Argument: Stimulus wisely creates jobs to help fix/update roads
Barack Obama. "We Can't Afford to Wait". February 9, 2009 - "it's not just the jobs that will benefit Indiana and the rest of America. It's the work people will be doing: Rebuilding our roads, bridges, dams and levees. Roads like US 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on, and that connect small towns and rural communities to opportunities for economic growth. And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart."
Timothy Bunn. "Why Obama's stimulus plan makes sense". The Post Standard, Syracuse. February 11, 2009 - "Let me try to help President Obama explain his stimulus plan: Yes, my stimulus is a program of big spending. But here's why it's good. When we spend to fix bridges, like the one that collapsed and killed 13 people in Minneapolis 18 months ago, for example, it's like fixing wiring in your house that's ready to burst into flames. Spending on infrastructure could prevent such disasters and put tradesmen to work. [...] When people like our bridge repairman have jobs, they earn money and spend it. [...] They spend it on the very things you provide where you work. And when they buy from your company, you keep your job. [...] If we don't spend for such things, the bridge repairman will be jobless. He'll collect unemployment from taxpayers like you. He won't get one of those tax cuts that Republicans in Congress love so dearly because he'd have no taxable income. And, he'd probably save as much as possible from his unemployment checks so he'd have something to live on after his unemployment runs out."
"Getting Tough in Washington". New York Times (editorial). February 5, 2009 - In the Senate, Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, spent the day working with Republicans to dangerously strip down the Senate’s version of the economic measure. What noxious programs were they so eager to dump? Money for the Amtrak passenger rail system, the shortchanging of which has been a damaging annual ritual that has put America decades behind most of the world.
Short-term stimulus — more unemployment insurance, shovel-ready projects that put Americans to work — are a top priority. But Republican claims that spending money on projects that would take a year or two to develop is not stimulus are nonsense. By all projections, this will be a long recession and a protracted recovery. Money should be in the pipeline now for 2010 and 2011.
The idea that spending on infrastructure is too high in the bills before Congress is equal nonsense. The American Society of Civil Engineers has called for $2.2 trillion in repairs and upgrades for dismal roads and bridges and other structures. That’s even before considering bullet trains or a national health care system.