Call Obama's Bluff on Infrastructure

January 12, 2015

According to liberal pundits, “infrastructure” should be the magic word to reverse gridlock in Washington, DC. Eugene Robinson says it is time for Republicans to “pitch in,” implying that Harry Reid had nothing to do with six years of Congressional inaction. He contends that “good economic times offer the opportunity to invest in infrastructure.” Since when does sub par economic growth and wage stagnation constitute good times? I don’t disagree that it is time to address a host of infrastructure issues, but this cause isn’t reinforced by President Obama’s threat to veto a bipartisan bill approving the Keystone XL Pipeline if it reaches his desk. Incidentally, this is substantially the same bill that was supposedly supported by Democrats when Senator Mary Landrieu was seeking reelection last December. It is also notable that the $900 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. Stimulus) was featured as a “shovel ready” infrastructure initiative. As we now know, the money was squandered on special interest constituents instead. So with our still growing national debt exceeding $18 trillion, let’s by all means invest in infrastructure. But only if it is paid for by dollar for dollar reductions in entitlement spending. The Congress should call Obama’s veto bluff on Keystone so we can all see who really opposes infrastructure investments.