Answer: Not long.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 now also includes the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 and a smorgasbord of other add-ons. Among the notable features of the additional provisions are tax credits for wind and solar power, an extension of relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax, a provision to ensure that healthcare plans include mental health benefits and so many other handouts to various constituencies that no blog post would be sufficient to include them all.
But here's a taste:
Sec. 105. Energy credit for geothermal heat pump systems.
Sec. 111. Expansion and modification of advanced coal project investment credit.
Sec. 113. Temporary increase in coal excise tax; funding of Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.
Sec. 115. Tax credit for carbon dioxide sequestration.
Sec. 205. Credit for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.
Sec. 405. Increase and extension of Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund tax.
Sec. 309. Extension of economic development credit for American Samoa.
Sec. 317. Seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports racing track facility.
Sec. 501. $8,500 income threshold used to calculate refundable portion of child tax credit.
Sec. 503 Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.
And so on.
The passage of tax credits for wind and solar power is likely to please environmentalists, but they have been shoveled into this bill along with scores of tax "extenders" that so far have been rejected by House Democrats because no provision has been made to pay for them. This means that a House of Representatives that has already rejected this bill will now confront a new bill stocked with unpaid-for tax breaks that conservative House Democrats -- the infamous "Blue Dogs" -- have been stalwart in opposing.
"Are you trying to jam the House?" one reporter asked Reid. The Senate majority leader denied he was attempting to do any such thing, but it seems self-evident than in attempting to rally significant support for the bailout in the Senate, he has orchestrated the creation of a piece of legislation that is guaranteed to ruffle feathers in the House.
The original bailout bill was a couple of pages. Now it's over 500. Emergency bailout my ass. Opportunists are jumping all over this one.
Link via The Agitator.