The transportation systems in this country need attention. Let's create a High Speed Rail System Across the Country and improve our existing roads, bridges and subways. We can put Americans back to work using taxpayer dollars. Let's show our patriotism by keeping our tax dollars here instead of sending our wealth overseas.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) notes that our transportation infrastructure could significantly benefit from an additional $94 billion/yr worth of repairs, upgrades or replacements. In its July 2011 report, ASCE estimated that bad transportation infrastructure costs businesses and households ~$130 billion per year: $32bn in travel delays, $97bn in vehicle costs, $1.2bn in safety costs, and $590mm in environmental costs. The ASCE estimated that for $94 billion/yr we could add millions of jobs. If we delay, however, the future is not bright:
“In 2040, America’s projected infrastructure deficiencies in a trends extended scenario are expected to cost the national economy more than 400,000 jobs. Approximately 1.3 million more jobs could exist in key knowledge-based and technology-related economic sectors if sufficient transportation infrastructure were maintained. These losses are balanced against almost 900,000 additional jobs projected in traditionally lower-paying service sectors of the economy that would benefit by deficient transportation (such as auto repair services) or by declining productivity in domestic service related sectors (such as truck driving and retail trade). If present trends continue, by 2020 the annual costs imposed on the U.S. economy by deteriorating infrastructure will increase by 82% to $210 billion, and by 2040 the costs will have increased by 351% to $520 billion.”
Borrowing costs are at their lowest in decades. The national debt is a problem, but much of America’s infrastructure dates from the last time borrowing costs were historically low: The Great Depression. Furthermore, if your roof is leaking and your home is falling apart, you need to repair it or you will pay far more in the future. We need to take advantage of ultra-low rates and invest to support high-paying jobs for ourselves and our children.
I visited China this past year and was impressed by the public transportation in the subways of Beijing and Shanghai.
They also have a high speed line.