Infrastructure Funding Boosts Likely in 2009
"The advantage of infrastructure spending for a liberal-leaning president is that it doesn't carry the whiff of welfare. It appears hard-headed, practical and anything but effete. Cutting a stimulus check? 'Girly-man' stuff, Schwarzenegger would say. Rebuilding a bridge? That's macho stimulus."
"Sure, any such package will raise howls from a new flock of deficit hawks, taking flight on creaky wings after eight years of being grounded under George W. Bush. But with a deep recession looming, the pressure on Obama to balance the budget will be minimal. His charge is to create jobs that lead to the creation of still more jobs.
The historical timing is right for massive investments. All over the country, bridges that were built as part of the Interstate Highway System are nearing the end of their useful lives. Traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas is sparking new interest in mass transit. The philosophical aversion to investments in high-speed intercity rail that has marked the past eight years is about to be loaded up on a moving truck and sent to that new presidential library in Texas."