*A public works push

A PUBLIC WORKS PUSH…. Today was hardly the first time Barack Obama has talked about stimulus and public works, but he seemed to get a little more specific in his weekly radio/YouTube address, and emphasize his plan with a greater sense of urgency.

The full transcript is online for those of you who can’t watch clips online, but Obama’s proposal is more than a little ambitious. As the New York Times noted, Obama “committed Saturday to the largest public works building program since the creation of the interstate highway system a half century ago.”

Obama also framed his pitch with a dash of new politics, saying, “We won’t do it the old Washington way. We won’t just throw money at the problem. We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve — by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.”

I was also pleased to see Obama, in addition to talking about investments in roads, schools, and medical information technology, talk about the Internet: “As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President — because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.”

January can’t come soon enough.

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