To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

President Again Talks Up Transportation Funding, and Fix-It-First


By Larry Ehl, July 30, 2013

President Obama signing MAP-21 into law. Image: White House website.

President Obama signing MAP-21 into law. 

President Obama used the backdrop of another transportation-related facility, an Amazon distribution center, to urge Congress to invest in infrastructure. Last week he appeared at the Port of Jacksonville to urge more investment in transportation. See our story about that speech: “What the President Did and Didn’t Say About Transportation Last Week.”

The focus of Tuesday’s long speech (over 3,000 words!) was initiatives to stimulate the creation of middle-class jobs. Basically,he’s proposing a small cut to corporate tax rates in exchange for investing in infrastructure and other job-creating initiatives, says Business Insider.

The President discussed increasing jobs in four areas (manufacturing; infrastructure; renewable energy, and exports. He also proposed a “grand bargain” that would cut corporate taxes in exchange for higher spending on job-training programs.

Below are the President’s transportation-related remarks from his speech. The President “snubbed” a local transportation project in need of federal funds, by not mentioning it in his speech, according to some folks. During his earlier speech at the Port of Jacksonville the President mentioned several important projects to illustrate the need to invest in infrastructure.

The White House provides a copy of the entire speech. Read accounts of the speech and proposal from the New York Times, or the Washington Times. Republicans essentially rejected the proposals outright.

What the President said about transportation:

“So today, I came here to offer a framework that might help break through some of the political logjam in Washington and try to get Congress to start moving on some of these proven ideas.  But let me briefly outline some of the areas I think we need to focus on if we want to create good jobs, with good wages, in durable industries -– areas that will fuel our future growth.”

“. . . . Number two — I talked about this last week — jobs rebuilding our infrastructure.  I look at this amazing facility and you guys, you don’t miss a beat.  I mean, you’ve got these packages coming out.  You’ve got dog food and Kindles and beard trimmers.  (Laughter.)  I mean, there’s all kinds of stuff around here.  But once it’s packed up, it’s got to get to the customer.  And how quickly and how dependably it gets to the customer depends on do we have good roads, do we have good bridges, do we have state-of-the-art airports.

We’ve got about $2 trillion of deferred maintenance here in this country.  So let’s put more construction workers back on the job doing the work America needs done.  (Applause.)  These are vital projects that Amazon needs, businesses all across the country need, like widening Route 27 here in Chattanooga — (applause) — deepening the Jacksonville Port that I visited last week.  These are projects vital to our national pride.

We’re going to be breaking ground this week at the St. Louis Arch.  Congress should pass what I’ve called my “Fix-It-First” plan to put people to work immediately on our most urgent repairs, like the 100,000 bridges that are old enough to qualify for Medicare.  That will create good middle-class jobs right now.  (Applause.)  And we should partner with the private sector to upgrade what businesses like Amazon need most.  We should have a modern air traffic control system to keep planes running on time.  We should have modern power grids and pipelines to survive a storm.  We should have modern schools to prepare our kids for the jobs of tomorrow.  (Applause.)

Number three, we need to keep creating good jobs in energy — in wind and solar and natural gas.  Those new energy sources are reducing energy costs.  They’re reducing dangerous carbon pollution.  They’re reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  So now is not the time to gut investments in American technology.  Now is the time to double down on renewable energy and biofuels and electric vehicles, and to put money into the research that will shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.  (Applause.)”