Michael Lind makes a commonsensical case for a massive federal effort to repair America's compromised and increasingly dangerous infrastructure, shore up its financially-strapped state and local governments, stimulate the crisis-laden economy and, last but not least, put people to work. He also warns his readers that this kind of effort is likely to produce another bout of Beltway foolishness — e.g. a good bit of rightwing identity politics (i.e. race- and class-baiting), programs designed to maximize the PR-value available to Congressmen and women and a knee-jerk rush to offer tax credits to capital. Lind instead argues that this federal effort should be massive and recurring investment in the country's institutions. How, according to Lind, would America pay for a program of this magnitude? A Value Added Tax!
Lind's proposal makes sense, of course. It surely is an appropriate response to one of the crises of the moment. But is it a feasible proposal? Can Washington act rationally?