How Congressional Plans Stack Up To The Main Street Recovery Program

Here’s how the economic recovery proposals now being considered by Congress match up to the recommendations in the Main Street Recovery Program, which has been endorsed by more than 2,000 progressive leaders and activists. (The comparison is based on House and Senate legislative proposals as of January 26, 2009.)

  Main Street Recovery Program Congressional proposals
Green Investment $100 billion for green infrastructure investments (particularly retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency, expanding mass transit and freight rail networks, constructing “smart” electric-grid systems, increasing capacity for generating power from wind and solar energy, and developing carbon capture technologies and next-generation biofuels) and extending clean-energy production tax credits. $51 to $54 billion for green infrastructure projects, tax incentives, and bond programs for renewable energy and energy conservation.
Infrastructure $225 billion over two years to undertake public transit projects, improve drinking water and wastewater systems, repair and modernize schools, fix roads, maintain and green public housing, and make other investments. $90 to $140 billion for a broad range of infrastructure investments and pollution cleanup.
Aid to States $125 billion over two years for flexible block grants and a temporary increase in federal matching funds for Medicaid. $90 to $110 billion for state aid for Medicaid, state and local law enforcement, and social services block grants. Also included is funding for tax-exempt bonds and tax-credit bonds for state and city “recovery zones” with high unemployment rates.
Education $40 billion a year to expand Head Start and other pre-kindergarten programs, fully fund federal student lending, and increasing Pell Grant awards. $125 to $141 billion for grants to local school districts and public universities, programs for children with disabilities, Pell Grant award increases and eligibility expansion, and expanded education tax credits.
Research and Development $15 billion over two years for investments in medical, energy, and other research initiatives. $10 to $16 billion for research and development investments, including investments in science facilities and research through federal health, science and space research agencies; and for broadband Internet-access expansion
Health Care $70 billion over two years to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, increase access to Medicaid, and provide incentives for hospitals and physicians to adopt electronic medical record systems $16 to $20 billion for health care investments, including electronic medical records and other health information technology, preventative-care programs and health-care effectiveness research. A bill expanding the SCHIP program has passed the House and is currently moving through the Senate.
Unemployment Insurance and COBRA Subsidy $15 billion to provide a 75 percent COBRA health insurance premium subsidy for unemployed workers, and modernization of the unemployment insurance system to meet the needs of the contemporary workforce. $80 to 100 billion for health-care support and insurance benefits for the unemployed, including increased unemployment benefits and job training, COBRA subsidies or Medicaid support for unemployed workers, unemployment insurance modernization.
Food Stamps $15 billion for a 20 percent increase in the food-stamp benefit. $17 to $20 billion for food stamp benefits, including increasing the food stamp benefit by over 13 percent and providing additional resources for WIC and food banks.
Poverty Reduction $40 billion for investments to increase the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, raise the minimum wage, and expand access to child care. $20 to $30 billion for Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit increases, plus additional contingency funding for needy-family assistance, one-time additional Social Security payments to the elderly and disabled, and two years of federal child-support enforcement.
Middle-Class Tax Cut $145 billion in tax cuts for middle-income households. $145 billion for a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit.