Sunday, March 31, 2013
Obama's Too Modest Dream
Barack Obama has unveiled plans for a multi-billion dollar programme to repair and upgrade America's decaying highways, bridges and other critical infrastructure.
Among his proposals were renewed calls for a $10bn "infrastructure bank." He also mentioned new plans for $4bn in loans and grants for infrastructure projects and tax breaks for foreign pension funds to encourage investment.
The president addressed America's "ageing infrastructure badly in need of repair" during his state of the union speech in February. The "fix it first" policy called for investing $50bn in transportation infrastructure, subject to Congressional approval.
Those proposals drew immediate fire from Republican rivals. House speaker John Boehner said: "It's easy to go out there and be Santa Claus and talk about all these things you want to give away, but at some point, somebody's got to pay the bill."
It's rich for a leader from the party that gave America a six trillion dollar migraine for failed wars of convenience in Afghanistan and Iraq to bitch about a few score billion being spent on infrastructure maintenance. Just what does the Giant Orange Man think is going to happen to America's essential infrastructure if repairs aren't funded? Still I suppose Boehner figures there are enough Americans too stupid to connect the dots that he's willing to play the "Santa Claus" card.
Yet the numbers Obama is talking about are paltry for a country that carries a defence expenditure of some 700-billion dollars a year. It's a reflection of how Obama has never gotten close to evening America's keel.