Infrastructure a new stimulus plan

Capitol Hill at sunrise

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Chances are, Congress will meet soon after the election to approve another multibillion-dollar spending package. Democrats say we need it to kickstart the economy. This time, instead of individual tax rebates, much of the stimulus will probably go to infrastructure improvements. Later today, a House committee will consider what types of projects we need the most. Marketplace's John Dimsdale has the story.


John Dimsdale: States have 3,000 highway and bridge repairs and improvements ready to go. And John Irons at the Economic Policy Institute says that type of government spending is just what the economy needs.

Jack Irons: You know, we know we're going to have to repair these bridges. If we're going to spend that money anyway, let's spend it now, let's accelerate it, now when we can create good jobs and also meet more fundamental needs that the economy has.

Irons says improved transportation and greener buildings will mean a more competitive and energy-efficient economy.

But the Cato Institute's Chris Edwards doubts the government will actually create any new jobs.

Chris Edwards: If the government taxes or borrows $10 billion new dollars to build bridges and roads, it's sucking the $10 billion out of the private sector economy somewhere else. You know taxes are going to have to be higher than they otherwise would be.

But the spending will help the construction industry, where unemployment is close to 10 percent. Car repair shops, though, may be less happy to have the government fixing potholes.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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