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Obama Copycats Rohatyn Infrastructure Bank, and Bloomberg Takes Credit For It

Feb. 14, 2008 (EIRNS)—In a press conference today generally deprecating the Bush Administration's "rebates" policy and the presidential candidates' proffered solutions for complex problems, New York Mayor Michael "I'm Still Thinking About It" Bloomberg made an exception: he praised Barack Obama's proposal for a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank. Referring to his own "coalition" with Govs. Schwarzenegger and Rendell for infrastructure, Bloomberg said, "I don't know whether Senator Obama looked to see what I've been advocating, or not—you'll have to ask him—but he's doing the right thing."

Yesterday Senator Obama gave a speech at the GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, purporting to give his economic plans, notably including jobs-creation. In addition to a $150 billion program to create "green collar" jobs, Obama called for a $60 billion National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to create two million jobs rebuilding highways, bridges, and airports. Obama said the funds for this bank would come from costs associated with the Iraq war (i.e., by ending it) and from eliminating tax breaks for corporations. "The nation's economic woes stemmed from failures of government," Obama said.

Obama gave no indication that his proposed Bank is anything other than the National Infrastructure Bank promoted by fascist investment banker Felix Rohatyn, which is the subject of a pending U.S. Senate bill (S. 1926) filed by Chris Dodd. The Dodd bill's bank would, after initial funding by Government appropriations, fund its programs by issuance of Government-guaranteed bonds to private investors; the bill limits the bonds to an aggregate $60 billion. (Since the investment bankers are currently working the Government for bailouts of their distressed conditions, their new investment in the Rohatyn/Dodd bank would ultimately be U.S. tax dollars, though the wisely-reinvesting bailoutees—not the taxpayers—would get the interest on the Dodd bank's bonds.)

Hillary Clinton's campaign yesterday rejoined to Obama's speech, that it was potentially a shameless piece of plagiarism, as Clinton had already proposed similar measures. Unfortunately, they're probably right; Senator Clinton is a co-sponsor of the Rohatyn/Dodd bill.