The Associated Press is reporting that Democratic and Republican lawmakers have reached a tentative deal today on a stimulus package. First the good news: the giveaway does not include money for food stamps, unemployment insurance benefits or infrastructure projects. Also, although it is not mentioned in the AP story, we hear the deal does include some pro-growth tax cuts including accelerated depreciation for businesses.
Now the bad: the give away does include $300 checks for everyone receiving a paycheck regardless of whether they pay income taxes or not. Also only individuals earning less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 are eligible.
Considering how eager Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was to sign off on any deal, deficit hawks in Congress did a good job of keeping the overall damage to a minimum so far.