Russ Roberts points to this article by David Leonhardt in the NY Times about government infrastructure spending. There’s a chart that shows the steady increase in spending. The problem is:

And yet when it comes to the nation’s infrastructure, money isn’t the main problem.

A lack of adequate financing is part of the problem, without doubt. But the bigger problem has been an utter lack of seriousness in deciding how that money gets spent.

Passengers are directing their anger at the wrong party.  The airlines are simply tenants and users of Kennedy Airport; they do not own or operate it.  They follow the rules imposed on them by the operator: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This entity is jointly managed by the states of New York and New Jersey.

Here. It’s not like the storm was a surprise, or anything. On top of that, fares are scheduled to increase next year and 2013.

Article here.

The infrastructure investments are one part of a package of targeted proposals the White House is expected to announce in hopes of jump-starting the economy ahead of the November election.

So it’s politically motivated, meaning the positive economic impact will, at most, be short-term.  The long-term effect will be negative because politicians’ short-term thinking got us in this mess.  Democrats are desperate, and bad politics makes bad policy.

Mr. Obama will also call for the creation of a permanent infrastructure bank that would focus on funding national and regional infrastructure projects.

This is also known as a political slush fund. More of our precious tax dollars spent to buy votes. Forget it.

Obama made infrastructure investments a central part of the $814 billion stimulus Congress passed last year, but with that spending winding down, the economy’s growth has slowed.

More proof the “stimulus” was a failure, and more proof that government spending does not create sustainable economic growth. The GDP figures were temporarily boosted by the spending because when GDP is calculated, government spending is an addition to it. More spending temporarily inflates GDP.

How about the remaining “stimulus” spending?  More than 1/3 has not been spent or distributed.

To top it off, as this report shows,

We often hear the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, but state highway conditions are the best they’ve been in 19 years, according to Reason Foundation’s 19th Annual Highway Report. Unfortunately, the recession is partly responsible for the improvement in road conditions: people are driving less which has helped slow pavement deterioration and reduced traffic congestion and fatalities.