December 2008 – AggBeat
by Kerry Clines, Senior Editor
Another economic stimulus package?
The rumors are flying about another economic stimulus package, but there is some debate about what type of stimulus package it should be.
According to the National Concrete Masonry Association’s weekly newsletter, e-news brief, economists believe that spending on infrastructure projects such as new roads, bridges, and other public works projects, would create jobs and provide more of a lasting boost to the economy than another round of rebate checks.
This would be great news for aggregates producers.
The stimulus package is a top issue under consideration by Congress. According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s (NSSGA) eDigest & Washington Watch newsletter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) met with a group of Democratic economists on Oct. 13 to discuss potential stimulus ideas. At a press conference following the meeting, Pelosi made it clear that her priority was to spend more money on infrastructure construction projects, increase aid to states, and support programs to aid the poor.
“In terms of building the infrastructure of America, that is something that we all know we have to do,” Pelosi told reporters at the press conference. “The opportunity is there. In fact, we’ll lose some opportunities if we don’t act soon.”
The size of the stimulus package is yet to be determined. Pelosi reportedly supports a $150 billion package while the economists favor a larger $300 billion plan.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a boost to stimulus package efforts on Oct. 27. According to an Associated Press article, he said an economic stimulus package “seems appropriate” as the economy is “likely to be weak for several quarters” and there is “some risk of a protracted slowdown.”
Following Bernanke’s remarks, the White House said it would be open to additional action.
The House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing on Oct. 29 to discuss the economic stimulus that could be provided by an investment in transportation infrastructure. Brian Burgett, president and CEO of the Kokosing Construction Co., testified at the hearing on the behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). According to an AGC news release, Burgett told the committee that AGC strongly supports increased investment for America’s transportation, federal and water infrastructure, and other public works programs. He told the committee that “an infusion of federal infrastructure funding would have a direct stimulus effect by putting more contractors and their employees back to work.”
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