Will Obama's $50 billion Plan Work?

President Obama is proposing a huge massive rebuilding program that costs around $50 billion. Obama, hoping to stimulate the economy, will call for 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of railways, and 150 miles of runways to be constructed or rebuilt. Meanwhile, in a give-a-way to business, Obama will also propose that companies be allowed to more quickly write off 100% of their new investment in plants and equipment through 2011. It's unclear so far how Obama plans to get this through Congress. If he does it by extending existing programs, it could get through the Senate by reconciliation, a process that only requires 50 votes and that was used extensively by George Bush to pass his tax cuts and give goodies to rich people. Doing so, however, would mean abandoning any pretense of bipartisanship, and may even encounter resistance from some of the more heavily corporate funded Democrats like Ben Nelson and Blanch Lincoln. Whether it passes or not, however, the stimulative effect won't be felt until next year, to late to help Obama with this year's election.


Pablito's picture
Pablito 13 years 41 weeks ago

I guess some people never learn.

Hey Thom,we have seen the movie before of Obama championing

"librul" causes....and then "pfffffth" nothing.And for you ,Thom Hartman to come forth

with this idiotic juxtaposition....that maybe we can get Obama to be like FDR is plain shameful.

Obama is a corporatist & for that matter he has disdain..yes disdain for people like me,poor people.

Wonder where that community organizer went...you know the one that used poor people to get elected POTUS

Well,that one is probably going to surface again....to fool the people again & then do more of the corporate bidding.

Redlocks's picture
Redlocks 13 years 41 weeks ago


This defies logic: invest more in all these legacy industries.

We should put all this money into trains and buses. Instead most is going to airport runways and road ways.

What will happen when we can't afford to run our planes anymore because the fuel costs too much?

What will happen to our roads when people can't run their cars on them any more?

Well, at least we will put in enough train track to get accross the country.

Isn't this backwards thinking?

Let's invest this money in the upcoming green economy.

Let's help America become competitive again and catch up to the rest of the Industrilized world.

MugsysRapSheet's picture
MugsysRapSheet 13 years 41 weeks ago

No one "converted" me. -------------

Thom, I attended four institutes of higher learning: a college, a junior college, and two universities, spread across this country.

No one EVER tried to "convert" me into being a Liberal (I told people I was a Conservative Republican, and thought I was).

It was becoming EDUCATED that I started paying attention, and became a Democrat on my own. I didn't start calling myself "Liberal" until after George W. Bush's coronation.

Brenhin's picture
Brenhin 13 years 41 weeks ago

Hi Thom,

I know these posts can appear legit (like some of the guests you have), but an analysis of the overall message shows it is only politically advantageous to Conservatives in their current position. Its subtle, and confronting it from your position is not a pleasant affair but keep at it.

P.S. now just the first post here is referenced, as since I posted a few other posts appear 'before' mine.

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 13 years 41 weeks ago

On one hand, the stimulus through infrastructure is something this country will need for decades with over a trillion dollars of infrastructure in disrepair and heading for condemnation within the next decade. On the other hand, if the write-off is not restricted to investment within the US the perfectly accelerated depreciation write-off for business will just be stimulus for the Far East and the Latin American countries forced to knuckle under like Honduras. And I agree with Redlocks that we have needed a serious green initiative for decades. Energy independence is required for national security and ARRRGH there are many free energy solutions available to break the back of the oil cartel. well, we will see how the stimulus shakes out if it passes...

On the gripping hand, there is nothing better that Obama can do in this mid-term election season. The very attempt to pass Progressive legislation is really a win-win - the Dems can pass this and it's all budgetary so they can use reconciliation AND maybe this time the Dems can actually show the country the Republicant obstructionism when it really counts - just before the mid-term election.

MA'AT's picture
MA'AT 13 years 41 weeks ago

---------in a give-a-way to business------???


You, of all people, know the power of words and this simple statement puts your whole post in a negative frame. You have been more and more negative of this administration as time goes on.

We need all of the help we can get out here in the real world. Jobs are jobs. And even if they will take a few months to materialize, they will help us!

I was with a business that manufactured equipment when Bush had the tax credit for new equipment purchases. We sold allot of equipment in the last quarter of that year.

The R&D tax credit is a very good thing that will translate into manufacturing jobs in America.

You, of all people, should be praising this move.

I am personally very glad to see it as it will benefit me directly. And I am not afraid to say I need the money.

bluewaterfresh's picture
bluewaterfresh 13 years 41 weeks ago

off this subject but worth mentioning (again) I just recently saw a PBS special called:

blue gold: world water wars.

and i was terrified and baffeled. to think that someone could make money because they owned the water below me on my own land or that the world bank is forcing 3rd world countries into privitizing water in exchange for debt forgiveness!! jeeesh. its daunting to think of the rising costs of such a basic necessity.

SassyLass924's picture
SassyLass924 13 years 41 weeks ago

Thom, I found this to be an interesting website. I wonder if this could help us. Could you guess what Bernie might think of it?

Friends Of the Article V Convention


Pablito's picture
Pablito 13 years 41 weeks ago

Isn't it about time we hear from Ravi Bathra folks ?

But you are not going to cuz there is an election coming

and the Prez & Dem corporatists have to be presented in a "good-light".

If Thom had any courage he would bring Bathra on before the election.

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 13 years 41 weeks ago

It should be noted, that the oil industry is heavily invested in green energy. BP is a big player in solar.

If we had infrastructure thru non-union companies, it might work. On the other hand, union companies use capital to minimize labor expense, they us machines to replace labor, thus great GDP but few jobs. You have to do it the FDR way; shovels and wheel barrows.

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 13 years 41 weeks ago

The economy is so hollow that any stimulus spending will cause near immediate results (2011-12). The tax credits may help in the longer term if they are not just used to create factories elsewhere or used like BP did to create the factory here and then ship it to China.

The real problem with this stimulus in regard to the mid-terms is this: It is not significant financial reform. It is not the restoration of Glass-Steagal and the speculation continues. It is not addressing the too big to fail problem: Total and individual real estate equity has plummeted since 2007 while the banksters' real estate equity has held constant.

Everyone has seen the banks get $700 billion in TARP and there is the $2,000,000,000,000 (yes, 2 Trillion!) released by the Fed to banks at essentially zero interest and zero transparency back in the Bush administration. Many people thought that the election of Obama and an increased Democratic majority signalled that it was their turn to get help. Obama and the Dems have a big uphill climb - life would be easier for them now if they had at least pursued significant financial reform or pursued significant mortgage relief or pursued energy independence or stopped the permanent war or ....

oneworldatpeace's picture
oneworldatpeace 13 years 41 weeks ago

I hate to point out that building roads,runways and railroads won't get us Skilled Trades construction people back to work because we need BUILDINGS TO WORK IN! Truthfully all of Status Quobamas efforts so far at "Green Technology Retrofiting" has mostly provided jobs to documented illegal immigrants employed by gypo contractors to stuff insulation in easy to get to places. We need to develope technology that uses biological agents to remove C02 from fossil fuel sources that byproduce useable products, like maybe ethanol, patent it in the USA and watch us start an economic boom the world has never seen. Oh and while I'm at it, reinstate Glass Steagal, enforce Sherman Anti Trust, Put a security exchange tax on ALL Wall Street and Bank instrument exchanges, Place a carbon tax on imports from polluters, reinstate Tariffs against countries that do ANYTHING to limit labor or our imports, and last but mostly important, fully fund all elections so Corporations can't buy politicians!

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 13 years 41 weeks ago

Buildings, runways and railroads will result in contractors pulling out the big machines. A boom for the operating engineers and loborers. Good GDP and bad employment numbers.

It is easy to think punitive when you think wall street, but they are already moving off shore. Singapore can't wait to get the derivative business. Also noted yesterday that Fannie is back in the sub-prime load business.

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