Sunday, February 15, 2009

The $787B Stimulus

A Context for Obama's $787,000,000,000.00 Stimulus Package

In the June 10, 1934 edition of The New York Times there appeared an article by John Maynard Keynes. Keynes wrote in part:

  • "For six months at least, and probably a year, the measure of recovery to be achieved will mainly depend on the degree of the direct stimulus to production deliberately applied by the administration."
  • "The aggregate emergency expenditure is now declining. If it is going to decline to $200,000,000 [$200 million] monthly, much of the ground already gained will probably be lost. If it were to rise to $400,000,000 [$400 million] monthly, I should be quite confident that a strong business revival would set in by the Autumn."
  • "Four hundred million dollars monthly is not much more than 11 per cent of the national income...."

I don't know how Keynes came up with his $400 million figure. But it is easy enough to scale his number up to fit the current national income.