Boost the economy by helping people in needAn economic stimulus plan that includes an increase in food stamps, unemployment insurance, aid to prevent state cutbacks, home energy aid, and temporary tax rebates targeted to low- and moderate-income people will work best, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and other top economists say.
But the stimulus package approved by the House leaves out most of these pieces.
A temporary increase in food stamp benefits is the most effective stimulus measure on the table.
It would generate $1.73 in increased economic activity for each $1.00 in cost.
Extending unemployment benefits so that workers’ benefits don’t run out before they can find a new job would be the second most effective measure, generating $1.64 in increased activity per dollar of cost.
Read more about the effectiveness of various stimulus options here.
Florida ranks second in the number of people receiving food stamps and who will lose unemployment insurance soon. (California tops both lists.) See the state-by-state listings here.
More than 1.2 million Floridians received food stamps, and about 86,000 will exhaust their state jobless benefits from January to June of this year.
So the final shape of the stimulus package could be crucial to Florida.