Here’s my question.
In the avalanche of writing about a massive Stimulus Bill, the one proposition (though grandly general) that’s been of most interest to me is one that is heavy on infrastructure spending and spending on R&D geared toward developing a sustainable Green economy. I say this with the understanding that in our current economic plight you’ll likely need a significant amount of front-loading of ‘shovel-ready’ projects, tax rebates, aid to states not to cut critical safety net programs in the short run, etc. But I’m not talking so much about where the bill starts, but where it’s going.
But is there a constituency in Congress for that? Let’s set aside for a moment whether there’s a constituency in the country for that. For the moment, let’s focus more narrowly in Congress.
We were talking about this in our editorial meeting today. And we didn’t have any really good answers. But the key is that I don’t think it really lines up in traditional left-right terms. For instance, it’s not clear to me that the Progressive Caucus in the House is that constituency necessarily. I suspect it likely cuts across established factions among the Democrats, and likely brings in elements of the business community — not surprisingly, the ones who’d get the contracts.
But I want to put this out to readers. Because I don’t have a clear read on it. If Obama rolls out a bill that looks something like that, where does he go for fundamental support for it?
(Meanwhile, as I write, on TV I’m hearing Mitch McConnell and John Boehner laying out their priorities.)
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.