Just-Out Video: America Cannot Be the Shining Hill on the Horizon Without Investment in Transportation
In Washington, D.C., an unassailable message is being heard. It is that the state of America’s transportation infrastructure today cannot deliver us the society or economic security we need to prosper in the future.
The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition’s newest video emphasizes that America is at a transformational moment that demands better roads, modern public transit and smart bridges as well as new jobs, technologies and workforce development.
Part of what ATM does is broaden the circle of Americans and federal leaders who are educated about, and can champion, the need for significant and sustainable federal infrastructure investment. ATM wants constituent audiences to understand why dependable infrastructure investment is a must, not a plus.
This is not a new idea. The public, business and labor sectors have been advocating this for years. But what is new is the recognition of the tipping point America has reached, and the historic policy marker the Biden Administration has placed on a formidable investment package. A bipartisan agreement between 22 Senators and the President shows great promise in providing the federal vision and investment required.
At the end of June, the Financial Times reported that the stock markets hit highs after President Biden announced he secured a bipartisan infrastructure framework. This is likely partly because experts realize that Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) may play a prodigious part in establishing funding channels. Eking out pay-fors will be an exacting task considering increasing user fees and taxes are partisan redlines and, therefore, tapping general funds will likely become part of the fiscal strategy again.
Yes, the funding details are huge. But so is the truth. How do interstate connectivity and commerce function, Americans stay mobile, children get to school and swim meets, and people interact in their communities and globally without transportation?
President Truman once said America was built on “imagination” and “courage.” This is truly where “the rubber meets the road” right now. To ensure the nation’s safety, fiscal health and the public’s quality of life, responsive investment in new technologies, creating resilient infrastructure and building jobs and workforce skills are consequential, and needed NOW.
What’d They Say?
Notably, analysis by the Global Infrastructure Hub was that countries with the best infrastructure development all have strong governance frameworks to support investment.
These include capable institutions, transparency, independent decision-making structures, and political stability. This should really sit with members of Congress as they direct watershed policy for the 21st century.
There are also regional reports and unending data regarding the country’s infrastructure challenges. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has become synonymous with impactful report cards that take deep dives into how U.S. infrastructure is faring (it’s not all great) and what investment is needed. It recently identified a $1.2 trillion need for surface transportation.
In 2015, the year the last federal reauthorization was passed, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that every dollar spent on infrastructure brought an economic benefit of up to $2.20. The U.S. Council of Economic Advisers previously calculated that $1 billion of transportation-infrastructure investment supports 13,000 jobs for a year, according to a 2020 piece by the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
When the National Highway System was devised in the 1950s, the nation’s population was almost half of what it is today and capacity needs have grown substantially.
Please watch our video and share it with your friends and colleagues.