‘Let’s rebuild America!” Pres. Barack Obama urged a crowd of cheering supporters Monday at an outdoor town-hall event in Cannon Falls, Minn., the first stop on his three-day bus tour across the Midwest. Solving the debt-and-deficit problem, he assured attendees, was really “not that complicated.” Therefore, it was time now for Congress (because they hold all the power in Washington, apparently) to stop worrying about it and turn their focus to re-stimulating the economy as soon as possible. “In the short term, we should actually make more investments that would get people to work and get the economy moving,” Obama said, proceeding to lay out a series of “stimulus” measures, none of them new — an embarrassing acknowledgement of the fact that when it comes to creating jobs and growing the economy, this administration is, quite simply, out of ideas.
This is the cornerstone of Obama’s plan to “rebuild” the country, literally, through the creation of a National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund, which would “directly provide resources for projects through grants, loans, or a blend of both.” The idea would be to leverage public funds (about $5 billion per year) in order to attract significant private-sector investment in infrastructure (up to $640 billion) over the next decade. Obama predicted this would “put 100,000 folks to work right now . . . rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our vital infrastructure all across the country.”
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