Things are moving quickly on the $825 billion federal stimulus plan before Congress, so a coalition of taxpayer groups have started a site to pry the bill’s details from the powers that be in Washington.
You can see more of their effort at ReadtheStimulus.org. They include links to the bill itself, committee reports, amendments and other stimulus-related documents.
The Congressional Budget Office also released its analysis of the stimulus plan here. (PDF link)
A few of the highlights: On highway and transit spending, “concerns exist about how quickly state and local governments can adjust their contracting procedures to accommodate the significant increase in the amount of funding.” The bill also includes about $39.5 billion in 2009 and again in 2010 for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. The CBO estimates 61 percent of those funds for the states would go to education, with the remainder going to general government.
Meanwhile, Mark Zandi, an economist at Moody’s Economy.com, provided his own analysis of the stimulus plan in testimony to the House Budget Committee today. (PDF link)
Zandi noted that the $825 billion plan ($550 billion in spending with $275 billion in tax cuts) represents about 5.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. That puts it below the massive public works program to combat the Great Depression, but higher than the stimulus plans unveiled during the recessions of the early 1980s:
(The $825 billion) is large enough to provide a substantive near-term boost to the economy, but not so large as to result in measurably higher interest rates.
Of particular interest to us in Oklahoma, Zandi also said, “The benefits of a fiscal stimulus are less pronounced in the nation’s agricultural and energy-producing regions.”
For more analysis of the ins and outs of tax cuts and spending, go to the Tax Policy Center.
Written by Paul Monies