President Bush wants to put a $150 billion economic stimulation package into effect to ward off a recession. The money will likely be distributed in the form of small tax rebates (under $1000) to families with incomes below a certain level. The big debate is whether most of this money will get spent, which will stimulate the economy, or be saved (as was with the last such rebate) which will do little but add to the national debt.
We have our own plan, based on the following beliefs: 1) the nation’s physical infrastructure is in disrepair, and 2) every new job created will produce significant spending – well beyond the small handouts envisioned in the Bush plan.
Here is how it would work. First of all, ours is a two year plan that uses the same $150B budget. Half the money would be set aside for equipment and materials. The remaining funds, $37.5B per year for two years, would be used to create new jobs for people who would inspect and repair bridges, highways, parks, federal and state housing developments, and other public properties.
These funds would create nearly one million new jobs paying $17 per hour plus good health care benefits. That works out to about $34,000 a year – about average for an individual U.S. income and a heck of a lot better than stocking shelves at Wal-Mart.
And it’s nearly a million new jobs – that is an average of over 18,000 jobs per state. If they are prorated by population it will mean over 100,000 jobs in California, nearly 60,000 in New York, and nearly 35,000 in Ohio. An average sized state like Tennessee would get 18,500, but even smaller states like Nebraska and Mississippi would still get enough jobs (5,300 and 8,700 respectively) to make a difference. And for two years. (If you would like to see the numbers we have a spreadsheet we can send to you.)
Instead of a hand-out, people get jobs. Instead of nothing but debt, the country gets much needed improvements. Instead of a momentary, low-rent shopping spree we get a million jobs and a boost to universal healthcare.
Which plan would you prefer – or perhaps you have one of your own?