Using much foresight, President Barack Obama laid out a plan to use the unspent money from TARP (the much maligned financial sector assistance program) on an initiative to spur job creation. In a speech earlier today the president focused on small business and infrastructure. Through tax incentives and lending assistance for small business growth and creation Obama hopes to stimulate a growth in jobs from the bottom up. At the same time an investment in roads, aviation and energy efficiency will help bigger business put more people to work by reducing overhead.
I only have one question: Where is the funding on high speed rail in all of this? By writing high speed rail into the first round of stimulus the government got an amazing response - over $100 billion in state applications for federal funds from a pool of $13 billion over five years. States clearly have an interest in hiring private companies to build high speed rail lines connecting the mega-regions in our country. Many of these jobs are shovel ready. If we spent more of this money on high speed rail, we could put tens of thousands of Americans to work in a matter of months.