Taxpayers could end up with some extra cash under a proposed stimulus plan.

President Bush is urging Congress to quickly pass a package in hopes to stimulate the economy. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a plan, which the Senate has now taken under consideration.

“Almost everyone who earns income will receive some benefits,” said Douglas W. Elmendorf, an analyst at the Brookings Institute. “The idea is to target the money on the people who will spend a large share of it and to target it on the people who are likely to be hurt by an economic downturn.”

That just might work, according to John McCarthy, a former Bostonian.

“I could use the extra tax rebate. I’m still feeling the crunch from Christmas,” McCarty said, voicing a sentiment that also runs true with several local residents.

Brandi Harper, co-owner of the Rogers Hotel thinks the rebate plan is a great idea – and for more than just one reason.

“I feel it could be a good jump start on the economy, which will help my business as well,” Harper said.

Waxahachie resident Michael Brashear said he’s somewhat skeptical, but hopes the plan will be enacted.

“I would benefit from the rebate and, being a single father of three children, there’s always someplace for extra money to go,” he said.

Still another view was expressed by Scott Averhoff, an Ellis County resident of 28 years, who said, “I feel that we should learn how to live within our means and the government should stop trying to fix everything.

“I do feel that it is a good idea for a short term fix, but it’s not fixing the overall problem,” Averhoff said.

The plan as proposed would give individual taxpayers up to $600 in rebates, working couples $1,200 and those with children an additional $300 per child. The rebate would phase out gradually for individuals whose adjusted income exceeds $75,000 and for couples with an income above $150,000.

All of the details remain to be put in place, but, as Brookings economist Jason Furman notes, “It’s complicated if you’re trying to understand it, but it’s not going to be complicated for people because they’re going to be receiving a check from the IRS without having to fill out a single form.”

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