Obama: Infrastructure Spending Crap
Posted in the Brattleboro Forum
#1 Nov 8, 2013
Obama Back on Road to Push for Infrastructure Spending
By JACKIE CALMES
Published: November 8, 2013
WASHINGTON — After weeks of controversy over the government’s shutdown and the bungled start to new health-insurance marketplaces, President Obama goes to the sprawling port of New Orleans on Friday to talk about what the government can do to spur infrastructure investments, and in turn jobs and exports.
“Rebuilding our roads, bridges and ports will not only put Americans back to work, but also help to expand trade, keep American businesses competitive and create even more jobs here at home,” the White House said in a notice about the president’s trip.
But that message and similar tours of the nation’s ports and major public facilities have fallen flat in the Republican-led Congress, where Speaker John A. Boehner has mocked Mr. Obama for trying to play “Santa Claus.” While Mr. Obama’s big economic-stimulus package when he took office led to the largest investment in public works since the Depression, it has waned since 2011, and the president’s subsequent proposals for public funds to be leveraged with private money have gone nowhere.
Still, Mr. Obama has expressed hope for some compromise as part of the budget negotiations that are underway in Congress. His optimism is due to support from businesses and potentially from some Republican lawmakers, in particular those from Southern districts whose ports need upgrades to handle supertankers that could begin arriving in about 2015 after completion of a Panama Canal expansion.
Mr. Obama is seeking $50 billion for a “Fix it First” initiative for roads, bridges and ports, and federal tax breaks and loans to attract private investors to join with state and local governments on projects. He also has proposed to seed an infrastructure bank to promote public-private partnerships.
Later this month, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will take a delegation of officials and some reporters to Panama, to highlight both the work there and the prospect that American ports could lose out to rivals like Brazil if they are not able to accommodate the cargo-laden ships that ultimately will come through the canal from the Pacific Rim nations.
At New Orleans’ port, Mr. Obama will argue for funds to modernize such facilities for more efficient loading and storage. According to the administration, the port system in New Orleans, South Louisiana and along the Mississippi River is the largest bulk cargo port area in the Western Hemisphere; about 60 percent of grain exports from the United States are shipped through the Mississippi River.
Public spending on infrastructure has declined by half since 1960, measured against the size of the economy’s total output, the administration said, and the nation’s ports over all received a C grade in the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“Our ports are not keeping up with the growing volume of imports and exports nor with the kinds and sizes of ships that carry global trade,” the White House statement said.
#2 Nov 8, 2013
It's the old game of throwing pennies at the bottom half in fedural programs...$50 billion dollars is mere pennies.
How much of the billions will go to tax breaks for the rich and the unimaginative public private partnerships.
Public private partnerships is basically a republican theme of anti governmentalism...
So how did you private venders and contractors work for you in Obamacare...
"Mr. Obama is seeking $50 billion for a “Fix it First” initiative for roads, bridges and ports, and federal tax breaks and loans to attract private investors to join with state and local governments on projects. He also has proposed to seed an infrastructure bank to promote public-private partnerships."
#3 Nov 8, 2013
It is about time after decades of Republicans asking for money for infrastructure spending that the democrats like it. Of course they want to raise taxes to do it instead of just reallocating the money they already have. So this is probably going no where.
#4 Nov 8, 2013
That is what all the corporate and tax breaks to the rich buys you…anti government fever…too numerous to count penny programs to the middle class and poor.
#5 Nov 8, 2013
I want programs that will change our collective lives…
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