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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

We’re Back to ‘Crumbling Roads and Bridges’ Again



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From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:

Boy, That’s New! Another Call for More Infrastructure Spending!

Hope you didn’t need to use the Key Bridge today, Washington-area commuters:

WH offl: Tomorrow, the President will make remarks at the Key Bridge in Washington, DC

— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) June 30, 2014

WH offl: Obama will call on Congress to act to invest in America’s infrastructure to create good jobs across the country.

— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) June 30, 2014

You may have forgotten President Obama touted the stimulus as “the largest new investment in our nation’s infrastructure since Eisenhower.” The current fight on Capitol Hill is about renewing “MAP-21,” the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. That bill funded surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

Back in 2009, Congress made “the largest new investment in America’s infrastructure since the Interstate Highway System” and then spends about $52 billion per year, and yet we’re still hearing the same complaints about “crumbling roads and bridges.”

A Google search shows 111 news articles in recent weeks using the phrase, “crumbling roads and bridges.” (Overall on the web, 321,000.)

No matter how much we spend, we keep getting told that our infrastructure is crumbling like a stale doughnut and we absolutely must spend more. What, have we been building bridges out of balsa wood? Are we resurfacing our roads with graham crackers?

It’s easy to suspect that this spending isn’t really driven by physical demands but by a desire to keep the money flowing. As for those fantastic jobs, as the president later acknowledged, “Shovel-ready was not as . . . uh . . . shovel-ready as we expected.”


Tags: Barack Obama , Infrastructure , Highway , Roads and Bridges


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