Stimulus Spending Summary, By Category

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 15:09

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

  • $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.
* -= Applicable to either Health Care or Unemployment Compensation

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.

Chris Bowers :: Stimulus Spending Summary, By Category

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We really need to move on our reps to have them up the funding for rail (4.00 / 2)
Here's a letter I wrote to my congressman (who sits on the appropriations committee). Feel free to use it as an example or just cut and paste and send it on to your representatives and senators.
Don't forget to include your own congressperson's name!
I was able to review the draft proposal for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from the House Appropriations Committee. Overall I think this is a good start towards putting our country and our state back on the path of recovery. However, I was very disappointed to see the relative lack of funding for public transit and Amtrak in the proposal (~10.1 billion dollars). Increased funding for rail (especially high speed rail) and public transit is crucial for multiple reasons: (1) reduced traffic congestion, (2) reduced greenhouse gas emissions, (3) more jobs created immediately from construction and manufacturing and long-term from economic growth, (4) environmental protection as it promotes "sustainable development" and "smart-growth" policies that reduce urban sprawl, (5) reduction of airport congestion as it relieves airlines of the burden of sub-500 mile routes, and finally (6) global competitiveness in that it facilitates more efficient transportation of people and products.

I hope as this process moves forward you will consider these benefits that result from increased investment in rail and public transit. The draft proposal listed almost 80 billion dollars of transit and rail projects that are either currently on back-log, or that are ready to go now. I believe that the amount dedicated to rail and transit should be at least doubled and ideally tripled to 30 billion dollars. While this may seem like a large up-front investment, the long-term dividends will pay for it many times over. It is time to make rail funding as high a priority as highways. I hope you will work to make this possible.


Excellent statement (0.00 / 0)
As an additional infrastructure investment, I would add electrification of rail freight lines which would vastly improve the speed and efficiency while substantially reducing emissions associated with freight transport.

Many of these projects are near shovel ready.



[ Parent ]
I agree... (0.00 / 0)
However I think this has something to do with why we are seeing an $875 billion bill and NOT a 1.6 trillion one...

While the public seems to support Obama's package, they are concerned at its cost.   This may take several bills instead of a big one...

Well the problem is (4.00 / 4)
regardless of "bailout fatigue", this is the best time politically and economically to pass as large a package as possible. Doing less than needs to be done will risk causing economic and political damage as well.

When will it be easier to pass an additional say 400 billion dollars? Now, when the price-tag is already so large, or 2 years from now in the middle of mid-term election season?

[ Parent ]
Great point (0.00 / 0)
Just in economic terms, if the USG decides to draw all this out, it will do a lot of damage to the economy--i.e., an awful lot of jobs will be lost in the mean time, possibly millions. If we're going to do a stimulus, it should be big enough to actually help. If it's too small, it will prove a waste of money and that's not something we can afford.

Chances are this time next year we'll all be told, "Sorry, but the deficit's too big to help you now."

Look at some of the line items. $10 Billion for rail AND transit across the country? Huh? That wouldn't pay for 1/3 of a high-speed line from San Diego to LA, never mind anything else. $30 Billion for highway construction when we should be reducing driving? Even the $32 Billion for grid work (absolutely necessary) seems way too low.

And isn't this spending to take place over 2 years? That's a whopping 1.7% of GDP, which won't do much of anything to lower the unemployment rate. Might create 1.5 million jobs when we're in the process of losing 5-6 million?

But at least we'll get $20 a week in "tax cuts" so we can at least afford a couple six-packs of good ale to cry into!

So far the math of this looks pretty bad. $2.5 Trillion (so far) for the banking CEOs to play with and $800 Billion for the real economy that exists in the rest of the country.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
Another reason why now is the time to pass a bigger bill (4.00 / 4)
From The Hill

Among Democrats, liberals said they believe the massive package has enough for all different constituencies to win passage. Conservative Democrats, while alarmed at the spending, don't want to pick a fight with Obama immediately after he takes office and are looking for ways to support the bill.

[ Parent ]
school funding (0.00 / 0)
wish it had been a larger increase -- and impose a formula that gives a greater amount (if not all) to poor school districts. Most states use property tax schemes, which discriminate against people in low-income neighborhoods, thus exacerbating inequality.  

I wish there was more for education too (4.00 / 1)
But the $25 billion allotted to states for other high priority needs "may include education."
Also, keep in mind that the $13 billion going to Title I is automatically more apt to go to "poor school districts" because Title I funds are distributed according to the % of students enrolled in the federal free lunch program (i.e., students from poorer districts). Head Start funds are distributed based on need too.

Save Our Schools! March & National Call to Action, July 28-31, 2011 in Washington, DC: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch...

[ Parent ]
true, but... (0.00 / 0)
real education reform can't happen in a stimulus.  We could repair and modernize those schools, though!  Computers in all the classrooms would help, as would just general repairs and so on.  Perhaps funds to send teachers to summer school would be well spent.  But a stimulus really can't address teacher pay, class size and so on; by definition the money is a temporary, one time boost.

[ Parent ]
Am I the only one completely underwhelmed by this package? (4.00 / 1)

Nope (0.00 / 0)
It's not enough to either rescue the economy or prevent a Republican return in 2012. For the life of me I don't know why Obama's team isn't making a bolder and smarter effort on this. It's as if they're scared to do it right.

[ Parent ]
80 Votes? (0.00 / 0)
MyDD is reporting that Obama wants to get 80 votes and the Republicans and especially the Blue Dogs are Dragging this down.  Allegedly, it is the Dogs who want to tear in to entitlements.  

You don't need 80 votes.  Better to pass a good bill with fewer votes than a luke warm one with 80.  The Republicans will still be attacking 2 years from now (and four).

[ Parent ]
lowered expectations (4.00 / 1)
I've already resigned myself to the fact that this stimulus isn't really going to do anything sexy like Supertrains or putting solar panels on government buildings, etc.   Its really just the govt stepping in and providing the spending that the private sector can no longer provide.  All the exciting stuff us progressives want would probably be all dollars spent beyond the $1 trillion mark and politically I don't think Obama can get that much money.  

Not terrible (4.00 / 2)
but could be improved. After a quick scan having more rail, more broadband and more infrastructure investment in general. The state aid and energy parts look pretty good, as does healthcare. But more infrastructure.

Will be interesting to see what the tax component looks like. WaPo says bailout companies will not be eligible for the business windfall proposal but that everyone else would be, we should work to get that stripped entirely.

Also, I have to agree with the Blue Dogs on AMT. I don't see how that should be part of the stimulus. Energy and payroll tax cuts as part of the plan are good. The rest, not so much. Replace it with a tripling of rail funding and quintupling of broadband, just as a start.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

I agree (4.00 / 2)
That's why I think it's so important for us to do some calling and emailing of our congresspeople to let them know we want them to spend more. They probably think all their constituents hate the stimulus package like they hate the bailout. It's our responsibility to let them know that's not the case.

[ Parent ]
State aid isn't enough (4.00 / 1)
The states face a deficit approaching $100 billion. Obama ought to have offered more to help states close their budget deficits - the unemployment, medicare and education funding can help but there needs to be more unrestricted money for state and local governments.

There's at least $15 billion of shovel-ready rail projects out there, and the DOT's New Starts fund could use a bigger boost. I do not understand why Obama is shirking away from this - part of me wonders if he even understands the role of mass transit in economic stimulus - but this is one of THE areas where you're seeing the most significant pushback from the grassroots.

[ Parent ]
Well (0.00 / 0)
the transportation bill will be coming up later in the year, so perhaps he thinks that's where the rail funding should go. But there could definitely be more rail funding in this.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Problem is (4.00 / 1)
if the transportation bill goes through regular order, then they can only appropriate money to Amtrak up to what it was authorized at in the bill last year. That's much better than it's been in the last 10 years, but still not what's needed. That's why it makes the most sense to put this money in right now.

[ Parent ]
Education stimulus doesn't make the grade (0.00 / 0)
While education seems to be a winner in the stimulus proposal thus far, the amount is not high enough to meet the challenge. States are proposing massive cuts in education funding unless there's additional resources coming from the Feds:
* Alabama: $800 million
* New York: $698 million
* Virginia: $340 million
* California: $2.5 billion
The estimated shortfall in state education funding (which account for almost half of school funding) is $350 billion, according to the House summary.
And there are substantial cuts coming from county and metro governments (which make up about 35% of school funding).
What I'm most skeptical of is the "$15 billion to states as bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures." My guess is that very few states will qualify to get these grants unless there's some drastic change in thinking about what kinds of "performance measures" schools are supposed to achieve. That $15 billion in grants should be needs-based instead of tied to some kind of carrot on a stick.
OTH, I'm glad there's nothing in here about charter schools.

Save Our Schools! March & National Call to Action, July 28-31, 2011 in Washington, DC: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch...

Opps, correction: That $350 billion in state shortfall (0.00 / 0)
is TOTAL, not just education alone. Although you can be sure that education is a significant part of it.

Save Our Schools! March & National Call to Action, July 28-31, 2011 in Washington, DC: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch...

[ Parent ]
talk about "shovel ready" (4.00 / 2)
Not cutting spending is obvious the fastest way to spend money to boost the economy.  Making up these shortfalls seem to be a no-brainer to me.

[ Parent ]
Obama to Host Blue Dogs and GOPers Summit on Reigning in Entitlements (4.00 / 1)
um this doesnt sound stimulating-obama to host conf with blue dogs and repubs to reign in entitelment spending? heartburn pass the tums

Mtg May be About Increasing Taxes for SS (0.00 / 0)
abc reports the meeting will be about a plan to increase payroll taxes 4pct for ss?

[ Parent ]
my perception of obama and dems (4.00 / 1)
is they will only aim for the lowest amount since they are political cowards who won't fight for anything.
all of the profits of this spending will be privatized anyway.

Transit! (4.00 / 2)
"$10 billion for transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption."

That is a ridiculously small number.  It's also painful that it's only 25% of the transportation portion.

It doesn't seem like too much of this is actually going into spending that could create jobs?  Obviously helping people who are hurting because of the economy is important too but it doesn't seem like that's going to be helping us get out of this mess.


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