Saturday, February 07, 2009

Where does $800 billion go?

NYTimes has described the republicans as the milling crowd in front of a building on fire who won't let fire fighters in to fight the fire - this is exactly how I feel about the republicans - the bickering and the nit-picking of these supposedly 'patriotic' folks put the politicians in India look much more sophisticated. But, really, the calm and cool Obama himself has lashed out against these folks on a series of interviews last week.

This stimulus is much needed and most economists are wondering whether this is big enough - would a bunch of construction projects alone save this economy from collapsing? Japan who has been in recession since the 90s spent trillions of dollars in construction projects, every road, and every bridge that was ever dreamed of was built - but it still did not yield the results they expected. Why? Looking back, the economists are saying that the spending focussed too much on construction. There is a lesson to be learnt there. If you take a careful look at the 800 Billion dollar bill, while the republican nut jobs continue the theatrical protests, I am afraid that the part of the spending that republicans are bitching about is exactly what I think is too small. Frankly I don't care about the tax cuts - it hasn't worked in the past, it will not work in the future either - an example of a republican ideal that has been carried over for years with no single example to show for its validity.

Here is the 'wasteful' spending. Judge for yourself - where do you not want to spend?

  • Educational Investments ($141.6 billion):
  • Tax cuts (275 billion)
  • Health care investments ($112.1 billion):
  • Welfare/unemployment ($102 billion):
  • Infrastructure investments ($90 billion):
  • Energy investments ($58 billion):
  • Telecommunications investments
    • $650 million for Digital TV-to-analog converter box coupons and Digital TV education.
    • $350 million for a broadband data collection effort to allow states to track--and specifically, map--the availability of broadband access
    • $2.85 billion to implement a wireless and broadband deployment grants program, with $1 billion of that set going to wireless.

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