FACTBOX: Bush, Congress seek plan for economy

Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:12pm EST

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(Reuters) - President George W. Bush offered some general ideas on Friday about what he would like to see in a package to shore up the U.S. economy. He and the Democratic-led Congress are trying to reach a deal on the specifics.

Here are highlights of the approaches favored by each side.

BUSH'S VIEWS ON STIMULUS

* Bush is seeking a package of tax cuts for families and businesses that would total between $140 billion to $150 billion. The White House says the plan would create around 500,000 jobs.

* The president wants the package to emphasize "broad-based tax relief" rather than spending. His aides contend a plan based on broad tax cuts would inject money into the economy quickly because it would be simpler than reductions targeted at people based on their incomes.

* The tax relief Bush favors would include tax rebates for families and individuals as well as temporary tax breaks that would give businesses incentives to invest in new equipment.

IDEAS FAVORED BY CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS

* Many Democratic lawmakers are also comfortable with plans in the range of $150 billion.

* Democrats would target tax rebates toward poor and middle-class people.

* Extensions of unemployment benefits and a boost to food stamps are among the approaches favored by Democrats who say these measures would help low-income people weather the impact of a downturn.

* Democrats also want to provide additional financial aid to state governments grappling with budget shortfalls because of reduced tax revenues.

IDEAS THAT BOTH SIDES HAVE TAKEN OFF THE TABLE

* Bush has long wanted to make his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. Those reductions are set to expire in 2010 but the White House has said Bush will push for an extension of them separate from any negotiations on a short-term stimulus.

* Many Democrats believe a boost to spending on infrastructure such as roads and bridges would give the economy a needed lift and help it over the long term. But they have agreed to set aside that such proposals for now.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan, Donna Smith and Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

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