New $170 Billion Stimulus Package On Deck
The economy is so hot, that democrats in Congress are now moving with yet another stimulus package, this one for $170 billion, targeting bankrupt states and formerly surging unemployment (Obama has some TV appearances today; the BLS will be back to its previously scheduled job collapse next month). In other news, Japan did approximately 10 such small scale bailouts even as its market proceeded to keep probing new lows over the last two decades, and as reinvested 3x its annual GDP in comparable such one-time boosts to the economy without doing anything to prevent its current deflationary collapse.
From Dow Jones:
Congressional Democrats are moving ahead with a roughly $170 billion package to spur jobs growth and boost emergency assistance to the unemployed, Democratic congressional aides say.
The two separate bills are taking shape amid an improving jobs picture, but with unemployment still at 10%. U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver a speech Tuesday at the Brookings Institution where he intends to lay out his own ideas for a narrowly targeted jobs bill, which will overlap with Congress's intentions but won't be identical.
Both the administration and Congress will almost certainly pay for part of their program with some of the $115 billion that bailed out banks have repaid to the Treasury Department.
Some more details on Krugman's wet dream:
The legislation will likely be split in two. The first part, at around $110 billion, would be considered emergency spending. It would again extend unemployment insurance, food stamp increases and a provision in the stimulus bill that subsidizes private-health insurance for the unemployed. This portion will likely be attached to a giant spending bill this month to fund the federal government, and will be added to the already huge U.S. budget deficit.
A second "jobs" bill would cost up to $70 billion, funded by the bank bailout. It would include more money for highway and bridge building, school construction and repair, and water and sewer projects. A second component would be direct aid to state governments cutting back services and raising taxes, moves that are hurting the economic recovery.
Finally, some repaid bailout funds will be lent back to small businesses directly from the Treasury.
Of course, nobody will have the brilliant idea of actually using TARP repayments (before they are needed to bail out the banking system again some time in late 2010) to actually pay back some of the debt which as of a few months ago has been classified as "unmanageable" by everyone including Mr. Bernanke. But why care about the sovereign default in 4-6 years when there are mid-term elections to be worried about. At least in the meantime, the abovementioned Fed Chairman can teach us all we need to know about Fiscal responsibility, courtesy of a completely "apolitical" and transparent Federal Reserve.