Infrastructure spending should be second to private sector
Not so fast. I have been navigating around Obama highway projects all over the place this summer. I have to say, the roads and bridges where the work is being done was surely needed it.
Now, I think if you have $50 billion for investment, make it available to private sector production. If the private sector determines that it needs specific infrastructure upgrades to achieve competitive advantage, then government should consider it.
Private sector first, government works second.
“Obama calling for more infrastructure spending
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is asking Congress to approve at least $50 billion in long-term spending in the nation's roads, railways and runways in a pre-election effort to show he's trying to stimulate the sputtering economy.
The infrastructure spending is part of a package of targeted proposals the White House announced on Monday. With November's elections for control of Congress approaching, Obama planned to discuss the proposal later Monday at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee.
The proposals would require congressional approval, which is highly uncertain with many legislators and voters worried about adding to federal deficits that are already sky-high. With Republicans saying spending is out of control and polls showing many people want to end Democrats' control of Congress, even many Democratic lawmakers are reluctant to approve new spending so close to Election Day.
Even if legislators could pass a bill in the short window between their return to Capitol Hill in mid-September and the elections, the early projects would not create jobs immediately. Senior administration officials, who would not be quoted by name before Obama's announcement, said the initial projects would lead to new jobs over the course of 2011.
The officials said the initial $50 billion would be the beginning of a six-year program of transportation improvements, but they did not give an overall figure. The proposal has a longer-range focus than last year's economic stimulus bill, which was more targeted on immediate job creation.
The goals of the infrastructure plan include: rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads; constructing and maintaining 4,000 miles of railways, enough to go coast-to-coast; shorter, high speed rail projects; and rehabilitating or reconstructing 150 miles of airport runways, while also installing a next generation air navigation system designed to reduce travel times and delays.
Obama will also call for the creation of a permanent infrastructure bank that would focus on funding national and regional infrastructure projects.”