Congressmen of both parties praised President Ford this day for singing the $24.8 billion tax cut, despite his reservations. Saying the President had done the right thing and that he really didn’t have much choice in the matter, if he wanted to keep the recession from getting worse, members of Congress were quick to congratulate the bi-partisanship of the bill, most agreeing the country had dodged a bullet.
The Tax-cut bill which the President had signed was the biggest in the nation’s history. With continual prodding by the president, Congress took only 10 weeks to draft, debate and enact the multibillion-dollar legislation. The Bill, a compromise between Senate and House proposals contained the following major provisions:
A rebate of between $100 to $200 to individual taxpayers on 1974 income taxes, with those who paid less than $100 in taxes having the entire amount refunded. An increase in standard deductions for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions. They would rise to 16 per cent from 15 per cent, with an increase in the maximum deduction from the then-current $2,000 to $2,300 for single persons and $2,600 for married couples. The maximum standard deduction of $1,300 increased to $1,600 for single persons to $1,900 for couples. A low-income tax credit, or negative tax for workers earning up to $4,000. There would be a credit of 10% which would be gradually reduced until the $8,000 level, after which there would be no tax credit. If the worker owed no taxes, the Government would make a cash payment. A tax credit of 5 per cent of a new home purchase, up to a maximum of $2,000. The credit would be limited to purchases made between march 13 and December 31, 1975. A special one-time payment of $50 to all recipients of Social Security as well as the supplemental security income welfare programs for the aged, blind and disabled. An end to the oil and gas depletion allowance. A rise in the investment tax credit from 7% to 10% for 1975 and 1976. A decline in the basic corporation tax for the first $50,000 of profits.
That was it, in a nutshell. And President Ford went before national radio and TV to give Americans the news, this March 29, 1975.