Yesterday, the Chinese announced their own economic stimulus package. The package will pump money — to the tune of $586 billion — into China’s economy over the next two years. The news, in addition to giving a boost to the stock market, is providing the backdrop for speculation that the move will hasten a second U.S. economic stimulus package.
It has already been seen that the first economic stimulus package was insufficient. Now, some members of Congress (and some economists) are saying that at least another $100 billion will be needed to do the job. Common “sense” tells me that it will be more like $300 billion when Congress is done with it. This is on top of $168 billion already for U.S. economic stimulus, and not counting various bailout efforts from the auto industry to AIG to the $700 billion bailout (which is technically “rescue”, and not “stimulus”).
It appears, though, that the second stimulus would be aimed more at helping various markets, rather than giving money directly to people who would — in all probability — not spend it as hoped but do something sensible with it, like pay down debt or save it. And, quite frankly, we’ve reached a point where what’s good for individual finances is bad for the economy.
I would like to see a second stimulus in the U.S. going toward infrastructure. This would improve our country overall, as well as provide jobs for the tens of thousands that are probably going to be lost in the relatively near future. I mean, it’s probably inevitable (we have the Chinese to keep up with now, after all), so it would be nice to see some careful thought go into this package to ensure that it does the most good for the most people.