With his signature, President Bush makes the $168 billion economic stimulus bill official. The package may not prevent a recession, but analysts generally believe it could help suppress an economic crisis.
Bush, who called the measure "a booster shot for our economy," praised the bipartisan cooperation. he said. Who gets a rebate? Most people who pay taxes or earn at least $3,000, including through Social Security or veterans’ disability benefits. Singles making more than $75,000 and couples with income topping $150,000, however, will get smaller checks, up to the top limits for any rebate: incomes of $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for couples.
To get any rebate, you must file a 2007 tax return and have a valid Social Security number. If you already filed your 2007 return, the IRS says you don’t need to do anything extra.
Most taxpayers will receive a check of up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples, with an additional $300 for each child. People earning too little to pay taxes but at least $3,000 — including elderly people whose only income is from Social Security and veterans who live on disability payments — will get $300 if single, or $600 if a couple.
To help the severely depressed housing market, the stimulus package would raise temporarily to $729,750 the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans and also raise the cap on loans that mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy.
Raising those limits, should provide relief in the market for "jumbo" mortgages — those exceeding $417,000. The credit crunch hit that market hard, making it very difficult, if not impossible, for people to get those loans.