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Monday, October 11, 2010

An eminently sensible idea

WASHINGTON – President Obama will join mayors, governors and current and former transportation secretaries on Monday to argue for a major initiative to repair and modernize the nation’s roads, rails and air systems, just weeks before an election that is all but certain to expand the size of his Republican opposition in Congress.

A new report from economists at the Treasury and Mr. Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers concludes that this is the “optimal time” to invest in public infrastructure because of high unemployment and lower prices in the construction industry, which has been hit harder than any other sector by the puncturing of the bubble in housing and commercial real estate.

As with many issues, paying for any initiative is the major divide between the parties. While Mr. Obama in September proposed a long-term solution to create a national infrastructure bank, which would seek private and public partnerships to invest in projects selected on merit, he seeks $50 billion in federal aid up front and he would offset that spending by closing an array of tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.

It will create jobs, it will help our crumbling infrastructure and it's paid for with cuts elsewhere. The Republicans will rail against it because it's taking money from the poor victimized oil and gas companies instead of from education, child nutrition, unemployment, housing or anything that might be helping people who right now need a helping hand.

The full article here.

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