Commentary: Investing in infrastructure

This editorial appeared in The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

This looks to be a serious recession. It calls for a serious response. Bailing out the country's financial sector – and so far we can only hope we're getting some bang for the billions of bucks forked over to banks and Wall Street – is not the full answer. Even if the federal cash frees up more money for loans, the downward-spiraling economy offers poor prospects to lenders and borrowers alike.

America needs increased economic activity, and one way or another Congress is likely to appropriate more billions to spur it.

So let's get this right. Earlier this year Uncle Sam tried sending out checks, to little effect. This time let's spend the money on something of lasting value.

Let's upgrade our national mobility.

Repair decrepit roads and bridges, and get started on building new ones. Improve the flow of traffic with the latest electronic aids. Buy the rights-of-way needed for high-speed rail corridors connecting cities, and begin to catch up with the rest of the rail-connected world.

In short, put working people to work creating a durable and useful legacy.

To read the complete editorial, visit The News & Observer.