Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bridges to Opportunity

President Obama was at the Brent Spence today and encouraged Americans to press  Congress to pass his proposal to get people back to work.

Here is the view from the NRDC on President Obama's bill:

...Putting people back to work by rebuilding our national transportation infrastructure is a natural fit. Our surface transportation infrastructure was given a D grade by the American Society of Civil Engineers, and our world ranking in infrastructure has dropped from 6 to 16 since 2007. Our infrastructure is crumbling, and unemployment is hovering around 9 percent.

So the infrastructure investment that the President proposes is smart on two levels. First, it’s a quick way to create thousands of jobs, largely in construction and manufacturing, two sectors of the economy that have been hit hard in the downturn. Second, and perhaps more important than a quick fix, transportation investments, particularly in public transit, have long-term economic and environmental benefits for an even larger population.

Infrastructure investments provide returns on the order of $1.57 for every $1.00 invested, according to economists from Moody’s and Princeton. They create more jobs per dollar than tax cuts. Public transit investments, in particular, are highly effective job creators. They require more manufactured “parts,” such as bus seats or train tracks, than highway projects do, creating a ripple effect in the economy.  A manufacturer in Lincoln, Nebraska, for example, builds cars for the New York City subway system. So a public transportation investment in New York creates employment in Nebraska....

However, the biggest obstacle for this bill and any legislation that would put people back to work is the Republican Party.  John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will continue to block any proposal to put people back to work. Boehner, McConnell, and their Republican and Tea Party followers will go to any length, say anything, and do absolutely nothing so that they can blame a lack of jobs on the President.  They don't want the President to succeed.  They don't want you to have a job, be able to keep your home, and feed your family.  The Republicans want you to fail, the President to fail, and the country to fail. 

We have to push for President Obama's American Jobs Act. Building bridges, fixing roads, repairing schools, will help us all fully recover from this economic slowdown.