wanting more.
If you don't know the outlines of the plan, here they are. The plan gives individual tax filers up to $600 back in the form of a tax rebate and gives couples up to $1,200, with an additional $300 per child. The plan also includes tax cuts for businesses. The total value is $150 billion.
Democrats agreed to the plan because it doesn't make the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent and because the tax filers eligible for the full rebate are capped by income at $75,000 (filers lose 5 percent for every $1,000 in income above that amount). The White House agreed to the plan because it didn't include any additional unemployment benefits or an increase to the food stamp program, which President Bush called "unnecessary spending projects." There were plaudits all around.
But for all the self-satisfied back-slapping in Washington, outside observers were somewhat ambivalent. Conservatives wanted deeper tax cuts, and liberals were underwhelmed by the package's relief for the poor.