I am not sold on the idea that a stimulus plan as being discussed, will help anything but allow leftist (workers and the “Vanguard”) to live out their New Deal wet dreams. Stimulus packages don’t work.
But if USGOV “needs” to do one, then it should do one that doesn’t cause harm:
1) Monetize the TARP to reduce the bailout costs and pay for the so-called stimulus
2) Create Incentives for Businesses to Make Capital Investments
The easiest way to stimulate investment – without much USGOV outcome meddling – is to change accounting rules so that any new capital purchase going forward by a business can be expensed immediately.
The businesses would get a tax break on any new capital purchases, but they would decide – based upon market pressures and the price system where to invest – not USGOV. No cash would need to go from the treasury to the businesses. Instead, they would just have their taxable income reduced.
3) Cleanup and rebuild America’s National Parks – and the state and local parks too.
These are true public goods and are in need of fixing up.
4) Finish the Yakima Nuclear Waste project
This is a true public good and the NIMBY stalling has gone on for too long.
5) Clean Up the Brownfields and toxic dumping grounds
This is a true public good and needs to be done. Finance a fund to create a few roving crews of 500 workers and support folks. Put the brownfields into a random draw lottery to create a list. Let the crews work through the lists until funding runs out.
6) Start planning and constructing a national network of Smart Power Grids
This will not be completed before the recession is over, but it something that will be in the needed in the future for homeland security purposes and for flexibility in future energy production, transportation, and consumption.
7) Pick a single “Wow” project
Update: I removed some typos.
Update: TDAXP linked to this post