President Obama today gave another in his series of economic speeches at an Amazon distribution center in Tennessee to propose a cut in corporate tax rates in return for a commitment from Republicans to invest more in programs spurring middle-class jobs.
As stewards of our nation’s infrastructure, the ASCE is encouraged by President Obama’s proposal to direct money from a corporate tax overhaul to help fund America’s infrastructure projects. However, while emphasizing the need to reduce the backlog of deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports nationwide is an important message to come from the President, the message alone will not fix the nation’s infrastructure problems.
ASCE President, Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S, D.WRE, released the following statement in response to the President Obama’s remarks:
“As stewards of our nation’s infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers applauds President Obama’s proposal to direct money from a corporate tax overhaul to help fund America’s infrastructure projects, with an emphasis on reducing the backlog of deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports nationwide. Infrastructure is the foundation of our communities, and without it, our businesses, schools, and our everyday lives suffer.
“The time to act is now. It’s critical that the administration and congressional leaders put forth a clear, actionable road map with long-term funding solutions. Leaders from all parties must come together to invest in America’s future to assure we have a strong foundation for an ever-changing 21st century economy.
“The President has said on more than one occasion that we have an ‘aging infrastructure badly in need of repair.’ Despite this statement, little has been done since the president announced his ‘Fix-It-First’ plan to rebuild America in his State of the Union address earlier this year. Simply put, we must invest in our roads, bridges, ports, and water systems. This will help us build a 21st Century America to compete in an ever-changing global economy.
“In ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s infrastructure across 16 sectors, the nation’s cumulative GPA for infrastructure received a grade of D+. The 2013 Report Card estimates total investment needs at $3.6 trillion by 2020 across all 16 sectors, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion based on current funding levels.
“Private investment along with political leadership can help our nation grow and create much needed jobs. First class roads, bridges, and ports will lead to first class jobs, homes, and lives for American families. Yet rebuilding our nation’s roads, bridges, and water systems is not enough. We must have long-term plans for maintenance and repair, sustainable funding mechanisms that assure reliability, and the political leadership to invest in our own communities.”