Pelosi Favors Two-Step Stimulus, Seeks Permanent Tax Cut in 2009
WSJ- By GREG HITT
NOVEMBER 6, 2008, 6:07 P.M. ET
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Wall Street Journal that she is considering a two-staged effort to boost the shaky U.S. economy, arguing for action now on a stimulus package of $60 billion to $100 billion, followed early next year by a companion measure that would include a “permanent tax cut.”
In an interview Thursday morning, the California Democrat pointed to weakness in the nation’s jobs market, and urged the White House, long skeptical of Democratic-led stimulus efforts, to work with Congress in the waning days of President Bush’s term.
“Let’s see if we can’t do something, working together now, that gives us a two month jump,” she said. She said any measure enacted in a lame-duck session of Congress this month would effectively be a downpayment on additional measures enacted later. “We’ll take the longer view as soon as we take over in January.”
Ms. Pelosi said she doesn’t favor a capital gains tax cut, as pushed by congressional Republicans. But she did say the “second piece” of the Democratic stimulus agenda should include a tax cut.
The speaker said she prefers a direct tax cut over tax rebate like the one pushed by President George W. Bush a year ago. The speaker said a direct tax cut can have a more immediate impact on the economy, especially if the government adjusts tax withholding tables to speed dollars into worker paychecks. “The impact is faster than a rebate, which takes a few months to get into people’s hands,” she said in the interview.
Details of the tax cut are yet to be determined. Aides separately said a later the tax relief could apply payroll as well as income taxes.