Based on the $250~$500 million number the State Transportation Department spokesman Lloyd Brown said the state would likely get for transportation funding from the stimulus package, I estimated that about $50~$100 billion would be spent on transportation nationwide. My sums were off: the state population is about 6.6 million, and thus 2.2% of the nation’s population. I used the numbers from our region, which is a little more than half the population of the state. Assuming the money is awarded on a proportional basis, which of course there is no gaurantee, that would mean about $12~$25 billion for transportation nationwide.

States want $176 billion from the stimulus package, $40 billion for medicare, and $136 billion for infrastructure projects. I understand that a lot of infrastructure is not transportation. Levees, water systems, flood-plain drainage systems, seawalls, and emergency systems are all “infrastructure” as well. But if $136 billion is spent, I have to guess that more than $12 or even $25 billion would go to transportation, which means I hope that something more like $1 billion could get spent here.

I’ve contacted several people in state and local governments, and I’ll work to keep you posted on this as it develops.

3 Replies to “Lastest Stimulus News”

  1. I did the math after your earlier post and $500 million seemed like too small a share for transportation. The only reason I can see not to spend a billion per state if not a lot more is that most transportation projects take a long time to get going and we need stimulus now. On the other hand, if the government provides these big amounts now, it’s saying that it’s committed to stimulus for many years to come. That’s a good economic message to send. Frankly, I think that the billion/state/year should become the new normal, and the only thing that should change after the economy improves is that we consider revenue sources to control the resulting deficit. We’ve got a huge infrastructure shortfall to make up.

    I think the whole stimulus package should be about $600 billion, too, which would work out to something more like $100 billion for transportation, or on average $2 billion per state.

    1. Not all states are created equal, however. Calfornia has almost 100 times the population of Wyoming, for example, and thus has more expensive infrastructure needs. It just so happens that Washington is about 2% of the population and there fore about 1/50 and there are fifty states, but I don’t think each state will get the same amount.

  2. Hopefully the press is just wrong. But many sites are saying that Obama is proposing $2 billion of the stimulus on public transit to reduce fares and expand service…I dunno about you, but $2 billion spread across the nation sounds reeeeal slim.

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