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Given low interest rates and the need, I can certainly understand the case for a boost in public infrastructure spending. But as these White House charts show, talk of an infrastructure “crisis” seems overblown:
And some good words on this from Timothy Taylor:
The concept what infrastructure is important for the 21st century needs to be much broader than roads and bridges, and even broader than transportation. It needs to include investments in energy infrastructure, which includes oil and gas pipelines and the electrical grid — and in particular, expanding the capabilities of the electrical grid so that it can more easily incorporate intermittent but renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and also so that it can be used for variable pricing to encourage conservation. Infrastructure also needs to include the communications infrastructure. Both energy and communications systems also need updating to reduce their vulnerabilities to hacking and to damage from natural disasters or terrorist attacks. …
A policy agenda for updating the communications and energy infrastructure is more difficult, because it involves thinking about infrastructure that is owned by private companies and because it opens up broader questions, like choices about energy policy choices and the security of communications. I’m fine with also updating and maintaining roads and bridges. But those kinds of road-based infrastructure investments aren’t likely to be main drivers of 21st century American economic growth.