Economist Dean Baker outlines 7 ways to make Obama’s economic stimulus package more effective (excerpted from Truthout). Several of his proposals could also be used by state governments to promote local economic recovery:
- Extend health insurance – Offer a $2,000 tax credit for any firm that gives health insurance to employees not currently covered. Match at a 70 percent rate any improvements in health care coverage (e.g. lower employee premiums) up to $1,000.
- Cash for clunkers – Buy back older, more polluting cars at a premium over their book value to get the most polluting cars off the road and put some money into the pockets of the people who own them – mostly low and moderate income car owners.
- Subsidies for public transportation – The government can encourage public transit and get money into the pockets of the people who use it (disproportionately low- and moderate-income people), by giving a $1 subsidy for each trip that gets directly passed on in lower fares.
- Funding for writers/artists/creative workers – Put creative work in the public domain that people all over the world could download at zero cost.