Eating the seed corn is never advisable, yet that’s what Washington is already doing. The share of spending on infrastructure (roads, airports, dams and the like) fell from 2 percent of G.D.P. in 1971 to 1 percent in 2010.
Take roads for example. In 1971 the interstate highway system was still under construction (not fully finished until 1991), whereas now the system is mature and the focus is on maintenance -- a cheaper proposition -- so the fact that spending has declined relative to population isn't terribly revealing. In areas such as Manhattan or Washington DC, the current road network and street grid is similarly mature, with a greater emphasis placed on maintenance than more expensive new construction. Similar logic also applies to the sewer and subway systems.
Surely the fact that the United States is the only major advanced nation without some form of universal health care is at least part of the reason life expectancy is much lower in America than in Canada or Western Europe.
[My former college roommate's] death [from cancer] was also unnecessary and might not have occurred if he had lived in Britain or Canada or any other modern country where universal health care is standard and life expectancy is longer.