President Obama Holds Meeting on Infrastructure Investment, New Report Shows Positive Economic Impact on States and Communities
WASHINGTON -- Building off his Labor Day announcement of a bold new plan for modernizing and rebuilding America's roads, railways, and runways (fact sheet here), President Obama held a meeting today on the economic impact of infrastructure investment on our states and local communities at the White House.
Joining the President at the meeting was Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, former Secretaries of Transportation Norman Mineta and Samuel Skinner, Governors Ed Rendell and Jack Markell, and Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa, Mick Cornett, Julian Castro, Michael Coleman, Michael Nutter, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Kasim Reed and Joe Riley. The group discussed the current state of our transportation infrastructure in cities and states across the country, the challenges they face to improving their infrastructure, and the short- and long-term economic impact of new infrastructure investment.
President Obama said, “We need a new plan for America’s roads, rails and runways for the long-term. Over the next six years, we will rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads – enough to circle the world six times. We will lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways – enough to stretch coast-to-coast. And we will restore 150 miles of runways and advance a next generation air-traffic control system that reduces delays for the American people. By making these investments across the country, we won’t just make our economy run better over the long haul – we’ll create good, middle-class jobs right now.”
“Investing in our transportation infrastructure in the near term will pay dividends for our economy both now and in the future,” said Secretary Geithner. “Modernizing our roads, rails and airports will create middle class jobs, help increase America's productivity and expand our exports.”
"Today, we heard first hand from a group of mayors and governors about the current state of our transportation infrastructure in cities and states across the country, the challenges they face to improving their infrastructure, and the short- and long-term economic impact of new infrastructure investment," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We know that upgrading our nation’s infrastructure is vital to our economy and our future competitiveness. And that's why the President has laid out a bold new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America's transportation infrastructure that will bring jobs to our economy now and increase our nation's growth and productivity over the long-term."
The group also discussed a new report on infrastructure investment from the Department of the Treasury with the Council of Economic Advisers. The report discusses the positive economic impact infrastructure investment achieves by raising our nation’s economic output, enhancing America’s global economic competitiveness and creating good jobs for the middle class. Specifically, the report finds that 80 percent of the jobs directly created by investing in transportation infrastructure would be in the construction, manufacturing and retail trade sectors. The report also finds that infrastructure investments have high bang for the buck because construction costs are low due to underutilized resources, and these investments would create jobs in sectors of the economy suffering from some of the highest levels of unemployment.
The full infrastructure report can be found HERE.