Scwarzenegger, Bloomberg Call for More U.S. Infrastructure Spending

Monday, 23 Mar 2009 07:01 AM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

WASHINGTON -- The governor of America's largest state and the mayor of its largest city called on the federal government on Sunday to dramatically boost its spending on bridges, sewers, high-speed rail and other infrastructure.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" the United States needs to spend up to $1.6 trillion to make up for decades of neglect and stay globally competitive.

"In order for the economy to thrive and live up to 100 percent of its potential, you need to move people and goods around very quickly, and so if that falls behind then the economy falls behind," said Schwarzenegger, a Republican.

The $787 billion stimulus package signed into law last month includes $80.5 billion to fix roads, bridges, mass transit and waterways. President Barack Obama also put $72.5 billion for transportation spending in his budget proposal for 2010.

But those figures are far short of the $2.2 trillion that the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates is needed to repair highway, transit and water projects after years of neglect, let alone new projects like high-speed rail.

The three leaders said Obama seemed supportive when they met with him at the White House on Friday.

"The president wants this done," Bloomberg, a political independent, said.

Obama has proposed $5 billion in seed money for an infrastructure bank with an independent board to pay for capital projects. He is expected to explain his complete transportation plan in April.

Obama faces growing public disgust with the mounting cost of the financial industry bailout at a time when he also is planning an expensive overhaul of the healthcare system and new environmental restrictions.

But the three leaders said taxpayers would support additional infrastructure spending because it delivers tangible benefits. Breached levees in Iowa and New Orleans and the 2007 Minneapolis highway bridge collapse vividly illustrate the perils of allowing infrastructure to crumble, they said.

"The American people aren't against spending, they're against spending they can't see," said Rendell, a Democrat. "If we do it right the American people will not only be able to see it, they'll be able to touch it."

They said the government should try to attract private investors to help pay for new projects, but they did not rule out raising gasoline taxes if necessary.

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

-

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Gov. Perry Sending National Guard to Help Find Dead Illegals

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 19:39 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will send National Guard troops to a rural part of the state to help local sheriff's deputies sear . . .

George P. Bush: I'm Not Endorsing Anyone in 2016 Race

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 18:45 PM

George P. Bush is not endorsing anyone for the White House in 2016, even if his father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, be . . .

Feds Mum on Prosecution of Illegal Border Crossers

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 17:33 PM

The federal government refuses to say whether prosecutors in Yuma, Arizona, have scaled back a years-old program that gu . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved