While the Tea Party focuses on the budget deficit, channeling the ghost of Herbert Hoover, the nation’s infrastructure slowly crumbles.
The Urban Land Institute says:
In contrast with its global competition, the United States is lurching along a problematic course—potentially losing additional ground. After more than 30 years of conspicuously underfunding infrastructure and faced with large budget deficits, increasing numbers of national and local leaders have come to recognize and discuss how to deal with evident problems. But a politically fractured government has mustered little appetite to confront the daunting challenges, which include finding an estimated $2 trillion just to rebuild deteriorating networks. Operating beyond their planned life cycles, these systems include roads, bridges, water lines, sewage treatment plants, and dams serving the nation’s primary economic centers.
Brookings calls the infrastructure deficit “more than $2 trillion.”
And this article (thanks for these, Jonathan!) says that to build the infrastructure we need would cost $8 trillion or more.
With interest rates low and millions of talented people looking for work, wouldn’t it be a good idea to float 30-year bonds to put them to work revitalizing our infrastructure with projects that might last 100 years?
Quote of the Day
In 1800, 75% of [an American's] working man's expenditures went for food alone. By 1850, that had dropped to 50%. Today it is a little more than 11%.~The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 1996
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