U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Investment (2012-13)
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.
November 2011, as he addressed Congressional resistance to the American
Jobs Act, President Obama argued that "building a world-class
transportation system is one of the reasons that America became an
economic superpower in the first place. Today, as a share of our
economy, Europe invests more than twice what we do in infrastructure;
China, more than four times as much." In a summer 2012 statement, the
president reiterated another grounds for his proposed increase in
infrastructure spending: businesses, and small businesses in particular,
suffer financially when infrastructure fails - for example, employees
lose time on long commutes, and operations cease during internet
With the public scrutinizing every act of government spending like never
before and heated debates about deficit and debt reduction erupting
daily in Washington, any proposed increase in investment is
understandably met with caution. Many believe that the United States
can't afford to apportion funds for expanding and repairing
infrastructure, or that the nation's money could be better used
This collection provides a starting point for student research aimed at
composing arguments about U.S. transportation infrastructure investment.
The articles examine the history of infrastructure spending, as well as
contemporary proposals for investment alongside political and economic
considerations. The collection is drawn primarily from our back issues
at The World & I eLibrary.