Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Somebody Reads This Blog

Back in the day, Obama's people would respond to criticism about the size of the stimulus by arguing that there was a problem finding "shovel ready" infrastructure projects. People like stupid me kept pointing out that this was ridiculous as you could just start replacing the water/sewer systems in most of the country. Keynes's "pay people to dig holes in the ground and then fill them up," but actually useful and needed!

Second, the rescue bill has quietly become an infrastructure bill. It devotes $350 billion to supporting state and local governments. These funds, initially proposed to plug COVID-19-created holes in public budgets, in many cases now exceed those holes. So the Senate has allowed states, cities, and counties to spend that money on improving services such as water, sewage, and broadband. Because many water systems are vulnerable to climate change and must be adapted, this is de facto climate funding. The bill also contains $31 billion for tribal governments and Indigenous communities, including line items for new infrastructure, housing, and language preservation.