The Stunning Collapse Of Infrastructure Spending In One Chart


Think Progress has the article The Stunning Collapse Of Infrastructure Spending In One Chart.

“It’s also likely that much of the investment that has been forgone in the name of fiscal consolidation will have to be made eventually anyways — only it will be made when rates are higher, exacerbating the long-term fiscal outlook rather than improving it,”

Here is the chart:


This echoes a point I have been making for a long time.

If there is infrastructure spending that must be done at some time or another, why would we choose not to do it when the costs are at rock bottom? Why would we choose to do them later when the costs will be elevated?

If Republicans are really worried about government project crowding out private corporate spending, why wouldn’t we do the projects now when corporations are sitting on trillions of uninvested dollars? Why would we wait until the corporations have all of their cash fully invested?

Of course it really isn’t about the money in the crowding out case, it is about competing for resources. When the productive resources of the country are being fully used by the private sector, we don’t need government to compete and cause inflation. When resources are not being fully used, then the government won’t cause inflation by putting them to work. Such a government effort will put unemployed people to work and thus raise tax revenues without raising tax rates.

Why is this so hard to understand?

Also note my previous posts The Weak Economy and Deficit Reduction: Deniers and Terrorists and What So Proudly We Hail.  These previous posts discuss President Obama’s bragging of the deficit reduction he has achieved, when he really ought to be ashamed of allowing a reduction during a recession and very slow growth.  The Republicans will just claim that they caused the deficit reduction, no matter what Obama says.  Moreover, he ought to let them take the credit for reducing the deficit and the blame for keeping the county’s economic performance way below what it should be.

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