U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs proposal would boost economic growth by renovating the nation’s roads, airports and railways.
One of the most important parts of the plan “is to put people to work right now rebuilding America’s infrastructure,” Geithner said today in a statement from Louisville, Kentucky. “To be as productive and efficient as possible, American businesses need the foundation of a strong, reliable, modern infrastructure -- and that means they need government to do its part.”
Geithner met with leaders from businesses including Ford Motor Co. and Louisville-based logistics company Houston-Johnson Inc. to discuss the jobs proposal, and to tour operations of package-delivery company United Parcel Service Inc. At the same time, Obama is on a three-day trip to Washington state, California and Colorado to raise money for his re-election campaign and promote his package aimed at reducing the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
The plan, which has drawn opposition from Republicans and a mixed reaction from Democrats, is a combination of tax cuts and spending that includes an extension of benefits for the long- term unemployed and aid for states and local governments to avert layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters.
“Infrastructure spending is like a tax cut,” Geithner told reporters after his tour. “You do a better job repairing roads and bridges, highways, airports, railways. It makes companies more competitive, lowers their costs.”
Spending on infrastructure “does not make government bigger,” he said. “It’s very good for job creation now, but it leaves a lasting gain for the economy as a whole.”
Asked about the European debt crisis, Geithner said “the world would like them to move as quickly as possible. Certainly we would like them to move as quickly as possible.”
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