Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New public works program

Althouse blogged
"President Barack Obama is likely to propose a new public works program in a post-Labor Day speech."
Say the Bloomberg editors.
... It makes economic sense. The president should think big -- upward of $100 billion a year for at least two years...
Unfortunately, a major public works program doesn’t make political sense right now. Republicans have served notice that they intend to stand pat against new federal spending...
The editors recommend a deal:
Obama should temporarily suspend Davis-Bacon, then ask Congress to repeal the act and let the market decide wage rates, as it does for every other industry....
Such a deal would stretch federal money, resulting in more jobs, especially for less-skilled workers who have been out of work for more than six months. And it would finally allow Obama to have a Works Progress Administration-style program that’s been missing from his recovery plans.
I can't picture the Republicans accepting this. And does the public actually want a Works Progress Administration-style program?
Actually I believe the Republicans are much more likely to support a plan that would spread already approved federal spending over more out of work people, than Obama is likely to risk offending Labor by calling for a repeal of Davis Bacon. Labor Unions do not care their people are out of work, as long as enough are employed to pay the dues that keep them employed, but repealing Davis Bacon would hurt them as much as not having dues deducted directly from the Union Members paychecks.

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