The U.S. consumes about 6.5 billion barrels of oil a year. About 60 percent of it is imported. Getting rid of these imports would have had the same impact in 2010 as a $300 billion dollar tax cut on American consumers and the American economy.
Washington is often a city of Chicken Littles, which makes ringing the alarm bell difficult. But once Washington wakes up from its deficit hangover, politicians will realize the sky has already fallen. Here's what we can and need to do.
One of the reasons the U.S. economy did so well in the last half of the 20th century is that we ignored ideology in favor of pragmatism. That is no longer true. Ideology has again become fashionable. And, we are paying for it, dearly.
The idea of shared sacrifice as a public value is fine. However, why should many Americans, who have become accustomed to shouldering most of the sacrifice, get excited about taking on additional burdens?
America's transportation problems are serious enough that we need serious policy that looks out for the public interest, rather than unrealistic solutions to problems that don't exist in the first place.
It is simple line between those who want to re-start the economy and those who do not, those who believe in an economic future and those who do not, those who recognize reality and those who are paid to lie.
Right wing politicians are loathe to credit the New Deal with any success in hoisting the US out of the Great Depression, but credit WWII for that achievement. But that claim, however, undermines their entire premise.
To ignore needed public investments based on anti-spending ideology is to create an infrastructure deficit much more worrisome and damaging to the long-term economic well-being of this nation than the federal budget deficit.
Today, we would rather bicker amongst ourselves than find ways of working together as a team to open up the economy, and rapidly grow our pie. As a result, we find ourselves embracing a no-jobs in our back yard philosophy.
A big national push to build modern infrastructure will ensure America's return to being an engine of production. That's why Congress needs to make room for a National Infrastructure Bank to rebuild America.