“No president in my lifetime has had this opportunity to fund public investments,” says Robert Reich, a University of California (Berkeley) public policy professor who advised Obama’s campaign.[….]
From a Democratic perspective, much of that investment — for new roads, transit systems, or school construction — serves the dual function of creating short-term jobs and encouraging long-term growth. But the bill also emphatically expands programs targeted more at the far term than the near term — from aid to schools in low-income areas ($13 billion) to expanded college loans ($16 billion) and scientific research ($10 billion).
In normal times, Congress might never enlarge so many programs at once. But, as with Reagan’s tax cut, the crisis-induced demand for action may suspend the normal laws of political gravity — and allow Democrats to redirect federal priorities as boldly as Reagan did. “This is a once-in-a-25-year opportunity to [implement] a lot of our agenda,” a top House Democratic aide says. Largely for that reason, most congressional Republicans are likely to resist the plan, no matter how many more tax cuts Obama offers them.
I think this is about right.