Saturday, December 6, 2008

Let's get our piece of the pie

The current economic situation seems to be causing a resurrection of Keynesian economics. I don't intend to get into that particular argument, but I will say that if the federal government does adopt a Keynesian approach (and the upcoming stimulus plan sound like it will be), can I second Matthew Yglesias call for big, expensive transportation projects?
For example, it turns out that the total cost of “ready to go” infrastructure projects in this country is valued at tens of billions of dollars rather than the necessary hundreds of billions. That’s because planning was done in the old “how will we find the money” world. At the moment, we’re in a weird “how will we find things to spend money on” world. Under the circumstances, one thing I’d be doing if I were president is dedicating a small slice of the 2009 stimulus making sure that we get a big and absurdly expensive list of high speed rail projects “ready to go” in some sense by 2010.
When is the next time you could even remotely justify these kind of big, expensive public infrastructure projects? Let's get the feds to fund the BeltLine, the streetcar, and some high speed rail from Atlanta to DC, all in the name of economic stimulus. The feds subsidized the highways, so its not like federal expenditures on these sorts of projects is that far out of the realm - just the cost and the political will. Maybe we could get the BeltLine built this century.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.