Monday, February 02, 2009

The Cliff's notes version of the stimulus plan

This isn't all inclusive, but I'll let you draw you're own conclusions on the viability of this stimulus plan.

Here are the project categories:

Construction projects: $90 billion.
Education: $142 billion.
Renewable energy: $54 billion.
Health-care records: $20 billion.
Broadband access: $6 billion-$9 billion.
Medicaid: $87 billion.
Unemployment benefits: $43 billion.
Cobra: $26 billion-$30 billion.
Feeding the hungry: $20 billion.
Middle-class tax cut: $145 billion.
Alternative Minimum Tax: $70 billion.

There are a number of other smaller components of the stimulus plan but these are the big ticket items.

I love the renewable energy/smart grid component. This could and should lead to enormous growth of the wind turbine industry in North and South Dakota (all of the local NNY towns can stop fretting over windmills coming to the North Country. If the US gets a smart grid, the turbines will go where the wind is plentiful, there is no opposition and the land is cheap).

The education spending could be great, but I foresee a number of pretty buildings being built with little change in the educational output of our schools. How about some big picture thinking on education - expand vocational training to include health care and engineering, expand the school day, expand math and science programs, etc.

I'm growing increasingly concerned about the reports of businesses in free fall and I'd like to see a stimulus that would stem that tide. I don't think this plan has much of a chance of addressing the issues we are facing.

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Interesting Update: "The Korea Communications Commission is spending $24 billion to secure 1Gbps access by 2012.

1Gbps allows you to download a 120-minute film in 12 seconds.

There's one small catch to the commission's plan, which is that only large cities in Korea will have access to the top tier broadband. But surrounding smaller areas will still have access to 50 to 100 Mbps speeds...or about 10 to 20 times the speed of what I get in my DSL-only apartment building."

If not for the constant threat of nuclear annihilation from the North, Korea would be a awesome place to live.

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