The Least, First

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Posts Tagged ‘Stimulus

Stimulus brings optimism to road building industry

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Money to states for road-building lifts an entire industry’s hopes, from quarries to equipment manufactures to the pavers themselves.

clipped from www.nytimes.com

For Sellers of Pavers and Cones, Stimulus Lifts Hopes After a Troubled Year

A road equipment display last week at the World of Asphalt show in Orlando, Fla. States are set to receive $27.5 billion in federal stimulus money for roadwork.

[A]t World of Asphalt, the industry’s annual trade show […]

With $27.5 billion in federal stimulus money heading to state transportation departments, the people who make their living by building highways … hope the money will begin to revive an industry that hit a rough patch last year […]

Lehman-Roberts Company in Tennessee … is becoming an illustration of the goals of the stimulus program  …

[Rick Moore, the company’s president] ordered five new pieces of equipment this month and has begun to bolster his staff. “We put an ad in the paper and had 200 folks apply for jobs,” he said.

The show provided a vivid window into what economists call the multiplier effect: how allocating money to let states hire road contractors will eventually benefit an entire industry, from the quarries that crush the rock and the manufacturers that sell them mining equipment to the companies that sell 2,000-watt halogen bulbs for night work or, in one company’s case, little mirrors that road workers can attach to their hard hats so they can see if cars are coming from behind.[…]

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It’s a start!


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Written by Monte

March 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Stimulus bill includes hi-speed rail! But where?

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Not to Iowa, unfortunately (reasonably, though, since Iowa has no multi-million-person population centers). But just imagine the tens of millions of people who could be served! Compared to auto or air, it’s a huge environmental savings.

And on weekends, think of, say, the football traffic on the Chicago Hub Network.

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

High-speed rail corridors

High-speed rail corridors

After much clamoring by energy hawks, who knows what it was that finally brought high-speed rail to the stimulus — perhaps a little nudge from ol’ Amtrak Joe? — but it got in, to the tune of $8 billion.
And now the question is, where will the expansion be?
the areas that will get a leg up should be the Federal Railroad Administration’s officially designated high-speed rail corridors
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What possibilities do you see?


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Is it honest to call it “socialism?”

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Morning Joe

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The S-word is back.

For example, watch Morning Joe get exercised about the stimulus proposal’s tax refund to people of low income, followed by analysis from ThinkProgress:

clipped from thinkprogress.org

Joe Scarborough: Obama’s Trying To ‘Buy Off People’ With ‘Pure, Straight Socialism’»

SCARBOROUGH: “You’re not going to get Republicans to line up and support tax cuts for people who don’t pay taxes […] It’s not even welfare. […] If you want pure straight socialism, if you want to buy off people, do that.”
There are enormous problems with this analysis. First, Americans benefiting from the tax cut do pay taxes — sales taxes, payroll taxes, social security taxes — even if they don’t pay income tax. In fact, those in the lowest income bracket pay about 4.3 percent of their income to federal taxes. […]The tax credit isn’t some kind of charity; it’s one of the most effective kinds of tax cuts in terms of stimulating the economy. Moody’s chief ecomomist Mark Zandi showed that the refundable tax credit gives the economy a far greater “bang for the buck” than non-refundable tax cuts, corporate tax cuts, or making Bush’s tax cuts permanent, the “solutions” proposed by conservatives:
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Follow the link for Zandi’s numbers.

Meanwhile, if the tax refund plan is indeed a refund, and if can be shown to be among the most quickly effective tax changes for stimulating the economy, isn’t it what we’re looking for?

And didn’t they teach us in high school that socialism was when the government owns the means of production?  Just how is it that tax refunds accomplish that?

I don’t recall learning that when poor people spend tax refunds at American businesses, capitalism is on the way out.  It would seem just to have just the opposite effect.


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