Stimulus bill features 344 pages of tax code changes, credit for plug-in electric cars

The House of Representatives this afternoon passed the 1,071-page Obama-Pelosi “economic stimulus” bill on a 246-183 vote with no Republican support and seven Democrats voting against.  One clear group of winners are tax advisors who can look forward to additional work parsing the bill’s 344 pages of tax changes. 

Fully 14 pages of Division B of the bill are focused on the creation of a new income tax credit equal to 10% of the cost of “plug-in electric drive motor vehicles,” up to a maximum credit of $2,500.   It’s hard to imagine two less efficient mechanisms for quickly jump-starting the economy: more tax accounting and more research into technologically questionable “plug-in” electric cars but does anyone really believe the purpose of this bill is to stimulate the economy?

The bill now goes to the Senate where, with seven Democrat House members voting “no” and Senator Kennedy side-lined, anything is still possible.  Full text of Division A and Division B of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are available at Thomas.