Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Do We Want? Infrastructure Investment! When Do We Want It? Now!

power grid

It's all stimulus bill all the time right now here at Street Ballet. I wanted to highlight two recent polls that just came out, one from Gallup and one from noted right wing pollster and Fox News contributor Frank Luntz, showing Americans overwhelmingly support infrastructure investment as a key component of the stimulus bill Congress is trying to pass. Hell, according to Gallup, 78% Americans consider it the most popular option for the stimulus! Now, take those polls and add this brand new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers that gives our nation's infrastructure a D and you can't help but wondering what the hell is going with the Obama administration and Democratic leadership that has them in a mood to cut and bargain and dilute.

As Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly and Jed L at Daily Kos both note, this is good policy that is immensely popular. As Jed says, "it's not only good economics to fund every single "shovel-ready" (or nearly ready) reinvestment project in America through this stimulus plan, it is also great politics."

Now, if only someone in the administration or Congress would take note of these developments. You've made the bi-partisan gestures, everyone knows that the Republicans have no interest in making a good bill; they simply want to scuttle this one and water it down as much as possible. I mean, as Josh Marshall writes, Boehner and McConnell are basically offering a plan modeled on the Bush one that got us in this f&*#@^ mess to begin with. Enough is enough. The polls are in your favor, the people overwhelmingly went Democratic in the last election, write the best possible bill and be rewarded down the road when it brings us back from the economic abyss. Fund public transit fully, thyink big (light rail!), lose the tax cuts, end the neglect of the building blocks of our society, change the pattern of development. In short, show some courage.

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