What The $600 Stimulus Package Gets YouHoward Silverblatt
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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