Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

#007 — How Would You Invest the Economic Stimulus Portfolio?

January 29th, 2009

U.S. House Passes One-Sided Economic Stimulus Bill

Yesterday, the House Democrats passed an $819 billion Economic Stimulus Bill.  Despite lobbying by President Obama for bi-partisanship & House Democrat leaders insistence on following party line, no Republicans joined in support of the bill, while 11 Democrats voiced opposition to their party’s wishes.  The final vote on H.R. 1 was 244-188.  A parallel bill is now in the Senate, which is expected to increase the size of the stimulus bill, which will already be the biggest federal expenditure in history upon passage.  In the 10-year plan, nearly two-thirds of the stimulus money will be injected within the first 18 months.

Highlights of the bill include:

  • $90 billion for construction projects (roads & infrastructure)
  • $142 billion to rebuild public schools (no money given to private schools)
  • $54 billion for renewable energy
  • Boost Medicaid & state law enforcement — $91 billion
  • Extend unemployment benefits, and increase COBRA, WIC, and school lunch programs — $102 billion
  • Tax cuts of $500/$1,000 per year for individuals/couples (capped at incomes exceeding $75k single/$150k couple); total cost $145 billion
  • Increase to $250k the amount a small business can write off; estimated up to $17 billion savings

Okay, I’ve got to admit — I’m a political junkie.  It runs in my veins, and even when I’m not politically active, my political brain is always running on the back-burner.  First off, I have had a tough time digesting the rate at which our congress has spent money.  Increased revenues & the War on Terror notwithstanding, we have spent way to much over the last decade.


How Would YOU Diversify This Portfolio?

Currently, here’s how the House’s Stimulus Bill portfolio is diversified.  Click on each respective picture to enlarge:

Economic Stimulus Portfolio (in $ billions)

(in $ billions)

Economic Stimulus Portfolio (by percentage)

(by percentage)









Balancing Act

If a stimulus package is needed, government should use our money to create an environment where dependency is not further created on the government for more public jobs.  Rather, more of the stimulus money should be invested in private businesses, which can regenerate the money and use the free market to grow and expand upon ideas and serving their clientele.  Government construction projects seem like a one-time fix; yet another patch job on a huge problem.

While it is good to invest in public works and extend support to those currently feeling the economy’s effects, perhaps this stimulus bill needs to properly diversified between direct spending (safety net programs), public investment (federal & state spending), and private investment (individual & business tax policy).

Nearly 60% is projected to be invested on federal & state public works (not long-term jobs), 14.6% on safety net programs, and 26% spent on private-sector investments.  Just as if I were analyzing an investment portfolio, I would say too many eggs are in one basket, and that this stimulus bill needs to be re-balanced a bit.

How about you?  Would you “re-balance” the Economic Stimulus Bill?

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#005 — What’s On Tap: Pets, Birthdays, Mexico & New Edition

January 26th, 2009


I’m in the middle of a very busy stretch of life these days, some of it planned & some of it not!  Here’s a few QuickHits to give you an idea of what’s on my mind, and what I plan on blogging about this week.  Take a look and enjoy!

Pet Insurance

As I wrote about last week, one of my dogs swallowed an entire sock, had to have surgery to remove it, and may force the use of our emergency fund this week.  While I was at the vet spending my future kids’ college fund to save my dog’s life, I picked up some brochures on pet insurance.

So to briefly continue my pet-related theme here at MyMoneyMinute, I’d like to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing pet insurance vs. self-insuring through these times of calamity with our furry loved ones.  I guess that’s the beauty of blogging — you never know what life will throw at you (or in this case, what it will swallow).  So you get to adapt with me in these quick changes in life!  A scripted life would be quite boring anyway, wouldn’t it?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wednesday is a landmark day in the MyMoneyMinute household, as I hit the big 3-0.  That’s right, I’ll be turning 30!  I’m sure I’ll provide some obvious self-reflection on that day, and somehow I’ll shoehorn in something that’s money-themed with it.  This may fall under the “and all that implies” part of MyMoneyMinute.  We’ll see.

Vacation to Mexico

It has been quite a while since we have been able to take a vacation that didn’t involve flying home to see family.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our families, but it will be nice for the two of us to just get away and recharge the batteries without any other responsibilities or obligations.  We’re flying off to Riviera Maya, near Cancun, on Saturday!  Four nights of all-inclusive resort bliss.  Expect a vacation-related post this week.

New Edition on Website — Find Cheap Gas!

All right, I guess I’m misleading you a bit here.  I am not interviewing New Edition, the pop group from the ’80s.  But I do have a new addition to my website.  Available on the tabs at the top of my page is a link that allows you to search for the lowest gas prices in your area, courtesy of! I’ll probably post a QuickHit on this later in the week, but feel free to navigate over and see where the lowest gas prices are in your city.

That’s about it for now.  I’m looking forward to this week’s batch of posts.  Here’s hoping it all goes according to schedule!

Photos by:

COmfH & Toots Fontaine

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