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U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Investment (2012-13)

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

In 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 failure.

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 elsewhere.

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.

Background (America's Crumbling Instrasture, The World & I Special Section, August 1991 Issue, and more)
Recent Legislative History
Funding under Obama
Gas Tax
Government Publications

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