Two paragraphs in the source stand out:
Take government spending on infrastructure, which the president touted last night as a source of major future growth and jobs. It is one thing to assume a major return on investment; it is quite another to find such a return when looking at what happens in practice. A recent review of the literature in this NBER paper by economist Gilles Duranton of Wharton University et al. finds “little compelling evidence about transportation infrastructure creating economic growth.”
Looking at spending on highway construction in the Great Recession stimulus bill, economist Valerie A. Ramey, arguably one of the top scholars on this issue, concluded that “there is scant empirical evidence that infrastructure investment, or public investment in general, has a short-run stimulus effect. There are more papers that find negative effects on employment than positive effects on employment.”
Most of us assume that government spending on infrastructure is inherently beneficial. A more enlightened view is that government spending on infrastructure may be beneficial, but it comes at the expense of other goods the same money might have produced. The two paragraphs make the startling assertion that government spending on infrastructure may not be inherently beneficial at all.
There are links in the source to substantiate the assertion.