You only need to read the screaming banner headlines on the front page of the Huffington Post to get the picture of what happened with the stimulus bill today:
White House Has Yet To Speak... $789 Billion Bill Preserves Obama's Signature Tax Cut... House Vote Possible Thursday... Senate Will Follow...Payback: Dems Strip Business Tax Cuts... Big Winners: The Upper-Middle Class
Got that? The big winners are the upper middle class.
Thomas Edsall writes:
When President Obama outlined on January 8 the rationale for the economic stimulus bill, "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," he clearly identified the men and women most in trouble:
Nearly two million jobs have now been lost, and on Friday we are likely to learn that we lost more jobs last year than at any time since World War II. Just in the past year, another 2.8 million Americans who want and need full-time work have had to settle for part-time jobs.
The House-Senate compromise, however, cuts funds for extended health care coverage for the unemployed; cuts $30 billion in aid to state governments to prevent reductions in social services to the poor and out-of-work; and also cuts a special "Making Work Pay" tax holiday from $500 to $400 for an individual, and from $1,000 to $800 for a couple, for low-to-middle-income workers still hanging on to their jobs.
Amid all the cutting, however, one group emerged unscathed: the upper-middle class, the not-quite-super-rich, but certainly not on the ropes. Most of these folks, in terms of income and employment, are what could be called the un-needy, a group clearly distinct from those Obama identified as the core target of the legislation. The "compromise" legislation includes $70 billion, or just under 10 percent of the whole package, to be used expressly to take care of these affluent people.