Branding The Recovery
I really think this is a brilliant maneuver. Not that it's anything new - it's essentially borrowed from local politics, where the city seal is plastered on every road project. When I was in Ireland a few years back, the highways looked like they were paved moments before I started driving on them, and the seal of the EU was on everything. Well, at every infrastructure project funded with stimulus money, you're going to see this:
One of the bigger problems over the past several years, something that has fed the tax revolt, is that people aren't accustomed to seeing anything tangible in return for their funding the government. It's all around them, in the form of roads and police and fire departments and libraries and public schools and post offices and on and on, but it doesn't feel that way. Stamping an emblem, so that people know this is a part of the recovery and will remain long afterwards, is important. It's a graphical pushback on the myth that all taxes are wasted money given to corrupt politicians. It's very sharp.
President Obama discussed this investment in infrastructure today. And the Vice President went out of his way to note that Republic Windows and Doors, where workers held a sit-in strike to protest being given hours of notice before being thrown out of their jobs, has reopened thanks to the stimulus funding. On this element of domestic policy, the Obama team is running a very good strategy.