Our Crumbling Infrastructure is Another Sign of a Crumbling Administration

A frequent guest on my nationally syndicated radio show — “Neal Asbury’s Truth for America” – is Paul Anderson, most recently a Senior Fellow at the United States Congress, Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and a former Commissioner-Designated Chairman at the Federal Maritime Commission.

Paul shared with me a first-hand perspective on his participation with the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, working with US Representative John Mica (FL-R), the Ranking Republican member of the Committee. Congressman Mica has also been a guest on “Neal Asbury’s Truth for America”.

Paul has a high regard for Representative Mica, characterizing him as “a tireless proponent of improving our country’s transportation system to handle our nation’s growth in trade and commerce. He also strongly supports passing a new six-year transportation reauthorization, which is required to fund our country’s long-term transportation and infrastructure projects for interstate highways, bridges, and transportation network. These projects are massive job creators and position the United States to meet the demands of ever increasing growth in our domestic transportation system and global trade.”

While enthusiasm ran high among committee members, in the end, Paul noted that “the Democratic leaders in Congress chose not to proceed with a bill this year. Consequently, it will be absolutely critical in the next Congress in January to start anew to present a reauthorization for our country’s transportation system.”
Paul asked me to share with my readers and listeners some excerpts from an OP/Ed piece written by Representative Mica for “The Hill,” a publication which is distributed daily to Congress, staff and opinion leaders. Here are some of Representative Mica’s thoughts, which should enrage any American wondering why the Stimulus Package hasn’t created any meaningful jobs.

“By any objective evaluation, the Democrat-led stimulus bill passed 19 months ago has dramatically failed to turn around our economy. Unfortunately, the initial modest stimulus proposals that were primarily focused on infrastructure and incentivizing private sector job creation ballooned into a three-quarters-of-a-trillion-dollar spending behemoth. In doing so, Democrats managed to only slightly impact the national unemployment rate — mostly temporarily propping up government employment — and sent the national debt soaring. Democrats missed the mark when it comes to spurring private-sector employment and providing incentives for the expansion of business and industry. They set themselves up for failure.”

“The final stimulus bill directed less than 7 percent of the massive spending measure toward infrastructure and included no means of expediting even that miniscule portion of the package.”

“Even based on conservative estimates that every one billion dollars invested in infrastructure supports 27,500 jobs, by this time there would have been more than 11 million employed in the hard-hit construction industry. Unemployment lines would be dramatically shorter, and many more Americans would be able to pay their mortgages and taxes. But heaven forbid Congress would make decisions that would put people to work. Heaven forbid Congress would incentivize small business, establish benefits for investment and support positive opportunity for private sector job expansion. Heaven forbid Congress would provide carrots for manufacturing and industry to stay and expand in the United States rather than use sticks, penalties and mandates that drive jobs overseas.”

“The Obama administration’s decision to kill any hope of a six-year transportation reauthorization was another badly missed opportunity for Democrats and our country. The previous authorization expired at the end of FY 2009, and days before the House was scheduled to act on a six-year reauthorization, the administration announced it would only support an 18-month extension of existing programs.”

“Had Congress passed a multi-year measure, millions could be working on long-term infrastructure jobs and helping rebuild our crumbling highways, bridges and transportation network. Doing so would have prevented states from canceling major projects because of funding uncertainty, helped eliminate the need for more unemployment benefits and helped eliminate the need for mortgage bailouts. Instead, Congress opted for temporary special-interest fixes that now require further renewal and costly bailouts.”

“Without a long-term federal commitment, state departments of transportation are limited to smaller short-term projects that often provide briefer employment opportunities. That’s why under the so-called stimulus, we’ve seen primarily minor and limited infrastructure projects, such as sidewalks, bike paths and repaving. According to the Government Accountability Office, more than 63 percent of the highway stimulus funds were spent on pavement improvements, and less than 10 percent are being spent on new road or bridge construction.”

“The major projects and the employment they would create have been put on hold. Making matters worse, Democrats have undertaken an unprecedented federal spending binge.
Between the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus, an array of costly bailouts and two years of budget deficits approaching $3 trillion, more than $4 trillion has been quickly added to the national debt.”

“Additional reports that the administration does not plan to introduce its ideas for a long-term transportation reauthorization until next year only confirms the latest $50 billion tax and spend proposal was only political smoke and mirrors. It’s not working. The public is not fooled, and even some Democrats opposed this most recent proposal.”

“Despite these criticisms, I am still prepared, willing and anxious to join with anyone and everyone, in Congress or the administration, to develop a reasoned, effective means to get America working again and build our nation’s infrastructure.”

2 Responses to “Our Crumbling Infrastructure is Another Sign of a Crumbling Administration”
  1. Steven Jones says:

    I really believe it’s a matter of political expediency and the present antagonistic partisanship that’s permeated our congress. And I see no end in sight.

  2. curtis says:

    Why don’t the Reps. talk about the money that was Borrowed from china for a war we never should have been in?Yes i am talking about the false information that got us into that total mess!That $4Tril.and still adding up is part of the debt that our children and grand children will be paying back for yrs. to come.Why don’t Reps. take responsability and tell the truth about the T.A.R.P.being singed into law by Bush before he left office.Stop being hypocrites and tell the truth.

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