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Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, wants America to know that the bill contains "tax credits critical to strengthening our faltering education system."  If you want jobs creation, education reform useful in the 21st C. is what the executives urged President Obama to devote attention to at their closed-camera meeting yesterday.

Sec’y. Duncan touts the partially refundable credit of up to $2,500 for college tuition.  That helps students but does nothing for education reform.  Higher education and academic achievement in America have remained stagnant over the last 20 years.  Yep, read the fine print.

More fine print. . .

The tax-cut package also contains provisions that extend the tax credits for ethanol, biodiesel, and plug-in chargers through 2011.  Hidden in the ultra-fine print are the provisions that will

. . .revive, through 2011, the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit that expired at the end of 2009 and extend, by one year, an alternative fuel credit for diesel created from biomass.

 Good and green and stimulative to the economy.

Environmentally conscious college bound Americans are going to need those breaks because 51 million Americans will take home less because of resultant higher tax bills or smaller refunds if the bill passes due to the included payroll tax "holiday."

The president and his Administration want lawmakers to focus on the UI benefits to the fractional number of unemployed while drawing the veil when regarding 51 million from whose taxpayer sweat their benefits will derive.  On average those households will be out be out an average of $210 compared with this year.  That's less money with which consumers can stimulate the economy.  Still, with the Obama Tax Cuts

. . .an analysis from the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the tax cut compromise as a whole would keep more than 2 million Americans above the poverty line and reduce the severity of poverty for 18 million more.

 Their economic plight is considered worse than the working poorer-to-bes.

For added special interest tax breaks, read David Freddoso.  Here's a sample of President Obama's early Christmas present to the nation.  

-Research credit.
       -Indian employment tax credit.
       -New markets tax credit.
       -Railroad track maintenance credit.
       -Mine rescue team training credit.
       7year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes.
       -Accelerated depreciation for business property on an Indian reservation.
       -Election to expense mine safety equipment.
       -Special expensing rules for certain film and television productions.
       -Expensing of environmental remediation costs.
       -Deduction allowable with respect to income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico.
       -Tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia.
       -Temporary increase in limit on cover over of rum excise taxes to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
       -American Samoa economic development credit.

 Overall, evaluating if the good outweighs the bad in this bill probably won't depend on what's in the fine print.  It will most likely come down on a gut reaction by lawmakers to biting an extension of tax credits for the rich vs. burdening 51 million working Americans, and assessing just how stimulative to the economy this package is in the light of how additive to the deficit it is.

Originally posted to Limelite on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:10 PM PST.

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