Obama needs to be less like Lincoln and more like FDR

FDR Franklin Delano RooseveltPresident Obama

According to Robert Kuttner’s piece in HuffPo, we need a second stimulus package fast if the Democrats have any chance of winning in the 2010 midterm election. (The recent losses in the New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races weren’t very comforting). And this is after Ross Douthat argued that: “If the midterm elections were held today, the Democrats would probably take an unemployment-driven beating. In Gallup’s generic Congressional ballot, Republicans are up 22 points among independents, and they’ve opened up a rare lead among the voting public as a whole.”

So Kuttner suggested Obama begin shadowing another famous, heroic president. And this isn’t the one known for his legal expertise, tall height, and gnarly distinguished beard.

The Roosevelt administration, in an era before computers, got a lot of public works spending going in less than a year. There are massive unmet needs in public infrastructure. The Obama administration needs a short term and a long term strategy. Projects such as school repair and expansion, which can get underway in a few months, should get fast-tracked funding commitments right away. Longer term needs, such as smart electrical grids and modernization of water and sewer systems, expanded mass transit, and green energy, should be targeted for funding in 2011, so that plans can get on the drawing boards now.

So for all of you aimless people looking for work: I hope you get out those hammers and start practicing.