Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton has called for "a $275 billion boost in federal infrastructure spending over five years and the creation of an infrastructure bank, arguing that the measures will help create jobs while modernizing the nation's ailing roads and bridges."
"Investing in infrastructure makes our economy more productive and competitive across the board," she said Sunday at a rally in Boston's Faneuil Hall, addressing a crowd heavy on workers from construction unions. "To build a strong economy for our future, we must start by building strong infrastructure today."Clinton's plan would build on policy already instituted by President Obama: "Clinton's proposed infrastructure bank would also administer a renewed and expanded version of the Build American Bonds program, which was launched as part of the 2009 Recovery Act."
Her plan, she added, is "a down payment on our future."
...Clinton's plan would put $250 billion toward direct federal spending on infrastructure, while the remaining $25 billion would be seed funds to launch what her campaign described as a "strategic infrastructure bank." The bank would leverage the initial federal investment to support another $225 billion in direct loans, loan guarantees and other forms of credit. In all, Clinton's proposal would end up putting $500 billion in public and private funds toward infrastructure projects.
Our nation's crumbling infrastructure needs to be addressed, desperately, and it would indeed be a jobs program as well. Crucially, this is an important proposal for poor communities, who are disproportionately likely to be gravely affected by compromised infrastructure. See, for example, the failed levees which caused such vast destruction, displacement, and death during Hurricane Katrina.
Stable infrastructure is literally a life and death issue.
Bernie Sanders has also spoken on the campaign trail of the need to invest in infrastructure, and I am really glad the Democratic candidates are addressing it. I just hope we end up with a Democratic president who is serious about infrastructure but isn't hamstrung by a Republican Congressional majority who is content to let people die, to save a little money.