Stimulus: Home, Car Buyers Win, States Lose

Pay, bonuses restricted for employees of TARP firms
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2009 4:48 PM CST
President Barack Obama gestures during a town hall meeting to discuss the economy, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, at the Harborside Events Center in Fort Myers, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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(Newser) – The $835 billion stimulus plan approved by the Senate today helps out home builders, manufacturers, and buyers of homes and cars, reports the Wall Street Journal. The bill allows manufacturers and construction firms to use any 2008 and 2009 losses to offset tax liability going back as far as 2003. Car and home buyers get tax breaks under the measure, the latter credit amounting to $15,000.

State governments are among the big losers: Senators cut a fund for bailing out insolvent state budgets to $39 billion from $79 billion in the House version. Prominent employees of firms receiving government funds also look set to lose. One amendment bans bonuses for the 25 highest-paid employees at any TARP-assisted firm; another sets a $400,000 maximum on salary—the same as the president's—for any employee. And, of course, all this could change in House negotiations.