Are Two Stimulus Packages Really Enough?

July 13, 2009 at 4:00 am Leave a comment


Plenty of talk of a 2nd stimulus adrenaline shot.

Plenty of talk of a 2nd stimulus adrenaline shot.

Am I the only one getting nauseated with all this debate regarding another potential stimulus package? Laura Tyson (Obama advisor), James Galbraith (collegiate professor), Paul Krugman (economist), and Warren Buffett, among other pundits, have recently suggested that the current multi-hundred billion plan doesn’t pack enough punch.  I think I’m going to jump in front of all these experts and start screaming for a 3rd stimulus package. Why stop at two when we can just print some more money.

Isn’t the gargantuan $11 trillion in debt and massive projected $1.8 trillion budget deficit large enough? Call me crazy, but if we currently have only spent 10% of the current $787 billion package, then shouldn’t we focus on spending the other $700 billion first before we plan a 2nd stimulus and choke our children and grandchildren with $100s of billions in additional debt. Judging by the slow implementation of stimulus disbursements and spending, I guess we still need to buy all the shovels at The Home Depot before all the “shovel-ready” projects commence.

Click Here for Bloomberg Interview with James Galbraith

Here’s another thought – perhaps we can cut wasteful inefficient spending that has grown out of control and invest those dollars into innovative research and education. Investing into the brainpower of our country will create jobs now and even higher paying ones in the future. Of course cutting spending (and jobs) doesn’t get you more votes and lobbyists are quick to remind our elected officials of this fact. We live in a society that desires instant gratification, but before lurching into a panicked state let’s collectively take a deep breath and realize this economic mess took us a while to get into and therefore will take a while to get out.

Rather than spending more in additional stimulus, possibly the current spending programs can be more efficiently prioritized. Not all spending is created equally, and therefore temporarily stuffing our houses with more cars, TVs, and clothing probably is not going to sustainably grow our economy in a country dealing with harsh realities. For example, globalization, energy dependence, and escalating healthcare costs are just a few issues that our nation needs to address.

If none of these ideas seem to gain traction, then you can join me at the trough in a push for a 3rd economic stimulus.

Wade W. Slome, CFA, CFP®

DISCLOSURE: Sidoxia Capital Management and client accounts do not have direct positions in BRKA/B or HD at the time the article was published. No information accessed through the Investing Caffeine (IC) website constitutes investment, financial, legal, tax or other advice nor is to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. Please read disclosure language on IC “Contact” page.

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