Over the weekend, President-elect Barack Obama offered up what he plans to be his economic stimulus plan when he takes office. Some of the main points of the plan include:
- Infrastructure. It is no secret that our infrastructure requires some serious updating.
- Renewable energy. This should help us get off of foreign oil and other fossil fuels.
- Tax cuts. These are meant to be aimed primarily at the middle class.
The first two items, focusing on infrastructure and developing renewable energy, are meant to help provide jobs. Providing jobs could possible prevent some foreclosures, as well as allow some to earn money — that could then be spent for economic stimulus.
The third item of large interest, tax cuts, are designed almost exclusively to encourage the middle class to start spending money again. Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not this will actually happen. Also, it is likely that members of Congress will try to slip some pork barrel spending into any economic stimulus bill.
While all of this spending is likely to eventually devalue the U.S. dollar and cause inflation, it is somewhat encouraging to see that this economic stimulus package is actually aimed at people, rather than existing mainly as a bailout for corporations.
Unfortunately, until real and substantial changes are made in the way we as a society view money, and in the way we approach debt and spending and consuming, a true long-term solution to the issue of our economy is not feasible.