President Obama Advances 478 Billion Dollar Infrastructure Funding Proposal

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President Obama’s budget request Monday called for a six-year, 478 billion dollar public works program, designed to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The plan would allocate funds for rebuilding and modernizing bridges, railroads, highways, and airports. The program would be funded by a one-time, 14 percent tax on corporate profits accumulated overseas.

By investing in American jobs, while taxing offshore profits, the Obama plan is sort of the antithesis of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. The Keystone XL plan essentially calls for using foreign steel to construct a pipeline to transport Canadian oil to foreign markets, while providing a very small number of long-term American jobs. By contrast, Obama’s new budget proposal will repatriate some profits obtained through outsourcing, and use those profits to reinvest in American workers and American infrastructure.

Republicans are already arguing that Obama’s plan is too costly, but they have not offered a compelling alternative to address the nation’s infrastructure needs. In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the nation’s infrastructure a D+ grade on their report card. They estimated that 3.6 trillion dollars would need to be invested by 2020, to upgrade the nation’s roads, bridges, and ports. Obama’s proposal calls for only a portion of that total.

In addition to the federal government, state and local governments also would need to step up their efforts to invest in rebuilding America. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranked the United States behind 18 other nations for overall infrastructure quality. That ranking placed the United States behind Portugal, Spain and Oman.

A “catastrophic pancake” collapse of an Interstate 75 bridge on January 20th, emphasized the need for American infrastructure improvements to begin immediately. The Ohio bridge collapse killed one man and injured others. With so many bridges and roads in need of repair, investing in restoring the nation’s infrastructure is a common sense choice that should be applauded by Americans of all political persuasions. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has already attacked Obama’s plan because it raises taxes. In the Republican mind, offshore profits for multinational corporations are apparently a higher priority than keeping America’s bridges from crashing down.

7 Replies to “President Obama Advances 478 Billion Dollar Infrastructure Funding Proposal”

  1. no! we dont need no stinkin socialist roads. we need to spend a trillion bucks on a jet that doesnt work, not needed, and is a boonedoggle for the MIC and corporate welfare queens! fill the pot holes yourself! this is spamerica!

    signed,

    t. hadist

  2. To what extent are those off shore profits the result of a functioning global trade system which would not exist without the considerable role the U.S. military plays in maintaining & supporting it?

    And Republicans want to protect those profits from paying any thing at all towards the cost of that stabilizing military global presence? …without which their enterprises could not exist? Really?

  3. It boggles my mind when I hear “conservatives” defend huge tax cuts for the rich and austerity for everyone else because they are the “job creators”. In fact demand creates jobs and you don’t have demand if the majority of the population is living paycheck to paycheck while the “job creators” hord their wealth. They’re not going to use that extra money to hire someone whose services or products no one has the money to pay for. Likewise, the “we can’t afford to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure” excuse, when in fact doing so would boost our economic growth, which in turn would bring in more tax dollars. These austerity measures are hurting America and need to be stopped.

  4. This President marches on to the betterment of our nation while the GOPers just sit about devising schemes to put this country into Third World territory. Barack Obama has been a tremendous positive presence for our country. He hasn’t been able to turn the world around so much as I had wished but he surely has fought the good fight for his domestic and economic programs to the long term betterment of the United States.

  5. What a great idea and it always has been!!

    Could never understand why all the wasted time, money and especially lies told to get that Keystone foreign pipeline built but zero energy on ideas or providing money that would improve and fund American infrastructure while putting millions back to work in all 50 States.

  6. This…dear Republicans, is an actual job creator. I point that out because you probably don’t recognize what a job creating idea is. I know the idea of good paying jobs, American workers actually working, is probably a painful idea for you to swallow. You probably want to privatize every stretch of road, every bridge, every tunnel in America. That way, we could have checkpoints and toll booths around every corner. You know, like in Somalia. Seems to work there.

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