Ed Glaeser’s words of wisdom
While the mechanics of a payroll tax cut are simple, spending hundreds
of billions wisely on infrastructure is hard. Currently, the federal
government spends about $40 billion a year in transportation, and
another $20 billion on other forms of infrastructure. There is a case
for significantly increasing this amount. Our roads do need repairing,
and it makes sense to invest more in a downturn when unemployment is
high. But even doubling the current federal infrastructure expenditure,
a vast increase, would represent only 8 percent of a $750 billion
Here is much more, on the mark throughout. Here is related material by Mark Thoma and Paul Krugman. Here is a related post by Alex.
Addendum: Obama now is calling for $300 billion in tax cuts as part of the stimulus plan, roughly forty percent of the total.