Democratic lawmakers are planning a massive infrastructure package as an economic stimulus after the November elections.
"Not only is Wall Street frozen, but Main Street is in real trouble. A stimulus aimed at Main Street makes sense," New York Sen. Charles Schumer told CNN.
He said the plan should "get into the guts of the economy" by boosting spending on infrastructure such as roads, sewer and water projects.
Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who served under President Bill Clinton, told CNN that an infrastructure plan that could quickly pump money into the economy was the most important action that U.S. authorities could take to help deal with the current economic crisis.
"I would put in place an infrastructure piece... bridges, water systems roads, highways, but not new projects that are going to take a long time to set up," Rubin said. "There are a lot of existing projects where states and cities are having a hard time finding a lot of financing where you could funnel that money right into existing activities where you would be able to act very very quickly."
Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told ABC he'll be spearheading the House version of the package.
Meanwhile, Republicans are apparently set on "staying the course" on tax cuts, which have failed to prevent the economy getting into such dire straits in the first place.
Rep. Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican who serves as House minority leader, said he would support a stimulus plan if it did not include massive public works spending and budget bailouts for states that overspent on health care and other social programs.
Not that Republican recalcitrance may have a lot of say in the matter.
Barring a dramatic change in the political landscape over the next three weeks, Democrats appear headed toward a decisive victory on Election Day that would give them broad power over the federal government.
The victory would send Barack Obama to the White House and give him larger Democratic majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate — and perhaps a filibuster-proof margin there.
It's all deficit spending now, of course, but as I've said before, which is better - to sit at home because you've only got $5 and a $1,000 dollar debt, throw that $5 at the debt, or to spend that $5 on getting to work and earning a paycheck? Simple "kitchen table" economics?
Crossposted from Newshoggers