The $700 billion "bailout" for Wall Street -- officially known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 -- contains multiple "earmarks", or special funding for various pet projects, that add as much as $100 billion more to the costs.
The first proposal by the Treasury Dept. was 3 pages. The failed House version was 110 pages. The final bill that was passed was over 450 pages.
Some of the earmarks tucked into the bill's pages by both Democrats and Republicans include:
- $2 million tax benefit for manufacturers of toy wooden arrows for children
- $100 million tax break to benefit automotive racetracks
- $192 million in rebates for the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum industry
- $224 million for temporary emergency penthouses for financial company executives
- $148 million in tax relief for U.S. wool fabric producers who use imported yarn
- $49 million tax benefit for fishermen and other plaintiffs who sued over the 1989 tanker Exxon Valdez spill
- $48 million a year for film and TV producers who produce their work in the United States
- $33 million tax credit for select corporations earning income from American Samoa
The punch line? All of those provisions are true -- except for one. Can you figure out which one is fake?
(Source for the true earmarks: Taxpayers for Common Sense. The fake one: the $224 million for FEMA temporary emergency penthouses for financial company executives.)
Posted October 10, 2008
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