Warren Buffett Calls for Second Stimulus
As folks in Washington and the rest of the country grumble about the depressed job market and underwhelming consumer spending reports, the calls for a second stimulus continue.
"I think that a second one may well be called for," Warren Buffett , the widely respected investor, said Thursday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"Our first stimulus bill... was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra and having also a bunch of candy mixed in," he said, "as if everybody was putting in enough for their own constituents."
Indeed, new reports show the money from President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package is potentially being doled out unevenly. An analysis from the New York Times shows rural areas are receiving a disproportionate amount of funds for transportation projects.
"Two-thirds of the country lives in large metropolitan areas, home to the nation's worst traffic jams and some of its oldest roads and bridges," the Times reports. "But cities and their surrounding regions are getting far less than two-thirds of federal transportation stimulus money."
Additionally, USA Today reports that counties that supported Mr. Obama in the presidential election have so far received twice as much money per person from the stimulus package as those that supported Republican John McCain -- though that likely has more to do with bureaucracy than politics.
"That aid — about $17 billion — is the first piece of the administration's massive stimulus package that can be tracked locally," the newspaper says. "Much of it has followed a well-worn path to places that regularly collect a bigger share of federal grants and contracts, guided by formulas that have been in place for decades and leave little room for manipulation."
Still, only a little more than 10 percent of the money has been distributed. Vice President Joe Biden will be in Cincinnati, Ohio today to highlight the progress of the stimulus. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has criticized the slow pace at which the stimulus money is being distributed. Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Transportation has already approved 52 stimulus-funded road and bridge projects at a cost of nearly $84 million, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Other Republicans are taking Boehner's lead in criticizing the stimulus effort. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) will go so far as to introduce a bill today called "Reducing Barack Obama's Unsustainable Deficit Act," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The bill would repeal the remaining unspent money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and recall any unobligated money authorized by the Troubled Asset Relief Program. With Democrats in charge, the bill has virtually no chance of moving forward.
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