President Obama Announces $50 Billion for Infrastructure

Was the stimulus a success, or a failure? That is something for the economic majors to debate. I do know that this summer, I saw a lot of construction and a lot of projects in the works on our crumbling infrastructure. Still, there is plenty of work to be done beyond just maintaining and improving the roads we have. We need to rebuild the rail system in this country, and build a secondary infrastructure for alt-fuel vehicles.

That is part of what President Obama's $50 billion infrastructure plan has in the works. From high-speed rail to new airplane runways, the plan is as ambitious as it is costly. Is it enough?

President Obama announced this plan on Monday (Labor Day) as a way to stimulate the economy and hopefully get some more jobs out to people who could use them. The construction industry has been especially hard hit by the recession, and America's highways and byways are in desperate need of repair. President Obama's plan includes rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads, adding 4,000 miles of new railway, and repairing 150 miles of runway. Sounds like a good start. Still, I feel like Obama is missing an opportunity here.

You've got millions of unemployed construction workers with skills that could use rehabilitating too. Imagine a mass education program for out-of-work construction workers where they learn new green job skills, like installing solar panels or wind turbines. I also would have liked to have foregone the 150,000 miles in road renovations and instead focused on even more rail innovations.

I'm also not sure how I feel about the “National Infrastructure Bank.” Don't we already have the Highway Trust Fund? Congress has been robbing that fund blind for decades. Instead of adding another layer of government, I think we should be trying to streamline infrastructure in this country (something the NIB is supposed to do, but I doubt it will).

If you had $50 billion to spend on this country, what would you improve?

Source: Green Car Congress

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