House Democratic leaders finally provided some details of the $825 billion stimulus package, which is really $550 billion in actual spending and $275 billion in tax relief. The spending part includes $90 billion to increase the federal share of payments to the states for Medicaid health programs, $79 billion to help states avoid cuts in education and other services, $42 billion for transportation improvements, and $54 billion to encourage energy production from renewable sources. These numbers will change a lot in the next few weeks (the transportation portion seems small), but at least it's a starting point. From the NYT:
The challenge for Mr. Obama and for Congress is to figure out the best ways to provide both quick and effective jolts to the economy. Tax cuts can be delivered relatively quickly, but there is no guarantee that the recipients will spend the money. Infrastructure provides a substantial economic impact but construction projects, even those described as “shovel ready” take time to get under way. “The aim is to have most of this money out at the end of two years,” said Representative David R. Obey, Democrat of Wisconsin, he acknowledged that experts had provided differing projections about how quickly the money could be spent.
Meantime, every government official under the sun is eyeing all that moolah, including Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports. Lindsey, who spoke today at Emma Schafer's Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum, says her folks were looking at several possibilities, including funding for airfield and infrastructure renovations. LAWA is in the process of getting additional financing for the new and improved Tom Bradley International Terminal, but it doesn't sound like there are stimulus baskets for that kind of work. So LAWA is stuck relying on the credit markets, which aren't that great a prospect, at least for a while.