Monday, October 29, 2012

Why oh why are we not spending on infrastructure?

Our nation has:
1. Millions of people looking for work
2. Hundreds of billions and/or trillions of dollars desperate for some way to be spent (as evidenced by the historically low rate of return on bonds)
3. Cities with inadequate flood protections, bridges we all drive on which aren't up to code, and slower internet than much of the developed world.

Romney says he's for infrastructure spending, but given the massive challenges he'll face to pay for his tax rate cuts, increased military spending, and pay down the deficit, it's seems likely that plans to increase domestic discretionary spending will be first on the chopping block.

This is one of the many reasons why Romney's vagueness is so frustrating.  It allows him to say "sure, I'm for infrastructure spending!" without showing where he'd get the money from.  It deprives voters of a chance at real discussion.  Everybody's for giving citizens benefits if there doesn't have to be discussion of costs.  It's figuring out the balance between competing possibilities that requires debate and leadership.  Romney provides neither.


NWest said...

As for slower internet, we're much larger than the rest of the world. It's easy to be as small as south korea or japan and be as wired as they are - they're much less land to cover. It's a bit more expensive to run fiber optic line around the USA.

As for trillions of dollars desperate for a way to be spent... much of the money in bonds is demographic in nature - baby boomers pensions, etc. That money is in "safe" investments so they'll be able to pay for their cushy retirements.

PoliticalDoctor said...

It's true that we have more places where we'd have to run lines, but for at least for people living in big cities, there's no reason it couldn't be faster.

No investment's safer than government bonds, and the low rates the government has to offer indicate there's excess funds to be had if we want it.