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No, We Don't Need A Federal "Solution" To Infrastructure Problems


On December 19, an Amtrak train in Washington State killed three people and injured 100 others when it derailed and crashed into traffic lanes on a nearby highway.

The day before, Atlanta's international airport suffered a disastrous power outage:

the whole airport, the world's busiest, went dark for 11 hours. Thousands of flights were disrupted. For many hours nobody in authority attempted to explain—or even seemed able to explain—what had happened.

Both cases have been used to bolster claims that the US federal government needs to spend more on infrastructure. 

In the wake of the Washington derailment, President Trump quickly took to Twitter to call for more government spending:

The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly…

Meanwhile, USA Today declares that the Airport's power outage has "demonstrated" the "nation's state of disrepair." 

The assertion that there is an "infrastructure crisis" at all remains quite dubious. As just a recent example, we might note that in his tweet about the Washington State derailment, Trump neglected to mention that the derailed train was making its first run on brand new tracks as part of a $180-million expansion of the train system in the region. It was in no way a result of "crumbling" infrastructure. 

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