If Jobs are the Goal, Infrastructure

By June 28, 2010Infrastructure

On CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, the discussion turned to Friday’s jobs report for June. NAM President John Engler and Edward Yardeni of Yardeni Research talked about infrastructure:

Engler: One of the things that we thought the Administration ought to be focused on is infrastructure, which got short of short shrift in the original stimulus bill.

Yardeni: I don’t get that. We keep talking about spending money in infrastructure, and it just doesn’t seem to happen.

Engler: It doesn’t happen, and you’ve got state and local projects being slashed now. Infrastructure – those are big jobs projects, and those are construction jobs.

Yardeni: We have monthly data from the government on public spending on infrastructure, and it’s actually down from a year ago.

Enger: To me, that’s an area where the investments are going to pay off both now and over time. It’s what China did, frankly, very successfully.

Yardeni: Why can’t we do it? I mean…I don’t get it.

Engler: I don’t know. It’s also the cheapest time to pay for things right now. It’s bargains everywhere if you want to go build. The only place you’re getting done is where there are tolls to support it. The revenues have collapsed on the road programs. They can’t do a multiyear highway bill in Washington, and that inability to make that long-term commitment is really hurting.

The discussion starts at 1:45 in this segment.

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