a letter...

Dear Ms. Gilbert:

Thank you for contacting me in regard to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the economic stimulus. I appreciate learning your views on this critical issue.

On January 28, 2009, I joined 243 of my House colleagues in passing the stimulus package. This legislation, though imperfect, will effectively help jumpstart the American economy. The stimulus will save and create up to four million jobs, provide a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans, and renovate our country's crumbling infrastructure.

By any measure, our country is struggling. Credit is frozen, consumer confidence is low, and the stock market has taken a deep plunge. Our country has seen 2 million job losses in the last four months. Ten of the counties in our district are suffering from double-digit unemployment as are more than a third of all counties across the state. These are dire times, and Congress must act swiftly.

In the face of the highest unemployment rate in 26 years and a deep state budget shortfall, North Carolina will benefit from billions of sorely needed dollars in the stimulus. Specifically, North Carolina will benefit from the following investments:

o $2.26 billion for additional Medicaid funding;

o $1.87 billion for "state fiscal stabilization funding" to help state and local governments fund education and other key services;

o $1.26 billion for education funding, including $361 million for school improvements;

o $117 million for additional funding for Supplemental Social Income (SSI).

The stimulus bill offers us a unique opportunity to create jobs while modernizing our infrastructure, making investments in weatherizing homes, retrofitting old public buildings to make them more energy efficient, and investing in smart grid technology. Further, we will rebuild our roads, bridges, transit, and waterways.

This legislation not only makes large investments, but also helps American individuals and businesses keep more of the money they earn:

o The Make Work Pay Tax Cut provides immediate and sustained tax relief to 95 percent of American workers through a refundable tax credit of up to $500 per worker ($1,000 per couple filing jointly), phasing out at $200,000 for couples filing jointly and $100,000 for single filers.

o More than 3.1 million North Carolina residents will benefit from the Making Work Pay Tax Credit.

o Allows businesses to improve cash flow by providing a 5-year carryback of net operating losses (NOLs). This would allow businesses to write off 90% of losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against taxes assessed over the previous five years (current law limits NOL carryback to the previous two years).

Due to the size of this legislation, I have only enumerated a few of its critical provisions. If you are interested in a more detailed review of the bill, please visit my website, www.house.gov/butterfield, and click on the link for the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" under the "Issues" category.

During the 110th Congress, I voted against financial bailout legislation because I believed it did not address the problems of Main Street America. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act addresses the needs of average Americans who live in northeast North Carolina. Despite some flaws, it is the best method of reviving our economy, and putting Americans back on the path to prosperity.

Thank you again for contacting me. I welcome your opinion and appreciate your support during these difficult times.

Very truly yours,

G.K. Butterfield
Member of Congress

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