Vera Andrus 1936
Remember this, just a week ago, when Representative Jim Oberstar expained why water infrastructure, sewers and Amtrak were gutted out of the stimulus package to make room for the tax cuts in the interest of "bipartisan support"?
So much for building bridges
The reason for the reduction in overall funding — we took money out of Amtrak and out of aviation; we took money out of the Corps of Engineers, reduced the water infrastructure program, the drinking water and the wastewater treatment facilities and sewer lines, reduced that from $14 billion to roughly $9 billion — was the tax cut initiative that had to be paid for in some way by keeping the entire package in the range of $850 billion.
Well, there was no bipartisan support. So why are there still tax cuts in the plan?
Tax cuts are wonderful things, everyone loves them. But if you are trying to stimulate the economy, they can be iffy things. People are either rational, and in these times sock it under the mattress and reduce debt, (a good thing, but that does nothing to stimulate the economy) or irrational, and perhaps blow it on flat screen TVs, which is great for Korea but doesn't do much here. What we still do in America is build things, since it is hard to offshore a house or a bridge.
But Obama needed a sop to get Republicans onside to make this a bipartisan plan, and took 300 billion from rail and transit for a dubious tax reduction. And they told him to drop dead. So why not turn around and take it back? Put the money back where one can be certain it will do something useful, like building rapid transit and light rail.
Let the Republicans own the fact President Obama offered $300 Billion dollars to them and they blew it.
More stimuli in TreeHugger:
Quote of the Day: Why Obama Admin Wimped Out on Water, Transit
Architects Go After Infrastructure Investment
No Infrastructure Investment for Concrete!