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Infrastructure bank would be another misfire
Other opinions
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“President Barack Obama has been shooting mostly blanks when it comes to finding ways to reignite the stalled economy.” And his latest proposal — the creation of an “infrastructure bank” to loan money to finance public works projects — not only would be more of the same, but would target taxpayers as well.
The president unveiled his latest brainstorm while in the midst of his campaign swing through Iowa just prior to embarking on his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. In essence, his “infrastructure bank” would be a new federal entity that would make loans to support interstate highway, rail and other construction projects that have regional or national scope.
Obama seems to be trying to channel FDR, who tried without success to spend the country out of the Great Depression with an array of public-works projects. It was not until the outbreak of World War II that the economy suddenly was back on its feet, thanks to the overwhelming need for armaments and munitions.
Obama and his allies, like Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., foresee the bank being modeled along the lines of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — i.e., a government-run financial institution in which politically powerful bureaucrats decide who gets loans. Equally important, they decide who is required to repay the loans and which borrowers have their loans forgiven.
Kerry has said that Obama’s bank “will finance economically viable projects without political influence.”
We’ve all heard of Boston’s “Big Dig.” Well, Kerry’s comment can go down as “The Big Bull.”
Obama already made public works a centerpiece of his economic plan once, with his budget-guzzling “stimulus” bill. All those “shovel-ready” projects he bragged about at the time turned out to be not so shovel-ready after all, as he himself later admitted with a laugh.
We don’t need Stimulus Part II and we don’t need a quasi-governmental “investment bank.” Our economy has a better chance of righting itself on its own.

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