The economy is a mess; that's the bad news. The president-elect gets that, and seems to know what to do about it. That's the good news.
The key to a sound economy is jobs. And there was Obama this past weekend outlining his plan: "It will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jump start job creation in America...We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, building wind farms and solar panels...." See? He gets it.
We have a lot of old infrastructure stuff in this country. Most governments in industrial countries spend serious money modernizing the infrastructure. We don't and it shows. As Bob Herbert points out in the New York Times, you have to spend this money wisely, not simply build bridges to nowhere of the kind Congress so loves. But there's no reason we couldn't do that if we tried; we just haven't tried lately.
One of the odd failings of the Bush administration is this failing. You'd think conservatives wanted small government and less federal spending, sure. But Bush has managed to spend more, to send the national debt to record highs, and ignore the things that need doing at home.
Maybe the new guy will do better. Maybe we can cut back on foolish expenditures like the war in Iraq and spend some of that money on all these things that need doing at home--and building prosperity by paying American workers good money to do them.
Maybe it won't happen, of course. But the new guy does seem to know what needs doing. That's progress all by itself.
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