Hillary Clinton’s infrastructure plan, reviewed…it’s good!

December 2nd, 2015 at 10:05 am

Over at WaPo.

But her plan (and Bernie’s even more so) also raises the fundamental question that I’ve been trying to elevate: we can’t make the necessary investments in public goods without raising more tax revenues. And thus as long as we’re stuck in the vice of the horribly cramped tax debate, we’re doomed. Well, OK…not exactly doomed, but you simply can’t get somethin’ for nuthin.’

I’m well aware that’s not how you get elected these days, and I think the connection between the cramped tax debate and pervasive pretax wage/income stagnation is really important. More to come on that…

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3 comments in reply to "Hillary Clinton’s infrastructure plan, reviewed…it’s good!"

  1. rjs says:

    you have to start thinking outside of your box…

    if there are unemployed workers and idle construction equipment that is not being used, to say that infrastructure cannot be improved because you can’t raise more tax revenues admits a failure of not just your politics, but also of your economic system..

  2. Robert Salzberg says:

    Yo JB, since you’ve got more to come on the “cramped tax debate”, I hope you’ll include the juxtaposition of a ‘fiscally conservative’ dominated Congress that is falling over themselves to keep a Christmas tax give away under $1 trillion while saying $100 billion in infrastructure spending is unaffordable……


  3. urban legend says:

    The priority needs to be the job creation. If our public infrastructure investment has dropped by 0.5% of GDP per year, that’s a gap of $85 billion per year. That means there needs to be make-up as well as the going forward, and the $85 billion (or $425 billion over 5 years) only covers the going-forward part. Shouldn’t there be at least an equal amount for the catching-up part? So that’s a total of $170 billion per year, $850 billion over 5 years.

    Why keep playing into the false perception that such spending needs to be “funded” with current funds in a process that itself destroys jobs? We’ve had worse deficits and worse national debt before (national “debts,” that is, since their really is no such thing as “the” national debt, as if, as with a family with a mortgage, there were a single entity holding a sledge hammer over the debtor’s head instead of millions of payees with debts coming due on 11,000 different dates over a 30-year period). We’ve carried deficits for over 230 years, and we’ve never had, and never will have, the slightest problem paying interest and paying off those debts when they have come due. By getting people back to work earning incomes and paying taxes, we will deal with those deficits again. Putting two million people back to work and stopping the descent of our infrastructure into third world status must take priority.

    The only way any of this can happen is to win back the Congress. The Democrats need to win in a landslide. If they aren’t determined to do that when we have a Republican Party ripe for complete destruction, then we need new leaders who have the guts to fight for what is needed.