The bridges, roads, schools, airports, ports, dams, waterways, energy system , and our aviation system all need to be upgraded. This is fact; if we don’t do this we will be economically un competitive. We need schools that are safe, energy efficient, and structurally sound. We need airports that are safe, and energy efficient, and an aviation system that efficient for the air traffic controllers and the planes that navigate this system. Right now planes have to criss-cross the country from one satellite beacon to another. Doesn’t it make sense to have one system that allows the plane to travel one straight course? This is why we need to invest in infrastructure. We need bridges that won’t collapse. Every investment we make will create jobs. America is falling apart, and we can’t keep letting our infrastructure fail and crumble away.
Why invest now?
- Low interest rates: Right now interest rates are at near zero rates, so any money we borrow will cost little to us to pay back.
- Jobless recovery: Right now we need jobs! Infrastructure creates jobs because construction workers will be paid to improve the roads, rebuild schools, or rebuild an air traffic controller tower. Construction worker need jobs! Every person who can find a job will take it.
- Low impact of deficit: infrastructure spending adds to the debt once in a lump sum type of payment. This spending won’t add to the deficit over the long-term.
- Economically competitiveness: Many other developing country are spending more in intrastructure than we are. If we have bad roads, bridges, and aviation system who’s going to want to do business with us?
The People’s Budget: Porgressive Causcus’s FY2012 Budget
Putting America Back to Work and Restoring American Competitiveness
In addressing the nation’s long-run fiscal challenges, investments in education enhance the long-term growth potential of the economy by investing in the skills of our present and future workforce. The nation’s human capital can be increased in many ways, including through formal and informal education, experience gained over time on a job, and training in the workplace. Front-end investment in Pre-K, K-12 and higher education is the most important contribution we can make to our economic growth in the long run. A more skilled workforce can produce more, and higher-skilled workers tend to earn higher wages.
Rebuilding our highways and waterways will create jobs in the short term and is at the heart of our international competitiveness in the long term. Our budget dramatically increases transportation outlays through a surface transportation reauthorization bill as outlined in the president’s 2012 budget request.
The new Infrastructure Bank will provide loans and grants to support individual projects and broader activities of significance to our nation’s economic competitiveness. For example, the IBank could support improvements in road and rail access to a West Coast port that benefits farmers in the Midwest, or a national effort to guarantee private loans made to help airlines purchase equipment in support of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). A cornerstone of the IBank’s approach will be a rigorous project comparison method that transparently measures which projects offer the biggest value to taxpayers and our economy. This marks a substantial departure from the practice of funding projects based on more narrow considerations.
With only 3% of the known oil reserves in the world, the United States cannot become energy independent or measurably affect the world price of oil simply by drilling more within our borders. We need to set loose the clean energy industry that is ready to take hold if we make the public investments in transportation and storage. Our budget will unleash American ingenuity and talent to build a new clean energy economy in which the United States will regain its rightful place as a world leader, move energy independence and address our global warming challenges.
The middle of a historic recession and a “jobless recovery” is not the time to cut support for affordable housing. Investments in housing are one of the most potent job creation tools we have, because every dollar invested in housing creates two dollars and twelve cents in additional economic activity and induces as much as seven additional dollars in indirect economic activity. Providing housing not only reduces the rate of homelessness, which costs state, local and federal governments tens of thousands of dollars for every homeless family, but provides the vital backbone for creating long-term economic viability for every family in America: a place to call home.