At the end of World War II, President Dwight Eisenhower and other American leaders undertook a massive program of infrastructure investment that enabled a half-century of national growth, job creation, and enhanced security that undergirded the rapid economic advancements of the second half of the twentieth century. Since that moment, however, the United States has failed to maintain those assets. Today, America’s aging foundation is not only failing to live up to the challenges that the country faces, but is a serious liability in a highly-connected world.
But that can change. Just as President Eisenhower and the greatest generation ensured economic growth through modernization, the conditions today are ripe for us to make the critical investments from which the United States will continue reap benefits for decades to come.
Carnegie’s Bernard L. Schwartz Program in Competitiveness and Growth Policies convened a group of bipartisan leaders from the federal government—both the legislative and executive branches—as well as prominent mayors and governors, corporate executives, and experts from academia and think tanks. Together, they explored practical means for addressing the nation’s infrastructure crisis while building a foundation for future American economic strength.