Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Treasury report: Now is the key time to invest in infrastructure

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A new report released by the U.S. Department of Treasury with the Council of Economic Advisers finds that now is the key time to invest in infrastructure to create middle-class jobs, increase long-term competitiveness and support a more secure energy future.

The President's strategy for American energy and his FY2013 Budget proposes a plan to renew and expand America's infrastructure, which includes a $50 billion up-front investment connected to a $476 billion six-year reauthorization of the surface transportation program and the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank.

As the report's analysis reflects, investment in infrastructure supports middle-class families in a range of ways. The report states that in the short-term, investments in transportation create middle-class jobs, 80 percent of the jobs created are in the construction sector, the manufacturing sector and the retail and wholesale trade sectors, where nearly 90 percent of the jobs have middle-class wages.

In the long-term, transportation choices, including public transit and high-speed rail, deliver benefits to families burdened by fluctuating global oil markets, congested automobile travel and a lack of transportation options. According to a statement from the U.S. Treasury. the average American family spends more than $7,600 a year on transportation, which is more than they spend on food and more than twice what they spend on out-of-pocket health care costs. For 90 percent of Americans, transportation costs absorb one out of every seven dollars of income.

One study found that almost 19 out of 20 Americans are concerned about America's infrastructure and 84 percent support greater investment to address infrastructure problems.

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