… What could it be? Is there finally something new coming out of DC?
Nope. Read on, Macduff:
In a Labor Day speech, President Barack Obama recycles more stimulus spending on roads and the like as a way to jump-start blah blah blah:
The president said he was proposing a $50-billion program to jump-start job creation and to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure of the United States. The plan includes the rebuilding of 150,000 miles of road, 4,000 miles of railroad tracks and 150 miles of runways.
"I want America to have the best infrastructure in the world," Obama said. "We used to have the best infrastructure. We can make it happen again."
He is also proposing an "infrastructure bank," which a statement from the White House said "would leverage private and state and local capital to invest in projects that are most critical to our economic progress."
"This marks an important departure from the federal government's traditional way of spending on infrastructure through earmarks and formula-based grants that are allocated more by geography and politics than demonstrated value," the statement said. "Instead, the bank will base its investment decisions on clear analytical measures of performance, competing projects against each other to determine which will produce the greatest return for American taxpayers."
Boy, that's a decisive shift in business as usual. There's little doubt, I'm sure, that reluctant private-sector contractors will now loosen their purse strings. The important thing, of course, is that we never ever allow the economy to touch bottom in any given sector because, well, you know, that would just sort of be too depressing for words.
And remember, it's not the size of the stimulus. It's the uncertainty.
Bonus link: Just last week, Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website, released its 19th Annual Highway Report. Check out the first line: "We often hear the nation's infrastructure is crumbling, but state highway conditions are the best they've been in 19 years."
A disconnect between DC and those who are actually in the know? Say it ain't so! Check out the whole report.