Provisions That Made the Bailout "Better"

Here are some of the provisions in the bailout that converted "no" votes to "yes." Unbelievable.

Andrew Leonard goes digging in the Senate's bailout package and finds a bunch of "sweeteners" added to lure in votes.  Among them:

* 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.

are also tax credits for solar and wind power, and a very expensive
requirement that health insurance companies cover mental health the
same way they cover physical health.


  1. Gorgasal:

    I tried to verify this and couldn't. Do you want to take a swing at it?

    On, I searched for "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" and wound up in the banking committee:

    This directed me to the "latest version of package legislation which includes the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" here:

    And in there, I found nothing corresponding to the above blog post. Am I mistaken, or is Mr. Leonard?

  2. nick d:

    I was watching this in the news. Its still $700b with the gov't buying bad assets they can't valuate. But now it has earmarks so its all good?

  3. Steve Wart:

    Here's the full text of the bill

    This amendment may also have been voted on

    Also have a look at the amendments to the Health Services Act (SEC. 512. MENTAL HEALTH PARITY), SEC. 401. PERMANENT AUTHORITY FOR UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS and SEC. 402. PERMANENT AUTHORITY FOR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO TERRORIST ACTIVITIES. Not sure about the significance of the last 2 items as they refer to other documents.

    Here is how your elected representatives voted on this steaming pile of pork

    Remember them in November.

  4. Will H.:

    The Senate can not start an appropriation bill, that has to be done in the house of representatives, so the Senate attached the bail-out bill to an existing appropriation bill for energy. That is why you see energy related items in the new bill. That's doesn't mean that they didn't load up the pork, which they did for both bills.

  5. Charlie B:

    Congress Critters accepting bribes is not news.

  6. Steven Wart:

    Will that's an interesting comment. Does that mean the Senate was able to add $700b to the Federal budget without any law being passed by the House?

    Disclaimer: everything I know about US Politics I learned from Schoolhouse Rock (

  7. Will H.:

    To Steven

    The Senate cannot make any law by itself, it requires passing both houses and signed by the President (unless it's an override of a veto by 2/3 of each house). But appropriation bill must start in the house, the energy bill started in the house and thus the Senate was able to change it, but it must go back to the house in it new form for passage before it can be pass on to the President for his signature. Then it becomes the law.

  8. Jody:

    I want the wooden arrows!

    It's a mess. Now that the plan has passed, I'm hoping for the best. Whatever that is. In the meantime, I found this hilarious song about the bailout. Anything to lighten up a grim topic: Bailout song