Barack Hussein Obama is starting to show his true colors: a tax and spend liberal. While he has been criticized for being vague on what, exactly, he would do as president, he now has revealed some rather unsurprising proposals. Tax the “wealthiest Americans” and spend on infrastructure. From the WaPo:
The newest element of his [Obama’s] proposal was the establishment of a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, which would spend $60 billion over a decade to rebuild deteriorating roads, bridges and waterways. Obama said the spending would generate 2 million new jobs, many of them in a construction industry that has been hard hit by the housing market downturn.
Sounds an awful lot like that marvelous pork-barrel project from the 1930s that FDR foisted on us: The Works Progress Administration, or WPA. Even its name connotes lefty goodness. Who could possibly be against “progress?” What WPA was, was a make-work enterprise, a handout by any other name. Did some good things get done? Sure. Had to have; it would have been like dropping napalm on the forest: you’re sure to kill some critters.
From the Wikipedia entry on the WPA, this should be noted:
The WPA had numerous conservative critics unlike the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was quite popular. One of the principal criticisms was that the program wasted federal dollars on projects that were not always needed or wanted. A relic of this criticism survives today in the form of a satirical observation that WPA workers were hired ‘to rake leaves in the park.’ White-collar WPA projects in particular were often singled out for their sometimes overtly left-wing social and political themes.
I have no first-hand knowledge of the WPA; I was patiently waiting a few years to be born. But my parents lived through it, and, although they were liberals, they scoffed at the monies that were wasted on make-work and needless projects.
The WPA was merely an expensive form of welfare. Since it did not contribute to any market forces, but, rather, artificially engaged a significant fraction of the labor force, it also arguably delayed the actual economic recovery. It took World War II to actually get us out of the depression that was never tackled by FDR’s socialist nostrums.
Welfare is needed for people while they seek work, or for those unable to work. In the 1930s, regardless of St. Franklin’s responsibility, we should never let people starve to death to prove a political point. But let us be crystal clear: make-work projects are just welfare, gussied up in leftist cant. Looks like we’d be getting more of the same from Obama.
How do I know Obama’s plan would be wasteful? For the simple reason that infrastructure is a local matter, and while the Federal taxpayers may have to pitch in to help funding to the states, it is always wasteful to attempt to direct local enterprise from Washington. Always.
Some people either never learn, or are too blinded by their own ideology to learn. Obama appears to be one such.