President Barack Obama’s announcement yesterday of a six-year, $476 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, as part of his 2013 budget, is the latest demonstration of a longstanding presidential propensity for transportation projects. The U.S. owes its emergence as a great power to magnificent investments in infrastructure. The emerging giant of today, China (TBBLCHNA), is following that example. Many imagine that we must again build big to stay on top. But success in middle-age -- for people and nations -- requires wisdom and cunning more than pumped-up brawn. America’s infrastructure needs intelligent reform, not floods of extra financing or quixotic dreams of new moon adventures or high-speed railways to nowhere.
Glaeser, Edward L. "Spending Won’t Fix What Ails U.S. Infrastructure." Bloomberg, February 13, 2012.