February 13th, 2013
09:50 PM ET

Obama aims small on infrastructure

By Fareed Zakaria

President Obama’s State of the Union address presented an expanded vision of smart government to create jobs and revive the economy. Yet he lowered his sights on the single policy that would both jump-start the economy in the short term and create the conditions for long-term growth: infrastructure spending. Having tried several times to propose infrastructure bills of around $50 billion — or just 0.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — the president further scaled back, proposing a “fix-it-first” plan that repairs 70,000 bridges falling down nationwide.

This would apply a band-aid on America’s growing cancer of failing infrastructure. A 2009 study of all U.S. infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers concluded that $2.2 trillion should be spent over five years to bring the nation’s roads, bridges, railway tracks, airports and associated systems up to grade.

Read the full column at the Washington Post

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Topics: Economy • United States

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. rightospeak

    There is a small problem -the US is bankrupt and is borrowing money from China. We can print more paper and work on the infrastructure creating some jobs , but the problem of offshored jobs remain and the military spending. Unless we bring back all troops and offshored jobs , there is not much hope in my view.

    February 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  2. JAL

    Toxins out, then full throttle. Full throttle now would just strengthen the cancer.

    February 14, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
  3. Werner, von Solingen

    We in Germany know, that USA does not have the money for US infrastructure. False economic politics for decades, do not allow for more spending. What is worse, USA needs to keep its obligations towards NATO partners and needs to heavely invest in expanding NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe. These investments would also enable USA to create more jobs for US businesses, and would have positive long-term effects on US economy.

    February 14, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Quigley

      Gee Werner, wise up! The U.S. has a moral obligation toward it's own people, not you freeloading Europeans and that stupid alliance called NATO! We Americans need to quit spending on this senseless alliance and I mean senseless because this alliance has no outside enemies, not even Russia anymore. Moreover, we no longer need any troops in Europe. You Europeans need to take care of yourselves for a change!

      February 14, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
      • wjmccartan

        Very well said, Quigley. We need troops in Europe like one needs maggots in their soup. Neither serves a useful purpose!

        February 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Vandamme

        No outside enemies?! Unfortunatelly, you are not right on that, but surprisingly you are also not wrong. Not only that you have more outside enemies than you think (in Netherlands we know that) ... no, unfortunatelly you also have many enemies inside USA. We know that dangerous korean secret networks operate there, and we in Europe not like that. NATO alliance is very necessary to keep Western Societies together.

        February 16, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  4. j. von hettlingen

    When the Panama Canal was built, America was amid its "Progressive Movement". President Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to travel abroad. He negotiated for the US to take control of the canal, when he visited Panama in 1906. The US has historic links to the canal, after years of owning and running it. Today Obama could think about building a bridge from Alaska to Kamchatka, Russia, or a underwater tunnel that connects the two continents.

    February 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  5. deniz boro

    It is ever a bother to pull out the stray weeds before you plant a land. Nowadays you also have to keep the local ones which actually seems to be the healthiest growing plants of of.
    I believe Obama (as any other USA president would do) is leaving it to time to get better facts. Unsteable facts all around the world do not forecast Shiny Weather.
    But our science is founded on a raletively short history of 1789- on. 200 years of trustable science is not enough.

    February 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  6. please transelate and pass to the FBI, CIA

    وردنا خبرا مؤكدا مفاده ما يلي :
    المجرم واثق البطاط يتواجد حاليا في مدينة الشعله – في بيت يقع في نهاية شارع (60) بداية منطقة الدوانم مع مجموعه من المجرمين من المليشيات التابعه لفيلق القدس الايراني وينطلق من مدينة الشعله لتنفيذ عمليات الاغتيال في مناطق الغزاليه والسيديه والعامريه وبدعم لوجستي من مكتب القائد العام للقوات المسلحه

    تعليقنا //
    اين مذكرة القاء القبض بحق هذا الارهابي يا مالكي وهو لايبعد عن مقرك في المنطقه الخضراء اكثر من 15 كيلومتر ومليشياتك وجيشك الاجرامي يحاصر احياء الاعظميه والعامريه والسيديه لكي يتحرك هذا المجرم وعصابات فيلق القدس لقتل الابرياء وتصفية المطالبين بحقوقهم المشروعه bush gave Iraq on a silver plater to Iran and SHIIA thugs killers,

    February 18, 2013 at 12:21 am | Reply

    the translation for you is that iraninas killers and thugs who killed many usa and many other Sunnis and cevilinas are indeed the QODOS militia that been paid by Iran and have per mition from NORI AL MALEKI prime minster of Iraq to kill any body who is against Iran ...the name of the killers at large who is wanted by the FBI and other aganencies is watheq AL bat tat SHIIA killer and who also training militia to send them to Syria to kill more cevilinas....he live in 60 street Baghdad IN THE TOWN OF SHOAL-LA IN BAGHDAD IN AREA CALLED AL DAWYEEM....

    February 18, 2013 at 12:26 am | Reply

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