I don’t think that presidential “messaging” has much power to alter the outcome at the midterms, but that’s all the more reason the White House may as well propose ideas that make sense on the merits and then hope for the best:
President Barack Obama is asking Congress to approve at least $50 billion in long-term investments in the nation’s roads, railways and runways in a pre-election effort to show he’s trying to stimulate the sputtering economy.
The infrastructure investments are part of a package of targeted proposals the White House announced on Monday. With November’s elections for control of Congress approaching, Obama planned to discuss the proposal later Monday at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee.
Given that congress almost certainly won’t agree to anything this sensible, monetary policy remains are best hope in practice. But it’s foolish for the White House to constrain itself to only proposing ideas congress is likely to approve. This new approach is the right way to go.