Yesterday, a water main break in Maryland trapped a dozen commuters in their cars and sent rescuers scrambling to pull motorists from frigid floodwaters. Despite the fact that officials had been warning for years of the dangers of the crumbling pipe system, Maryland did not have the money to make the necessary repairs. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, the water main break is a wake-up call for the need for massive infrastructure spending by the federal government.
Just hours after the water main break, however, Karl Rove belittled the idea of infrastructure spending on Fox News, calling it “goofy, pie-in-the-sky spending ideas,” and agreed with host Rich Lowry that infrastructure spending doesn’t “make any economic sense”:
ROVE: What we’ve got to worry about some of these sort of goofy, pie-in-the-sky spending ideas in which this wisdom of the government is substituted for the wisdom of private individuals in the market, and there we have every right to question. For example, look, I’m in favor of infrastructure spending, but let’s be honest about it. It’s not stimulative. [...]
LOWRY: It also depends on — just because it’s an infrastructure project doesn’t mean it makes any economic sense.
In fact, prominent economists agree that infrastructure spending will help boost the economy. As NPR reported, “Every $1 billion the federal government commits to roads, bridges and other infrastructure helps to support some 35,000 jobs.” A Center for American Progress report found that a $100 billion in a green infrastructure spending would create two million jobs in two years.
Rove echoed the conservative trope that cutting the corporate tax rate is the best way to stimulate the economy. In fact, the Bush administration has been “unusually aggressive” in forcing through corporate tax cuts this year. As the record of 2008 conclusively proves, cutting corporate taxes does nothing to stimulate the economy.