The infrastructure bank is back on the docket for discussion. In the absence of a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill, the fact that congress is actually doing SOMETHING about our crumbling infrastructure is encouraging. The need for infrastructure investment is tremendous, but is this latest version of the infrastructure bank bold enough?
Thanks for the great post Jay.
A “D” average on infrastructure is absolutely shameful. I’m all for helping people in need, but the nation building that we’re doing overseas has to stop. We need to build our own nation and put our own people to work doing it.
Then the 2.2 Trillion dollar question is, "what the hell has the government been doing with our tax dollars since the 1940's?". Are you telling us that there hasn't been an Infrustructure Fund this entire time? Are you seriously just thinking about this now, when the US is at an all time financial low? There is absolutely no reason for the United States to have a "D" for infrastructure. Infrastructure is THE primary role of government, right up there with defense, education and protecting the constitutional rights of it's citizens. Where has the money gone?
Proposing that the government needs 2.2 trillion dollars within five years is a slap in the face to our citizens. Not only do we have a national debt that will cripple several future generations, the government has no plan to resolve it and continues to write checks we can't cash. The US government has failed us on every front and they keep demanding more... enough is enough. We should not give them another penny until they get a grip on their finances.
While this spending might benefit landscape architects on a short term basis, it will be another devastating toll on our countries long-term finances. If the government can figure out where to cut spending in order to pay for infrastructure improvements, then great. If they propose raising taxes or creating more debt for the country then it is time to get pissed and take action in order to bring about change of power. Our representatives are no longer looking after our best interest and a lack of oversight or accountability does not justify the fleecing of America. Our leaders, past, present and future need to answer to the American people. Where has the money gone?
I understand where you’re coming from Thomas ideally the government should get its own house in order before it starts spending more of our hard earned dollars. But at the same time do we wait for antiquated wooden sewer and water pipes that have been in the ground for over 100 years in some cities to fail and schools that are literally falling apart to get even worse before we take action? These are things that need to be addressed now; it could take several years (or decades) to straighten out our political system.
We have millions of able body Americans sitting at home with their minds and bodies atrophying away while the things that made this country great fall apart. I’m not the smartest guy on the planet, but this makes absolutely no sense. We can’t afford to posture and stroke our chins for another decade. We need to act now. The longer we wait the worse (and more expensive) things will get. We can’t wait for a bridge to fall into the water before we replace it. We have to stop being penny wise and pound foolish.
Maybe we have too many lawyers in Washington. Guys that make a living smooth talking us and writing billion page bills might not be the ones to get something done :(
I'm often frustrated by the dialog around infrastructure here's a small example:
To tax or not to tax?...that is the wrong question. No where in the above article does it mention the real problems with the gas tax. The problem is the gas tax is a consumption tax that is levied per gallon of gas rather than per mile traveled and it is not indexed to inflation. Inflation has increased while the tax has stayed the same, meanwhile cars have continued to increase in fuel economy. As a result of these two facts we pay less and less each year per mile traveled resulting in more wear-and-tear on our roads, but less money to repair them. The Congressional Budget Office has said that as early as 2012 the Highway Trust Fund could be insolvent. It's a shame it takes a crisis for us to give the partisan talking points a rest and have a real conversation about how we finance, deliver, operate, and maintain our infrastructure.
We should ask ourselves are there better alternatives to the gas tax? What would be fair and cover the actual costs? Do we really need to construct more highways when we can't afford to maintain the ones we have? Are there other transportation investments that would make more sense? As it is now over half the money for roads and highway construction come from other sources: ie: other taxes.