Regarding the Oct. 28 Paul Krugman column “ Investing in ideology over infrastructure”: At first glance, it is certainly puzzling why the alleged party of business doesn’t support investing in infrastructure when financial conditions are so ripe to do so.
Locking in low interest rates to finance needed capital improvements is both good business and good public policy. The overworked rubric that borrowing to build infrastructure will condemn future generations to working off mountains of debt is nonsense. What we build today will serve several generations, and it is only equitable that they share some of this cost.
However, by refusing to rebuild the infrastructure bequeathed to us by previous generations, it is the present that is looking mean-spirited and selfish as we shift the burden forward. Of course it may not be as complicated as all that. If we just wait long enough, interest rates will surely rise and the tax-free debt that state and local governments use to finance infrastructure will become an even more attractive tax shelter for wealthy investors.
I’m sure a flock of the current “don’t spend” folks could get their heads around that idea.
Richard G. Little
Infrastructure policy consultant