America’s infrastructure is crumbling. And the problem is more severe than you probably realize. Yes, you know about all the unfilled potholes and bridges in disrepair. But there are things you can’t see—like a decades-old air traffic control system, and storm drains from the 1930s —that are in even worse shape.
In a rational political environment, Congress would respond by passing an infrastructure bill that allocated new money, even if meant deficit spending. There are still lots of construction workers looking for work, after all, and borrowing is cheap, thanks to low interest rates. But Republicans have blocked such proposals. The best lawmakers can do, it seems, is to keep funding infrastructure at current levels. To do that, they must come up with some way to replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is running short on money.
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