After Tuesday’s election results, there may be a lot of issues off the table. But one that remains a strong possibility is a badly-needed increase in infrastructure investment.
President-elect Trump has repeatedly called for more to be done to improve roads, rails and airports. And the Teamsters agree. Back in September 2015, the union released its “Let’s Get America Working” plan that called for greater spending to improve the nation’s transportation, energy and water systems. Now it’s time to make it happen.
So why infrastructure? Because infrastructure jobs, unlike those in other sectors, can’t be outsourced. They improve living standards for all Americans, including the men and women who help to repair and maintain roads, bridges, ports, airports and mass transit systems, along with those who earn a living transporting goods and the vast majority of Americans who use our transportation networks every day.
To adequately maintain our transportation systems, the Congressional Budget Office says an additional $13 billion a year needs to be invested by federal, state and local governments. However, surface transportation investment actually has declined at all levels of government between 2002 and 2012, when adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $3.6 trillion should be spent on all infrastructure by 2020 to get the U.S. back on track.
There was a time when building infrastructure and improving job training and education weren’t partisan issues -- they were American values, something we all could support. There needs to be return to that way of thinking. This country’s future depends on it.
Rebuilding, repairing and reinvestment doesn’t just need to be about transportation, energy and water projects – it can be about rebuilding and repairing the trust between government and workers by reinvesting in the people that have and can continue to make this country great. Better pay will lead to more spending and improve our quality of life. That way we all win.
Now is the time to build, repair and maintain America!