Thursday, January 29, 2009

Will "Porkulus" Save Us?

The debate has begun between the Republicans and the Democrats and the Keynesian's and the Supply Siders about the virtues of the stimulus plan. It's great theater but at the end of the day it will get passed. I'm all for putting paddles to the heart of the economy, but please don't tell me that major new job growth will be created as a result. I'm too smart and so are you. Fix jobs-fix the economy, neither will be remedied under the current proposal. I'm all ears but please tell me how millions of jobs will be created under this scenario?

$44 million for repairs at the Agriculture Department headquarters in Washington.

$200 million to rehabilitate the National Mall.

$360 million for new child care centers at military bases.

$1.8 billion to repair National Park Service facilities.

$276 million to update technology at the State Department.

$500 million for the Transportation Security Administration to install bomb detectors at airports.

$600 million for General Services Administration to replace older vehicles with alternative fuel vehicles.

$2.5 billion to upgrade low-income housing.

$400 million for NASA scientists to conduct climate change research.

$426 million to construct facilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

$800 million to clean up Superfund sites.

$150 million for the Coast Guard to repair or remove bridges deemed a hazard to navigation.

$6.7 billion to renovate and improve energy efficiency at federal buildings.

$400 million to replace the Social Security Administration's 30-year-old National Computer Center.

Yes I know, infrastructure in this great land is crumbling and it needs a handyman but come on, and that's only part of it. Time will tell how the market treats the plan. As usual I am hoping for the best.

Back to the market. Today we have a report on durable goods, new home sales and natural gas inventories, so a fair amount of data. Tomorrow we await GDP, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and the University of Michigan consumer confidence index. Tomorrow also marks the end of the month and it will certainly be fascinating to see if investors will look at Friday as an exit from this market rally or an opportunity to get "more long." In the past, the former has been the ticket. I'm betting on that result too.


Tony said...

A lot of these things need to be anyway, so why not do them now when:
a) capital is cheap... when else could the US Treasury borrow so cheaply?
b) labor is relatively plentiful... why not utilize all these otherwise unemployed folks to do something?
c) arguably this infrastructure spending will improve productivity... didn't they castigate Ike for the interstate highway system?
d) comparatively isn't this revenue better spent than the TARP?

John G. Black said...

The total you posted is about $15 billion out of a, $815 billion bill, or about 2%.

Considering we just witnessed the greatest expansion of federal spending over the last 8 years, complaining about a 2% over expenditure at a time of financial crisis seems slightly absurd.

upsidetrader said...

Bush was a spending pig i agree-there is much more but ddin t have time-Acorn? u kidding me?-doomed to failure

upsidetrader said...

most of these measures to help the unemployed wont kick in for two years-the rest is social welfare

CPATrader said...

Hi Upside, I just joined StockTwits and I've enjoyed your commentary and picks. I don't know how to upload a picture there, can you advise? Thanks!

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I am a former hedge fund manager, broker and capital markets dude who now trades for his own account. I love what I do. I will try to post some stocks and an occasional chart that looks attractive for entry.I will also try to point out the idiocy of conventional wisdom and the lack of value added by the mainstream financial media. These postings should not be viewed as recommendations.