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Bullet Trains

Pro/Con Articles

NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE TOPIC 2012–13: FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING:

Resolved: The U.S. federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

SUPPORTERS ARGUE

It should be the job of the federal government to maintain and rebuild the nation's transportation system. The federal government is more patient and thinks more long-range about what is best for the country than private companies do. If the permitting and approval processes are accelerated, jobs can be created that much faster, thereby benefiting the middle class. Trade and economic output will also be augmented, enabling the United States to be more competitive worldwide. Low interest rates make the present an ideal time for the government to increase its infrastructure spending. The United States should also create an infrastructure bank to help fund large projects, such as improvements to railroads and highways.

OPPONENTS ARGUE

Infrastructure projects should be funded by state and local governments in areas where the roads, bridges, and other assets are located. Projects sponsored by the federal government, most notably the nation's rail system, are too often characterized by waste and inefficiency. If anything, federal infrastructure spending should decrease and give way to private investment, while the idea of a national infrastructure bank should be abandoned. What little government investment there is should be more specifically targeted. An infrastructure bank would likely have little positive impact on the U.S. economy in the near future.