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Justin Fox

It’s Important to Be Like Ike, FDR and Maybe Joe Biden

The president’s multi-trillion-dollar proposals evoke grand historical analogies, but they also seem like smart of-the-moment politics.

Big dreams need big help.

Big dreams need big help.

Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

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Yes, we’re still talking about President Joe Biden’s ginormous infrastructure plan. It’s too ginormous not to! To pitch his proposals, Timothy O’Brien and Nir Kaissar advise Biden to take a page from Dwight D. Eisenhower’s successful 1956 campaign to sell the interstate highway system as a national security necessity. Then, the argument was that freeways would make it easier to evacuate cities in the case of a Soviet nuclear attack. Now it’s that the U.S. needs to invest in future growth to keep up with China.