By BRIAN AURICCHIO
“When it comes to just about everything we’ve done to strengthen the middle class to rebuild our economy, almost every Republican in Congress says ‘no.’ Even on things we usually agree on, they say ‘no.’ If I say the sky is blue, they say ‘no,” President Obama said to a crowd at “Laborfest,” an event filled with union workers and their families in Milwaukee.
Obama’s new stimulus plan has Republicans, and even some Democrats, uniting under the banner of rejection.
Last year, Congress passed the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which cost approximately $787 billion.
Now, Obama is pushing a $50 billion infrastructure bill, hoping to decrease unemployment rates while rebuilding America’s transportation.
“We used to have the best infrastructure in the world and we can have it again,” claims Obama.
Optimistic figures project the renewal of 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rail and 150 miles of airport runways.
This plan entails the creation of a bank that centralizes all current construction projects. This “infrastructure bank” distributes funds based on a “performance measurement.”
Essentially, the bank will lighten the load of bureaucracy, as well as ensuring efficiency.
Although White House officials haven’t stated where these funds will originate, it is likely the government will close tax loopholes for oil and gas companies.
According to these officials, these corporations do not need subsidies from the U.S. taxpayer.
This is the Obama this nation elected in 2008.
Resisting assiduous pressure from the GOP, Obama is finally fulfilling his campaign promises. Ending the war in Iraq and allocating money to rebuild the United States are two steps in the right direction.
The Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as this new bill, are aimed at simultaneously investing in our nation and creating jobs.
This plan does not add to the deficit and supports America’s middle class, which has been financially suffocated over the past decade.
Obama spoke with a sense of urgency; however, it is unlikely this bill will pass through Congress without Republican and conservative Democrat support.
House minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) vehemently denies support for this bill, claiming it would be just as big of a failure as the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Along with this stimulus bill, Obama is also proposing an extension of Bush-era tax cuts; however those who make an annual income over $250,000 will lose their tax cut privilege.
He also outlined a proposal for $200 billion dollars in business tax cuts, allowing businesses to write off 100% of new investments in equipment and plants between now and December of 2011.
How can Republicans oppose this plan? It comes down to the fundamental difference in Republican and Democratic theoretical economics.
Tax breaks to the wealthy stratifications of society are not capable of supporting our economy.
During Obama’s speech he stated: “Anybody who thinks we can move this economy forward with just a few at the top doing well, hoping it’ll trickle down to working people running faster and faster just to keep up – you’ll never see it. If that’s what you’re waiting for, stop waiting. It’s never happened in our history.”