In a recent blog post entitled "Opposition to Infrastructure Spending," Krugman writes:
I’m currently reading Daniel Walker Howe’s What Hath God Wrought, and there’s an interesting discussion of the debate over “internal improvements.” Some southerners were opposed, for an interesting reason. Here’s Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina, in 1818:So, we have the implication from the Nobel winner himself: Oppose the "stimulus" (which is why he is advocating more "infrastructure" spending), and you are a racist, the worst kind of racist, someone who approves of slavery.
If Congress can make canals, they can with more propriety emancipate.
I leave the elucidation of any parallels or lack thereof to modern politics as an exercise for readers.
Actually, a lot of people opposed the "internal improvements" to be funded by tax dollars because a lot of the money was wasted or ended up in the pockets of people who were less-than-honest. (But, hey, they spent the money, and that is the good thing about any kind of "stimulus.")