Good morning, Planeteers!
I trust you all are doing okay, having come through all this angst. Now that Congress is on their five-week PAID vacation, we can all step back a little and take a deep breath. They can’t do much damage while they’re gone!
But not to worry…they will be back with another fake crisis soon enough!
And there are a couple of things that come to mind immediately. Maybe we should take this Congressional break time to put our strategy together to put pressure on these “do-nothing” jerks to start working for their REAL bosses, the US taxpayer!
1. Infrastructure – The President came out strongly yesterday to put infrastructure repair and jobs at the top of the agenda. I received an email on this topic that listed several good sources of information, including a report by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Some are a little lengthy but interesting if you want to get down into the weeds a bit. (Scroll down for links.)
2. Funding of the FAA – This is a no-brainer, folks. It’s hard to believe that Congress would go blithely on their way to take five weeks of paid vacation while millions of Americans remain without jobs. But then, what else would we expect from Boehner’s Teabagger buddies who care NOTHING for working families?
Regarding the FAA, I’m sure most of you have seen the issue popping up on the MSM. Almost 95 million people are being thrown out of work and 200 construction sites at American airports are shut down. The government is losing tax revenue at the rate of $30 million per day, and it is reported that this lack of action by Congress could cost us $1.2 billion by the time our well-tanned and rested lawmakers make their way back to Washington after Labor Day.
Congress has, once again, been derelict in their duty by failing to fund the FAA…and the worst part of this issue is that the safety of the flying public hangs in the balance. Safety inspectors are still working without pay and placing their travel expenses on personal credit cards, but they cannot be expected to do this forever.
While one problem (the FAA) is more immediate, it ties in with long-term infrastructure investment and jobs. Many of our airports are sadly antiquated and need improvements. Roads and bridges are crumbling from under us. Schools are falling down around our students’ ears. Construction workers, by the millions, are begging for work. As I said, this should be a no-brainer. But in this current political climate, we will have to push Congress to make funds available.
Much has been said about America’s ability to compete in a global marketplace. Business needs investment in infrastructure…good roads, high-speed rail, an improved power grid, broad band, and tech-improved modern airports. This, unfortunately, is just the kind of expenditure that the rethugs would cut right now in their deficit-cutting mania, but this is one problem that they cannot push off on already strained state budgets. The Federal government, perhaps in partnership with private money, is the only entity capable of making these investments.
Infrastructure building/repair and plenty of construction jobs…both sorely needed to boost the economy! Now, who in their right minds could argue with that? Oh, I forgot….
Below are the links to give you an overview of the infrastructure issues:
* Focus attention first on critical repairs and upgrades;
* Develop a national infrastructure strategy, funding merit-based projects that support the country’s overall economic priorities;
* Concentrate spending on the nation’s metropolitan areas and global gateways;
* Provide greater long-term certainty for federal funding to support planning for capital projects;
* Institute federal and state infrastructure banks to support project financing; and
* Phase in user fees to help fund infrastructure initiatives on a continuing basis.
American Society of Civil Engineers – 2009 Report Card on Infrastructure: http://www.asce.org/reportcard
The 90-page report, “Infrastructure 2011: A Strategic Priority,” is available at http://www.uli.org/~/media/Documents/ResearchAndPublications/Reports/Infrastructure/Infrastructure2011.ashx.
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers site lists projects that were to be addressed with the 2009 Recovery Act: http://www.usace.army.mil/recovery/pages/projects.aspx