The White House has not provided details of the plan or estimates for job creation. But economists on both ends of the political spectrum say infrastructure improvements might not make much of a splash in the short-term.
“It’s not good stimulus,” said Alice Rivlin, a Democratic member of the president’s Debt Commission and former head of the Office of Management and Budget.
“It doesn’t come online fast enough. If you’re really talking about things that will create jobs quickly, you need to rely on either direct government hiring in the manner of things done in the Great Depression, or demand-side things that will get more money spent by wage earners,” she said.
Alan Viard, an economist with the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, said infrastructure spending can be “reasonably powerful” but cautioned additional funding might not be the most effective way to spend the taxpayers’ dime.