Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has once again earned his nickname: Thurston B. Howell III. He's elite, effete and so hopelessly out of touch with reality that his latest solution to America's fiscal profligacy is ... more fiscal profligacy, of course, Lovey! On Tuesday, Kerry introduced a $10 billion infrastructure bank bill that would engineer yet another federal taxpayer boondoggle benefiting Big Labor and favored Big Business interests.
Kerry finagled support from Texas GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, AFL-CIO brass knuckler-in-chief Richard Trumka, statist U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue, and the far-left Center for American Progress. Like spinning straw into gold, the Kerry coalition promises to leverage $10 billion in unidentified funds into $640 billion for crumbling roads and bridges.
This new recipe for expansive government is actually not a "new" idea. It's an old recycled one borrowed from former corruptocrat Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, who sponsored a bill to create a federally operated "infrastructure bank" in 2007. President Obama tried to get $5 billion in funding for one in his 2010 budget, and $4 billion is proposed for one in his 2011 budget.
Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro is pushing a House version -- and her lavish pipe-dream plans tell you all you need to know about what a disastrous, costly slush fund this thing would inevitably morph into (TARP redux plus stimulus redux plus Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac redux = abysmal failure redux):
"The program, which would make loans much like the World Bank, would finance projects with the potential to transform whole regions, or even the national economy, the way the interstate highway system and the first transcontinental railway once did," The New York Times reported last fall. "In an interview, Ms. DeLauro said she would be 'looking at a broader base,' meaning the bank would finance not just roads and rails, but also telecommunications, water, drainage, green energy and other large-scale works."
Green energy? Bright red flag. Like Stimulus I, which was initially intended to put infrastructure spending first but evolved into a multipurpose slush fund that put infrastructure last, the Kerry-Dodd-DeLauro-Obama "infrastructure bank" envisioned by progressives on Capitol Hill would be plundered to finance "green energy" and "other large-scale works" based on "social benefits" determined by a panel of cronies appointed by the president.