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Stimulus's tax breaks help middle class

Feb. 17, 2009 at 4:16 PM

DENVER, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Seventy percent of the tax benefits in the $787 billion economic stimulus bill benefit about 95 percent of U.S. working households, the White House said.

President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law Tuesday in Denver.

A White House statistics sheet on the bill said the measure provides more than $150 billion to low-income and vulnerable households, which will increase economic activity resulting in saving or creating more than a million jobs.

A Congressional Budget Office report indicates tax cuts and other benefits for low- and middle-income households are more than three times as effective stimulus as tax cuts for high-income households, the administration said.

"(About) a third of this package comes in the form of tax cuts -- the most progressive in our history -- not only spurring job-creation, but putting money in the pockets of 95 percent of all hardworking families," Obama said before signing the legislation. "Unlike tax cuts we've seen in recent years, the vast majority of these tax benefits will go not to the wealthiest Americans but to the middle class... ."

The bill also ensures that a family working full-time can raise their children above the poverty line, administration officials said. Currently a family of four with one parent working full time at the minimum wage is about $400 below the poverty line, the White House said. In the same circumstances under the stimulus plan, the family would get $800 from the Making Work Pay tax credit and about $1,200 in additional refundable child tax credits.

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