Goldman Sachs on Stimulus 2.0

September 8, 2010

The Goldman Sachs econ team gives a rousing “meh” to the new Obama economic plan:

The White House has announced three new measures to stimulate growth: 100% up-front depreciation of capital investments; a permanent and slightly expanded research and experimentation (R&E) tax credit; and $50bn in infrastructure spending. While potentially helpful, we do not expect these proposals to have a large effect on growth for three reasons:

(1) we are skeptical that temporary expensing of capital investments will alter corporate behavior, particularly in 2010 or early 2011; (2) the expanded R&E tax credit, while positive, is too small to have much effect on growth; and (3) additional infrastructure spending, which could have a more significant growth effect, seems the least likely to become law. To the extent that these proposals become law and do have an effect on growth, we would expect the effect to be concentrated later in 2011.

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