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.”