First, check out USAToday's interactive map of how President Obama's stimulus bill will help your state.
Then, watch TPM's interview with an expert who explodes the repug lies about the bill containing too much spending.
There is so much fog and uncertainty -- much of it intentionally injected into the debate -- about the different moving parts of the Stimulus Bill. But some of the broad outlines are arresting and straightforward.
We're hearing all this talk about the staggering size of the bill. And it is a staggering amount of money. But according to Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the amount of demand that the financial crisis is pulling out the economy is likely to be between $1.1 and $1.2 trillion this year (and that is not a controversial estimate). The Stimulus Bill (which, remember, is $800+ billion over two years) would try to compensate for that drop off with about $400 billion of spending and tax cuts. How efficiently the money is spent, how quickly and so forth -- all very good questions. But judged in these terms you start to see how the real question is whether any bill of that size is enough.
David Kurtz and Baker discuss the issue in today's episode of TPMtv.
And finally, read Bob Herbert on the danger of not putting enough money into infrastructure projects immediately.
We have infrastructure spending in the Democrats' proposed stimulus package that, while admirable, is far too meager to have much of an impact on the nation's overall infrastructure requirements or the demand for the creation of jobs.
The big danger is that some variation of the currently proposed stimulus package will pass, another enormous bailout for the bankers will be authorized, and then the trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits will make their appearance, looming like unholy monsters over everything else, and Washington will suddenly lose its nerve.
The mantra (I can hear it now) will be that we can't afford to spend any more money on the infrastructure, or on a big health care initiative, or any of the nation's other crying needs. Suddenly fiscal discipline will be the order of the day and the people who are suffering now will suffer more, and the nation's long-term prospects will be further damaged as its long-term needs continue to be neglected.
We no longer seem to learn much from history. Time and again an economic boom has followed a period of sustained infrastructure investment. Think of the building of the Erie Canal, which connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Think of the rural electrification program, the interstate highway system, the creation of the Internet.
We're suffering now from both a failure of will and of imagination. I remember the financier Felix Rohatyn telling me, "A modern economy needs a modern platform, and that's the infrastructure."
History tells us the same thing.
And if you're still not persuaded, consider this: Mitch McConnell would give his left nut to kill the stimulus. What more reason do you need to support it?
Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.