A Second Stimulus: Much Bigger Than the First, and Focused on Infrastructure
by Robert Reich
It will soon dawn on Congress (although it may never dawn on the White House) that we need a much larger second stimulus package than is now being contemplated in order to give the economy the jump-start it needs and fill in for consumers who can't and won't spend more. My guess is that this second stimulus plan, including infrastructure, will ultimately reach $200 billion or more.
A special word about infrastructure spending. Not only is the nation sorely in need of it -- given deferred maintenance on roads and bridges, water and sewage systems, levees, and many of our ports, and the increasing need for public transportation -- but spending on infrastructure generates much more growth than cutting taxes. (This point, incidentally, was stressed in a paper earlier this year by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com and, not incidentally, an economic advisor to John McCain.)