Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Road to Nowhere

President Obama is proposing a large increase in funding for infrastructure.

President Barack Obama, scrambling to spur job creation, proposed a six-year plan on Monday to rebuild infrastructure with an initial $50 billion investment and prepared new business tax cuts.

“We are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads — that’s enough to circle the world six times. … We’re going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways — enough to stretch coast-to-coast,” Obama told a labor rally in Milwaukee where several thousand supporters cheered his every line.

The infrastructure plan, one of several initiatives Obama is unveiling this week, was immediately criticized by Republicans, who many analysts predict could win control of the House of Representatives in November 2 congressional elections.

With fellow Democrats facing punishment from recession-weary voters in November, Obama is under pressure to do more to create jobs and bring down the stubbornly high 9.6 percent unemployment rate, even as economists agree he has few good options left.

The chances of getting this through Congress between now and Election Day in November are as good as the Detroit Tigers winning the division and the World Series. The Republicans will never let it happen, even if it wasn’t an election year and even if they didn’t look to pick up a lot of seats. So while they’re whining about the jobs lost in the recession they caused, they’re not going to lift a finger to help people get jobs — and fix the potholes and railways that could help production and manufacturing — as long as they can use it as a political advantage. That’s how they roll.