On MSNBC today, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made an appearance to tout the conservative solution to the economic crisis — corporate tax cuts — and deride some of the infrastructure spending included in the proposed economic recovery package. Anchor Norah O’Donnell, though, was having none of it, pointing out the lack of logic in McCarthy’s assessment:
REP. MCARTHY: Refurbishing a building, putting new grass down in a mall. That doesn’t create buildings. That doesn’t creates jobs.
O’DONNELL: Really? I would think you have to hire somebody to put the new sod down on the National Mall.
O’Donnell was spot on in demolishing the right-wing myth that infrastructure investment won’t create jobs, and that the plan to repair the National Mall means simply spending money on “grass.” It’s common sense that repairing and upgrading roads, bridges, ports, water and sewage systems, electric grids, schools, and yes, the Mall, will require workers. And with the news that American companies announced 55,000 more layoffs yesterday, spurring job creation is even more essential.
Moody’s Economy.com has calculated that “with the stimulus, there will be 4 million more jobs and the jobless rate will be more than 2 percentage points lower by the end of 2010 than [it would be] without any fiscal stimulus.” An analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, meanwhile, found that infrastructure investment creates more than 60,000 jobs for every $10 billion spent, versus just 10,000 jobs for every $10 billion spent on a corporate tax cut.
There is one thing that McCarthy got right, though. Putting down sod does not, in fact, create buildings.