Public Works Eyed as Economic Jumpstart

Economists increasingly look to infrastructure spending for job creation
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2008 5:11 PM CST
Runners cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at the start of the ING New York City Marathon Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
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(Newser) – Once dismissed as too slow to address America’s quick slide into crisis, New Deal-esque public works projects are becoming increasingly attractive as long-term economic troubles look likely to set in, the Los Angeles Times reports. Infrastructure spending will likely be a major component of the upcoming Obama-backed, multibillion-dollar stimulus package Democrats will propose to Congress.

One think tank estimates that $75 billion in infrastructure work could create 1 million new jobs, while an economist says that every dollar of public-works money adds $1.59 to the GDP. Many states have pre-planned projects just awaiting funding, but not everyone is so enthusiastic. “Practically speaking, large-scale construction projects of any type require years of planning and preparation,” the Congressional Budget Office has said.