The bottom line is that the U.S. can borrow money for just about nothing—less than nothing, if you factor in inflation—which makes this a really good moment for the United States of America to finance some long-neglected home improvement projects.

There’s an important caveat, though: While this is a really good time to borrow money for infrastructure spending, it’s not a great moment to actually build infrastructure. First, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We don’t want to encourage nonessential workers to go out and spread the coronavirus. Second, infrastructure spending wouldn’t do that much to help the economy and create jobs right now, at least compared with during a normal downturn. One reason infrastructure typically makes for good fiscal stimulus is that it has a multiplier effect. You pay some crews to fix up a road, which gives them work, and then they go and spend their paychecks, and the cash makes its way through the economy, perking up growth. Right now you wouldn’t get much of a multiplier effect, because we’ve literally ordered large parts of the economy to shut down and outlawed going to work. If you pay a crew to fix up a road right now, they’ll probably just go home afterward and not spend much of it.