Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A little visual help...

To get our minds around the stimulus package. (Not the 2010 budget).

Matt Yglesias provides this quick graph to help sort out where all those billions are headed to.


I’m not sure it will convince anyone, per se, that the bill is a worthwhile one. But at a minimum, it can help keep things in perspective. It’s worth noting that the least-controversial elements—tax cuts, state fiscal aid, and relief to the needy—together constitute a clear majority of the spending. These days, a surprisingly large number of economists seem to have been bewitched by very strange models which indicate that stimulus is impossible. But those who believe that it’s possible for a stimulus plan to work, generally agree that these three things are stimulative and it’s not a coincidence that they compose a majority of the funds being disbursed. [More]
To be sure, all kinds of questionable things lurk in the remaining slices on the chart.  But as farmers wanting new locks and dams, bridges and roads, broadband, and electric grid upgrades for their wind farms, should we be surprised at the size of other sectors' shopping lists? I haven't seen farm leaders back off on their must-have lobbying efforts because those items are making the stimulus package too big. 

We're part of the spending problem, I'd say.

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