Fine, but the new deal won’t let him. He’ll have to go back to Congress after the recess (five weeks from now) and round up enough votes to override the budget caps that now restrict spending. What are the odds? Maybe a little higher than zero.
He says he wants an “infrastructure bank” that would borrow money from private capital markets to pay private contractors to rebuild our nations roads, bridges, airports, and everything else that’s falling apart.
Fine, but the new deal he just signed may not let him do this either – if the infrastructure bank relies on federal funds or even federal loan guarantees to attract private money. The only way he could create an infrastructure bank without sweetening the pot would be by privatizing all the new infrastructure. That means toll roads and toll bridges, user-fee airports, and entry fees everywhere else.
Maybe the President and his congressional allies should have thought of this before- not only before the deal was consummated but before Barack Obama jumped on the GOP bandwagon and talked deficit, deficit, deficit. Perhaps he should have thought about it before he adopted Republican talking points on the economy, before he proposed cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
But the President wouldn't have done that. When he talks about jobs, he's thinking about the job-killing trade deals his Administration is working on. And when he joins Republicans in promoting "tax reform," he cannot be unaware that the GOP uses the same phrase to refer to an effort to lower taxes on corporations while reducing the number of medium-income Americans who pay no income tax. (That is why they promote "widening the tax base" while complaining that over half of Americans pay no income tax, a statistical anomaly caused by the recession and Obama tax cuts in fiscal 2010.)
Perhaps Barack Obama will move aggressively to create good-paying jobs, as he wants us to believe he is promising. But then, this also is the fellow who pledged to protect whistleblowers, bring a new era of transparency, or to end the war in Iraq.