I grew up in the Chicago area and know something about how the Daley family has dominated Chicago politics for 42 of the past 55 years. Chicago Democrat Party machine corruption takes many forms, but patronage is its lynchpin. In a nutshell, the Daleys perfected the art of handing out jobs to people who understood they were expected to work hardest during election campaign season.
Now, President Obama wants to scale up Chicago-style patronage to nationwide.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Vowing to find new ways to stimulate the sputtering economy, President Barack Obama will call for long-term investments in the nation's roads, railways and runways that would cost at least $50 billion.
The infrastructure investments are one part of a package of targeted proposals the White House is expected to announce in hopes of jump-starting the economy ahead of the November election. Obama will outline the infrastructure proposal Monday at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee.
While the proposal calls for investments over six years, the White House said spending would be front-loaded with an initial $50 billion to help create jobs in the near future.
The goals of the infrastructure plan include: rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads; constructing and maintaining 4,000 miles of railways, enough to go coast-to-coast; and rehabilitating or reconstructing 150 miles of airport runways, while also installing a new air navigation system designed to reduce travel times and delays.
Obama will also call for the creation of a permanent infrastructure bank that would focus on funding national and regional infrastructure projects. [My emphasis.]
Happy Labor Day.
UPDATE: Mayor Richard M. Daley recently announced he would not seek a seventh term. Surely it was not because he thought he would lose an election. Much more likely, he's noticed the country's anti-incumbent mood, and doesn't want to be around when Chicago's city government collapses from years of corruption, waste, and rising street crime.