NYT Columnist Urges Two Infrastructure Stimulus Packages

David Brooks is dismayed at all the failed 'stimulus packages' and those yet to come. Instead, he points to short and long term infrastructure plans, mostly in transportation, that will help the country in addition to any stimulus to the economy.
November 3, 2008, 11am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Bad policy ideas are coming in profusion. There are plans to bail out automakers. There are plans to issue more rebate checks (even though the last ones didn't work). Barack Obama is proposing one-time tax credits for small businesses that are hiring.

These and other plans amount to an economic sugar rush.

The smart thing to do is announce a short-term infrastructure initiative to accelerate all those repair projects that can be done within a few years. Then, begin a long-term National Mobility Project.

Major highway projects take about 13 years from initiation to completion - too long to counteract any recession. But at least they create a legacy that can improve the economic environment for decades to come.

Explore all the new ideas that are burgeoning in the transportation world - congestion pricing, smart highways, rescue plans for shrinking Midwestern cities, new rail and airplane technologies. When you look into this sector, you see we are on the cusp of another transportation revolution."

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Published on Friday, October 31, 2008 in The New York Times
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