A new report from the American Society for Civil Engineers calculates that if we don’t invest in fixing our crumbling infrastructure our nations GDP will take a $3.1 trillion dollar hit by 2020. If that’s a little too Nostradamus for you, those civil engineers also looked at what our poor infrastructure cost us last year and it tallies up to $130 billion. HuffPo rightly points out that civil engineers do have the most to gain from initiatives to fix our nations infrastructure, but I think it’s hard to argue with the fact that we’re currently under investing.
So keeping in mind that our economy is taking a massive hit from lack of infrastructure investment, and it’s only going to get worse according to civil engineers, then why has Congress proposed to cut transportation spending by 35%? The answer, perhaps surprisingly considering the well documented economic effects of of letting infrastructure crumble, is “fiscal responsibility.” But as this article smartly puts it, “[it] isn’t fiscally responsible: it’s just deferring the true costs of our infrastructure crisis onto our children.”
Lifelong Republican and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is not happy with Congress. Yesterday’s stop work order for Federal Aviation Administration employees courtesy of Congress’ failure to reauthorize the FAA, even temporarily as has been done in the past, has approximately 4,000 workers on unpaid leave. In LaHood’s view, leaving 4,000 American’s without income – and leaving the world’s best aviation system in limbo – is not the solution to the United States economic woes.