Stimulus Checks to Help Pay for Gas? Lawmakers Are Considering It
There has been a little bit of good news on the rising cost of fuel front. AAA, the American Automobile Association's daily check of gas prices around the nation has shown that prices have been pretty steady or actually falling for the past few days. That doesn't mean they are still outrageous and that doesn't mean you and I couldn't and wouldn't appreciate a little help in paying those higher prices.
According to Triple-A the nationwide average price for a gallon of regular gas is $4.24 this morning. That's down a penny from yesterday and down .07cents from this same time last week. In Louisiana, our average price for a gallon of regular is $4.04, down a penny from yesterday and down a dime from last week.
While those prices might not seem too bad compared to places out west or in the northeast where $5.00 a gallon gas is the norm, they are still pretty steep when you consider that last month Louisiana residents were paying only $3.30 for a gallon of regular.
Naturally, the hired hands in Washington, also known as our elected officials, want to get involved in helping us out. Usually when Washington "wants to help" we all need to hide our wallets but in this case, legislators are actually hoping to put some money back into our hands.
There are several proposals being floated on Capitol Hill that could wind up sending a stimulus check to your checking account to help you cover the rising cost of gasoline. One such proposal would distribute money via the IRS to those families who qualify. The stipend would offer $100 for an individual or $200 for a couple. That plan sponsored by representatives from Illinois, California, and Connecticut would also allow for an additional $100 for each dependent in the family.
Qualification for the stimulus would be based on income levels of $75,000 annually for individuals or $150,000 annual income for couples who are married and filing jointly. If passed the "Gas Rebate Act" would be in effect through the end of this calendar year.
Another proposal being floated to assist families with fuel costs is called the Stop Gas Price Gouging Tax and Rebate Act. This plan would put a one-time tax on oil companies based on their earnings. The disbursement of funds to American families would follow similar lines as described above.
Another proposal sponsored by lawmakers from California and Rhode Island would offer a similar tax on oil producers but instead of a one-time windfall profit tax the tax would be assessed quarterly. Again, disbursement of funds would follow similar guidelines as other stimulus programs. The amount paid would be based on the price of oil.
Remember, all of these plans are just that right now. They are in the planning and debate stage so which, if any of these ideas might pass, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we can hope the price of oil stays high enough to keep Louisiana oil workers on the job yet low enough so we can afford to drive back and forth to work every day.
And if you think high fuel prices are frustrating, to quote the late Billy Mays, "But wait, there's more". Just what you needed more reasons for your blood pressure to go high.
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