Spending on public projects helped pull the United States out of the Great Depression and created a lasting network of employment that helps support America even today. Now, as the country grapples with a new economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the timing has never been better to address the country’s $3.9 trillion infrastructure dilemma.
Across the United States, neglected roads, airports, electrical grids, and water distribution facilities are taking a toll on the American economy. In fact, a report from ASCE suggests that failing to address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure could result in a $3.9 trillion hit to the country’s GDP by 2025.
And that’s only the beginning.
Businesses too will suffer. Poor infrastructure directly translates into higher costs for businesses, and in turn, consumers. The same ASCE report estimates that not addressing our infrastructure shortcomings, businesses will miss out on $7 trillion in sales, and over 2.5 million jobs will be lost.
It s an issue that has gained surprising support from both sides of the aisle.
This week, President Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are set to discuss plans to help address New York’s struggling infrastructure.
“There is no better time to build than right now. You need to restart the economy, you need to create jobs. And you need to renew and repair the economy. Now is the time to do it,” Cuomo explained. “Let’s put Americans back to work. It is common sense.”
Trump, for his part, has been a major proponent of the infrastructure battle, as well, calling on lawmakers to allocate as much as $2 trillion to combat this looming crisis.
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“With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! “ the President tweeted.
As lawmakers spat over how to support the economy, addressing this issue is an opportunity to both create jobs and avoid further economic damage. Tackling the country’s critical infrastructure and communications shortcomings will be an investment that not only bolsters economic growth during a time where it is desperately needed, but also unlocks new potential in innovation and prosperity for years to come.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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