Study: Infrastructure Investment, Not Cuts, Key to Job Creation
January 6, 2014
While some members of Congress continue to push for further cuts to federal spending, one government watchdog group says our elected leaders need to focus on a more pressing debt: the industrial investment deficit.
A new report from the Center for Effective Government argues that Congress must make renovating and restoring our aging infrastructure a priority.
Much of America’s infrastructure was built in the decades directly after World War II. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ most recent report card gives us a D+ on infrastructure. It estimates that the country needs to invest $1 trillion more than we now spend on repair, maintenance, and construction of a safe, sustainable national infrastructure. Our airports and aviation systems, bridges, roads, dams, levees, schools, energy production and distribution network, drinking water systems, wastewater treatment, hazardous waste disposal, ports, inland waterways, rail, city transit, and other public structures require $1 trillion of new investments between now and the end of the decade.
The report, "The Bridge to Prosperity: Reverse Reckless Cuts, Restore Our Infrastructure and Revive Jobs," points out that federal discretionary spending is at its lowest level in more than 40 years – just at the moment when the federal government should be focused on modernizing our economy and creating jobs.
"We have an aging infrastructure in desperate need of repairs, over 20 million Americans searching for full-time work and low interest rates,” said Katherine McFate, head of the Center for Effective Government. “We are going to have to make these investments at some point in the near future. If we make them now, we’ll save money and create needed jobs as a bonus."
Such public investment could go a long way in recovering the 8.7 million jobs lost between 2007 and 2009.
For example, the Center estimates that a nationwide renovation of aged school buildings would create more than 140,000 construction jobs, which would support an additional 53,000 jobs in the local community.
Click here to read the report.