Shovel ready?

The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September, 2008, signaled a major financial crisis. Cascading stock prices bottomed in March, 2009. We remember those days as the “Great Recession.” Barack Obama, then a candidate for president, identified some much-needed “shovel-ready” projects to stimulate the economy. He worked for this in the early days of his administration. The young president wasn’t able to accomplish his goals.

In the fall of ’08, I hoped we would rebuild our infrastructure. In the fall of ’16, I hoped another new president (said to be good at “building things”) would prioritize our infrastructure. His priority was overturning the Affordable Care Act. A recent TV news broadcast showed a crumbling highway bridge in Rhode Island that has been shored-up with wood pilings. Recently, the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River has been closed to repair a cracked beam.

So, I was happy to watch President Biden’s announcement of a bi-partisan “deal” on infrastructure. Based on earlier failures of our national government’s efforts, I confess some skepticism whether it will be passed by Congress and signed by the President. But, as Alexander Pope said, “Hope springs eternal.”

From “Bipartisan Solutions to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure,”by Jessica Lombardo,, April 26, 2021

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