According to the draft of the stimulus that is floating around, here is the itemized spending sorted into categories. It is worth noting that, despite all the talk about new bridges and highways, mainly the stimulus is about tax cuts, health care, education, energy, the environment, and unemployment.
Total itemized spending: $518.7 billion
Health Care: $150.1 billion
- $87 billion for a temporary increase in the Medicaid matching rate;
- $39 billion to support those who lose their jobs by helping them to pay the cost of keeping their employer provided healthcare under COBRA and providing short-term options to be covered by Medicaid;*
- $20 billion for health information technology to prevent medical mistakes, provide better care to patients and introduce cost-saving efficiencies;
- $4.1 billion to provide for preventative care and to evaluate the most effective healthcare treatments.
Education, Science and Technology: $132.6 billion
- $41 billion to local school districts through Title I ($13 billion), IDEA ($13 billion), a new School Modernization and Repair Program ($14 billion), and the Education Technology program ($1 billion);
- $39 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formulas;
- $15.6 billion to increase the Pell grant by $500;
- $15 billion to states as bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures;
- $10 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation;
- $6 billion to expand broadband internet access so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy;
- $6 billion for higher education modernization.
Energy and Environment: $104 billion
- $32 billion to transform the nation's energy transmission, distribution, and production systems by allowing for a smarter and better grid and focusing investment in renewable technology;
- $31 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure with investments that lead to long term energy cost savings;
- $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments;
- $16 billion to repair public housing and make key energy efficiency retrofits;
- $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes
Unemployment Compensation: $63 billion
- $43 billion for increased unemployment benefits and job training;
- $20 billion to increase the food stamp benefit by over 13% in order to help defray rising food costs.
Transportation: $40 billion
- $30 billion for highway construction;
- $10 billion for transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption.
Misc: $29 billion
* -= Applicable to either Health Care or Unemployment Compensation
- $25 billion to states for other high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education;
- $4 billion for state and local law enforcement funding.
Now, the summary indicated that the bill will have $550 billion in spending, so either the remaining $30-$35 billion is not itemized here, or there are still debates over how to spend it. The remaining $275 billion for the stimulus will come in the form of tax cuts, mainly what appears to be the middle class tax cut Obama kept talking about during the campaign, but also energy tax benefits.
I support the growing consensus that, while this is a start, overall there is not enough spending here. While it is an important and promising shift away from Bush-era governance, we need to aim even higher.