Bridging the Infrastructure Divides

Infrastructure funding doesn’t get the support it needs because for more than a decade both sides of the political spectrum have argued it is a waste, Rob Atkinson writes in Innovation Files. The congestion caucus has hammered home the message that federal support for expanding roads and highways not only doesn’t reduce congestion, it actually makes it worse. At the same time, the freedom caucus talks of wasteful federal infrastructure spending. So if we have any hope of shifting infrastructure policy away from the culture wars and back toward pragmatism, it will be incumbent on true infrastructure supporters to call out both sides’ arguments—the social engineering, “smart growth” left and the “freedom caucus,” devolutionary right—as flawed and damaging to the U.S. national interest. Only then will a greater share of Americans and policy makers get back to understanding why increased federal support for infrastructure is so critical to America’s future.