By now I’m sure you have heard President Obama telling Congress his four new favorite words, “pass this jobs bill.” Whether he is standing in front of a podium on Capital Hill or in front of a bridge in Cleveland his rhetoric these days has finally turned to action in what can only be seen as yet another attempt to stimulate the economy through economic infusion.
Here at Earthgarage we are questioning how the proposed $400 billion will aid the transportation sector in creating jobs and save the average person money.
The American Jobs Act specifically sets aside $50 billion for “immediate investments in infrastructure” based on a six-tiered approach:
Under the bill, $27 billion would be set aside to increase the safety and efficiency of our nation’s highways. Potential opportunities for accomplishing this include creating carpooling incentives, establishing a traffic information database to help drivers avoid jams in real time and improving freight railroads to decrease the number of tractor-trailers on the road.
$9 billion would go towards retro-fitting mass transit systems. This would involve increasing the load capacity of lines, connecting communities, and decreasing the travel times of individuals trains.
The bill would put $2 billion towards increasing the efficiency of the airports around the country.
$50 million has been set aside for 2012 to create more jobs in the transportation sector. The money would go towards educating workers to increase their knowledge and skills of the industry. The goal of this is to ensure that contracts stay within the local community of the project.
The Jobs Bill includes $10 billion for research and development of new technologies. With an emphasis on high speed railroads other projects include more efficient air traffic control programs and loan guarantees for public transit projects under the TIFIA grant system.
Finally, the American Jobs Act recognizes the need for implementing certain projects as soon as possible to provide and immediate effect for the American public. Projects that can prove they are high-impact and job creating will be expedited through the process and granted funds ahead of schedule.
As always the first question these days about this proposal asks where the $50 billion for transportation comes from. The administration’s dismissive response is to call on the debt super-committee to come up with additional deficit reductions and that in the coming days the President will release a plan for additional deficit reductions necessary to counteract the spending of the jobs bill.
Unfortunately, those who ask where the money will come from for this investment fail to recognize what an investment is – an opportunity in the long run for a potentially large payback.
America needs all of the above initiatives if our economy is going to rebound and compete with the global market that we helped create. If Congress does what Obama has been begging them to do and “pass this jobs bill” the savings generated will pay for themselves in the next couple decades. Let’s just hope the other side of the aisle is listening.
Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet