The other day The New York Times' Paul Krugman wrote that infrastructure projects were a great way for the federal government to provide a boost to our struggling economy. Krugman said that the next President cannot afford to be weary of spending money on infrastructure as the well being of our economy should take precedent over concerns of our growing deficit.
I'm a big fan of a massive investment in new roads, bridges, and most importantly, and new rail lines, including high speed rail (I just read that Pittsburgh's maglev project is still alive!). The catch is that we cannot afford for our government to hastily spend this money on things like a bridge to nowhere, or Pittsburgh's very own tunnel to nowhere, and this is way I am in favor of a national infrastructure bank. Below is a excerpt of a post from my technology + politics blog on the proposed NIB.
Cutting taxes or sending out rebate checks does not create sustainable economic growth. Using that money to instead put people to work on building new and fixing existing bridges, roads, and rail would give us taxpayers the highest ROI, but we must spend taxpayer dollars responsibly, and that is why I favor the passing of legislation similar to the Dodd-Hagel National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007. The reason we need a National Infrastructure Bank to stimulate growth through infrastructure investment is that at this point we cannot afford taxpayer money to go towards mores roads, bridges, and tunnels to nowhere. We need a system in place where the best projects are funded based on both their need (like our crumbling bridges here in Western PA) and their potential to spur economic growth. Our very own half billion dollar tunnel to nowhere should be enough evidence in favor of creating a better system and process for approving and funding projects that will make a difference.