Obama’s Economic Stimulus – How Should it Be Spent?

January 6, 2009

Should Obama offer an economic stimulus to the country by investing in infrastructure?  Lately its sounding as though stimulus checks are out and tax breaks and infrastructure spending are in. 

So how should the billions of dollars for public works be spent?  I ran across some interesting commentary recently on this topic from a wide range of people including industry CEO’s, secretary’s of transportation, and the Environmental Defense fund.  Here are some of the things they had to say:

Janet F. Kavinoky, Director of Transportation Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

There are thousands of “ready to go” transit, highway, aviation, water, and other infrastructure projects worth tens of billions of dollars awaiting funding.  Many of these projects could be initiated in the short run to preserve and create jobs and generate economic activity.  So the U.S. Chamber believes that investment in ready-to-go projects should be a key component of any stimulus package.  There is no question that infrastructure investment supports jobs. It directly puts people to work in construction. At a time when unemployment in construction is higher than in any other sector of the economy – at 10.8 percent up from 6.1 percent a year ago – stimulus is critical.  Infrastructure investment also supports jobs in manufacturing construction equipment, quarrying materials, design, engineering, planning and finance.  The best news is that when projects are done, infrastructure draws businesses to the location, inducing even more jobs.

Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri Department of Transportation

Congress and the Obama administration should commit at least $50 billion of a stimulus package to highway and bridge improvements – $25 billion a year for two years. The funds should be distributed by the existing SAFETEA-LU formula, because any attempt to select projects from Washington, D.C., would surely get bogged down in bureaucratic processes that would delay putting these funds to work.

You can check out some of the other 30 responses here.


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7 Responses to Obama’s Economic Stimulus – How Should it Be Spent?

  • Roman Korinvus

    One more thing before I go. As far as this housing problem. Lets do this. The restaurant chain has a A-F rating system. Lets do the same with the rental/housing industry. It will eliminate slum lord and if smart people want to actually do some freaking good instead of just run there mouth about what a good person they are for this country, they will place a rental limit on each grade. Determined by the lowest income state and rental spectrum. This will not only open the door for the lowest income state when it comes to grants and aid, it will also help the people in States like Mass and Cal who can’t afford their rent cause of the so-called celebrity status of the people around them.

    I’m sick of all this drama queen government crap.

  • Roman Korinvus

    It needs to be given to the banks. But how it needs to be given is the question. They need to open a new sector that will give the banks the proper forms for letter of appeals and letter of proposals so the banks can requests grants on behalf of their patrons that can’t pay their student loans as we’ll as their small business loans. To give the banks the money straight out is a slap in the face to the american people since it is there tax money that the banks are recieving, not giving the people anything in return only proves changes is just another by line so an unqualified Harvard Grad can say look what I can do…look what I can do!

  • Perry Hoyett

    Give the citzens 30.000 or 35.000 thousands dollars in a grant.Citzens can use the funds to pay bills and get back on track. the banks and those company is not going to solve the problem.

  • Jerry

    Well, let’s hope his administration does really lead to change. I certainly hope so. I’m glad the stimulus checks are out because didn’t the last one not work so well. I wish there was recession insurance.

  • marci

    Kinda like WPA projects is what it sounds like. I say – Please come do our roads – our county has the worst roads in the state – literally – we are below 50% of what is considered acceptable. And put in some flood levees, some river drainage, and fix the jetties…. that’s just for starters. Our county could use the jobs and the help with the infrastructures here! And the best thing is, it’s not a direct handout nor a bailout… so I’d be for it!


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