What The $600 Stimulus Package Gets You

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on May 29, 2008

The stimulus bill was signed February 13, 2008, 106 days ago, when gas was $2.960 a gallon (EIA, regular). The intent was to jump start the economy with additional spending. Today, gas is averaging $3.937 per gallon. The increased cost of food and fuel in those 106 days has significantly reduced the impact of the program. Yesterday (Wednesday) Dow Chemical announced a 20% increase in product, effective this Sunday. They are not alone in passing along increased costs, and they are not alone in having their margins suffer.

Back in February several argued that the rebates didn’t address the problem. That is was like giving an addict another fix. Now some are ‘discussing’ Stimulus II, which may be rebates, incentives, or even controls, mostly because the economy needs it. What the addict needs is treatment.

As for what the $600 can get you now, it covers the additional cost (in those 106 days) of 614 gallons. It could also pay for the gas for a one-way trip from NY to LA, if you get at least 18.4 MPG and the price doesn’t change.

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Reader Comments

MARIA LOPEZ

May 29, 2008 4:37 PM

I THINK YOU ARE ABSOLUTLEY CORRECT ON THAT SUBJECT. I THINK IT'S AN INSULT. NOW THAT THE PRICE FOR GAS AND FOOD HAS RISEN, PRESIDENT BUSH SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF.

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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