Feb 04 2009

Graham Supports Alternative Stimulus Plan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said an alternative proposal he has worked on with Senate colleagues would do more to stimulate the economy than the more than $1 trillion legislation proposed by Senate Democrats. 

“The American people are rightfully upset with the stimulus package that passed the House of Representatives,” said Graham.  “The bill in the Senate is almost as bad.  The current plan spends too much and contains too little stimulus to help the economy.

“The alternative proposal I support spends less but does more,” said Graham.  “It’s a mixture of tax cuts, incentives for the purchase of a home, funding for shovel-ready infrastructure improvements, relief for homeowners facing foreclosure, and assistance to those who have lost their jobs.  We address the root cause of our current problems – the crisis in the housing market – by supporting home buyers and incentivizing mortgage loan modification.”

The major provisions of the legislation backed by Graham include:

Tax Provisions:

  • Eliminating half of the employee share of payroll taxes (3.1%) for 1 year
  • Lowering the 15 percent tax bracket to 10 percent and the 10 percent bracket to 5 percent.
  • Lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent for 1 year

Assisting Americans in Need:

  • Extension of unemployment benefits and food stamps through the end of 2009
  • Making unemployment benefits tax free through the end of 2009
  • Training and employment services for dislocated workers

Fix the Housing Crisis:

  • A $15,000 tax credit for the purchase of a home.
  • Loan modification incentives to keep people in their homes.

Investing in Infrastructure:

  • $45 billion in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to rebuild our nation.
  • $17 billion to improve and modernize barracks, facilities, and equipment for our troops in uniform.

Graham also noted the inclusion of a ‘spending trigger’ which would prevent any leftover funds from being spent when we achieve two consecutive quarters of positive GDP growth. 

“I am ready and willing to work with my colleagues on a stimulus plan which helps grow our economy,” said Graham.  “Thus far there have been limited bipartisan efforts to find areas of agreement.  The House bill passed with no Republican support and eleven Democrats voted against it.  This is not the bipartisanship I had hope for or been promised to the American people. 

“I stand ready to work with President Obama and my colleagues to create an economic stimulus package that is economically sound, timely and jump starts the economy,” said Graham.  “The plan currently under debate in the Senate does not accomplish any of these objectives.”