Statement of U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Associate Dan Smith on President Obama’s Rose Garden address on infrastructure and job creation. The President was joined by Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO and David Chavern of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
WASHINGTON, Aug 31 – “The president was spot on in calling for the need to spend our infrastructure dollars more wisely, based on results and public benefits rather than short-sighted political priorities.
“Congress needs to extend the current law and prevent a halt to current transportation projects, but to get the most out of our infrastructure dollars, we need to do more than just reauthorize the bill that gave us the bridge to nowhere.
“Road investments should prioritize fixing what we already have. The sorry state of many bridges and roads across the country poses dangers for travelers and results in costly delays. Road and bridge repair projects also save money down the line while creating 16 percent more jobs now than new highway projects.
“Investment should also focus on transit and high-speed rail, which reduce oil dependence and curb traffic congestion while creating 31 percent more jobs than highways.
“Congress needs to make this the last temporary extension and then role up its sleeves to create a new transportation bill that brings our woefully inadequate transportation infrastructure into the 21st century.
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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.