Instead of rebates, lets fix our infrastructure and put people to work
With the news that every working American will get a rebate check from Uncle Sam, it made me wonder just how far $600 is supposed to go to ‘fix’ our economy? To some of us, the economy has been in the crapper for quite awhile now. Choosing between paying bills, filling the gas tank, buying medication and putting food on the table has been the problem of many American’s for some time now.
The Senate seems to realize that only putting money in the pockets of those that work will not be enough. As they fight it out in Congress over the next couple of weeks we can all watch to see the final outcome. Will they extend unemployment for those hit by the dive of the housing market? The ripple effect of that debacle is far-reaching. My local newspaper has laid off almost half their staff and they point squarely to the housing downturn as the reason for the layoffs. Unemployment numbers fed to us by the federal government are notoriously skewed since they do not count people who have used up their unemployment benefits. New job growth is in the same boat since it only counts numbers, not the quality of those jobs created.
Meanwhile, many of us think the economy needs more than a stimulus package that most likely will come in the form of another loan from, who else, China. Meanwhile, there is a bill out there that would create jobs and fix our nations infrastructure, its called the Dodd-Hagel National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007, or S 1926. It was introduced into committee back in August of last year. The American Society of Civil Engineers explains it this way:
The bill, S. 1926, would create the National Infrastructure Bank as an independent entity of the federal government. The bank would be required to evaluate and fund “capacity-building infrastructure projects of substantial regional and national significance.”
Infrastructure projects with a potential federal investment of at least $75 million would be submitted to the bank by a project sponsor, state, locality, tribe, or local infrastructure agency, e.g., a transit agency. To determine a level of federal investment, the bank would employ a sliding-scale method that incorporates conditions such as the type of infrastructure system or systems, project location, project cost, current and projected usage, non-federal revenue, regional or national significance, promotion of economic growth and community development, reduction in traffic congestion, environmental benefits, land use policies that promote smart growth, and mobility improvements.
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