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.

Funny how History rhymes when it is not repeating itself.  A “general” discussion on how the programs, edicts and Government measures did not work to pull the economy out of the Great Depression. A war was needed. Too bad we quit in Iraq and aren’t really at “war” in Afghanistan.

President Herbert Hoover started numerous programs, all of which failed to reverse the downturn.[69] In June 1930 Congress approved the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act which raised tariffs on thousands of imported items. The intent of the Act was to encourage the purchase of American-made products by increasing the cost of imported goods, while raising revenue for the federal government and protecting farmers. However, other nations increased tariffs on American-made goods in retaliation, reducing international trade, and worsening the Depression.[70] In 1931 Hoover urged the major banks in the country to form a consortium known as the National Credit Corporation (NCC).[71] By 1932, unemployment had reached 23.6%, and it peaked in early 1933 at 25%,[72] a drought persisted in the agricultural heartland, businesses and families defaulted on record numbers of loans,[73] and more than 5,000 banks had failed.[74] Hundreds of thousands of Americans found themselves homeless and they began congregating in the numerous Hoovervilles that had begun to appear across the country.[75] In response, President Hoover and Congress approved the Federal Home Loan Bank Act, to spur new home construction, and reduce foreclosures. The final attempt of the Hoover Administration to stimulate the economy was the passage of the Emergency Relief and Construction Act (ERA) which included funds for public works programs such as dams and the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932. The RFC’s initial goal was to provide government-secured loans to financial institutions, railroads and farmers. Quarter by quarter the economy went downhill, as prices, profits and employment fell, leading to the political realignment in 1932 that brought to power Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Of course now that all the “make work” projects are degrading – why not fix them? Worked for Rome.